What an interesting day yesterday was. With an Alzheimer's person it is all about patterns and rituals. I think they do this to help remember things. Plus, there are some things we just automatically do like brush your teeth, then wash your face, then comb your hair, and they are ingrained in your mind. Pat has several of those. Which is good that she still remembers these things... most of the time.
Anyway, yesterday I noticed around 3:00 that Pat's eyes were droopy and she was tired. She had been up until 1:00 the previous night and up at 6:00am in the morning so I'm not surprised. I suggested that she lay on the couch for a while because the physical therapist recommended it to stop her back pain. And she did it! Only a couple of questions from her but nothing like the norm. She even let me take her sneakers off and cover her with a blanket. When she fell asleep I was in even more shock. And when the phone rang and she WENT BACK TO SLEEP, I was completely floored and felt I was on a mini vacation. Of course, I couldn't leave my recliner, my little island for fear of waking her, but I felt blessed. Thank you Lord for that breather.
She slept from 3:15 until 4:30 and then continued to lay on her back for another 20 minutes. While she was sleeping you could see her exhaustion. She flinched and clenched her hands, moaned, and actually looked relaxed a little. Mark came home and she continued to sleep for a while. I was able to finally get out of the recliner and visit with him for a few moments before she woke. I didn't want to be out of her eye sight when she finally did. I'm her security blanket. I need to be in eye sight at all times or she gets upset so I went back to the recliner. It's a good thing I did.
You know how you feel after a hard sleep? Disoriented and groggy? Add Alzheimer's, an already neurologically wacked disease, on top of that and look out. She kept telling us she felt funny, which she tells us quite often, but I still haven't figured out exactly what that means. I don't know if it is the confusion, the forgetfulness, the pain, the drugs, or something different like the flu. She seemed a little warm but no fever. It made for a long night and when she said she was tired at 8:00, I let her get ready for bed.
Today, she seems better. I know it is important for an Alzheimer's patient to get sleep. It makes sense. Clarity comes best to me after a good nights sleep. Why would it be any different for her. Who knows, maybe I can get her to take another snooze today. The confusion was so worth the rest she clearly needed. And yes, the relaxation I was forced to enjoy. I have such a hard time staying still.
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