The lack of sleep finally caught up with Mary Ann.  Last night, it took her a while, but finally, she settled.  She slept through the night with only a couple of commode trips.  She got up early.  I was hoping she could sleep a little longer since Wednesday is the weekly 7:30am Spiritual Formation group. 

Since she got up at about 7am, I assumed that since there was no morning Volunteer I would need to stay with her upstairs, eliminating my attendance with the group in our downstairs.  While it did take a long time to get her needs met, pills and food and television in the bedroom set, I was able to get downstairs.  I had to head back up a few times.  I take the monitor downstairs with me so that I can see if she is secure in her chair in the bedroom.  That way I know when I need to go up and help her.

The hallucinations were less intense, and, while she was up from her chair a few times, she finally settled there and just put her head down on her lap as has been so when she is awake, but not in hyperactive mode responding to hallucinations. 

When Bath Aide Zandra came, she had some difficulty getting Mary Ann to sit up enough to get her through the bath and hair wash routine.  When I came in to put on her Exelon patch, she could not sit up at all and was hanging on the edge of her chair.  Zandra had tried to use the seat belt on the chair, but that was not working well. 

As soon as they were done, I helped Mary Ann back into bed.  That was at about 9:45am.   Mary Ann slept for six hours!   There was a new Volunteer who had asked that I stay while she was with Mary Ann since she was unsure of being able to handle her physically.  Doris ended up looking at magazines for the entire time of her stay from 11:30am to 2pm. 

I managed with great difficulty to give Mary Ann the mid-morning pills.  I gave up on the next set.  I had not caught Zandra early enough to ask her to put a nighttime disposable on Mary Ann.  I knew that there would be leakage to deal with by letting her sleep so long.  First of all, she was sleeping so soundly that there would have been no way to get her up sooner.  I talked with her, urging her to get up and go to the bathroom a couple of times.  She just couldn’t.

Given how hard it has been to deal with her current level of confusion and the intensity of her hallucinations, I was grateful to have a rest from it.  I hoped that the combination of the a night and day of sleep might help diminish the hallucinations and hyperactivity. 

When she finally got up a little before 4pm, she was able to function better, hallucinations somewhat subdued and relatively calm.  The hallucinations were still active, just not as intense. 

I was able to help her eat a half sandwich.  She ate a few chips and drank some Pepsi.  She sat in the chair by the television for a while, bothered some at first by the hallucinations.  Then she put her head on her lap for a time.  I reminded her about some left over B&R ice cream she had not finished yesterday.  She ate some on her own and then let me help her finish. 

She headed to bed at about 7pm.  It is hard to know whether tonight will be part of the catching up time, or a restless one since she has slept so long in the last twenty-four hours.   She has been up a number of times already, responding to hallucination/dreams, once intending to get up for the day.  The time then was 8:50pm. 

I spent some of the time Doris was here working on a fax to send to Dr. Pahwa, Mary Ann’s Neurologist at KU Medical Center.  I want to see what tonight and tomorrow bring so that I can add that to the informaiton on the sheet.  I am asking him if it would be appropriate to do a review of her meds with an eye toward adjusting them — hoping, of course, to reduce the hallucinations. 

One side note: while it was good that I also got a little more sleep last night, I did not manage any daytime sleeping to do some catching up of my own.  The next three days do not include any time with Volunteers here.  If the next few posts seem to be written in Na’vi (a tribe of the native population on the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar), you will know that sleep has been elusive, and hallucinations intense. 

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