I think not!  We made it through today, but it took much coaxing and insisting and endless activity. She did not sleep very well again last night.  There were about as many trips to the commode, changes in position, drinks of water as have been so for the last few nights.  She was up at 7am, laid back down while I showered and got up for the day immediately thereafter.

I got her hair washed, got her dressed and delivered her to the circle meeting well before it was time to begin.  On the way home after the meeting, I suggested getting a movie or two for the late afternoon or evening to keep her awake.  When we got home she wanted to nap.  Since it was lunch time, I was able to keep her up for that.  Then she wanted me to leave her home while I took the car in for an oil change.  I thought about doing so, but since she was still up we just got in the car and headed to the Honda place.

When we got home after that, the television kept her attention for a while.  We ate supper,  watched one of the movies, and now she has just gone to bed.  My goal has been to keep her up during the day until finally she will sleep soundly through the night (with just a few commode trips) and we can return to a more manageable sleep pattern leaving both of us better rested and reducing the hallucinations.

Colleen commented on last night’s post: “Your comment about sleep reminded me of children.  The more tired they are, the more hyper they get, and the less likely they are to sleep.”  Before I read that comment, I had decided that tomorrow, if she wants to nap, I will not try to keep her up and busy, but just let her sleep.  Colleen’s observation may very well explain what is happening.  Keeping her up may actually be making it harder for her to sleep through the night. It is far too soon to determine if this will be a sleepless night or a sleep-filled night.

By the way, supper tonight was a treat for both of us, even though I did the cooking.  It was a meal simple enough even for me to prepare. When Edie came to stay with Mary Ann on Sunday (providing a meal, as she always does), she mentioned that they had just picked many green tomatoes.  We sent with her Mary Ann’s Mom’s recipe for green tomato relish.  I mentioned that it made the best glaze for a ham known to humankind.

Guess what was delivered to our house last evening while I was at the local Audubon Society presentation?  There were a couple of jars of freshly made green tomato relish and a huge slice of ham about an inch thick, ready to be cooked.  I wrapped a couple of sweet potatoes in foil and baked them until they were soft and moist, ready for the butter and brown sugar, spread the relish on the ham and broiled it (per instructions on the wrapper), opened and heated a can of peas, and the feast began!  The only moment of concern came when the relish under the broiler began to smoke.  I had visions of alarms sounding and fire trucks gathering.  Gratefully, the newly cleaned smoke detector was no longer too sensitive [see earlier post].

The movie we rented was The Soloist.  It was is engaging account of someone who managed against seemingly insurmountable odds to make music.  While our situation is far less dramatic and hardly compares to what the character in this true story encountered and, apparently, still does, the movie encourages the idea of living meaningfully, no matter what.  That is precisely the goal toward which we are drawn.

On that note, the Alien presence from planet Pedometer Prime had its way with me again.  I walked once outside at Cedarcrest and once in the mall while Mary Ann was at her Circle meeting.  Then came a powerful attack by the Alien.  Before it was over, I committed to a five week exercise and weight reduction program at Rebound Physical Therapy.  This lack of sleep must be getting to me also.  My resistance is down.  There is confusion from synapses that have not had time to connect as they do during that deep sleep that is so important to us.  Have I finally simply gone completely mad!!

One last note:  She has already been up for a couple of drinks of water, saltine crackers and a snack-sized container of applesauce.  Is it possible that she can have still another restless night?  The answer to that question will come soon enough.

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.

I got up at 5:30am on Saturday, showered, dressed and was ready by five minutes to 6:00am to start the process of getting ready to go to Kansas City for the Parkinson’s Symposium.  We would have to be on the road by 7:30am to make it on time.  I had already complained to the Dr. about the early start time for the target audience who have mobility and sleep problems.  He said the issue was finishing before lunch.  Registration was at 8am and the program started at 9am.  Living an hour and a quarter away added to the time issue.

Since I thought maybe Mary Ann could get ready in an hour (normally including morning chores, the minimum prep time is two hours), I let her sleep another half hour.   At about 6:30am, as I helped her to the commode, she said, let’s stay home.   I knew it would not work to try to force her to go. 

I had initiated plans for a luncheon with friends in Kansas City to celebrate two birthdays members of the group were having.  I told her that at least we ought to go to KC in time for that meal.  After all, I had started the process of arranging the meal out.  She agreed.  We both went back to bed for a couple more hours. 

It was good to visit with friends of thirty-five years.  Even though we are only an hour or so from that crew, we end up getting together only four or five times a year, if that. 

For a variety of reasons, the weekend seemed to provide a number of reality checks that reinforced the level of limits on our lives and the concomitant sense of isolation. 

Sunday morning a Volunteer came.  Edie always brings whatever is needed to leave behind a full meal, very tasty, with lots of variety.  During the Volunteer time I headed up to the Lake for a while and then to the marsh below the dam.   It was a helpful time.  Feeling out of sorts and searching for some sense of renewal, the combination of devotional reading and sensory refreshment was especially meaningful. 

The book (about spiritual formation) is speaking to my need, providing the sort of intellectual framework that fertilizes my roots and generates hope for growth.

What flooded my senses provided the grounding in the natural world that helps me reframe my situation.  As I stood at the edge of the lake, the gulls spread over the water were screaming.  I have no idea why, but they were screaming.  I guess that is just the way gulls vocalize.  Nearby, one gull flew over another that was sitting on the water.  The flying gull made what sounded like some belligerent remarks, and the one on the water started screaming at the one flying.  In other places on the lake, occasionally one gull would crash land into another and a skirmish would ensue.  I don’t think this is mating season.  I will have to ask a birder what was going on. 

There were Cormorants diving for food.  A raucous Great Blue Heron flew by joining the conversation as he flew.   I watched a butterfly go by and come very close to becoming a snack for a Barn Swallow that just grazed it.   

The highlight was what I had seen last week and thought to be a juvenile American Bald Eagle.  My birding expert, whom I call Bob, after I reported the sighting, suggested that due to a flying pattern I descibed it might have been an Osprey.  This week the bird came close enough to confirm that is was an Osprey.  It had the telltale black mask on its face.  In fact it dove into the water right in front of me to get a fish — an unsuccesful fishing trip.  As I continued to watch, another bird appeared in the distance.  It also flew toward me, and I was able to determine that it was a second Osprey. 

I spent some time walking by the marsh, providing a little exercise, much needed.  The lifting and moving and turning of Mary Ann provides some strength training, but my life is pretty much void of any cardiovascular conditioning.  A combination of creativity and discipline seems to be the path toward better physical and spiritual health.  I am better at the creativity than the discipline.  I am way better at talking and thinking than I am at doing. 

We are in another restless night.  It has been no more than fifteen minutes between needs for the last two or three hours.  It is hard to muster the energy for moving from thinking to doing when very tired and tethered to another person whose needs are constant. 

Yesterday there was what felt like the start of the flu during the evening after church and into the night.  Chills came for a time.  Instead of writing a post on this blog, I went to bed in hopes of getting whatever it was to let go.  Since I simply can’t be sick due to Mary Ann’s circumstances, I got better today.  We will see what comes. 

This is a very thoughtful time for me, with lots of feelings converging.  My hope is that there will be enough time for processing, and that a healthier pattern of living will emerge.  At the moment, I am shutting down.  It is time to get to bed!

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.