a deep sleep

It’s six o’clock on Sunday. My mother went to bed around midnight last night, and she’s still sleeping. That’s 18 hours.
We tried to wake her up, but she only mumbled something about her whole body aching. We check her periodically to see if she’s still breathing, the way new parents do with their new baby.
I take a shower and wash my hair and make sure I have all her medical information is ready. In case.
What if she sleeps through tonight. Do we take her to the hospital. Do we just keep an eye on her and wait until she wakes up by herself. If she does. What if she doesn’t.
These are questions, but I write them as statements because no one has the answers. It’s one day, one hour at a time.
I spent hours this morning, while she slept, shredding old bill statements, throwing out things I’ll never use and probably no one else will, packing up more books to take to the library, and filling bags of odds and ends for the Salvation Army.
I am letting go.
Is she, also?
She woke up at 8 pm, weak and disoriented. I got her to take her meds, and then I fed her some Jello. And then some homemade turkey soup with pastina. A cup of her fake coffee and a couple of cookies later, she felt better. It’s now after midnight, and she’s still up and weepy again. My brother is watching tv with her. I need to sleep, because I’m sure that, when she’s finally ready for bed, I’m going to have to lie down with her.
What do they do with dementia patients in nursing homes who won’t go to sleep and want to go home?? That’s not a rhetorical question.

3 thoughts on “a deep sleep

  1. While it is hard to lose a parent, it is an inevitable part of life, should we live long enough. The wheel turns and takes us with it, as you know. I hope for both your sakes she has begun the process of letting go. You deserve a rest Elaine and she deserves peace.

    Blessed be

  2. this may sound weird to you elaine, but i’m actually worried about your brother. i’m particularly concerned about how he’s going to handle your mom’s passing, which i have a feeling you’ll do fine with, all things considered. the sometimes belligerent attitude of his that you’ve described reminds me of me, when i feel anxiety about my own parents’ mortality. the way he acts may be simply irritating to you, but it may be a cover for a serious fragility.

    you know him best, though. i don’t want to needlessly add to your worries. i just wanted to suggest that you watch out for getting stuck with somebody else to take care of after your mom is gone.

  3. My brother should have gotten therapy a long time ago. But he insists he’s right and everyone else is wrong, especially me. Believe me, I feel no responsibility for what happens to him after my mother dies. She has always been a “cash cow” for him, and she continues to be that as long as she’s alive. However, I is my caregiving that is keeping her alive. My own health has become at risk. I have to get myself out of this situation without cooperation from my brother. He will fight me every step of the way because he knows he can’t deal with her by himself. She really is at the point where she needs nursing home care and the stimulation of other people as well as activities. And she doesn’t need to be yelled at all of the time by a son who refuses to believe that her dementia is as bad as it is.

    Well, that sure was a much need venting! Sorry about that.

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