Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Natural Sleep

April arrived with a bang - literally - when we had stormy weather earlier this week. That may have been what awakened Billy at 1:50 Monday night/Tuesday morning when he would not go back to sleep. I've mentioned before that his sleep issues have become my sleep issues also. If he's awake, he's asking me questions and telling me it's time to get going. When he wakes up in the night like this, there is no reasoning with him. I tell him over and over that we don't leave the house until 6:00, and we don't have to get up until 4:45 or 5:00. It does not compute. This week I told him to look at the clock which said 2:03, and I told him we leave the house at 6:00, so we didn't need four hours to get ready. He cannot comprehend what I'm saying, so he stays awake and reminds me often to get up and get going. Later that morning, I was complaining about fatigue to my secretary, and she recommended that I let Billy go to sleep without the meds, and when he wakes up give him half a pill. That should help him get back to sleep and stay that way. I'll try almost anything to get some sleep, so I did not give Billy a sleeping pill before he went to bed on Monday night. He fell asleep easily like he always does. He woke up about 2:00 and got up to go to the restroom. When he came back to the room, he crawled back into bed, and I was waiting for him to tell me it was time to get up. It didn't happen. Instead, he went back to sleep, and we both slept until the alarm sounded. It was wonderful! It reminded me of the first time our newborn slept all night. I wanted to check for breathing! I repeated that last night, and he made it til about 4:15 this morning, and I count that as great! Thank you, Lord, and please bring the sleep fairy tonight also. The sleep is great, and it's nice to give him one less pill. One activity Billy enjoys and asks about often is going to church. For most of our married lives, we have attended mid-week service. He rarely remembers what day it is when I pick him up, and he usually wants to know what time church starts, and, tonight I was able to take him to church. During the sermon, even though the scriptures are projected on the screen, our minister usually tells us to turn to them in our Bibles. Growing up attending church often, I learned the books of the new testament early on. I tried to learn the old, but I never had them down as well. Not a problem since Billy could always turn to the old or new testament scriptures without a problem. Tonight he couldn't find Acts. He was John...and he looked at me for help. I turned a few pages for him, and he recognized Acts, but he never made it to chapter 15. I didn't cry openly, but my heart did. We had a similar experience on Sunday night when we were signing a lease that required initials on each page. That was very difficult for him, and at one point, he stopped and tried to find the words to say he needed to practice his J - he just stopped in the middle of writing them. He finally got started again and got the initials done, and he did sign the end almost legibly. He's struggling more and more with his words these days, and when his anxiety is higher, he really has a tough time. I have a durable POA and a health POA drawn up - we just need to have them notarized, and I have really drug my feet on them. I don't want to take away another thing from him. But it's painful to watch him struggle to initial a page, and I have to point to the place where the initials go, even though mine are written beside the place for his. We are still blessed that Billy recognizes all of us, and he nearly always knows people from his past. At church tonight, we saw one of our friends from when we were young marrieds - Shelley's first babysitter, in fact. He forgot her name, but he knew who she was. Sometimes it's like a lightswitch comes on, and he has clarity that we've not seen for months. I'll take it anytime I can get it.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kathy,
    I just found out about Billy's illness through Jonathan's blog. Don't know if you remember me or not, I was married to Kelvin Loyd and we both attended ACU and were in band with Jonathan and Billy( I was in color guard one year). Kelvin was a music major. We went to Midtown together for a few years. I am remarried and my last name is Lomax now. I do attend "The Hills" but on Sunday morning so I don't see you at church. We attend the "blended family" class there.

    I do remember Billy's sense of humor. I sorta remember him Kelvin talking about a band competition that a whistle was blown and made the band lose or something on the line of that. Poking at each other about who was right or wrong. LOL

    Maybe we will run into each other at church. I just wanted to touch base with you and tell you that I enjoyed reading your blog about you and Billy. I'm so sorry that Billy has Alzheimer's. You both will be in my prayers!

    Mollie Lomax