Sleep Walk

A word of warning: If this post makes it sound like I’m freaking out, it’s only because I am.

Will has taken a turn for the worse in the past few days. I just realized tonight that I haven’t heard him laugh since sometime last week. He hasn’t really even smiled much lately, and even when he does it’s like something hurts him inside. That damn trip we took yesterday was too much for him……I should’ve known that, but I’m trying so hard not to see what I see that I actually believed him when he said he was OK.

He did little but sleep this evening; of course, he had conscious sedation when he was having his port implanted, and that tends to make one get through a day pretty fast. But it seems that the progress of his illness is accelerating, because every day brings another diminishment….the ribs show a little more, he eats a little less, his face looks more gaunt.

His voice is weak; he’s always mumbled, but now I can barely hear him sometimes. He’s losing interest in things now, and his tough talk from a week ago about fighting the cancer is down to the occasional comment about “wanting to stick around a while longer for everybody”. And tonight, he not only admitted he was scared, but HE asked ME to take care of the cat box, get his pills out of the downstairs bathroom cabinet, and bring them up to him.

This does. not. happen. EVER.

Tonight I’m not even praying for God to cure him, or even delay the inevitable; all I want is for him to be comfortable and at peace with whatever may come…..whenever it may come. And all I want for myself is some sleep.

I can’t even remember the last time I got a full night’s uninterrupted sleep. Either I can’t fall asleep, like the other night when I was up till dawn, or I can’t stay asleep—I wake up several times a night and get maybe 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours total at best. Right now it’s past two AM, I took all my bedtime meds hours ago, and there is no sign of Mr. Sandman even though I tossed in an Ativan tablet with them.

Yes, of COURSE I know that lack of sleep is one of the fastest ways for someone like me to decompensate. And yes, I know that I don’t need to turn into a hot mess when there’s a family crisis to be dealt with and everyone needs me to be strong. But sleep eludes me, as does any desire for food beyond the minimum necessary to sustain life. Will and I have both dropped ten pounds in the past two weeks alone, and while I certainly can afford it, this is NOT healthy, and I know what losing my appetite all too often presages.

Have you ever felt like you’ve gotten yourself entangled in a stirrup and then dragged along behind a runaway horse, unable to free yourself or even yell “Whoa”? Yep, that’s about the size of it….I feel absolutely powerless to stop this thing, or even slow it down to the point where I can absorb it all and handle it without going out of my gourd. But then, why SHOULD it slow down, just because I want it to—fucking cancer doesn’t owe me anything, now does it?

And so go my thoughts on a warm summer’s night, with my soulmate dozing fitfully in the recliner and myself pacing the floor in between paragraphs with no thoughts of sleep, even though my eyes burn and my body is screaming for rest.

There will be time for sleep and rest later, I tell myself. For now, I must watch over my beloved, and push away the dark thoughts that come unbidden when I least need to be preoccupied with them. There will be time for those later, too.






Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

2 thoughts on “Sleep Walk

  1. I would like to mention a few things. If Will wants togo on a trip, as lng as it is sfe you need t. Make. It happen, unless the trip is obviously only for you and then if it is short but sweet, allow him to give it to you.

    2nd. Please get a hospice eval, no harm, no commitment just so you bothknow wht it entails,freemeds for dx,wheelchor,walker, bed when needed , help with. Adl’s when needed. Even nurses di not realize what hospice covers plus…..people domgo in rwmission. And get discharged. I know i had a pt who did anddied 5 years later in car accident!.
    Getting an eval is free, no obligation. I know right now will wants to fight butnsounds like he can not fight. It is okay that he can not.sonds like his body is tired, very tired.hospice wiill help you and your family. They can talk to kids about allowing you to grieve and not rush off to senior living. You can. Tell Will hospice will make things easier for you as it will cn spend more time with him!

    Hospice is great service but it only helps the most when you enroll before it is too late. With bobby w did not know about hospice so only had them forv3,days but with my dad. Had thm. For 10 days and mostlymhelpedbthe family. But with my mom hd them for about 35 days. She got every benefit they offered. Rn, OT, PT, MSW, socialnworker, chaplain.
    She liked all. But one rn and chplain. She was uncomfortable qith chaplain and with RN was personality clash and mom told herbto leae thproprty,,o,ythen DON and ADMINncame to visit. Mom did otbwant hospice as every one sheveverknew on it ied. I explaned ofcourse large majority did die but theyndiedbomfortably and at home with family. And they had more control over when in the hospital. Once she got over the ‘FEAR’ she agreed and thank the lord she did agree. Checkmit out, no harm no foul.
    Love you


  2. I want hospice, because I’ve worked so closely with hospice agencies over the years and believe wholeheartedly in what they do. Will, on the other hand does not…….not yet……and I have to respect his wishes. But we will be having this conversation again.


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