June 26, 2018 § 3 Comments
I am a drug pusher. Words I thought I’d never write. With a broken heart, I witness his continuing decline deeper into dementia. On diagnosis, I promised him the best retirement that we could provide. He wasn’t fearful of what would happen next even though he had been the sole caregiver for his mother who had dementia and endured on a feeding tube, lying inert in a nursing home bed for years.
Back to the drug tale. I sensed his suffering without sleep. Insomnia was depriving him of being present in his life. Just staying awake had become his primary activity. One day recently, I stood next to him, clutching his hand, with his head tilted forward as if it were too heavy to be upright. I couldn’t make him laugh, no matter how silly I tried.
This cannot go on. I had to do something to get him sleep.
For more than two years he has not been able to get a good night’s sleep. When he was living at home, he would keep me awake with pleas “what should I do?” For the past year in assisted living, I have been hearing the reports of his nighttime adventures, gifting his belongings and toiletries to anyone and sometimes, the other residents would not want to give back their ‘gifts’ which were graciously accepted. They were gifts, after all.
I had repeatedly asked his doctor and the directors at the facility to give him something to sleep. I’ve listened to many explanations of why facilities don’t want to medicate for sleep disorders because the meds can cause many bad effects including sleep-walking and falls, hallucinations and grogginess the next day.
It was not easy to get his doctor to recommend a drug and write the prescription. Everyone needs a medical advocate to fight for their quality of life! This is the take-away from this post. I do not want to see needless suffering. I cannot let him lose his sense of humor or be deprived of the joy of ice cream.
I am his voice. I am responsible. For the past two weeks, he has been sleeping at night and awake for breakfast. He is alert and talking, it’s not the english that we share, but it doesn’t matter. Hearing his laugh, I nearly cried. He’s still here.
A link to the drug is below. It’s Rozerem aka Ramelteon.