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Nightmares vs. Insominia. There is no real winner in this battle.


Abranson

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To say I'm tired is more of an understatement than saying the hulk is slightly larger than Denace the menace.

 

If I sleep, I have reoccurring nightmares of losing my husband. They are not always the same but the theme is. I awake finally gasping for air, crying, and with my whole being filled with terror. I lay the rest of the night listening to Bruce's breathing as he sleeps soundly.

 

It is a never ending cycle. I will be unable to go to sleep some nights for fear of my dreams. And trust me, my body craves sleep. Before his stroke, I will come home from teaching middle school physically and mentally exhausted; that was a cake waLk compared to now.

 

Everyone says, "Make sure you take time for yourself.". Pffft! I mean in theory it sounds nice, but which time should I do that? When Bruce needs assistance going to the bathroom? When appointments need to be made? When lesson plans must be prepared for my substitute? Dressing? (Maybe that one. We can just be a bundle of outpouring flesh all day). When animals need fed? House chores? (This one is already badly suffering.). I'm not complaining; I'm just being realistic.

 

I know it will get better. We will get the schedule down and eventually my body will adjust and all my limbs will quit feeling like the muscles and bones are having a bonfire in me. But when will the nightmares stop? When will I allow my mind and heart relax from fear? I do pray and try to turn it over to God. I wonder if the fear and images of the day of his stroke will ever diminish. He doesn't remember much which is a blessing. My mind however is a flash of Polaroid moments and pieces of conversations that weave in and out my mind daily and obviously nightly.

 

Always leave with a positive note: Yesterday we visited a Christian free clinic one of the stroke nurse had recommended. Everyone who works there is a volunteer. It was amazing. We left with free meds that would have cost us several hundred dollars and an appointment with the head of neurology at a major hospital for tomorrow. All free of charge! People are good.

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Time out to take care of yourself is just time, not a day not an hour but sometimes ten minutes.  It is ten minutes extra in the bathroom, ten minutes with  coffee in hand looking out the window, ten minutes in the car before you go back into the house.  I looked after my dependent husband for 12 years and got very good at the ten minute break.  Then there is Tuesday night Caregiver Chat.  An hour talking to "the girls" plus David or Tom if they are on.  That is when you tell Bruce "Only disturb me if it is an emergency, this is MY time." many a time I have left suddenly when I heard the thump of Ray hitting the ground and reappeared ten minutes later and I was the host!

 

But Ray did get to learn about MY time and in the end respected it (as much as someone who is self-obsessed can). If I didn't have MY time tired and cranky are two words that go nicely together.  So I want to introduce you to your new phrase which is: "Can it wait ten minutes, I am busy right now.". And the girls used to tell me that when they had been on chat, laughing, joking, listening to others so sometimes crying, comparing notes and having fun they DID sleep well that night.

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Audra :

 

stroke affects whole family. It definitely put lot of stress on caregiver too, & it put every one out of their comfort zone. I feel we survivors atleast have it easy compared to our caregivers where suddenly they r burdened with so much more. Sometimes I m glad I am survivor & not a caregiver cause I don't think I could have been able to hold fort till he got his footing back. But I will tell you one thing which my hubby constantly told me keep head out of water for now when you feel like you are drowning in despair. tide will change. remember nothing lasts same forever good time or bad times nothing will last forever. Try to make your survivor as independent as possible more he can do things for himself easier it will be for you in long run. I am so grateful my hubby is patient man & I was impatient. so I could never wait till help arrives for me to do things for me. So naturally became more independent. Also give him house chores whatever he can do safely laundry bill payments cooking, cleaning. Anything he can do you should allow him to do.you both will benefit from it. his self confidence will improve & you will have breathing room for yourself to do other things around house.

 

Asha

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