I've complained before (or whined depending on your opinion), about my mother's sleeping. She sleeps a lot. A whole lot. We have hypothesized that the sleeping hampers her mental acuity. Well today I'm claiming empirical evidence that supports that finding. Sleep IS the enemy.
Day before yesterday, Mummy went on her usual Monday jaunt. She and Ms. C went off to the neighborhood Senior Center where they walked and talked and I think there was some presentation or other. This is something they do on Mondays and while I've always been sure that it's a good thing, I've never before seen the benefits of it so clearly.
Once she came home, Barbs took a nap. Yeah, yeah it was two p.m but hey, some habits are tough to break. Anyhow, she took her nap and then at about five p.m, I woke her for her afternoon yogurt....good bacteria for the intestine and it's a great source of calcium. Instead of repairing to bed after the snack, she stayed downstairs and watched the news. Later in the evening, we had dinner together and were actually able to converse. And when I say 'converse', I mean really talk.
Fast forward 24 hours. Tuesday, Mummy had breakfast starting with a little mishap with the cereal. After breakfast, she did what she usually does - she returned to her bed. Efforts to encourage her to go down to the basement and get on the exercise bicycle were met with the usual resistance. She bedded down and slept like someone who had worked an 18 hour day.
Unfortunately, the effects of all that sleep were almost immediately noticeable. At lunch, when advised to take her medication (forgotten earlier in the day), she poured water into the egg cup in which the pills were sitting. Two of the pills melted almost immediately and she had to drink that sludgy water and spoon up the leftover dregs. Sigh. And this, just as I had been thinking that we would be the first family ever to have a patient cured of Alzheimer's Disease. Yes, so I'm still in a bit of denial.
Sleep is the enemy and too much sleep is good for absolutely nothing. When she sleeps too many hours, Mummy awakes with a terribly cloudy brain....the very thing we're struggling mightily to avoid. The question is: short of going for a walk every day, several times a day, how do I keep her awake? We've tried puzzles (she doesn't like them), we've tried the exercise bike (she barely manages 30 mintues), I've tried to get her to play the piano (no interest), and reading is a problem because of failing eyesight. Twleve hours are a lot to fill when you're not terribly interested in anything.