Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sleeping With One Eye Open

In a recent email exchange with a friend, I confessed that I have a (somewhat) irrational fear that a disgruntled significant other will kill me in my sleep. When I'm most vulnerable, hidden resentment will pour forth and I'll be dead before I know it.

I know this is a gruesome start to a post but bear with me.

Several weeks ago, for several nights in a row, mother dear came to wake me up about 3 a.m. The first time, it was because she thought Poo Poo the cat was dead. She was very upset. I got up and went out to find that, no, nothing was dead. I was a little wiggy that maybe something had met an untimely demise.

I figured out the next day that she had probably mistaken a little stuffed panda bear for the black and white cat. She woke up, looked at it, it didn't move, and she wouldn't touch it as she was too scared to face the reality that her kitty was dead.

Okay, the next night she came in. This was a different story and she was more upset. The "something's dead" feeling was with her, this time she told me she was dead. So I got up, comforted her that she must have had a bad dream, led her through the house to show her no one was in the house let alone dead.

It happened again the next night with the cat again. Yes, the panda bear has now been moved!

Fast forward to last night. I'm lying in bed asleep and I hear her shuffling in. I figure if I keep my eyes closed and pretend I'm asleep, she'll investigate, then go to the bathroom (which is where I thought she was headed), and be done with it. But I hear her come to the side of the bed. When I open my eyes, her hand is near my throat! OMG, I think for a split second, she's trying to kill me!

As it turns out, she was checking to see if I was alive. She was having a "someone's dead" moment.

Me: What's the matter?

Mom: YOY is dead. [She's starting to cry.]

Me: I'm YOY and I'm talking to you so I'm not dead. And you're talking so you're not dead. [A little preemptive consoling to keep her from going there.]

Mom: Well someone is dead.

Me: No, you've had this dream before. It's a bad dream but everything is okay. Now go to the bathroom and get back to bed.

And off she went.

1 comment:

proudprogressive said...

That graphic is very funny, it really is. Good title too.

Oh boy, sounds like it could be Sundowners Syndrome or perhaps just a phase she is going through whatever it is - it certainly is a startling behavior for you and clearly upsetting for her.

Ok , you have undoubtly pondered this or at least had fleetig thoughts about it. It may be time for some mild anti anxiety medicine for her ?? - Before bed ? Don't know , not a doctor, of course one would not want her so knocked out she "missed" needed bathroom visits - but geeze Louise, her thinking you were dead must have been at least mildly unnerving..hmmm

One might also wonder, if any medicines she might already be taking are agitating her..sometimes their effects can build up - she may process them more slowly as her metabolism changes with age.

Just some thoughts on this waking up in the dead of night thing -