Seeking Rest, The Weariness of A Dementia Patient Caretaker

While my husband finally quietly sleeps, I am awake. He had another night of restlessness, another night of pacing back and forth, and wanting to go home. Home!     Although we were already home, my husband goes back to a place in his mind that I do not know about. I know some of the places that he used to live when he was younger; however, I do not know the places he is seeing in his mind now.

I don’t know exactly what place that is because sometimes he says he wants his brothers to pick him up and take him home; they live in another city and state of which he has forgotten; sometimes he simply repeats over and over he has to get out of our home to go home; and at other times he thinks he is in a hotel and someone is trying to break into his room.

Last night was one of those nights when his mind suddenly got confused. One minute my husband seemed stable, was making intelligent conversation telling me how good his dinner was; but as soon as he finished eating it seemed to happen as though something went “poof” in his mind and his memory went askew!

I agonized over what happened? What caused things to change so suddenly. The only thing I fed him was grilled ham and cheese sandwiches of which he asked me to make him three sandwiches, but I told him two was more than enough, as well as serving him a bowl of roman noodle soup. He insisted on putting catchup over the soup declaring that was the way he likes to eat it, and then boasted about how good it tasted to him.

I thought oh LORD, did that food mess with his mind and make his memory worse, because I know certain sugary foods definitely have a terrible affect on the mind of those with dementia. But I am conscious to limit sweets as much as I can, and not give my husband sweet drinks. Instead I try to have him drink plenty of water. Even so, there are times when he sneaks and eat things that I am not aware of. I can tell that he has eaten those things because he sits for hours staring into space.  It is as though he is  driven to eat pure sugar; such as sugar out of the bag; almost entire thirty-two ounce jars of jelly; and complete family pack bags of cookies. When I react with surprise about what he has done he gets very irate insisting he would never have done such a thing.

Last night the only other thing I think my husband ate was a blood pressure tablet that was prescribed for him. I wondered could his problem have been the medicine? His blood pressure medicine is a prescription that was prescribed a month ago, but I have noticed that even though the dose is a very small dose, each time he takes the one dose, he has an even more sleepless night, and becomes more irrational. Now I have to hold back on giving him the blood pressure medicine to see if it clears his mind a bit, because definitely no sleep and restlessness for him, undoubtedly means no sleep and restlessness for me.

  My prayer each night is LORD give him peaceful sleep at night and please bless me to have peaceful rest and sleep as well.


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