Dementia: From Harpo to Sleepy

Last night I had to hastily change for a ‘Harpo Marx approach’  to becoming Sleepy one of the Seven Dwarfs.  When Maureen is resting and I want to gently wake her up I become Harpo and whistle. Unfortunately, she was so spark out on the sofa after an evening walk yesterday that Harpoism failed.  I tried several times but she refused to stir, and slept on.

Well past our normal bed-time I realised that Harpo had lost his touch, and she could be on the sofa for the night.  So I then turned into Sleepy by sorting out a bed on the floor and lay down for the night.  Within minutes something irritated my throat leading to coughing and Maureen immediately woke up.  She was delighted that I had decided to bed down in the same room, as she recalled  confusion when she first wakes.  These are often the times when abject confusion takes over, and she has no idea where she is in her life history.  Those are the moments when I have to be very careful because if she thinks I am a shadowy figure from her past I am in for a rough time.

Although she welcomed my kind gesture she still hit me with a barrage of questions once I edged her upstairs.  At one stage I thought I might have to go to the spare room so she didn’t think I was the someone else who is often in her thoughts.  As she drifted into sleep I realised that it was one of those times when ‘night night’ was the safest way forward.  Any form of physical contact may have spooked her and revived haunting memories.   Although we shared the same bed I am not sure she knew who I was.  Perhaps ‘that kind man’ who helps her with all sorts of things.

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