Oh, the fog brain from lack of sleep! It was 3am before I finally fell into a light sleep. My cat, Templeton, doesn’t seem to care about such sleeplessness. When he wants me to be up and interacting with him, he doesn’t hesitate to notify me. Years of raising children, and most recently with being a caregiver, trained me to always hear the slightest sound of someone needing me.
As I sit here writing, with a slight headache and heavy eyelids, Templeton is sleeping quietly unaware. I know other seniors like me who suffer such sleepless nights. It’s like the brain’s “on” switch is stuck. I know the key to a good night’s sleep is keeping a rigid bedtime schedule. But what to do if the mind doesn’t cooperate? After tossing and turning for a couple of hours, I give up. I might get out of bed, make a cup of chamomile and lavender tea, and color until I feel groggy. Or occasionally, the tv remote jumps in my hand and turns on series like “The Treehouse Master.” Both take away the tossing and turning, but I still lose precious sleep.
Being diabetic, it is critical for me to get good rest. So, what am I to do? I’m sure part of my restlessness is due to Templeton dealing with inflammatory bowel disease. Poor little guy immediately notifies me when he has had an episode so I will clean his litter. It worries me that he isn’t getting better even with medication. This can happen in the wee hours of the morning. I just realized I’m still a caregiver! Not such an easy task at my chronological age and since I’m not good at caring for myself.
I’m going to crash on the sofa for a nap while Templeton is sleeping. So I lift my cup of chamomile and lavender tea and give a prayer of thanksgiving for this day, for Templeton, for you, dear reader, and for life…no matter the little setbacks. It is all part of aging gracefully with God.