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the agony and ecstasy

by Judy
October 30, 2012 

The agony and ecstasy: the agony of being with her at night when she can’t sleep; can’t get comfortable; she’s miserable and restless and is moaning and babbling. It’s like she enters a different realm at night that is full of demons and there is nothing you can do to help except continue to stroke her and then maybe she will sleep for five or ten minutes before she wakes again. Sometimes she wakes from a nightmare and confuses reality with dream and what can soothe her in that moment may be as simple as changing her adult diaper…moving from side to side in the bed that exhausts her enough to collapse for a short time into oblivion.

Then the morning comes and sometimes, not always, it’s like the calm after the storm. There she is again, her eyes looking at you and happy to see you. Still with that sense of humor that breaks through in spite of what she is going through. Those precious, treasured moments of nothing that special but a look of acknowledgement in her eyes – maybe even speaking like the mom she had been and telling you to put on shoes, “Don’t go barefoot, Judy.”

She never thought she would have to live through this; a stroke that has taken away all her independence; where she has to depend on someone to move her in bed; to be intimately involved with every move she makes, inner and outer. 

(Originally written July 28, 2012)

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