Light-Switch Offerings


Light-Switch Offerings

imageMenopause has complicated the stress of caregiving. Insomnia visits me almost nightly.

I probably drifted off to sleep at 1:30 am and I was awakened by Mom yelling out my name at 4 a.m. She had thought I was standing in her room and suddenly poked my head through the bedrail. She said, "You stuck your head in between the rails and made a silly face at me." (She demonstrates a cross-eyed Miley Cyrus' tongue- hanging look) and then quickly commands, "I am ready for my eye drops now. "

I assured her I wasn't in her room and that I had indeed given her the eyes drops last night at 9 p.m. "Okay," she said, and settled back to sleep.

I flip the light switch on the wall  back to the off position, smiling at her cuteness, but knowing my internal night-light won't work that easily. I hear her softly snoring on the baby monitor before I fall back to sleep. The alarm on my phone sounds at 6 a.m. The bed is warm and I just want to stay tucked in for a little while longer. I cannot sleep in--routines are calling my name. Breakfast for Mom: one coffee from the Kuerig, splash of milk, two packets of Equal, maple oatmeal with a banana, English muffin with butter and a hard-boiled egg, 12 pills, 27 units of insulin.

There are some things you cannot predict  in the middle of the night and in the course of a few hours, life is predictable again.

When I spoke with my mother about her episode last night, she casually said, "You know, my mother always told me to get sleep when you can because you never know what is going to happen." Spoken like someone who had six children and can still teach me a lesson or two.

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Menopause........been there. Red clover tea is a powerful phytoestrogen. Lavendar and hops for sleeping - grind them up into a jar and take a few whiffs before bed. Try to enhance your own melatonin production by sleeping in a very dark room. In bed by 10, up by 6 is the natural cycle that promotes hormone regulation by the body (and taking extra melatonin can help). Really really watch your sugar, caffeine, and alcohol intake. Stay active! \r\n\r\nI was blessed to get through the worst of menopause before my caregiving duties began. So I feel for you. HRT isn't a safe long-term solution, so try to get off it when you are able.


What a great post. Good luck with functioning the rest of the day!