Light-Switch Offerings

Tracey Martin

Light-Switch Offerings

Tracey Martin
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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