Those Evil Sleep Patterns

Andrew pretty much slept all day today. He went to bed by 2 AM last night and was sleeping when I went to bed at dawn. I got up around noon and he was asleep on the couch. We went out for a little while, maybe a half hour. When we returned, I slipped into my office to work and after about an hour noticed that there was no noise from him. He was asleep on the couch in front of the TV. Since I had only gotten about 4 hours sleep, I laid down for a nap around 8:30 and awoke when I heard him moving around at about 10:00. He’s in bed now, it’s 2:44 AM. By my calculations he slept 17 hours today. Doesn’t leave much time for living, does it?

If I can keep him busy, if he has something to do during the day, he CAN stay awake. I have seen him string several awake days together, but as soon as he has nothing that he has to do, forget it. He will say it is the meds, but even if he takes all his meds, he can still stay awake if he has something to do. I believe this to be a classic depression reaction. At least I want to sleep a lot when I’m depressed. But what do I know? I don’t live inside Andrew.

The problem here is, I can’t always come up with things for him to do and left to his own devices, he won’t bother to try. I know I shouldn’t have to be responsible for keeping him entertained, but it does irk me to see him sleep all the time. I would like a husband that was active in the marriage. When he was still denying his PTSD he was more active, although not in a normal way.

It’s Just Not Worth Arguing About

One of the more unpleasant results of Andrew’s having several strokes and often intensely high blood pressure, is that he gets confused. He doesn’t know he’s confused, but he is. The problem is that if you try to tell him he’s not understanding, he becomes indignant and belligerent. Now, over the years, I’ve learned when not to argue with him, but lately, the line “not to cross” has become twisty, turny, and really seriously fuzzy.

I pretty much handle his healthcare issues, from talking to doctors, being present in the room when he’s examined, to ordering his medicine on time and checking his medical records for discrepancies. Today, he showed up in my home office doorway telling me he was almost out of Carbamazepine, his seizure medication. I know I sort of frowned because I just checked yesterday to see that everything that had to be ordered from the VA was ordered. I told him that. He got a little testy, just a little, but enough that to head any further fight off, I said that I would check again. While I was pulling up the web site that gives me his VA medical information, he said something about his Neurologist saying that she would give him extra Carbamazepine so that he wouldn’t run out. I was there, I remember it, but I know that she was talking about giving him a 60 or 90 day supply instead of a 30 day. It really makes no difference in the number of pills he gets in the end, they just don’t send them as often. I asked him if how many days of pills he had left. Now it was my turn to be confused because he told me he had enough “for awhile”.

Apparently, what he took away from his last neurology appointment was that the doctor was going to give him extra “bottles” of Carbamazepine. Since he only has ONE bottle left, he felt that he should have received another one in the mail already. In reality, the bottle he has left is the bottle he had just received in the mail a few days before his last appointment. Instantly, the fact that he didn’t have another bottle already delivered became my fault. He was yelling. So with him in my office, I looked at the online ordering system and told him his expected “fill date”. Still yelling, it became my fault AND the VA’s fault.

I started an attempt to explain what was going on, then thought better of it, completely forgetting that agreeing with him usually ticks him off too.

He’s upstairs and I’m downstairs now. I hope that the next time we’re both on the same floor, the storm will have passed. It’s just not worth arguing about.

Some days I just can’t win.

So Tired

So here I am again after another long disappearance.  I’d explain, but then I wouldn’t publish the post.

I am so, so tired of everything. Andrew has had multiple strokes since that fateful day in 2012 and so many things have changed and intensified. It’s complicated and it’s exhausting. It’s double jeopardy in that I can no longer tell what is PTSD, what is stroke, and what is some weird sum total of both.

Andrew’s episodes of extreme stress and agitation no longer follow his old (and somewhat easy to recognize and hold on tight to survive through) calendar of Vietnam anniversaries. He has the added issues of confusion, frustration, and anger that arose when areas of his brain were damaged by the continual assaults by rampaging bleeds.

He is defensive. I am not perfect, I make mistakes, but I do not lie to him.  I do not “make it up” when he thinks he said something but the words that came out meant something entirely different. When he misunderstands what I say, I do not change my words. I repeat, verbatim, the words that I said the first time. But, he is indignant and anger is fueled by his inability to believe that there is something wrong with his still beautiful, yet damaged, mind. If I am wrong, I admit it readily, but still he is defensive. I must have deliberately screwed with him or I must be the damaged one.

I am damaged. I have lost my best friend. It seems a perverted dance now. I am never sure what I can safely say. What was once a conversation opener is now deemed a condemnation. He lies in wait, ready to pounce, a warrior, ready to verbally fight until, piece by piece, I die.