Sunday, March 8, 2009

No rest for the weary

So I made the mistake of telling one of the caregivers that I didn’t mind if she napped while caring for Grace. I mean, Grace is sleeping. She is right there next to her, nod off. Partly this was motivated by my pity for the hours she spends at a rather boring task and part of it was to spare myself the agony of listening to her talk. The woman can talk while both exhaling and inhaling. I try to make mad dashes past her to avoid the engagement into her inane prattle. I can be polite for a while but then I’m just trying to focus enough to respond semi-appropriately and make sure my eyes are not rolling.

The sleeping is actually rather fascinating. I’ve never seen a horse sleep, but she can fall asleep in any position; including standing up. I have seen her stand at the counter, taking something out of a plastic bag. She starts to paw at the bag in a strange repetitive motion and sure enough, her eyes are closed. Her hands are still moving (and accomplishing nothing) but her eyes are shut. I just step around her quietly. Another time she was putting something in the microwave and it happened again. She has her head right at the open door, leaning over to place the item, but taking a bit too long. Her eyes are closed again.

Another favorite is to see her sit in a chair with the dog in her lap. She's out. One evening, I heard a strange thump in the bathroom. She had fallen asleep while on the toilet and hit the chest of drawers. I have also caught her with her head in the refrigerator, searching for divine inspiration with her eyes closed.

When she is in the kitchen sleeping at the counter (yes on her feet), I just work around her as if she were awake and doing something that required her presence in the kitchen. Sometimes that is awkward, but waking up a person who is asleep while standing is also awkward.

Grace notices this too. She yells at her to wake up. Then she denies it.

"I'm not sleeping, Grace."
"I'm just looking at this."
"I'm just closing my eyes."
"I'm only looking down."