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Care & carers

Sleepless nights

(16 Posts)
Maybelle Sun 08-Sep-19 11:04:01

I can, and do, sleep very well when I get the opportunity.

However DH does not sleep well at all. We have gotten into a routine of going off to bed around 11.30 and he watches tv until 12.30 when he wakes me up.

As he cannot safely get out of bed into his wheelchair I need to be awake to help him move out of and back into bed. Then I go and get him his next dose of medication which , usually, helps him to sleep for a few hours.

Repeat this again at around 5am, but no meds at this time, and then we get up at 7am.

Just changed to twin adjustable beds so that he can sit up without me having to lift him and arrange a nest of pillows for him.

He has water to drink. And tries to watch tv quietly. Not a reader so having a book is not an option.

He doesn't sleep in the daytime. And it is pain that keeps him awake.

We have tried going to bed earlier, but this just gives him longer to sit awake whilst I sleep.

Also tried to stay up until his meds at 12. 30 am. But I just find it uncomfortable to sleep in my chair. And I need to stay up to assist him transferring to the wheelchair if needed.

Not looking for answers but just sometimes would love to sleep through and have a lie in on a Sunday morning !

Feelingmyage55 Sun 08-Sep-19 13:39:00

Oh dear, broken sleep is painful - bad for your health and mood. I sympathise. If you could explain why the medication has to be at 12.30 maybe we could be more helpful - or does your DH want to take it at that time?

Maybelle Sun 08-Sep-19 14:46:10

feelingmyage meds are taken 4 hourly as a minimum, as required
He takes one normally at 8.30, so the next is 12.30am.

We have tried moving the 8.30 earlier, and taking the next to 11.30, but it is too early and it doesn't help him sleep.

And he is in too much pain to wait later for the 8.30 dose.

So after quite a few attempts at finding the optimum timings we settled to these.

Occasionally our GP will prescribe sleeping tablets, but is understandably reluctant to do so regularly. Over the counter sleeping tablets don't do anything for him.

Most of the time I just cope with it all, just feeling a bit fed up when I was woken up last night. Try very hard not to be grumpy as it is not DHs fault he is in pain and cannot sleep or move independently.

M0nica Sun 08-Sep-19 14:46:44

I fully understand that you are not looking for answers, but you need a solution to this problem. Otherwise your exhaustion will lead to a mental or physical breakdown or you doing something wrong because you are so tired. So answers need to be looked for.

Would a member of your family, a child may be? be willing to take over your bed and your duites for a couple of nights every month or could you afford to pay a qualified sitter to to sit up ready to do what is wanted when wanted. or could he have a couple of nights in a care home eaxh month?

I know your DH may not like the sound of either option but tell him that without some respite you are going to be so tired you will have a physical and/or mental breakdown - and what would happen to him then? You need to tell yourself the same thing.

Maybe someone else will come up with a better answer, but you need to think interms of answers. Good luck.

Lumarei Sun 08-Sep-19 15:11:51

I sympathise with you and can only second MOnica.

You really need to get some relief or your health will suffer. I hope you can find a solution.

BlueBelle Sun 08-Sep-19 15:39:40

would a member of your family, a child perhaps be willing to take over your bed
I don’t understand why you say a child could look after the gentleman in the night Monica that doesn’t sound a good idea The rest I agree with you need some relief
May I ask what illness your husband suffers from simply because there may be a scheme, group or Charity for that particular illness that could give you some ideas as others may have had to face it too or even some respite care
If you can get no help then I think you just have to adjust you night time habits can he not listen to the radio or even tv with headphones and in his bed then you won’t have to get him in and out a wheelchair Is he unable to take his own meds at 12.30 if they were on a bed side table with his water or is this beyond his abilities
Its difficult and needs some adjustment but I guess there’s always an answer just sometimes difficult to see it

Feelingmyage55 Sun 08-Sep-19 15:54:18

Have you or DH been to a medication review recently? I expect that as you are talking about pain relief that a double dose around midnight will be ineffective. GP/consultant and/or pharmacist might come up with a suggestion. Also it might be worth asking if your local hospital has a pain clinic. If they do, there will probably be a long waiting list (sympathetic sigh). But it might be possible to get a telephone consultation - I would phone the pain clinic receptionist t directly to investigate. I would say good luck but what you need to do is be persistent. Your GP could be reminded that you are both being affected and a positive solution is a win-win. Good luck and 💐

Maybelle Sun 08-Sep-19 16:19:28

We have 2 AC both married and living under an hour away. Not practical for either of them for various reasons to stay over.

DH has physical disabilities that restrict his ability to move much of the time. Other times he can self transfer and get his own meds.

He has spinal damage and having had 3 operations over many years, may be facing a 4th one for recent developments.

His watching TV in bed does not keep me awake, years of tuning it out help. Nights his pain levels are under control he doesn't need to take the meds in the night.

I think it is just a straight couple of weeks of broken nights that got to me. Most times I cope ok. I have hobbies and interests I can do to occupy myself at home, I try to get out each month for a few hours, otherwise I might just go cuckoo.

When his pain is under control we get out together.

M0nica Sun 08-Sep-19 16:23:27

Bluebelle, I meant adult child, not a youngster. I just assumed that the OP is of an age where all her children were adults. Sorry for the confusion.

Nannarose Sun 08-Sep-19 16:36:57

It sounds as if the 2 of you work well together.
Are you entitled to any funding for care? I would either use this, or consider paying privately for care so that you can have a break.
Do you have a spare room where you could sleep comfortably, whilst the carer sits in the living room (summoned by a monitor)? I know some agencies provide carers who work from home or an office and simply come when summoned, although I think the geography / travelling time might be an issue.
I have a neighbour who simply goes away for a week twice a year. She pays for carers to come and stay whilst she is away. Her DH is very sensible & understanding - he doesn't enjoy those weeks, but says his contribution is to understand the necessity and not fuss.
I think it very individual as to whether you would prefer an unbroken night every week or two, or a block of time away.
I also know some carers who find that getting one unbroken night just makes it harder to get back into routine, so prefer to look after themselves in some other way. But I do think that you need something to help you cope, otherwise DH will have to mange without you!

Maybelle Mon 09-Sep-19 11:35:42

We have looked at getting an occasional carer for over night but don't feel this is what we want yet.

Strangely enough I was only up once last night with DH, (and once more for a trip to the bathroom for me!).

Seem to cope most of the time, routine is the key, I just need to get back into the mindset that expects to be up a couple of times most nights.

Used to be worse before we had the adjustable beds and then put a T.V. In our room, as then we used to physically get up and sit in the lounge for an hour to give him a change of scene and a different sitting position.

That really used to wake me up completely!

Thanks for all the support x

boodymum67 Sun 03-Nov-19 13:17:52

HI, I guess you`ve already thought having some overnight care.....you need your sleep too!

Ask social services for an assessment.

ninathenana Sun 03-Nov-19 16:40:24

You say DH is not a reader but would he listen to an audio book via earphones. More soothing and conducive to sleep than the glare of a TV

Fennel Sun 03-Nov-19 17:55:08

MayBelle - I think you're wonderful. and your husband who you obviously vowed to stick to in sickness and in health.
Puts my sleep problems into nothing.
I agree with those who say apply for some overnight care. I'm sure your DH is still thinking of you too, and would agree.

sue421 Sun 24-Nov-19 23:51:05

I so understand your predicament....I now sleep in spare room and use a phone to alert me if hubby needs anything. Seriously suggest you get care assessment they know so many useful things to help...really. Sleep is so necessary plus being away.from it all! I have been surprised by so.e suggestions I would never have thought of,! Plus I take a nap/relax in afternoon away from my hubby which recharges my batteries!!!! Xx

mumofmadboys Mon 25-Nov-19 07:23:33

I agree that you having a nap each afternoon is a good idea. I think you should have another chat to your GP re sleeping tablets. If your DH is say 80-85 it doesn't matter if he becomes addicted to sleeping tablets. If it means you and DH can manage at home more easily/ happily then it is a small price to pay. Wishing you strength to carry on caring.