Friday, January 8, 2016
Caught in Hurricane Ada
I had a dream last night. In the dream, Gary and I were on a sailboat somewhere on the ocean. The conditions were similar to a time when we were on a sailboat in the West Indies in the middle of the night, riding out a squall with 40 knot winds (this really happened to us). The boat was rocking and surfing the waves while the fear of not being in control was very real. Panic had set in despite the fact that the crew and captain were well in control.
When in a storm on a boat, if waves and winds get unsafe, the first step is to put out a storm sail. That is a smaller than normal sail that gives you more control of the boat. If things get really bad, you can perform a maneuver called a "heave to" which stops the forward movement of the boat and gives you a few moments to breathe while you rest or possibly check the conditions of the boat.
In my dream, we had done all those things. I kept hearing water running and slightly awoke to realize that I was not in storm conditions and the sound I hear was Gary peeing. Since his Dementia diagnosis, I normally awaken when he leaves the bed at night. This time, I guess due to the "storm" I had missed him leaving the bed/boat. He was standing in the bathroom adjacent to our bedroom peeing on the floor, trashcan and decorator baskets. I screamed at him as if he were about to go overboard. (Had we been on a real boat, he might have been in danger of being pushed :)) He was five feet from the toilet and was in a dazed state - or asleep.
At 1:30 am, the rest of the story included clean up, questioning and a tremendous amount of meditation to try and counter the adrenalin/fury.
Back to bed. He remembers none of it. I remember every detail. Yuk!
So, there is fatigue on the horizon of today. I started thinking of the comparison of my current life as it relates to the storm analogy in my dream. If I can remember my sailing experiences and make sure I just always assume bad weather and sail nothing except a storm sail, maybe I can remain in better control. If I can remember when tired to "heave to" and stop the chaos, I can think and rest a moment. I still do not have clarity on how to stop the waves and wind of dementia but if I keep these tricks in mind, I may not join him in the insanity.
Another trick might be to pretend that I am in the eye of a hurricane. Winds are raging all around and there are unsafe and confusing particles flying everywhere....but for the moment, I am safe in the eye. Now, if I can just stay here.....I used to joke about being called Hurricane Ada. This is NOT what I had in mind.