I know I have been remiss in writing lately. Over Christmas, my son and his family came to visit and spent 8 wonderful days with us. Yes, there is stress with company. But my wife and i love to have them here. I had some issues with emotions and routine, butt they were manageable. Now, my wife and I are settling into retirement. This could be good!
Now on to the new issue. I have told you that my dreams are very vivid and very real to me. In recent times, I have had difficulty separating my dreams from reality, after I wake up. This can be frustrating when I spend a major portion of a day trying to remember what I was supposed to do. Generally, I have this feeling of of the task having great importance. Normally, at some time during the morning, I remember that it was in my dream and not a real issue that requires my attention. Also, I have had issues when I dream of someone who I want to contact. I wake up in the morning, determined that I will contact that person, only to realize later that they are deceased. Naturally. this is very disconcerting to me. But now, I have a new issue to deal with. Or should I say, my wife and I have a new issue to deal with. Last night, I was having a very vivid dream where I was in a fight, and being restrained. I broke free and I HIT the bad person in my dream! Good you say, not really, because I PUNCHED my wife in the head!! Now, I am not as strong as I used to be, but I hit her hard, just the same. As she cried out, I awoke and realized what I had done. Naturally, I was crushed that I hurt my wife. But I was more concerned since this had happened once before. That time, I was dreaming that I was in a fight and I reached out and grabbed the hair of the bad guy. You got it, I grabbed my wife's beautiful long hair and gave it a strong pull! This is not good.
Today, as it happens, I had an appointment with my neurologist. My wife and I described these events to her. The doctor explained that when people are dreaming, they are in REM sleep and they are actually paralyzed, so they cannot act out their dreams. This makes sense if you remember a particularly scary dream that you had and you could not move. In any case, because of my dementia, the part of my brain that paralyzes me during REM sleep is breaking down, and I CAN act out my dreams! This is a real issue, because it is not going to go away, it is going to get worse. The doctor prescribed a drug to take at bedtime that may help with this. She also recommended we sleep in different rooms! Both my wife and I are not in favor of that, at least at this time. But, she cannot continue to be battered in her sleep. That is not fair. So, we will see how this new medicine works. I always knew the dementia and Parkinson's wold progress, but I never knew I would become a threat to my wife's well being.