I started this post before all heck broke loose and our lives turned upside down (thank you Coronavirus). Not sure if it seems as important as it did at the time, but I thought I would keep it anyway because it was an important topic to cover. Besides, we’ve all probably had enough virus talk to last a lifetime, and there will probably be plenty of it still coming. So, here we go . . ..
We have separate beds. You know, Rob and Laura Petrie style, except we have two full beds in opposite corners of the room. I know, I know . . . lots of people do it. When one spouse has surgery, or someone snores too much. It shouldn’t be a big deal right?
Except it is.
It’s another reminder that things have changed, another loss. Even though our relationship has changed over the years, it feels very final.
Neither one of us had been sleeping well for a while. We had a king sized bed, but the dog likes to sleep next to me, and there’s usually a cat or two joining the party. They also like to come and go throughout the night, always using us as their stepping stones. Keith has trouble sleeping well in general, but add the animals, and then, there had to be a certain amount of space between us. Not to get to personal, but once, during the night, he thought he was petting a cat, but when he realized it was me he was touching, I was afraid he sprained his arm he jerked it away so fast! In addition, he was often restless when he was sleeping, causing the sheets and blankets to be everywhere. The bed just wasn’t working.
So one day, I gingerly raised the question, “Do you think you would sleep better if we had separate beds?” (I measured first to make sure it was even possible.) I honestly never thought he would go for it. I thought he would view it as a betrayal, or some sort of crazy idea that I was cheating on him. Imagine my surprise when I got an emphatic, “Well, YEAH!”
So, the plan was put in motion. I ended up with influenza the following weekend so things were delayed slightly, but it was clear he wasn’t giving up the idea when he asked me several times if I’d gotten around to measuring the room.
Finally, I found some beautiful wood beds on Craigslist. I was actually excited for them. They’re both old, at least 100 yrs according to their previous owners. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for all things old and I knew these would fit in great with our house.
But then came moving day. Taking the old bed out, cleaning the room, moving the dressers . . . . maybe don’t ask my kids about my crabbiness level. It was emotional. But we got it done. The boys were a big help. Keith was almost giddy. He tried to help, God bless him, but was more in the way than anything else.
So, now we have two beds. It’s been a little over a week and I’m sleeping better than I did the first few nights. It’s been an adjustment, but it was needed, and it was right thing to do and at the right time. One of the key things on this dementia journey seems to be learning to take things as they come. No expectations, no preconceived notions. Just take each day as it comes and try to roll with it. So much of it isn’t what you read about in books, but . . . this is dementia.