This is dementia. It's not just a memory problem.
What you read in this blog is purely my own personal experience in dealing with Lewy Body Dementia every day.

This is not meant to offer any medical or legal advise.
I have no professional training in care giving or experiences in formal writing.
I'm just a woman that loves her husband deeply and wants to provide him with the best quality of life he can and chooses to have.
My prayer though this is "Lord, What am I learning from this; how can I use it help someone else and to glorify You?"
If just one person finds comfort in this public blog. I will feel like it was a success.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sleep Disorder

Hubby had to wake me from a nightmare I had last night. I cried out loudly which started to wake me from the bad thing and Hubby was shaking me asking if I was OK. I seldom do that. Fortunately I do not remember what the nightmare was about and I knew it was just a dream so the thoughts of it do not bother me.

Now lewy Body dreams are an entirely different story.

Daytime sleep became more and more prevalent along with the fitful sleep. He has REM sleep behavior disorder or RBD.

WebMD describes it, but with more details, like this:

During REM sleep, rapid eye movements occur, breathing becomes irregular, blood pressure rises, and there is loss of muscle tone (paralysis). However, the brain is highly active, and the electrical activity recorded in the brain by EEG during REM sleep is similar to that recorded during wakefulness. REM sleep is usually associated with dreaming. REM sleep accounts for 20-25% of the sleep period.

In a person with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, allowing the person to "act out" his or her dreams. RBD is characterized by the acting out of dreams that are vivid, intense, and violent. Dream-enacting behaviors include talking, yelling, punching, kicking, sitting, jumping from bed, arm flailing, and grabbing. 

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been grabbed like a vice grip, punched and smacked in the back or upside the head during my own peaceful sleep. Talk about a rude awakening! I shall admit publicly that there have been times I have been so roughly woken that my initial reaction was to hit back in anger, I just never have. Fortunately I have never been seriously injured even though I have actually had to physically remove him from me at times to prevent such injuries. The worst I have ever suffered is a smack mark or pinch mark. Of course Hubby doesn't always remember beating "me" up or he claims not to remember, what he does remember is that is was someone  or something else. So I remind him ;-)

I still continue to sleep in the same bed with Hubby. I have no intention of ever not doing that until it becomes a no other choice, so I have learned to use 2 pillows. One as a head protector. :) 

I have learned to sleep facing as far away from Hubby and have been able to realize when he starts having thrashing sleep. I then get out of the bed leaving him to take fits out on my pillows or his side table. Once he beat his table up so badly he broke his lamp and bent and lost his glasses to the floor under the bed. Glasses found, re shaped, new lamp purchased, wife "safe" all is well with the world again ;-)

Hubby has no control of his dreams and the worst part with Lewy is that sorting the dreams from the reality is difficult or impossible. I can only relate it to those dreams we all have at some time that seem so real and are difficult to shake off that morning or through the day. Eventually that happens, just less so with Lewy dreams.
So we live with Hubby's reality and assure him all is well, he is safe, cared for and most of all that he is loved. Reassurance, reassurance, reassurance. Did I mention reassurance?

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