Posts Tagged ‘nap’
It’s hard to see my grandma like this.
Ever since her first stroke, she’s been slowly slipping out of touch with reality, and seems only the palest shadow of her former self. I remember her adeptly playing the piano; I remember our card games and love of reading; most of all, I remember her razor-sharp intellect and sharper sense of humor. As the years pass, remembering them takes more and more effort.
Conversations will begin with her telling me that she loves me. If I respond, she tells me she loves me again, and repeat. If I don’t respond, she thinks I don’t love her and starts crying, until I finally tell her that I do love her. She does this with anyone nearby, and would go on for hours if she could stay awake that long.
Instead, I try to change the subject.
Remember when we’d play Sorry! for hours at a time? Or Go Fish? Or Gin Rummy?
She might nod and smile in recognition; she might not. It’s a crapshoot. If she does remember, I know I’ve made her happy. If she doesn’t remember, she’ll break down, crying. Given the that I might make her happy, I decide the risk is worth it, and so I take it.
I doubt she’ll remember either way. I decide to try.
Within 45 minutes, she goes back to bed. I talk presidential politics, high finance and cattle ranching with my grandpa, and I enjoy it. Within the hour, we hear grandma calling to us from the bedroom. We head back.
As I feel my moment of panic, fear and trepidation approach — as I feel like I want to leave, and now — I, inhaling, think to myself:
The grandma I want to please lives still.
The rest comes naturally.
As I exhale, the grandma I see laying prone on her bed isn’t the grandma who sticks her finger in her nose and then puts it in her mouth, anymore; she isn’t the grandma who needs help getting out of her chair; she isn’t the grandma who leans heavily on the walker while grandpa keeps her from stumbling onto the tile hallway.
On that bed, I see the grandma who’d regularly drive me down to the local library in her Lincoln Continental, ketchup and baloney sandwiches in tow. I see the grandma who’d toast cheese and pepperoni on white bread, and, serving it with orange soda and a side of SpaghettiOs, call it lunch. I see the grandma my sister and I would help put up the Christmas tree every December, long after my immediate family stopped bothering.
We go back to the living room, and we visit. The first thing she tells me:
I love you.
I love you, too, Grandma.
Since I last wrote on the overwhelming tiredness I have from teaching my little rapscallions, I have worked out my perfect sleep schedule. It even works the way I intended it.
1. Nap. Once I get back from school and have my lunch, I fall asleep. Think 4 or 5 p.m. A nice late afternoon nap refreshes me enough to prepare for the following day, or simply to rest and refresh myself before I get to any actual leisure.
2. Wake up. Then, I wake up at 10:30 p.m. and break my Tetris high score. I might do a few other housekeeping things, like getting past a few more missions in San Andreas. I might plan the next day’s lessons, but that’s a lower priority. Joking.
3. Go back to sleep. I go right back to sleep after midnight, and I get plenty of sleep before I wake up at the comfortable morning time of 5:45 a.m.
I hit a snag on Tuesday nights, the day of my horrible, weekly 5-hour credential class. Oh, and on Wednesday, when I have to meet up with an adviser to go over my resume packet for April’s job fair. Or Thursday, which is production night at the paper.
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
At least we have Easter Break starting tomorrow afternoon. Small mercies.
Moral of the story? Sleep when you’re tired. Don’t sleep when you aren’t.
I’ve been tired before from teaching. Just never this tired. Last night, I was quite literally too tired to think comfortably.
A three-hour nap took the edge off my fatigue, but I was still pretty tired. Another eight hours later, and a half-hour after my alarm went off, I still couldn’t think straight. Oy.
When I told my master teacher, she grilled me on nutrition and balanced diets. Yes, I think I have a balanced diet even if it lacks green things. Yes, I eat plenty of protein. No, that no-meat Lent thing is only on Fridays.
She seemed to believe me, and offered her advice:
“This is a very tiring, stressful job. Part of this is kids sucking the life out of us. Part of it is being exhausted. We all are.”
I had some witty rejoinder, I think, but I don’t remember exactly what I said. I was too tired.
Moral of the story? Go to bed an hour before you think you need to.