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We have been caring for my grandmother for years but she had a fall around Halloween and ended up in Rehab. She had fractured her neck in 3 places and fractured her pelvic bone so at first was unable to walk. Right before Thanksgiving, rehab gave us a present they said and sent her home in time for the holidays. They sent her home a pain addict (was on around the clock oxycodone for 7 weeks and even a double dose during the nights and if she complained. She's a diabetic which made her sugar levels out of control as pain meds do and if she even said she had a headache, they'd dope her up with more pain meds to help ease the pain or so they said) and she was dealing with sugar levels that had been left at 300 plus for that time (they said she responded better at 300 than 50 so they decided instead of risking her bottoming out and no one finding her, they just kept her at 300-500 sugar levels to make it easier on them and safer on her). Now she is on around the clock care. She can't get up without assistance although she can walk once placed on her feet. She has dementia which has gotten 90% worse since rehab to the point of where she must recognize us because she smiles but doesn't seem to have names or any idea of really who we are. She can't use the bathroom by herself anymore because she needs help on and off the bathroom and needs us to wipe her (which my mom is really having a hard time doing) so we are really on serious around the clock care.

Since she has been home, we got her off pain killers slowly and are still dealing with her moaning at times insisting she wants more than an extra-strength Tylenol for a headache which she gets because she's not sleeping. This leads me up to my plea.

She's not sleeping at night at all some nights and others 2 hours. I understand elderly people need less sleep but during the day she will sleep no issues. She has no problem dosing off with TV on during the day but as soon as night time hits, she's wide awake. We have tried keeping her awake all day to make her tired for the night but instead all that does is result in her literally moaning, groaning, whimpering, and complaining about headaches and repeating, "Help me. Help me Lord." So we have been letting her take her 2 hour snoozes until 3 then keeping her up from 3 pm until 11 pm when she's so tired her eyes are drooping. But still she doesn't sleep. Is this normal? Does anyone have any ideas on what to do to help her sleep? We are living on empty here. My mom and I are taking shifts but honestly, it makes us cranky to not have any sleep.

We blamed it on the UTI she had but she's better from that now. We blamed it on being addicted to pain killers but it's been two weeks since she last took one and still it's happening. We thought it was due to pain but she doesn't really complain much about pain aside from the headaches caused by not sleeping and the occasional aching of the neck which is helped with heat.

My mom would like to go back to work part time and I am already working and it's impossible to do this and still manage to stay awake during the day.

Is there anyone else dealing with lack of sleep and do you guys have any suggestions to help us help her to sleep?

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I pushed the regular bed beside the hospital bed, adjusted it to make the beds the same height and that helped my mom knowing someone else was right there with her. Good luck, you have slot on your plate right now.
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The x-ray was good news. I understand about the neck brace, I've been there. It had actually gotten to the point where I was afraid to take it off and I was in my 30's.

I hope you all got some rest last night. I've always heard that healing occurs while you are asleep. Don't know if that's based on fact. I find I sleep better sitting in the recliner. I breathe better and my hips don't hurt so bad. My own mother sleeps every night in her recliner. Glad you are getting some paid help, it really is hard to do it all ourselves.
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We took her to the doctors yesterday because that night before was terrible. She got no sleep at all which means we weren't on either of our 'shifts'. They took an x-ray and said the bones healed perfectly which is great news. She did say that her muscles are so tight still and she believes the pain and headaches she is experiencing especially at night is related to that. They are so tight because she had to wear a neck brace that wouldn't allow her to use her neck muscles for 8 weeks. We started physical therapy and have been keeping her awake since 4 pm each night to encourage her to be tired at night.

We took txcamper's advice tonight and are trying the recliner. We even took it one step further and have her sleeping in the living room where the tv can be on. So far so good she's not sleeping but at least quietly resting. In the hospital bed in her room, she complained that she hated the room it was in and would complain wanting to go back to her 'old bed' which is the one we were hoping to take turns sleeping in. We are hoping this chair idea works out as well as it should.

We are setting up caregivers to help during the day. The state is stepping in to pay some on these caregivers but it will hopefully give me the peace of mind and time to continue working at least part time. Mom is hoping to go back to work part time as well so we will just split up the shifts according.

Let's hope for a better night tonight.
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You know, I apologize. I really just skimmed your post and I didn't really realize what all you have been dealing with. Bless y'alls hearts. And I sincerely mean that. I just honed in on the sleep issues. I have no experience with diabetes, so I have nothing to add about that. Grandma may still be having a lot of pain from the fractures. That's a lot to recover from for anyone. Consult with her doctor about all these issues, please keep us up to date.
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Wow. That's a lot to contend with, and I haven't finished reading your initial post.. There is the pain issue, of course, and don't underestimate that. I've dealt with 2 fractured (I think in doctor terms, that means "broken) vertebrae, a cracked rib and a broken ankle. And I'm young-ish and healthy! So...her pain meds might be making her more than a bit wonkier than usual. Then you add diabetes on top of that? Whoa. The little I know about diabetes is that both illness and stress can make blood sugars rise = moving from where she was to with you (no offense) and then the holidays? Hello? Anyone? Beuller?

I've had sleep probs for many years now. It's not fun. Trust me, she is not doing this on purpose to torture you.

Ask a professional, but if her sugar levels are around 300 or so, ,it's likely she needs insulin even if that is not her normal thing.

I hate to say this, but it's also possible she is sensing your stress on top of her own, which may also cause higher sugar levels.

My heart goes out to you, your family, and to her. I wish I could fix this. Sadly, it seems it's going to take a lot more doing. She may do better in a new home/community. I don't like what they did to either you nor she. Something is wrong there. At least look into it.
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Try having her sleep in a recliner (in her room) with a television turned on. If that's the way she gets the best sleep, I'd just go with it. Get an alarm pad for the chair so that you hear if she tries to get up. Be sure she takes something for the headache before going to bed, not hours beforehand. Keep some nightlights on for her as well, to keep the monsters at bay. Just a thought, maybe 11 p.m. is just too late for her to stay up.

I have the opposite problem. MIL sleeps all the time. I have to drag her out of bed as she really doesn't want to get up and it puts her in a bad mood. Getting up and dressed is just more work than she wants to deal with I think. I ask her if she'd like to just wear her housecoat over her nightgown, but that is unacceptable to her. She can and does get up to go into her bathroom, but then she hightails it back to bed. This is a BIG change from when she used to get up at 3 a.m., get dressed and think it was time to start the day. I love her so much, though.
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Get her a hospital bed with electric adjust. NO rails, please she will hate seeing any rails. put a skirt on one side. The end panels are metal, but painted to look like wood. It really helped our mom, who needs her head elevated halfway, and a slight elevation on the legs relieves pain. The foam mattress it came with totally relieved her back pain she had NO complaints after only one night. Worth a try.
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There three thing your mom and you need to do. first go to the doctor and see if you are healthy enough for this job because this can kill you or worse. Now if your doctor tells you no your not you have to stop find her a new place to go. Second have a family meeting every month in see how you really are do. With this talk say everything that you are feeling no judgement just listen and hear each other(vent if you need to). Three look for a place now that she can go to for daycare and weekend care, long term if and when needed. Don't give up your job because it to hard to find a new one with out a work history. call a friend or family member that is willing to help you for three or four hour a week so you can sleep( even if it some one you don't like but will take good care her). Sometime people with dementia get sun downers and they will not go to sleep. Just sleep around her when she is sleep like when you have a baby. Good luck to you.
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Have you considered placing your grandmother in a nursing home. Her dementia is only going to get worse and it sounds like you and your mother are burning out. Please do not give up your job, but find other alternatives for your grandmother's care. Giving up your work and becoming a full time 24/7 caregiver of someone with dementia is a path to self-destruction that you don't want to go down.
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