TOPIC: SLEEP AS AN ESCAPE FROM PAIN. Is this even possible?
Mom is 77.
Sometimes my mom claims she is not really sleeping due to having relief from her pain. But she claims the opposite. Mom claims she is falling asleep to "avoid the pain". She says she is staying still and quite, because she is trying to bear pain and in being very still she will appear to be asleep or even fall asleep as a result of trying to "bear the pain". (Also: I have seen her sullen and withdrawn at times of extreme pain, but this is different. . . she's not always in that much pain and during those times she didn't fall asleep.)
CAN ONE FALL ASLEEP TO "AVOID THE INTENSE PAIN"?
This is very hard for me to understand as a caregiver. I haven't really heard of this before.
Sometimes she will wake up from a pain flare hitting her feet, a jolt of pain from a flare starting out may hit her foot like electricity. I have seen that, but falling asleep to escape pain from being still? That is a mystery to me. Have any of you ever had a case where you were in so much pain you just got quite and fell asleep and used sleep as an escape from the intense pain?
Sometimes mom says these things and they are a complete mystery to me and perhaps a new revelation on the degree of pain and coping that she ends up using. One time she was in extreme pain and agitation and had her friend pray for her and immediately after getting off the phone fell asleep. She claimed that the prayer worked and it seemed to have helped her at that time, like an instant answer to prayer that time. So that was interesting as well, but more of a single event compared to the claim that she can be still and fall asleep as a pain coping mechanism.
Sometimes I actually wonder if some of her comments regarding napping are excuses, or just denial that she is falling asleep. Sometimes she falls into this kind of game, like a child actually. She will claim she isn't falling asleep when she really is. Often when she is extremely tired and didn't get much sleep or to tired from perhaps a heavy recent dose of pain killers, the first day of the pain patch, etc. She will during those times fall asleep and nap more during the day. She will even snore, and then suddenly wake up and claim she was "just resting her eyes" and wasn't asleep at all. I usually laugh at these excuses because you can't snore while resting your eyes. I told her she is the only person I know who "snores" while she is awake.
Of course to doctors this at times is a sign that you are over-medicated. So being too groggy can seem to be bad. But then again, when she loses sleep and sometimes only has 2 hours sleep at night or less, it's totally understandable that one can get sleepy and nap during the day.
I'm 55 and retired. Last night I had four hours sleep and I'm certainly excited about any naps I can take today, so I don't begrudge her naps; I figure she's usually catching up on lost sleep.