Hyper – alert – my default setting when anything changes with Mom and the last week or so things have been declining once again. She had to have a chest x-ray because of more coughing and bringing up lots of phlegm. They want to rule out pneumonia. Yesterday she went to the bathroom and was short of breath significantly for at least an hour afterwards. Not good. Then the last two days her feet and ankles and up her legs have swollen significantly – much more than they ever have before. Not good. Tonight, since she sleeps in her easy chair a lot of the night, we moved the chair out from the wall so she could use the foot rest to have her feet up. She did not understand she could not lean forward or else the chair would tip which is exactly what it did when she tried to turn the light out. So she was on the floor unable to get up. I sat there calm as a cucumber on the outside trying to figure out what to do so we would not have to phone the paramedics to come and get her up – on the inside I am screaming out to God to help us through this. She was finally able to get up but I cannot be sure she will remember she can’t lean forward without first putting down the foot rest. I will be up for another few hours unable to settle in case she falls again. A long night ahead. I will probably be on hyper – alert setting for a few days until hopefully things settle into a more regular routine again. For how long I don’t know. Things seem to be changing more quickly lately. Dealing with the constant changes is one of the hardest aspects of looking after Mom. Change and me just don’t get along at all. Living with uncertainty all the time exhausts me to no end. I used to tease my Dad when he would nod off to sleep while reading the paper. Now I know what it is like to be awake one minute and then find out you’ve been asleep an hour. It discombobulates me – I feel I am losing control. When I am too tired to shop you know I am beyond tired. That’s where i am now. But it’s funny – this tired business. If I tried to lay down and have a nap I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep – that hyper-alert setting would override my ability to go to sleep. It’s like sleep has to catch me by surprise – with out me knowing. Well, might as well go do something useful. I’ll be up for awhile. Maybe a cup of tea – decaffinated of course.