Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Well, *there's* the way to cure your insomnia, man!

When I went in to pick up W from his cottage this afternoon, he was trying to nod off while sitting at "the table" (a very popular place for staff to have people sit- partly to make sure their clients look like they're doing something, partly to make sure that the staff look like they're doing their job so their supervisors won't yell at them, and so their supervisor's supervisors won't start writing people up, and so on and so on). 

Behind him, his staff person was grumbling at him to "wake up, W!" To me she said, "This is the first time he started nodding off today. [It was 3:15 PM- that unholy hour when almost every living being on earth wants to take a nap- except maybe three-year-olds.]  W didn't sleep last night, and I've been keeping him awake all day, because otherwise he's up all night!"  

Then she turned her attention back to W, giving him an annoyed look. 

Again, loudly, "Wake up, W!  You're not staying awake all night again!  Get up!  Go with the music therapist!"

Evidently, his intentional bout with insomnia from the previous night was distressing her.

I'm not surprised.  I wasn't kidding about supervisors and grand-supervisors all coming down hard on the direct care when the folks they're "in charge of" look like they're just sitting around, doing nothing or sleeping all day.

I'm sad, however, to say that I reacted with some sarcasm.  I'm always torn between sense- I mean, I highly doubt W purposely stayed awake all night so he could feel like crap the entire next day- and the awareness that most of the people who work in direct support are put into these ridiculous no win positions of "You must keep the clients in active treatment at all times. Every moment is teachable. Blah, blah, blah. This is why CMS funds this institution. Blah, blah, blah. Written up. Blah, blah, blah. Fired."

Somehow, through his apparent haze, W caught sight of me approaching him, and he decided to stand up and walk with me (sort of- he was a bit wobbly) to get his meds before we left.

He was so tired that he actually tapped my arm for a moment while we were waiting for the nurse to get his meds organized, and then he went to find a chair to sit down.  

Now, the thing about W is that he is NOT a morning person.  

As such, both of his music therapy sessions are conducted in the afternoon. It's a pretty obvious thing. Whenever I show up in the morning he's dragging all over the place (if he's even awake). In the afternoon, he's Mr. Pleasant and Let's Go! 

Clearly there were no naps happening this morning!  Ahem!

We got his meds, he paused, and I asked him if he wanted to stay in today, and we could try doing this again on Saturday.  There was some nonverbal hemming and hawing on W's part, and he put on his coat, and we slogged on over to my building.

I guess he decided it would be quieter to sleep in the Music Room.

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