My Dad’s A Goldfish – Sleep – or lack of

I talked to the GP about the Goldfish not sleeping. She prescribed a sleeping pill. I wasn’t sure but she suggested trying it for a couple of nights just to break the pattern which seems to be set. The Goldfish wakes up as soon as he goes to bed. He gets up. He wanders around the house. Sometimes he tries to go outside. Usually I hear him unlocking the door but one night I didn’t and was awakened by the phone. I rushed to answer it, assuming it was care call which would get in touch if the Goldfish fell. “It’s okay, he’s on his feet,” I said, noting as I spoke the Goldfish was standing by the front door looking guilty.

“The door alarm went off,” replied the voice on the other end. “Nothing to do with him falling, He was opening the door.” Now I understood the guilty look.

I tried the sleeping pill. Joy – he slept. Went to bed at 10.30, up at 12.30 for a pee then slept until 8 in the morning. How I wish I had slept so well. I was constantly alert, listening for sounds from his room.

Next night, when I gave him his sleeping pill, along with the other pills he took at night he looked at me with great suspicion, demanding to know what it was for. How did he know there was an extra pill? Such a tiny little thing. I explained it was to help him sleep. “I sleep very well.”

“Well, sometimes you don’t and then you are very tired in the morning. This will help you get to sleep sooner and be more able to wake up in the morning.”

“If you say so,” he muttered, throwing the pill into his mouth and taking a sip of juice. He seemed a bit subdued but went to bed about half an hour later. I enjoyed a wee treat of a glass of red wine and half a dozen garlic stuffed green olives – those lovely big fat ones – while reading in bed, sure that I wouldn’t lie awake so anxiously this time. I should have known better. I heard the ominous creaking of his bed – maybe he just needed to pee? His bedroom door opened but I knew he was not heading for the bathroom but the living room. I got up. Found him in the kitchen heading for the back door. Persuaded him back to bed via the loo where he maintained he did not need ‘to go’.

By 2.30 in the morning we had been up several times and I was baffled. Surely he couldn’t have built up resistance to the effect of sleeping pills after only one? Had he actually swallowed it? That seemed to be the only explanation. As we tottered back to his bedroom, I looked closely at his face. Was there something in his mouth? He shook his head when I asked. “Would you like something to drink?” I asked.

He nodded and when I brought him a glass of orange juice and he raised it to his lips I saw the dissolving sleeping pill tucked behind his teeth. Clever Goldfish. No one’s going to fool you are they? To put up with the horrible bitterness of that pill in your mouth for so long! I decided we’d have to find another solution to sleeplessness

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14 thoughts on “My Dad’s A Goldfish – Sleep – or lack of

    • The Goldfish did eventually sleep throughout the night – and most of the day – but there were several months when he seemed determined to turn night into day.
      I hope you are doing okay?

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  1. It’s funny Mary, that even though your dad was ill, he knew exactly what was going on and took the decision to fool you. I don’t know how he could stand the taste of the tablet in his mouth for so long, I take many tablets and they are all vile tasting things and I have to have lots of drinks of water to get rid of the taste. I suppose it wouldn’t occur to your dad to have got rid of the tablet once he was on his own. Bless him. xx

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    • I know, Ruth, the pill tasted vile – really bitter. I’m not surprised he couldn’t get to sleep with it in his mouth!

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  2. It’s good that as you look back, there’s humor to be seen amid all the worry, frustration, and exhaustion. Bless him for still having had a bit of cheek, and you for having kept your sanity!

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    • I think it was being able to keep our sense of humour that kept us going. And I had a sneaky admiration for his determination to be himself and not let us have it all our own way!

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