It’s a Habit

My mother is here for her monthly visit to the Duke eye hospital. She has to get shots in her eyes to save her sight from Macular Degeneration. Thank goodness there are medical professionals who can give shots into people’s eye balls. I certainly couldn’t watch it, let alone do it.

They dilate my mother’s eyes to such a degree that she still needs to wear sun glasses in the dark candlelit dining room eight hours after having it done. It takes a whole 24 hours for her pupils to get even close to normal. Since she can’t go home, she spends the night with us every month.

For my entire life my mother has had a sleep machine. It is a contraption that makes white noise to drown out any other sound that might possibly wake her. My father was a notorious snorer who could wake neighbors. It was understandable why she needed the sleep machine when I was little. Eventually my mother got tired of migrating to other bedrooms in the middle of the night, carrying her sleep machine so she got a second one. Then she eventually just got her own room.

When my father built his big house at the farm she had a room across from my father’s. That was not far enough to not be disturbed by the snoring, even with the sleep machine on full blast. So she moved to the furthest wing, sleep machine in tow. Then her hearing left her. When even the loudest volume on the TV was not enough she got hearing aids, which she hates. When she takes them out at night she couldn’t hear a siren blaring right beside her.

Tonight while we were eating dinner I asked her if she still uses her sleep machine. “Yes, it’s a habit,” she told me. I asked her if she could hear it with her hearing aids out.


“Why don’t you try and sleep without it, that way then you travel you won’t need to worry about bringing it.” She still wants to keep her sleep machine. You might have thought I had asked her to give up wine.

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