As a 24/7 carer for my wife I am aware that I must pay attention to my own health and well being. You know the sort of thing, don’t take unnecessary risks, eat properly, drive carefully and, above all, get plenty of rest when possible. Recently my nights have been disturbed as Jean sometimes regresses into babyhood where she lies in bed and talks to her fingers and hands for hours on end. It’s not talking, of course, more repeated “Dun Dun Dun Da Da Da”, noises repeated over and over again. Unfortunately, unlike babies whose noises are generally subdued and interspersed with giggles, Jean’s repeated noises start off quietly and then gradually rise in volume to a pitch which never fails to wake me up. I can’t stop it by talking to her and any attempts to calm her down and ‘shush’ her back to sleep have no effect. The only thing I can do is to go and sleep in the other bedroom and let her get on with it. This happened a couple of nights ago. In bed by 11, she started “talking” within 15 minutes of lying down and, by 12.30, I had had enough and took myself off to the other bedroom. At 2.00am on a very cold morning I was awakened by a sound I had not heard before. Perhaps some of you can remember the old Hammer Horror films some of which recreated the atmosphere of the inside of a lunatic asylum where the laughter there was not one of joy and happiness but of a harsh, sarcastic, grating and mindless type. The cackle of witches who are bent on evil doings or the hollow, maniacal laughter of demons as they torment their victims. It was the laugh of someone whose natural happiness and love had been turned into despair. By now you probably think I am going over the top. Demons, witches, asylums, all products of an over active imagination. Has he been eating cheese before bedtime? Was it just the result of a disturbed sleep pattern? All I can say is that Jean’s “laughter” that night struck a chord of fright, genuine fright in me to such an extent that it was a good 10 minutes before I could get up, go into her bedroom to check that she was ok. By that time she had calmed down and reverted to playing with her fingers and talking to her hands again. I don’t think I will be affected in such a way again and am treating the incident as another facet of the Alzheimers disease. Just an addition to the 1001 things I have had to get used to over the last 14 years.