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Posts Tagged ‘Sleep’

aunty acid sleep

My compliments to the Virginia hospital sleep clinic  and kudos to the technician who conducted the study.  The attendant was efficient and kindly and I had a clean room with a double bed, a television and my own bathroom.

HOWEVER………

Following is an accurate account of the night I spent entrapped by wires that are designed to detect oxygen deprivation and other sundry unidentified maladies.

But, of course, if I could do it, you can too!  And this post, although accurate, is actually an attempt to make you laugh – not to scare you off.

And so it all began.  Arrival time: 9 PM

Firstly I expressed doubt about sleeping the requisite time.  That resulted in a bedtime story about why people do not sleep well in strange paces. 

Picture this:  It is the caveman days and humans are nomadic.  Every time they arrive at a new cave they are compelled to stay awake.  Who knows what predators are waiting to eat them?  So, staying wide-eyed when we find ourselves in new digs (even today) is a trait passed down through our DNA.  A perfectly understandable tale though not particularly comforting.

Bedtime story aside, it was not yet time to bed down because we had to do the real prep work!

 It took 40 minutes to attach 40,000 wires glued to head, face, neck, chest and legs, and another contraption attached to a finger (Well, maybe not 40,000 really but a huge mass)!

After hookups, some test runs, checks and rechecks I was tucked in and then visually monitored to record sleep positions!

I could not go to the bathroom without announcing the need out loud.  Then the technician would magically appear and unplug the wires.  That meant carrying 40,000 wires in a glob strapped over my shoulder and taking the glob into the bathroom.

While trying to wash one wireless globless hand, I got a glimpse of my face in the mirror.  Perfect reflection of a science fiction monster!

O.K., Blessed sleep time.  And there I lay for another hour or two, eyes wide open, hands in fists, and muscles tensed (primitive posture to deter an ancient mammoth attack).

The Turning Over Challenge.  Try rolling around and dragging 40,000 wires!  Barely making it to one side I stayed stiff for an hour or so until the body insisted on turning to the other side.

Oh, I forgot to mention they put a belt around my waist and another belt around my chest.

I prefer sleeping in the dark but the room was not dark even after the technician turned off the lamp and the overheads.  Didn’t she know killer bears can see into a lit room?

Praying for oblivion, I finally did fall into a dreamless sleep (on one of the stiff sides) that lasted 4 hours.

And finally, at 6 AM a cheery “Good Morning!” sounded over the speaker.

All the hookups were removed with instructions on how to wash off the goo.  My hair was all stuck to my head with gel stuff.

Did I look bad with all the wires attached?

That was nothing compared to the final unplugged version.

Thankfully I returned home, showered, removed goo, and slept on and off all day in a recliner.

My body was shaky and in screaming revolt.

 It may still be revolting, if not screaming.

But the test was meant to determine if I stop breathing during sleep.  A lack of oxygen to the organs is dangerous, and especially dangerous to the heart.  I trust my doctor.

So again, please don’t let this blog post deter you from doing a Sleep Study too.  Ha!

But, it you do go, please don’t tell me if you breeze right through the whole thing.  It would be too embarrassing to discover I am a colossal wimp!

 

 

 

 

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Although I think these stories are to be considered “PRIVATE,” the fact is that  age brings a certain loss of privacy.

THE MIGHTY LEAP AND GRAB

Story #1 began with Dor’s BigFoot. 

Due to a lack of exercise maybe, or the fact that I toted  around an extra 4 or 5 pounds of knee high boot for many months, getting up and down in the bathroom became a challenge.

If you are brave, please Picture This:

We could not mount railings in our bathrooms because we have stand-alone thrones.

door-knobs

Therefore, I was forced to make a mighty leap forward to grab a door knob and then hoist to get up.  Fortunately the doorknobs held and maybe you could consider mighty leaps as good exercise, but the very idea inspired a a search for a remedy.

Our local Virginia plumber solved the whole thing!

“Everybody’s got ‘em now,” said he.  “They are the right height even for the young but very helpful for the aging too, and a whole lot of folks are replacing the old 14inchers with 16inchers.”

And so we did just that.

I almost wrote a blog post about it because it was our excitement for the year – waiting to try on “right height toilets.”

There, I have actually said the not-so-private word at last – TOILETS! 

Comfort level toilets are wondrous things and if you haven’t got one, I highly recommend going for it!

TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP

polysomnogram

Story #2 is my upcoming Sleep Test.

I am a wreck preparing for an “in-lab sleepover” at our local hospital.  That is where they test you to see if you stop breathing too much during the night.

Evidently I am under suspicion for “sleep apnea” even though I do not snore, have no problem falling asleep and no problem sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night.

It’s supposedly a private room with its own bathroom but I understand I will be observed all night via a little camera at the nurse’s station.  And if I have to “go” I must holler out and wait for an attendant to come and unhook all the electrodes and wires.

I am packing for this overnight stay as if taking a trip to Australia! Bringing my own pillow, a book, my Kindle reader, several types of sleepwear, cookies maybe, and more.

I do hope they have a Right Height Toilet though!

 

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It comes as rather a nasty surprise that I am aging.

You too?

Oh, I knew there would be a few aches and pains,

and of course a face with well placed character-wrinkles

and some artfully arranged gray hairs.

But the plan was (and still is) to ignore such minor imperfections and compensate with self deception.

Creams and lotions help (and please try them all like I do).  The commercials might be right after all.

And  maintaining an upbeat, youthful attitude is the way to go.

This means a devotion to nutrition and exercise (if you practise on rare occasions like I do).

But who knew about falling asleep in a chair and waking up

with mouth wide open?

And how can you take charge of keeping

your mouth shut when you’re out cold?

I admit this humiliating onset of age mars my usually proud

and eternally youthful countenance.  And thankfully, I don’t snore!

But

I am now hoping for soulmates out there (those of you with gaping jaws)

to come forward with your learned-from-experience solutions to this ultimate indignity.

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My friend Scott in repose.

Scott Xmas 2015

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Random Five Friday (The Day After-The Day After)

Happy B'day BalloonsSurprise visitors who came for Bill’s birthday returned to the Wild West.  After all that excitement Bill and I were left in total silence with only  deer for company so we decided  to take one day to recuperate.  Being Super Woman I kept  running  on empty though, and tackled clean-up duty.  I  forgot about the effects of emotional stress the “day after-the day after” and the physical toll from too much laughing.

My Friend Janet Started the Laughter

My Friend Janet Started the Laughter

  • Yes,  laughter, especiallya lot of it, can be exhausting  because on the day after-the day after the visitors left all I did was sleep.  Or picture dozing at the sink or in a flat line daze, staring at a wall  with an empty gaze in the middle of changing sheets.  Isn’t it odd how the body simply gets determined to shut down?  The signals were abundantly clear, so much so that I woke up one time on the floor.  I didn’t faint but got down there to stretch and stayed prone in sweet serene slumber for an hour and a half!

 

  • Then came work out day at the “Y,” a Book Club meeting, replenish groceries.  I woke up sleepy though, from the lack of sleep perhaps.  Fourteen hours just wasn’t going to cut it.  So scratch the work out.  I was lucky to make it to book club without lapsing back into oblivion (by the way, Factory Girls is a very interesting book).  And groceries? Leftovers maybe.

 

  • Finally the old self returned just in time for an early morning departure for an outing with a good friend.  My last blog post was about our unusual lunch at a Thai restaurant in a Victorian Inn.  We also went shopping!  Shopping for true rural dwellers is an exhilarating experience, with all the symptoms of menopause.  Think hot flashes, nervous tics, shortness of breath, unexplained hunger, and the urge to lie down (or was that still lack of sleep?).

legs-running

 

  • And then it was really time to tackle the dirty work.  My little friend Amy came to help.  She is little but she is mighty!  Amy is getting ready to run a 26 mile marathon in Pennsylvania so she said she did a practice run of 26 miles in 4 ½ hours.  It would take me 24 1/2 hours to hobble that far.  Amy is a five foot tall redhead with boundless energy who just got her license to drive a truck.  She is also going to run in a marathon!  Did you know that true marathoners don’t stop to use  portapotties! Huh?  I will leave the rest of that fascinating fact to your imagination.  Using imagination,  I may never watch marathoners in the same way again.

“Learning is growing no matter how old we are.”

~ Another sage quote from Dor.   Happy Weekend!

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Rozie the Beautiful

“To sleep, perchance to dream-
ay, there’s the rub.”

Hamlet (III, i, 65-68)

To Be or Not to Be (Shakespeare)

It has been many decades since I had a colicky baby who turned night into day.  The pitiful wails of a child who cannot tell you what hurts still ring in my ears all these years later.  And even now, if I hear a baby’s cries, I want to jump up and do something to help.  It must be a universal kind of Mommy impulse reaction.

Never would I believe a dog could accomplish the same tugs at my heart.  Instead of the plaintive cries of an infant, our 13 year old dog Rozie PANTS!  No, she is not hot (the first supposition) because it has actually been on the cold side here lately.  She is comfortable because she has an orthopedic bed that I would not mind sleeping on, except it’s on the floor at the foot of our bed.  But she only pants at night.  So?  Big Deal.  Why is that a problem? Dogs pant after all.  I have been told it’s how they perspire.

Well, this panting starts off at a tolerable level and then escalates as soon as we turn off the lights.  Then my husband and I lie abed in a sort of hopeful tension as we hear the panting continue and builds rapidly to what I call “panic panting,” which is the equivalent of the baby SCREAMING!. So, the problem?  The problem is – who can sleep at night?

Using Chair Rungs for Headrest
“I can hardly stay awake!”

Is Rozie in pain?  What could it be?  Is it her stomach?  Is it her heart?  Is it arthritis?

We took her to the vet of course – more than once and more than twice.   An EKG revealed nothing wrong with her heart.  She does have semi-high blood pressure so she’s on meds for that.  Only a touch of arthritis is evident from an X-ray.  The dog is strong “and will probably outlive us,” said our vet, until finally he tactfully proclaimed, “I think this panting problem is psychological.”  Really?

Over the past few months, Rozie has endured our many feeble attempts to help her relax at night.  She conks out and sleeps peacefully during the day of course.  I watch her having her doggy dream-runs with serious envy. “To sleep,perchance to dream” makes perfect sense to me now.

But have you ever heard of a dog on so many potential “cures?”

–          Glycoflex Soft Chews (glcosomine-condroitin) – a general joint supplement – 3 a day

–          Rimadyl – anti-inflammatory – 2 a day

–          Blood Pressure Meds – 2 a day

–          Tramadol – pain killer – 2 a day

–          Composure – herbal remedy for nerves – as needed

–          Forti Flora – probiotics sprinkled on her food to aid digestion as needed

–          And A New One – An Anti-Depressent – for obsessive, compulsive, anxiety disorders – 2 a day

For a strong, healthy dog who is going to outlive us, Rozie is on so many medications at so many daily intervals that I now forget to take my own meds trying to keep up with hers.  I am beginning to believe this all borders on the ridiculous.  There has to be a light side don’t you think?  Well, yesterday I looked up the potential side effects of the anti-depressant and one of them at the top of the list is, “Call your doctor if experiencing suicidal tendencies!”  Who me?  Or the dog?  And I ask you, who should be taking the anti-depressant anyway?

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