Sunday, December 12, 2010

It Was Supposed to Be a Day of Rest.....

I planned my weekend so that today, when the weather turned bitterly cold, I wouldn't have to leave the house at all. (I thought.) Hubby and I did our chores and shopping yesterday so all we would be required to do today was watch football. I so looked forward to sleeping in.

And I did sleep in. All the way to 4:41 AM.

I don't know if what I've been battling is a cold or just a manifestation of my vasomotor junk. I've alternately had the sniffles and been congested for going on two weeks now. I don't really FEEL bad. I just can't breathe. Because I sleep with a CPAP machine and a mask over my face, it's slightly alarming to wake up and realize I might be suffocating even while air is trying to force its way into my nostrils.

Sorry for the graphic image.

Now really, when we are created as zygotes or whatever we start out as, I realize we can't have everything. We can't have good looks, brains, good fortune, amazing talent, and a sunny disposition. I don't spend a lot of time lamenting the fact that I got short-changed in the looks department. I figure my intelligence balances that out and is much more useful. So I got the brains and the sunny disposition.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Really, though, would it be asking too much to have brains AND be able to breathe?

I had a deviated septum when I was in my early 20's (as do about 98% of the people in the world, I'm convinced), and I had it fixed. It was very convenient that the doctor was able to do plastic surgery at the same time and have it all covered under insurance. I'm betting he wouldn't be able to get away with that these days. After the surgery I fully expected to feel like a brand new person, filling my lungs with air as I never had before.

Yeah, that didn't happen. When the swelling finally went down THREE MONTHS LATER, I was pretty much the same as before. I went to the same doctor many times over the years because I was prone to sinus infections and strep throat. On one visit he sort of sat back with his hands on his knees and said, "I don't know HOW you breathe. I've done all I can."

Thanks, Doc.

When I went to be tested to see if I had sleep apnea, a different doctor examined me and said I have a hole in my septum. It wasn't clear to me if the hole was there BEFORE the surgery, or if it was a RESULT of the surgery. I didn't ask, because it really doesn't matter. He did tell me that it was too risky to try to repair it, that I might end up worse off than I am now.

THAT'S hard to picture.

I heard from several people who were diagnosed with sleep apnea that their lives changed completely after they started sleeping with the CPAP machine. They slept better, so they had more energy, so they felt like exercising more, so they lost like 30 pounds, and they were just all around happier people.

Either they lied, or I'm a nay-sayer.

I was already pretty active when I started using the CPAP machine, so I didn't notice an increase in energy. It didn't make me a happier person, particularly when I saw how that damn mask looked. The only benefit I can really tell from using the machine is that I don't snore, and I don't wake up feeling like I'm choking to death. Most of the time. It sometimes makes my face itch, though, and I sometimes have to adjust the mask several times during the night because it has slipped and an air leak has developed. I don't wake up choking, but I wake up. So this is better HOW? Oh yeah..... Hubby doesn't have to listen to me snore. He always said it didn't bother him, but I think he was just being sweet.

On RAGBRAI once, a guy in another TENT scowled at me early one morning and said, "You snore!" Thanks for starting my day off on just the right note, Earl. Do you think I don't KNOW I snore? Do you think I'm not HUMILIATED by that fact? Do you think I would snore if I HAD ANY CHOICE ABOUT IT? And now I have to go ride my bicycle 80 miles on very little sleep, with the added burden of worrying ALL DAY LONG that tonight I might disturb someone else's sleep. (On RAGBRAI it's simply not an option to pitch one's tent any distance from the others. Trust me on that one.) I found myself actually trying not to go to sleep at night. I would try valiantly not to go to sleep, and then I would startle myself awake snoring, embarrassed and afraid I was disturbing others. Then I would get up and go ride my bicycle another 60 to 80 miles. What an exhausting week.

Where was I going with this?

I don't remember. It HAS been a good day, in spite of the fact that I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted to. I have been able to quilt, play video games, read, and watch football (yay Falcons!). We did have to leave the house to go pick up some prescriptions for my mother-in-law because my sorry-ass sister-in-law couldn't be bothered to do it. Or she was too hung over to accomplish it, I'm not sure which. But I cooked some comfort food for dinner (pinto beans, and NOT out of a can, cornbread [from scratch], and fried okra), and we have plenty of firewood. Oh, and I finally put up the Christmas tree.

But damn it all, I forgot to take a nap. When I got up at 4:41 this morning, I told myself at least it was Sunday and I could take an afternoon nap.

Can I have a do over?


DJan said...

You have my permission to a do-over. You make me realize, again, how much I appreciate retirement, where I actually look forward to Monday mornings and the return of my self imposed routine.

My BIL uses a CPAP machine for emphysema and couldn't live without it, literally. BTW, they make ear plugs for people who are bothered by the snoring of others. I've used them when I've been in a tent with them. :-)

Maggie said...

I'm sorry the lack of sleep but it does sound like you've done a ton today- fun, relaxing and productive!