What Would’ve Been: 50 years

Dad and Mom at their weddingToday is a bittersweet day. It’s my parent’s wedding anniversary, and this year it would’ve been 50 years. But my Dad went up and died in 2012.

It doesn’t hurt as much now. not as much as it did a couple of years ago. I still feel a twinge sometimes when I see an old, happy couple.

Because if he were still living, they’d be an old happy couple.

Dad and Mom, Westbrook Together Days 2011So this golden wedding anniversary is hard for me.

Here are some pictures of my parents. And some of lilacs. Every June, my father would pick some lilacs for Mom. It was a thing. I love lilacs.

Lilacs

Dreams

Dreams

20160610_231811My dreams are coming back. One of the symptoms of the Sleep Apnea was that I wasn’t remembering my dreams, it was like I wasn’t dreaming at all. (A quick google search brings up articles about the correlation between apnea and not dreaming.)

So, it’s been 11 days (nights) since I started using the CPAP machine, and more and more I am remembering my dreams.

Last night my dream was about impostor syndrome. I was dancing my away around a night club showing people my dance moves and I could tell they were digging what I was laying down, you know. And Dream-Lanna was incredulous that the cool people like her. I was just amazed the cool people thought I was cool. When I woke up I was like: that’s classic impostor syndrome. I can’t get away from it!

The other night was a convoluted dream about me being arrested in a small town and having a ankle bracelet and I was made to stay at the combination jail/post office and people kept sitting on my bed. I had to keep telling them not to sit on my bed, using logic like “How would you feel if strangers were sitting on your bed.” It would work for a while, and then another person would sit down. Then I went out drinking and a lot of my long-time friends joined me, (yes, I still had the ankle bracelet on), people that I don’t really talk to a lot, but amazingly, are all facebook friends. Another weird dream.

I love weird dreams. I’m glad they’re coming back. Even if they are highlighting my insecurities.

CPAPtastic: A Poem

My hose gurgles, water spits out
Humidity’s too high
Frustrating sleep, mask slipping
Unit breathes with me, an exasperating sigh

I wake with luggage under my eyes,
Puffy pale pouches
Lines on my face from strapping on the mask
Dry mouth because I turned the humidity down

I check my progress online.
98%
I get a “badge” and share it on social media
Sleep Apnea participation medal

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CPAP, Baby

CPAP, Baby

IMG_20160531_221713Tuesday I got my brand New and Shiny CPAP Machine, an AirCurve 10 VAuto. It’s like, magical. It uses a data network (NOT OURS!) to communicate with Susan at the supply company. And it autothingies all the things.

I loves it. Well, the idea of it. The application, well, that is taking a bit to get used to.

The first night was fine. Except I couldn’t get the hang of keeping my mask on, so air was leaking all around it. Also, in spite of the built-in humidifier, my mouth was super dry, which made it difficult to keep the mask on my face. I got a frowny face for my mask seal when I checked my progress on the unit. :( Sad Lanna Was Sad.

27381364166_33306eba03_oHow did I feel? Well, yesterday morning was a bit easier. I did not feel like crap when I first woke up, at least not to the same extent as previously. So, #winning! One thing we did was take Susan’s advice and purchase some Biotene spray to combat dry mouth.

Last night went a little better with the mask, and the biotene: it is much easier to keep the mask in place when your mouth is not painfully dry. As you can see from the picture, I got a smiley face for my mask! :) But my face hurt and I had actual bags under my eyes. So that sucked.

Susan from the medical supply company called earlier today to see how I was faring. Since my stats uploaded automagically, she was able to give me a report of how things looked on her end; my stats improved so much!!!!!!

When determining Sleep Apnea they look for two things, AHI (Apnea-Hyponea Index) and oxygen levels. The AHI is the average number of apnea-type incidences per hour. Mine was tested at 39.7, which counts as severe sleep apnea (should be 0-5 per hour). Going hand in hand with that are oxygen levels, mine got as low as 49%, should be over 95%. With the machine, my AHIs decreased to less than 1, which would be considered in the normal level. This is even with a leaky mask. They aren’t testing my oxygen levels with this, but I suspect they are within an acceptable range.

ExcellentResultsI am still a bit sleepy during the day. But Susan said that since I’ve likely been sleep deprived for a few years, it will take a little while before I stop getting sleepy.

I joined the myAir online thing so I can track my progress online, and because I am a super data geek. Here is an example of my dashboard for it. 99 points! Woo!

When Susan came by with the machine she said I should try to use it at least 4.5 hours a night (some insurances won’t cover the CPAP if you don’t use it over 4 hours per night). I don’t get that, if I have a CPAP machine, I am going to use that sucker. Now that I am no longer swimming in the sea of sleep apnea denial, I am totally on board with getting a full-night’s sleep.

20160531_112653One thing that might need to change is my face mask. I have 30 days to trade it in, and I suspect it is too small for my face. My cheeks are still sore from wearing it! We are going to wait and see how things go and trade in for a new one if this one continues not to work out.

TLDR: Things are going well with the new CPAP machine. Even with mask seal issues, my AHI levels are normal after using it two nights. Friends have said it took them a couple of weeks to assimilate, so I am on track as far as that goes.

And now it’s almost time for bed!

Things I Learned From My Mom

Things I Learned From My Mom

… not that I always follow her advice or example!wpid-20141225_111056.jpg

  • Be inclusive – people don’t like being left out
  • Take time for yourself – when we were kids Mom would go on her own solo “camping trips” to a hotel in Bangor Maine. That had to have a pool. There she could indulge in one of her favorite pastimes, bargain hunting!
  • Respect your own needs – When my brother and I were old enough to make our own breakfasts and get ourselves to school, my Mom would sleep in. If she needed alone time, she would tell us.
  • You can do it yourself – definitely not a helicopter parent, my Mom trusted us to behave, taught us to be self-sufficient, and expected us to work hard
  • When you need her, she’ll be there – when we were sick, Mom gave it her all, she waited on us hand and foot, it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s I stopped wishing for my Mom when I got sick (In case you think we might have taken advantage of this, she had a great bullshit meter, she could always tell when we were lying). When I was married the first time, and things started not going well, my parents drove from New York State to Maine to help me out. (I could go on, but I won’t)
  • Be kind – which sometimes means keeping your own counsel!
  • Tell the truth – which means if they ask for your counsel, give it.
  • Do the right thing – which sometimes means doing something very hard or something you don’t want to do. [People call this adulting.]
  • Laugh – laugh at yourself, laugh with your family, everything gets a little better with some levity.
  • When you fight, don’t get personal – don’t call people names, ever (this is something I have failed at, but most of the time, I do well).
  • Don’t make empty threats – if my parents said stop what you are doing, or we will go home, and I didn’t stop, they’d go home.

I am blessed with a wonderful Mother, and I wish her the best of Mother’s Days this year. Since I am so far away, I send my love through the internet.
Mom, cleaning our closet

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Sleep Study

Sleep Study

ready for Sleep Testing

ready for Sleep Testing

Hubris

It will come to no surprise to the people who have slept with me (or in the same room as me) for the past few years: I snore. I snore very well. It has been (gently) suggested to me more than once that I should talk to my doctor about said snoring (loud, cacophonous snoring).

I had my physical in February, and I mentioned it to my doctor. We discussed options, doing the test at home or going into the sleep center. I chose the sleep center, and thankfully my insurance agreed.

The sleep center because I was pretty sure they’d find something, and if you do the test at home, you’d still have to go in to get an official test. I didn’t want to mess around.

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Swank Digs for sleepin’

My doctor put in the order. The sleep center called me a few weeks ago, and we arranged a date. And Last night was the night. I posted the picture above on Instagram, which caused some conversation. Including freaking my mother out, even though I TOLD her about the sleep test weeks ago, and reminded her earlier in the day.

I am pretty good at sleeping. When I actually get to bed (sometimes I stay up late reading, or catching up on television or planning world domination.) But even with 7+ hours of sleep I feel sluggish when I wake up. So it was time. Time to TCB (that’s Take Care of Business).

I’ve said it before, one of my failings is hubris. It usually manifests itself with directions and driving. I will say to myself “I know where I’m going!” and then get totally lost.

Well, the sleep center sent me a packet a few weeks ago. Stuff to fill out before the test. At 6 pm last night, 3 hours before my appointment, I logged out of work and opened up the packet.

In it was a questionnaire for me, a questionnaire for Edmund, and a sheet for a 7-day sleep journal.

Doh!

Luckily, Ed filled out his section in record time. And I went back to fudge notes for 7 days of sleep. Oy. (Good thing I didn’t wait until I got to the hospital/sleep center!) I don’t think the technician (Derek) noticed. Or if he did, he was too polite to say anything.

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Wires! Wires! Wires!


The Process

I was early to the hospital. I only live five minutes away, and I had to carry my ginormous wedge for my ankles, so I just went when I was ready.

The room was nice, mostly like a hotel room. Except for the tiny bathroom. Nice carpet, little couch, and armchair. The bed was a double, and had lots of pillows on it. Like I said, nice.

The technician was great. Derek, explained everything very well. Good bedside manner (heh). He wired me up, putting electrodes all over my brain (on my head people, not IN my head). He took care with my legs, as the skin on them does not take well to exfoliating.

You know the drill, he is not a doctor, so he can’t diagnose me. My order was not for a CPAP test, it was for a baseline test to see if I had a sleep disorder (namely sleep apnea). But he tells me, if I have symptoms bad enough, he can put a CPAP machine on me during the evening, was I interested in that? Of course, I opted for yes.

The wiring up was fine. He told me where things were going, and why. They felt odd, not not uncomfortable. I quickly got used to them.

Even though I usually go to sleep at around midnight, I turned in early, at 11:15 pm. I kept 1 light on, mainly because that is what I do when I sleep alone. There was a microphone and a camera going into a side room where Derek hung out for the evening. I streamed Men in Black on my Kindle Fire.

I was sleeping within 20 minutes.

Derek woke me up at 1:30 – we were going to need to use the CPAP machine.

CPAP MACHINE!

CPAP MACHINE!


CPAP

Yesterday morning as I got ready for work, I did some research about sleep apnea. I mean, I was going for a sleep test in the evening, so I should probably know a little about the disease, right? I watched a couple of youtube videos, so I am an expert now.

Basically, sleep apnea is the phenomenon where while one is sleeping their throat relaxes on itself, blocking the airway. Because of this, breathing stops. Usually breathing is automagical, but in this case, the brain thinks “Oh, we’re not breathing now, gotcha.” and ones body stops trying to breathe. After a while, your brain kicks in again, and says, “Hey, I need air, I’m gonna wake up the meat sack so they can breathe.” (I’m paraphrasing.) One wakes up, and resumes breathing (one hopes). And the cycle starts all over again.

The kicker is that when one is not breathing the oxygen in the blood gets lower and lower. Oxygen saturation should be between 95-100%. Mine was much lower.

With the CPAP machine, I didn’t need the silly thing sticking out of my nose, because, as you can see in the photo, I had a nice big mask covering my mouth and nose. From the mask ran a hose to a machine hidden in a side table. Derek told the CPAP machine what to do from his command center.

What does a CPAP machine do? It blows air down one’s throat so it doesn’t close. When you are sleeping, you totally relax, all of your muscles relax, especially for when you are dreaming (presumably so you won’t act out the dreams as you are having them). The machine keeps a steady stream of air going. It kept me in REM sleep a bit longer, and I truly felt more refreshed than I have felt in a few months.

Next Steps

To be clear: I have not been officially diagnosed with sleep apnea. But I think we all know, based on what happened last night, that I have it. (I knew it was likely years ago, but I’m my father’s daughter, stubborn and always wait until the last minute.)

I will most likely get my very own CPAP machine for the house. And I am pretty excited about feeling refreshed when I wake up in the morning (that might be a strange feeling, but I am so up for it now.)

Apparently, someone will come to my house and set it up for me.

But first, there may be more tests. Because I started on the machine at 1:30 am, I might have to go back in for another sleep test, if I didn’t have the CPAP machine on long enough to get all the readings they needed for it. I might have to go into the office and talk to one of the sleep doctors. Or I might have to go back to my general practitioner.

I am in the TCB stage, the process has started, and I want to be able to breathe at night again.

Also, If I’m gonna do CPAP, I want Immortan Joe’s Mask.

Immortan Joe's mask is better than the mask I wore last night.

WANT

Almost Missed

Almost Missed

I almost missed posting. But I went back in time.

Was a good day. Here are some pix from it.

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Bummed

Bummed

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Sick Lanna is sick. Spent day in hotel being sick. As you might be able to tell, am eating food now, so that’s all good.

Back to being sick.

Grrrr.

Late-Night-Bed-Post

Late-Night-Bed-Post

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Chilling in my hotel room, excited for Airigami Adventure tomorrow.

Well, in-bed chilling. Stay tuned!

Get Ready, Get Set, Airigami Balloon Adventure Here I Come!

Get Ready, Get Set, Airigami Balloon Adventure Here I Come!

Snow Won't Get Me Down!

Snow Won’t Get Me Down!

The Snow Won’t Get Me Down! I will be on my way to Rochester New York as soon as I get my butt in gear tomorrow morning. For Airigami Balloon Adventure (nee Balloon Manor).

So get yourself ready for some pictures of fantabulous balloons and all sorts of shenanigans on my social media channels, including this one!

And follow the Airigami Team, would ya?

facebook.com/airigami
twitter.com/airigami
instagram.com/airigami/
youtube.com/user/larrycmoss

Visit the Airigami Balloon Adventure website, too!

Visit the Airigami Balloon Adventure website, too!

For more information, or if you aren’t a social media fool, visit the Airigami Balloon Adventure website!

I’ll be here. Or on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or Instagram.

Hair

Hair

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You can’t tell from this picture, but I have hot pink hair and face and ears. I forgot my protective layer of petroleum jelly, so it’s especially bad this time.

It’s late. I’m cheating and backdating this because I forgot to post befor midnight.

Time for bed.

Spilled Juice

Spilled Juice

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I spilled a large amount of Cranberry-Grape juice on our futon (so if you are planning to visit in the next few days, we can chill in the dry chairs in our kitchen.)

Amazon Prime is not playing the only thing I want to watch. I paid for it, even!

We paid $727 to get our car fixed, only to find we have another issue that will cost close to $400 (fortunately it can wait).

But you know what, life is good.

Our mechanic fixed our gear shift on the  house, our cats are adorable, and Netflix is totally working.

Reading Fool

Reading too much, brain no worky. More tomorrow.

Blogbligation

Blogbligation

20160119_205654 (1)I feel this blogbligation to write. And I don’t have anything to say. Or I feel like I don’t. Whatever.

I find that I prefer my blag (blog) posts with pictures, and I don’t even have good ones to share. I took this picture today just for this post. And I prettied it up with some filters in Google photos.

After work tonight, I took a Blogging for Business webinar with Chris Brogan. I don’t really have a business I want to blog for right now, but I want to blog here and for my WinCrossTabTips.com site, ok, and maybe for my work, but what struck me in the webinar was that I did not have a blog to share for feedback.

You see, he was critiquing/giving feedback for participant’s websites, telling them what works, what doesn’t work, and what needs to be improved. I know, I have THIS blag (blog), but really, it’s not a business blog. The thing is, it would’ve been funny to have him look at it during the session. I mean, take a gander, I almost submitted it more than once. Then I figured I would let the more serious people get actual help instead.

I’m a giver.

The thing about blagging (blogging) every day is that it’s good for me. As much as I try to force myself to write, having a goal to do it every day is helpful. And having Edmund doing it every day as well is helpful too. I am so competitive.

[Regarding Chris Brogan‘s stuff, I totally recommend. Join his mailing list first (it’s free, and linked on his site!) to see what he’s all about. He offers online courses and webinars, his webinars are $20 each, and so worth it. I pay for a monthly plan right now as part of my personal development stuff.]

Reading Fool

Reading Fool

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Been a reading fool. Finished A Discovery of Witches and now onto Shadow of Night (2nd book in series.)

No tv since Saturday. That’s a good thing.

Ok, back to it.