The magical breathing machine -- 12/21/10

This is my 11th entry in my 5th year of taking part in Holidailies. If you have wandered in from Holidailies, you can scroll down to read a brief introduction.

So now I seem to be on an alternate days schedule of posting... Partly a question of time and energy.

Some of you may recall, early in August I spent a night in the sleep clinic facility at our local hospital, doing a sleep test (trying to sleep while a couple dozen or more sensors were stuck to me from head to ankles) to see if I had sleep apnea. The result was my pulmonologist deciding that I did, indeed, have sleep apnea. He described it as being "moderate, but more on the mild side of moderate." Since the severity of it seems to have a relationship with weight, he agreed that if I could drop twenty pounds, it might reduct the severity of my sleep apnea

Well, that didn't happen. I did get myself back into running (jogging) enough to get through a local 5k and then to do the CVS 5k... but then my somewhat fitful running seemed to go away... along with bike rides and long walks and lifting weights, etc. I had lost a few pounds, but since then I've put on more than I had lost. And I realized what my problem is... I am too tired to work out. That is, my sleep apnea was leaving me exhausted, too tired to have the energy to follow a vigorous workout program. And I also realized that what I had to do was to find out if a CPAP machine could help me. (CPAP = continuous possitive airway pressure.)

So... Sunday night, back to the sleep clinic... to get all wired up like before but this time with a CPAP machine attached. The technician had me try various mask formats, but the one that seemed to fit and work the best was the least intrusive one, a fairly small nose mask which I found fairly comfortable to wear... well, at least for one night. The tech also told me in the morning that I seemed to be getting good results with the CPAP so I've decided to be optimistic about it.

After talking with a co-worker who is using a CPAP for his sleep apnea, I'm looking forward to getting set up with the equipment. He and I shared a room in Las Vegas for a technical conference a few years ago (when it is a "small" conference with only 1800 people, they didn't mind paying for individual rooms, but for the big conference with at least ten times that number of antendees, they wanted to put two people to a room) and I swear there were times when I thought he was not going to start breathing again and I would have to dial 911.

My machine may not come until after Christmas but I am ready for it. It's been a long time since I've not been tired. Oh, sure, maybe part of it is just getting older, but I really think actually getting a full night's sleep will make a big difference.

Of course, here I am complaining about how tired I am... but I was up at 5:45 this morning, fed Tiger, booted computers, made a fresh pot of coffee, played with Tiger and gave him some kitty treats, checked work email, woke Nancy and brought her a cup of coffee, watched about ten or fifteen minutes of local television news (weather forecast, etc.) on channel 10 Providence, came down and fixed Nancy's lunch (easy: a yogurt container, spoon & napkin, take half-filled travel bottle out of freezer and add water to fill it, one granola bar, a clementine orange, and put some pretzels in a plastic container), and breakfast (bowl of Cherrios with sliced banana), fix and eat my breakfast (cardboard -- uh, I mean FibreOne cereal-- with sliced banana), back to computers, do some work for half an hour or so, dash upstairs to shave & shower, back to computers, then off to doctor's appointment (my cardiologist -- who is annoyed that I have gained weight and my blood pressure is higher than he would like it to be, but he is pleased that I am going to be getting a CPAP machine), stop briefly at Stop & Shop supermarket, drop off books at library, back home and back to work, have a working teleconference meeting scheduled from 10 until 5, we take a 55 minute lunch break, I heat some leftover angel hair pasta and turkey meatballs for a quick lunch, then back to work to get some stuff done before the meeting reconvenes, then (hurray!) the meeting finishes early, around three, so I get to catch up on other work until I stop work a bit past 5:30, start to set up this entry, start a fire in the fireplace, fix dinner (nothing at all fancy: turkey burgers, fries, peas -- I don't get fancy every night), watch the last two episodes of season 1 of Mad Men with Nancy (via DVD from Netflix). Jill is in kitchen doing massive baking (pumpkin bread, many kinds of cookies). I empty the dishwasher, wash pots and pans, load the dishwasher and start it running. Come in here and write this entry. Now I can probably FTP it to the VerveHosting server, send a notify email, and update Holidailies and head upstairs to brush my teeth and get in bed by 11:30 and read for probably about ten or fifteen minutes before I start to fall asleep.

Tomorrow, get up at 5:45 and start again...

But tomorrow is my last work day for the year -- I'm taking the rest of 2010 off. I never did find time to use up that unscheduled vacation day -- there was just no time to squeeze it in. And, since New Years Day falls on a Saturday, we have Monday, January 3rd off to make up for that, so I don't have to be back at work until Januray 4th. (Except I have a deadline for something then, so I will probably actually work at least part of Jan. 3rd.)

A brief introduction....
(edited to update it from 2006)
A brief introduction for anyone who wanders in here from the Holidailies site -- I'm a middle-aged (*cough* okay, 63 67 , but I don't look a day over 62 66 ) guy who lives in Rhode Island with my wife Nancy (a middle-school math teacher), daughter Gillian ("Jill" -- 24
28 yr old college student and baker), son Jeremy (21 25 yr old college student restaurant manager), and Tiger (senior citizen cat). Eldest child Adam lives in New York City with his wife Leah and our grandson s Sam and Milo . I'm a former programmer/systems analyst who got into doing software training and currently works from home doing quality assurance and editing on course material for both classroom courses and Web-based training courses. I've been writing this online journal since 1996.

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