Saturday, May 29, 2010

All I have to Do Is ...

Sleep and Breath!

This morning I greeted the folks on FaceBook with my belief that today will be a "wonder-filled" day. Six hours later I still believe that to be true. Well, if not wonder-filled at the very least thankful.

Allow me to begin with last night. I am participating in the a 3-night self study of my sleep in order to obtain a Rx to obtain Medicare approval to update my CPAP system. In other words, I must prove that I still have sleep apnea and require a CPAP, which has been the case since 1989.

Why? Hell if I know, except that insurance companies, including Medicare, require "medical proof" before authorizing one the treatment that is needed, no matter how long it has been needed.

Last night was the second night of the study and thankfully, unlike Thursday, the first night, I had Osmani here to help me get hooked up. Being "hooked-up" requires a band around my chest, a thingie beneath my nose (yes, it does interfere a bit with my oxygen nose hose), another thingie on my index finger, and, finally, a band with a box attached  to which everything else is connected around my wrist. The box is connected to a notebook computer looking thing that talks to me.

This is how I look when "connected":

You get the picture? Once connected I am supposed to (try to) sleep. This second night was better than the first night, primarily because my buddy, Alex, decided to sleep with me:

As one may suppose, my sleep was erratic; of course, it has been for quite a while now, which is why I need the equipment for my CPAP. I don't know when Alex awakened, but he was up when I finally got up a bit before 6:00 a.m., after eight hours of "sleep." It really felt good to disconnect myself from all of that, uh, stuff, and to realize that I have only one more night of the "study."

Alex and I began out morning routine. Alex ate his first breakfast, jumped up on my desk where I was puncturing my finger for my diabetes testing, and I fed the little fellow his desert of cat treats. This time it was Temptations:

When Alex has dined, he requests demands that I open the front door so he can decide if he wants to go outside to cat around. He did. I returned to my desk to take my morning medications:

Finally, I turned on the computer. wrote the above referenced morning greeting on FaceBook, and began reading my email. As I have doing more and more in recent months (and thus the need to get my CPAP up to par) I fell asleep at my desk.

Usually I awaken before I fall out of my chair to the sound of something--usually the computer mouse--falling to the floor (I drop it). This morning, however, I was awakened by a blaring alarm. Of course, I was disoriented and more than a little confused. The first logical thought I had was that the smoke alarm above my head was going off. However, with no smell of smoke, I dismissed that. Yet, the alarm was very near.

Then I looked behind me and saw the emergency light flashing on my oxygen compressor. My brain was a bit slow, especially since it wasn't getting the oxygen it needs.

It was still dark outside and it was dark inside, too; the only light came from the computer screen. It was only after I recognized that it was dark that I realized the electricity was off and, not only weren't the lights on, but that I wasn't getting any oxygen. Since the left-side of my brain wasn't working, the intuitive (and gentle) right-side suggested that I get some oxygen -- and get it damned fast.

Therefore, being intelligent enough to take that advice, I felt my way through the darkness to the oxygen machine where I unplugged my nose hose and on to the spare bedroom that has become a junk storage room:

I managed to make it across the bedroom to the emergency bottle of oxygen, into which I plugged my nose hose and snorted up dear, cool, refreshing oxygen.

OK, so this ain't the greatest adventure story you've ever read. It's certainly not the most exciting adventure I've ever had! But it does deal with two of my primary needs, sleep and oxygen.

Now. about 5 hours later, things are almost back to normal. Alex has had his first lunch and is out on the deck sunning himself. I'm about ready to make a quick lunch and join him. The only problem left from this morning adventure is that, some time between my awakening to no electrify and my getting the oxygen running into my nose hose, I took off my glasses. I can't find them and I'm using an old pair that don't work very well.

I shall spare you the burden of reading my adventure of writing this blog while half blind.


If I were leading a worship service tomorrow (Sunday) I would use this as the Call to Worship:

This is the day that the Lord has made;
Let us welcome Christ Jesus into our midst.


  1. So much more exciting than my morning of reading and writing and cutting flowers. It reminded me a bit of when I used to fall asleep in class, only to be awoken by the blaring school bell and not quite knowing where I was. Not the same thing, I realize, but similar I suppose.

    Take care of yourself today!!

  2. yOU, my dear man, are a blessing to so many.

    What is so amazing, Nick, is that through it all, your last line made me snort with laughter! Thank you Nick! Good luck with your final night of sleep-testing. ~RR

  3. I hope that you have a better night tonight given all the contraptions you have to deal with and hope that your glasses are now found.

  4. Oh, Nick. I think that you have to do waaayyyy more than sleep and breathe, thanks to a sweet kitty, many contraptions, and the excitement of power outages.

    I'm glad that your study is nearly finished and I hope that you can get an effective, comfortable CPAP mask/machine as a reward for putting up with the sleep wires and hoses.

    Did you find your glasses???

  5. Gosh, that is scary, Nick. I'm glad you got it all taken care of. My throat tightens when I read these stories about you! I wish your life were more routine! Take care of you, please. :)

  6. Pamela Terry & delightful Edward: Often I think that I would prefer less excitment in my life. Your morning sounds quite pleasant to me.

    I used to fall asleep during classes, too. That happened most often when I was in seminary and studying Hebrew and Greek.

  7. RR: Thanks, Rebecca! I sincerely appreciate your words. I had a mentor many years ago who said to me that one can tell the same story as tragedy, satire, or comedy. Given a choice, I prefer the last.

  8. Dancing: You are so right! Alex has been especially playful and cuddling today. We've had a really fun time together.

    I shall celebrate the end of this strudy tomorrow morning somehow! Perhaps, if I have enough pennies saved, I shall go out for breakfast. That's something I've not done for a very long time.

  9. Carol: Yep, Alex care and play is really time consuming but they're the bestest (as Alex says) times of the day.

    Perhaps if I don't go out for breakfast tomorrow, Alex and I can go out on the deck and he'll sit on the deck railing and I'll drink a cup of coffee as the sun rises. That's actually more fun than eating out!

    Yes, I found my glasses and am wearing them now. Thank you for asking,

  10. Mike G: Yes, spread that graphic around! I am always grateful when something from my blog is used by others. THe more exposure the better!

  11. Lynilu: You mean my life isn't routine? [:-)

    Perhaps it's just routine for me. My ex-wife frequently said to me: "If fools rush in where angels fear to tread, you rush in where fools fear to tread."

    As a look back on my life, I rather think that she spoke a truth. Perhaps I really do need a guardian angel to protect me from myself, something else she was found of saying. Or, you know, maybe I already have one or maybe more angels watching over me!

  12. Thank you for post the link to this on Face Book.