Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

Jun 21

I couldn’t get to sleep last night, so waking up at 6:30 this morning and not being able to go back to sleep, even though I didn’t have to be at work for another couple hours sucked…

My left sinus has revolted.  It is a swollen balloon inside my head attempting to kill me with inflation…

Google just might be as pervasive as the NSA, but they’re just trying to make a buck so I understand them better…

Video capture is a time consuming and tedious process, but saving memories from a 30+ year old tape is priceless… And showing them to your children is fun.

I have donated several vehicles in the past, once we have driven them into the ground, but this time it still runs and it is going for the best cause I can think of.  The Wounded Warrior project is picking up the Cougar today.

Time to go to work… somebody’s got to do it…

Mar 9

When Mama Bear and I got together many years ago I was a night bear.  I worked shift work when I could, I was just a bear who liked the night time.

Now apparently I am a sometimes morning bear.  More often lately it seems I am up early, on the weekends before everyone else certainly, but even during the week sometimes when Baby Bear is up getting ready for school.

It isn’t a bad thing, and I wonder if this is part of that adage that the older you get the less sleep you need.

On a Saturday or Sunday it isn’t so bad, especially if I am smoking, like today, but some times it isn’t as pleasant   Yesterday I had to have blood work drawn for my checkup.  It was fasting blood work so I couldn’t have my coffee or my breakfast.  I asked Mama Bear to set the alarm a little later so I would have less time wandering around not being able to eat or drink… of course I woke up early, before 7, and my appointment wasn’t until after 9, so yesterday was a morning where getting up early did not reward in any way, shape or fashion…

Today it isn’t so bad to be up before the sun, after all tonight the clocks roll forward and I will lose some of that earlyness anyway…  I heard an interesting statistic yesterday on the news, the risk of heart attacks goes up by 5% the week after we roll the clocks forward.

OK, enough morbidity, I do miss the night sometimes, especially when we are sitting watching TV and I look out the window at the calmness or the movement of the trees, at the light of the moon and stars reflecting off the ground or better yet the snow.  I used to be a part of that, like so many other things I used to be a part of, time passes, lately it seems almost too quickly, the children grow up and become their own people, time just passes.

Today I smoke, I’m doing a double.  I thought I was going to do a triple but Mama Bear (probably being smarter about it than me) only picked up one pork butt instead of the full shoulder, I was planning on a butt and a full shoulder plus the beef.  But we’re doing a Beef Loin Top Boneless Sirloin butt along with the pork butt.  All told I’m doing about 15 pounds in the smoker today, pretty soon I’m going to have to think seriously hard about upgrading, because this is going to come close to maxing it out.  I do have one more rack I could use, and in fact I was planning on using it today, but seriously, we’re going to be enjoying some meat tonight.

So, sitting here listening to some good tunes, thinking about cooking, doing a little cruising  and shopping, early isn’t so bad any more…

The top one is the pork butt, the bottom is the BEEF!!!

The top one is the pork butt, the bottom is the BEEF!!!


Mar 4

Mama Bear has been on me for weeks to slow down.  She has been upset I am putting so many hours in at work, and still pushing to get things done around here.  Not to mention dieting and pushing myself to get in shape at the same time.

Some times I hate it when she is right…

Near the end of last week I took the dogs out to the back yard.  It had been raining and misting off and on all afternoon, so the deck was wet and slippery and of course I haven’t put the lights up on the deck yet, so the middle deck was totally dark.   The lights have been sitting in a tub by the back door for a year and a half, lower priority I kept thinking.  One of the dogs zigged when I thought they zagged and the next thing I know I’m slipping trying to avoid stepping on a small dog and slide down a couple stairs…

On the way down I slam the arm that has tennis/mouse elbow, a knee and as I hit my back twists… The dogs of course stair at me blankly for a second then trot down the rest of the stairs to the yard and go about their business.  I climbed to my feet and slowly climbed back up the stairs and went for the arthritis strength acetaminophen since I was already on an NSAID.

Saturday I couldn’t sleep, so of course I got up at zero-dark thirty, and accomplished nothing.  Well, not really nothing, I moved my friends TV, I think I figured out how to frame the fireplace project finally, I got the framing around the entryway where the lift chair used to be done, although we can’t seem to figure out what we want for spindles and I still need to trim it out.

Then yesterday I got up and felt just like what I have always known a hangover must feel like.  I’ve never had a hangover, but that has to be it.  Mama Bear took one look at me when she got up and the only thing she said was “you look like crap…” How do you respond to that?  I said “thanks…”, then spent the rest of the day wrapped in a sweatshirt and blanket in my recliner.  I still felt like crap this morning so I “called in” sick today, not something I like to do.

So… wait for it… wait for it… wait… here it comes… I think she’s right, and I need to slow down just a little bit.  There, I said it, don’t they say the first step to fixing your problem is to admit you have a problem?   Crap, I feel like I have joined some anonymous group.. hi, my name is Bear, and I have a problem…

Mar 11

I woke up this morning and realized something really sad.

Not that I had “lost” an hour of sleep last night, although that is pretty sad.

No, that the reason I was happy the election was over, was not because issues were decided, people were voted in or out, or even another step on the road to the presidency was accomplished, no.

Nope, it was that the damned automated phone calls would stop.  Somebody’s brother, husband, father, coworker was not going to go through an election next week, so they didn’t have to record a message then blast it out to me and thousands of other helpless victims of that abuse.  Quite frankly I didn’t vote for one guy because I got tired of hearing how virtuous and good for me he was (not the only reason, but it sure made an impact).

Here comes the political rant, I’ve raised the issue, so I have to get it off my chest.  In our system, we no longer have to think for ourselves, they’d rather do it for us.  And heaven help you if you try because they will attempt to override.  I’m really not trying to sound like the paranoid down the road, but how many issues are decided because of popularity instead of common sense?

In some respects I think the real issues suffer because of the egos.  You can’t cross this party line for that issue, doesn’t matter if it’s actually a good idea, party ideologue is much more important.

And when something does come up that raises the ire of the people, say something like SOPA/PIPA, when the powers that be finally do listen to the people, it isn’t a moment when common sense steps in, no it’s a time to save face and loudly shout from the rooftops that we just need to make it better.

I love this country, I spent a lot of years in service to it so that not only could you think what you want, you can say it.  But some days I have to wonder about some of the things people say, I mean think about it… 😀

May 15

you wake up repeatedly, over and over again?  I decided it was time to get up, at around 5:30… there is this part of me that hates mornings, but in a perverse sort of way I really do like getting up in the dark.  I did it often enough in my old life, the one where I put on the same green or blue clothes every day… but I miss being able to sleep in.

It’s not that mama bear wouldn’t let me, it’s just most mornings I wake up around 8 or 8:30 and can’t go back to sleep.  But I still remember that lazy feeling of sleeping until 11… 🙂

I think that changed when I got my CPAP.  My body started to catch-up and recover from years of sleep deprivation.  Now I sleep at night instead of trying to breath while I slept.  Most of the time, but every now and then I just wake up…

If you even think you have a sleep problem, you should have it checked.  For years I knew there was something going on, my first wife told me I stopped breathing when I slept, mama bear told me, then it reached a point where I was falling asleep at my desk in the afternoon.  I’d go home at night and fall asleep on the couch at 6 while watching TV, mama bear would wake me up for dinner, then I’d fall asleep while we watched TV in the evening.  I didn’t know the health risks then, I just thought it was part of life.

The weekend before my sleep study, I videotaped myself sleeping to see for myself.  It was quite revealing and to be honest I scared the crap out of myself, you try watching yourself stop breathing then gasping for breath while your body has to wake you up to get that breath.  Although it was quite funny when mama bear made me take down the camera and wiring so the cleaning crew wouldn’t come in during the week and think we were shooting our own videos… 😀 LOL

I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea, during my evaluation I stopped breathing more times that I’d like to remember reading about.  The report was a wake-up call, literally.  I got a phone call after my sleep study that they wanted me to come in as soon as possible rather than wait for the full report, the tech had reached the point where she thought she was going to have to halt the study and put me on oxygen, and I’d been putting myself through this nightly for years.

So now when I go to bed I’m the elephant man, or Darth Vader, depending on your choice of analogy.  I pull my mask on when I’m ready to go to sleep and turn off the light, and usually sleep the sleep of the just.  I’ve read that some people have issues adjusting to trying to sleep with a mask, but I can’t envision not having it now.  In fact when we’ve been without power, I’ve used the computer backup’s, they’ll power it all night, of course then I have to run the UPS somewhere to charge them.  But to be honest, it even helps me when my allergies are acting up, it sort of acts like an inflation device I think and “blows” my sinus’ up and inflates the cavities, which helps open them, not to mention the air is filtered.

So, if you have to use a CPAP, or any other device for your health, and you feel inconvenienced or uncomfortable, don’t be foolish, wear it.  You’ll get used to it, or you’ll accept you have to live with it, or you’ll suffer in the long run.  Any feeling of inconvenience for me went by the wayside long ago.  The first night I slept with a CPAP, at my titration study, I slept so soundly I woke up with a very sore back, because I slept the entire night with little or no movement, it was wonderful.  Not to mention it’s kind of nice not to get up and go to the bathroom 3-4 times (or more) a night, I didn’t know that was a side effect of apnea at the time, but it is…

I won’t even take a nap without using it, and I’ve flown all around the country with that  blue bag over my shoulder.  Most of the time airport security knows what it is, you take it out ahead of time, they wipe it and stick the wipe in the sniffer machine and away you go.  The first time I had to fly somewhere for work, I printed out all this info from the airlines, and TSA, and took my paperwork for it from the doctor.  The airlines all say it didn’t count as a carry-on, but I was paranoid.  Not only did no one give me any problems, but when I’ve been on small flights with little storage I’ve had attendants offer to put it or my carry-on in their storage to avoid checking anything at the gate.  Some of that is meeting good people, but some of it is also that it has become a recognized medical necessity.

I spent the morning watching Fringe, interesting season finale.  Oh well, time to start the day, we are rearranging Mama Bear’s office today, and I have to finish laying the flooring in the hall before we do that, so I need to clean off my desk in her office and in my office so we can swap them around.