What do you say the day after?  How many of you had trouble sleeping last night with those images in my head?  I did.  I keep feeling like I’m in some weird alternate universe and I can’t get home.

Has America always been like this?  Have I been delusional that we were a country of moral integrity (not perfect, I quickly say)?  That we were a nation of immigrants not white supremacists?  That we accepted diversity and valued the rights of all instead of some?  Is this what making America great again looks like?

The hatred, bigotry, the violence is incredible.  That of course is my view from the privilege I have always lived in.  And somehow I just didn’t get my own privilege.   Have I felt discriminated against?  Yes, by virtue of being a woman.  But no one has ever threatened me with gas chambers or hurled racial epitaphs at me.  I move freely about my country.  I enjoy a comfortable life.  I have a good job and enough money for basics…and more.

Our Tweeter-in-chief was silent for most of the day.  He who tweets hateful things daily was silent in the face of this.  When he finally did speak he talked about hate “from any sides.”  He, of the hate filled tweets, couldn’t call out the white supremacists.  His aides are busy trying to say he called out all hate in the strongest terms.  No.  No he did not.  And frankly this wasn’t a day for all hate…it was a day to react to what we had all seen on our TV’s.  Young men with torches parading on a peaceful college campus.  Young men who came dressed in riot gear and prepared for what they were about to unleash.  A person who thought the way to solve anything was to drive his car into a crowd of pedestrians.  Lord have mercy.

I think this is a turning point for my country.  Either we stand up, stand for, the things we always thought this country was about, or we continue down dark road the likes of which we have never seen.

Can you see what is happening?  Can we, do we have the will to stop it?

Dear Lord have mercy on us all.

I come from a,long line of snorers.  If sleep apnea had been a *thing* when my Dad was young I’m sure he would have qualified. So too many of his siblings.  But my Dad lived to 94 so he must be one of the lucky ones.

In past years, on family vacations, my cousin mentioned that I snored and stopped breathing.  “Ho hum”, was my response.  In my defense I told my doctor at every check up that I was constantly exhausted.  She said anyone taking care of four young children at my age deserved to be exhausted.  Slowly, sleep apnea became prominent in the news.  I said when they developed a home sleep study I would do it.  But the idea of someone watching me try to sleep, in a strange place, creeped me out.

My new doctor, upon hearing of my exhaustion and my brothers sleep apnea, immediately said I needed a sleep study.  Finally this summer I headed to the sleep center, pillow, kindle and pj’s in hand.  It was as unpleasant an experience as I imangined it would be.  So many electronics and sensors hooked up to me, that it took a full half hour to finish the job.  Trussed up, unfamiliar bed and hen ” goodnight, sleep well”.  Right.

At some point they came in to say they were going to try a mask on me for my sleep apnea.  I took that as a diagnosis and tried to go back to sleep with more hardware added to my head.  ” You can sleep on your side”, the tech told me.  Who was he kidding?  I could no sooner turn over than I could escape the sleep center altogether.  I believe they came in four different times to check sensors that had come off or to try a different mask.  Then they were xpected me to go back to sleep, again and again. Finally morning came and I could escape.  The tech had the nerve to ask, ” did you sleep better once we tried a mask on you”?  He even said it with a sincere tone in his voice.  Ha!  I was planning on going home and napping a fair share of the day.

A week later the doctor called to say I had severe sleep apnea, averaging 83 episodes per hour and my blood oxygen dropping to 85.  Okay then, all of sudden visions of strokes and heart attacks danced in my head.  Just that quickly I became a believer.

Next a tech came to my house to fit a mask in me and show me how to use my machine. As luck would have it I got the worst tech ever.  ( That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.)  I wanted to try a nasal mask.  That night I entered Cpap hell.  I struggled for several nights, barely making it hrough the four hours a night required by insurance.  Then I’d pull off the mask, turn over and go back to sleep.  Words like ” never, can’t and impossible” filled my mind.  I called my doctor and asked to have the pressure turned down as I was at the top of the range.  Sleeping in a wind tunnel seemed to be doing nothing for my sleep ability. I called the company back and said I wanted to try a full face mask.  A different tech arrived to discover the first guy had set up the machine wrong, so I was getting no humidity and worse, none of my stats were being sent electronically to the insurance company.  Swell.

The full face mask might have worked better except it leaked air.  Finally , after getting to sleep it would slip, leak and make a whistling noise.  Not helpful to the sleep process.  Another discouraged call to the doctor who suggested going back and trying the nasal mask because they lowered the pressure.

Determined, I tried that.  I also joined a FB page for Cpap users.  That page was invaluable.  People who had been where I was and were  now in a better place, were offering advic and encouragement.  The first night I made it six hours and my episodes were down to 5.4 per hour.  Next night was a bit better at seven hours and 3.2 episodes per hour.  Last night I slept almost nine hours with 1.2 episodes per hour.  All right!!

Now I didn’t jump out of bed to clean my the house but I also didn’t feel like I needed a nap.  It was more like I craved and still crave sleep.  I’m still not dreaming or at least not remembering them yet, but I expect that too will come.  They say it can take up to 3 months to get the full effect because your body has been so sleep deprived.

So good for me.  Good for my health.  I feel pretty proud of myself because this has been hard, frustrating and scary.  Gotta go now.  Time to go to bed…and sleep!

Life is Good

"It's ironic that we

forget so often how

wonderful life really is...

C'mon, let's be honest.

We have an embarrassment

of riches. Life is good."

-Anne Quindlen

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