Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hotel Translyvania

Ok, so I just got back from the theatre; Carrie had plans on seeing that movie. This was a 3D animation, an Adam Sandler creation with celebrities doing the voices of  the characters.

A movie expressly for children, the adults were laughing at the subtle jokes that were designed to skim over the heads of the little ones. Something for everyone and Carrie laughed at the appropriate for age jokes.  The pool scene where the invisible man, wearing only swim trunks and eye glasses, his trunks pulled down exclaimed as he ran away, "Don't laugh! The water is cold." Lines like this were not intended for the wee ones.
Coloring books, checkers games, movies and books have been the order of this day. There has been a light rain falling on and off; the clouds hover promising more of the same. I've managed to keep Carrie entertained but had she not been around, I might have been tempted to nap most of this afternoon.

The sun has been absent, the temperatures "temperate' and humidity low; the wet ground hasn't received any hot sun to cloud the air. I don't mind a rainy day or two or even three as long as they mimic today. The maple tree on the front lawn has started to shed a few leaves. As the months pass, mounds of them will litter the grass, be picked up by the wind and assault the neighbors lawns. This doesn't make the neighbors happy but I figure it's just leafs and not dog droppings so it's not a big faux pas.
Maybe I can stretch out on this sofa and get a few minutes of sleep while Carrie creates another art masterpiece with her crayons and coloring book.
I'm gonna give it a try!

Friday, September 28, 2012

It was a hazy morning

Carrie wanted to spend the night and 'sleep over' as she says. No problem. Carrie often has this request; I instructed her to get her clothes packed and I would be over to get her.
The night's sleep was interrupted at 0200 and for the next three hours, I was chasing an elusive quest to get back to sleep. My body was willing but my brain wouldn't cooperate. I lay on the sofa beneath a soft blanket while the fan overhead sent air swirling around me. I favor sleeping in a cool room beneath a blanket.
The digital time on the cable box atop the television kept me up to date on the time and unfortunately I checked it every thirty minutes. The last time noted was 0530 hrs. I slept.
0726 and I felt a soft touch to my shoulder and rolling over onto my side, Carrie stood. Her early morning voice heavy with sleep, one hand massaging her eyes, said "Nonnie, wake up!"
Having already noting the time and knowing that the bus was right that moment stopping at her bus stop to pick her up, I shot off the sofa and stumbled to the kitchen while telling Carrie to get dressed. As is our usual habit, we have her clothes laid out on the coffee table and now it is routine for her to get dressed on her own.
Pouring her milk, twirling around to turn on a stove burner, I was multitasking at break neck speed. Trying to remember to pack her lunch, a snack, a napkin, eating utensil, thermos, I'm ticking off these things while racing back to the living room to do Carrie's hair. Grabbing the hair brush, I swooped her long thick hair up into a ponytail, wrapped a hair tie around it and asked "Do you want bangs or do you want me to spray them back?" She wanted spray. I dashed into the bathroom, grabbed the aerosol can and sprinted through the kitchen to stir the Beefaroni and then back to the hair styling. I spritzed the top of Carrie's hair and smoothed her bangs back and suddenly noted the smell wasn't right. Hoisting the aerosol can, I read the label. "Sure". "Damn!" I said as I headed back to the bathroom. Carrie is calling to me "Nonnie, what did you put in my hair?" "Nothing" I said as I reappeared with the hairspray and again spritzed her hair.
Carrie is no fool. She guessed. "Nonnie, you sprayed my hair with that stuff you put under your arms?"
Of course Carrie shares everything with her teacher. I'm sure the teacher has heard worse stories. We got her to school barely late but still had to stand in a long line of parents to collect a tardy slip. Me? I came home and went directly back to bed where I stayed until I caught up on my sleep.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Disappeared and Discarded

When did they disappear? I vividly remember Denai and Kenai and all the antics shared with Carrie. She talked about them so much that I became concerned about her mental health. One day I made mention of them and what they should do when she looked at me, eyebrows drawn together and said in her most serious voice "Nana! You DO know (heavy emphasis on the word "DO") that Kenai and Denai aren't real?"
I breathed a big sigh, relieved to know that she wasn't having visual hallucinations; she was not schizophrenic and was only enjoying childhood play with her imaginary friends.
They have gone and now I have to think back to when they were last mentioned. She must have been around  5 yrs old when she gave them up. She will be seven years old on October 8th. I have tried to chronicle events in her life on this blog as I have a terrible memory. Right now her front teeth are growing; her toothless smile will be a thing of the past. I don't remember how old Ted and Elise were when they were toothless but it seems that at the age of 6, it is a clear signal of their age. Did that last sentence make sense? I'll have to proof read this when I have more time but right now I'm on a search for pillow cushions. I must get dressed and out of here.
It appears that I have a case of "mind wandering" this morning. This blog is all over the place, disjointed and disconnected. Maybe I should have waited a while before I sat down to this computer to post.
It will stand as written. I don't want to go back and correct's just one of those days! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Remembering You on This Date of Your Birth

Mom would have been 94 yrs old today. She passed away Dec. 1999 and our lives have not been the same since but then how could it. When you lose your mother she takes your history with her.

A parent has all those memories that no one else can covet. From birth till the day they pass, they have your history.

One never really gets "over" it; you just learn to live without them.

I miss you Mom..very much.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Slippin Away

Where do the hours go? The days seem to slip by and regardless of what I have planned it seems the night slips in and I find I haven't accomplished much and nearly not enough of what I wanted to do.

I cleaned the car today and the kitchen. The daughter and I went out for lunch and did a little grocery shopping. That doesn't sound like much for a whole day does it? No, I don't think so either.

I'm having a difficult time staying indoors lately. As the night draws to a close for me and I creep into bed, I scan my mental list of the things I want to get done indoors. That list holds no attraction for me once daylight makes it rounds.
Making up the bed in the morning, a cup of coffee, a shower and dressed, I'm out the door and into the sunlight which has decreased it's intensity lately. It's fall and it's my favorite time of year. It seems this year it has arrived early for us here in the deep south and I'm not complaining. I only tolerate summer while I fully enjoy the rest of the year here.
Thought I feel I haven't accomplished much today, I'm tired. Carrie and Ted are spending the weekend in Lydia. I spent a little time in the kitchen cooking so they could take a few things with them. A pot of northern beans with a slab of pickled pork and some homemade beefaroni was packed and collected by Ted before he left town with Carrie.
I'm off to bed. It's time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It started as a lunch date and ended as a rescue mission

Raising children is a dicey endeavor at best. You teach them manners and teach them to stand up for themselves without becoming bullies. You teach them that lying has bad consequences but little white lies spoken to spare some one's feelings is allowable. Cheating and stealing is an easy one. Only one side to these need to be taught.
After all the years of training, there comes a time when they wander afar and  you hope all those teachings stuck; you pray they will make the right choices. A wrong choice will require a payment; a right choice won't. That wrong choice might require jail time or hurt time. It's all about choices. 
The daughter worries though the lessons were taught. Peer pressure once the child leaves home will test those lessons taught.
Today while the daughter and I were heading to an Indian restaurant for the daughter's first experience with Indian food, her phone rang. Ted, her 19 yr old was on the line. "Mom", he said, "I'm at Walmart with a guy from school. We had 1  1/2 hrs before the next class so we came here to look at speakers. He is talking about stealing some muscle builders and I told him I wanted no part of it. I walked away and went to play the XBox and he went to the bathroom. Now the Walmart people have him and he is in the office waiting on the police to come!"
When the daughter told me what was going on and that Ted was going to call her back when he found out what was happening, I immediately said "No lunch; we are going to get Ted."
Of course I'm in the roadster and both seats are occupied but we had a plan. I would leave April at the store, while Ted collected his book bag from the guy's car and I would take him back to the college for his next class.
When we arrived, a police cruiser was parked beside one of the doors to the store and the blue lights were flashing. Sitting in the back of the cruiser, the guy was handcuffed and waiting. We entered the store and went directly to the manager's office. Ted was not a suspect; he wasn't being detained. Three men were in the office with the manager. One was a young white  man in his early 20's casually dressed, the second, a black male   was in his early 30's and casually dressed also and the third was a white male in his early to mid 40's. These  men are store employees that are paid to walk around the store and pretend to be shopping. I had NO idea this was done in all the Walmart stores.  These three men were the ones that followed the guy into the bathroom and then out of the store where he was accosted and held until the police officer appeared.
We went to the cruiser to talk to the policeman  to  ask him about getting the keys to the car so Ted could get his book bag. The police office rolled down his window and when we told him who we were he looked at Ted and said "this guy says you coerced him into stealing those things." Ted was stunned and denied it was his idea. We requested the guy's car keys so we could get Ted's things and the officer said "What car?" This "guy" said he didn't drive here."  Why would he say this?"
It was at this time that I said "How many more lies do you think he is telling?"  The daughter said "Looks like he doesn't want to go down alone huh?"
Poor Ted was dumb struck that the guy was trying to blame this on him. The officer said he was writing " the guy" a ticket and would be releasing him and we could get Ted's stuff at that time. '
Eventually Ted got his stuff and got to school while I looped back around and picked April up and finally our lunch date was consummated.
I thought I would head home after lunch and indulge in a nice little nap. Elise appeared. She and Kristen were going to Kristen's mom's house. Elise loves the roadster and jokingly said "We came to get the Solstice. No pressure Nana if you don't want to share." I grinned and we traded keys. I wanted to check over my old Toyota that was now Elise's car. As they drove away, I began checking all the fluids and the air pressure in the tires. I scrubbed the inside and outside of that little Toyota that I had bathed for 20 plus years. My next stop was Walmart to fill the gas tank and get a quart of oil and an air freshener for the inside. I'm too busy today it seems.
Driving through town, the little Toyota with it's 156,000 miles on the odometer clipped right along with nary a sputter. The little car still has a lot of spunk left in her. Elise and I traded keys once again and on the way home  I phoned April to see if Carrie wanted to spend the night.
As Carrie came plunging through the door announcing loudly she was here, April was begging the keys to the Solstice to make a trip to the little berg of Lydia. I tossed her the set of keys and went to bath Carrie. It's late and Carrie is going to miss her bedtime if we don't get to movin here.
Carrie is now in bed and my Solstice is parked beneath the carport and I'm one tired human. I'm going to get a quick shower and into my pj's. I'm suddenly and overwhelmingly exhausted but I know that shower will feel too good to miss tonight.
I'm done here and tomorrow I plan on staying home and doing some much needed housework. The husband is only a day away from returning from his job in Texas. It's time to do some housework!

Autism and A Story

My OCD self is kickin in. Yesterday was all about pedicures and manicures. I once again have fingernails that extend beyond the tips of my fingers and are a deep red color. I wasn't at all impressed with the skill of this nail tech. My finger tips look like paddles. Not enough filing done on the sides and the nails do not look enough like my natural nails as they should. I'll be on the hunt for a new nail tech when it's time to get refills on these.
Luxurious Nails is a chain of stores locally owned and operated by a family from Baton Rouge. Two operators were on duty when I opened the glass doors and stepped into their shop. The walls were painted a soft yellow/gold, rough barely beige tile covered the floors and two large white round columns reached upward to the ceiling. The walls were adorned with frameless paintings of scenes that were obviously Roman inspired and hung on iron decorative rods around the room.
The wall to the right sported 8 large deep brown  recliners with foot baths and a small stool for the nail tech to sit while the pedicure was being done. The left wall was lined with small manicure tables; a chair on each side, one for the client and one for the tech. From the ceiling hung chandeliers of rusty looking iron with white glazed globes shedding a soft light into the room.
I was directed to a recliner where the nail tech had filled the foot bath with warm water and a blue cube of something that turned the water the same shade of blue.
There were two other clients being served and only two nail techs so I knew I was in for some "relaxing" time until I was attended to.
My attention was drawn to one of the clients. A long lean woman, a dark tan and a blond pixie haircut that glimmered beneath the rusty chandelier overhead, she watched closely as her fingernails were being painted. The shorts she worn were shorter then what is usually seen on a woman her age, the LSU warmup jacket was tied around her waist by the sleeves. As she stood up after her hands were done, an athletes stance was assumed. You know that stance. The one where they stand forward onto the ball of their feet and look as though they are ready to sprint forward. Their walk is like a dance, light and springy. Her legs were muscled firm, not bulging. Either a runner or a swimmer I guessed.
She  danced across the floor to the chair beside me and submerged her feet in her own bath of blue warm water.
I've been struggling with what to do with my hair and now that all the color has been cut off and I have it al natuarele, I'm debating if I want to have blond high lights done or maintain the salt and pepper look I have going on right now. My goal is to do as little as possible; maintenance free would be wonderful.
I smiled as Ms. Athlete sat down beside me and broached a question "Do you mind me asking, is that your natural hair color?" Just a note to say, I have never felt as though asking this question has ever offended anyone. Maybe if she was a much younger lady and trying to pass off her hair color as 'natural' but usually the response I get is positive. I'm not an obtuse person and can immediately perceive if someone is uncomfortable with a question I have asked.
She laughed and said "Good Lord, no. My hair is mostly white and has been since I was in my early thirties".  We discussed her hair dresser, my reason for inquiring and she was very friendly and open. She watched and  laughed  as I squirmed when the nail tech got close to my feet with the nail file. I cannot tolerate that part of the pedicure and opted to pass on getting them smoothed with the file.
As the pedicure progressed, both hers and mine, she bought out a cell phone and rifled through the pictures. When she got to a picture of her son, taken on a prior visit to this shop she turned the phone so that the nail tech doing my feet could see the picture and said "this was the last time C****** was here in this shop."
The nail tech acknowledged seeing him and she offered the picture to me to view.
A young man of 20 yrs faced the camera. Tall and thin and dark of hair, his head bowed down, I could make out his facial features even from the angle the picture was shot.She said "he's a special needs child".
I hesitated now. Should I just nod and smile and leave this alone?  Judging from her demeanor, I moved along and asked about his special needs. Softly she spoke about his Autism and  fifteen years ago when he was diagnosed at the age of five. Then living abroad  with her husband and how she left her husband to his job while she flew back to the States with this only child when she realized some thing was not quite right with him. How she was in denial after the first visit with the doctors and for the next years both her and her husband searched and searched for answers to this child's behavior. How when she finally went again to another doctor, both her and her husband were inquiring about what to expect for the kind of life her son would have.
She said, tears in her eyes, that the conversation was going along calmly until she looked down to the desk where his papers laid and in black and white, his diagnosis was printed. He was labeled. This label would follow him for the rest of his life and the full reality slammed into her. She looked at her husband and the doctor and excused herself from the room. She went to the ladies room and hyperventilated. The tears streamed from her azure colored eyes as she looked up at me from her chair where I stood, on my way to select a pretty color for my nails.
The nail techs stayed away and let her talk. She told of all the research she had done, the support groups and the doctors, the anorexic condition of her son and his dramatic weight loss this year. She fears he will die from failure to thrive. Feeding tubes are being used back "East" for these patients but the doctors here refuse to consider putting a feeding tube in him.
Her house has been upgraded to safety standards for this child. He follows instructions given him but there is only "black and white" in his world and she told this story. Leaving the house one day, she told him to not let anyone in and she would be back shortly. While she was gone, the grandmother visited. When "C****** came to the door he shouted through the glass to his grandmother, "I can't let anyone in" and then he turned and left the room. He does exactly as told; he cannot make a "judgement" call on anything. This, she says, frightens her. "If a burglar was in the house, he wouldn't know to try to flee." He would just accept it unless he was told specifically what to do".
He will get a certificate from the school he attends in May. It won't be a diploma. I asked "What then" and she said "I don't know and that is very scary. We are in uncharted waters."
During our conversation, she did say that this was their only child and that was by choice as studies have shown, having one autistic child increases your chances for subsequent pregnancies being autistic and having two autistic children, the probability increases to 30percent. She told of a woman she knows that has 4 children and all of them are autistic.
She believes that this proves this is partly genetic..the children are genetically predisposed but also the MMR vaccine affects these genetically predisposed to develop it after the MMR vaccine.
Her husband, she says, is an oilman but was at one time a professional football player. She was a cheerleader all through high school and college then  taught cheerleader camps all across the USA. She also is a competitive runner and spoke of her ankles being broken 4 different times and the injuries runners face.
Being both athletes, it was especially difficult on them to know their son would never be able to enjoy their love of sports. She recounted going to college football games and barely being able to tolerated seeing other young boys and the anger she felt knowing her son would never be like those boys.
She was a professor at a college; a job she relinquished 15 yrs ago to be a stay at home mom and care for this child. 
As she picked up her keys and her purse and stood up, she thanked me for listening. She said it helps to have someone listen. With tears in both our eyes, she stepped forward, placed her hands on my shoulders and drew me in for a hug. The remainder of my day was spend thinking about this woman, her sacrifices and this story. As I sit here and write this, the tears again well up for her. I may never see her again but I won't forget her.
and today:
Today I'm concentrating on my little red "hot rod". That's what Carrie calls the roadster. She says  "Nana, let's take the hot rod" as we are preparing to leave the house on a shopping trip. Sometimes I acquiesce. It depends oh now much shopping I need to do since the "hot rod" doesn't have a back seat or trunk space.
The "hot rod" hereafter known as the roadster has a slow leak in the right front tire and today she is going in to have it examined. I'm tired of airing it up every 4 days. She needs a good cleaning and since the weather here has cooled down into the low 80's, I'm going to spend some time on her.
The husband called a few minutes ago and he may be headed home tomorrow. I'll need to tidy up a bit around here won't I. Just a few things that needed picked up and put away. I like it to appear as though I'm holding up my end since I am not a member of the work force and don't want to be either.
I didn't intend this post to be so long and wordy. Sometimes it happens and I just let it roll. I'm out of here to get that car to the shop.
It's almost the weekend..which really doesn't mean much to one that enjoys every day as though it was the weekend! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to School, Errands WILL get done today!

It's 72 degrees here right now and this coming week..the highs in temps are in the low to mid 80's...and into the 50's for the nights. I'm so excited. We are headed into an early fall and I think that's just GRAND!
Carrie is still asleep. She is back to normal and back to school today. I'm debating on making her a "car rider" . I'll have to make a decision on whether I want to be committed to picking her up  because I have to send a note to her teacher alerting her that Carrie will be in the "car rider" line and not loaded onto a bus then I must remember to go get her. She has a dance class this afternoon. I think the bus will get her home as quickly as I can. From the time she leaves the school on a bus to the time she gets home is about 15 or 20 minutes so picking her up is not a big time saver. I'm watching the weather channel right now to see if it's going to be a rain filled afternoon. If I do pick her up, I must remember to tell her mother she won't be on the bus. I can just imagine April's panic should she be waiting at the bus stop and no Carrie alights from that bus. Last year Carrie forgot to get off at her stop. When April realized there was no Carrie the bus had moved on. April chased the bus down and stopped it and there sat Carrie who never realized she has missed her stop.
Last year a child was left on the bus..asleep in his seat after the driver had closed the bus up and gone home. The drivers now have to do a "walk through" to make sure all the kids are off the bus. You would have thought with hauling little kids, this would have been mandatory before this happened. Ah..the horror stories of sending your child away from your care...
I have errands to run today; a pedicure also on the "to do" list. My alligator skin feet need some attention. I don't get a pedicure strictly for the pretty nail colors but for the "baby skin" feet feel from the removal of the calluses.
It's time to pack Carrie's lunch before I go into the bedroom to wake her. We will then be busy with dressing and breakfast. I can see daylight through the windows now which is my first notice that it's time to get busy.
...and I'm gone.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday with the Ill Carrie

It started this morning early. Carrie has a stomach virus; she is sick. After cleaning all the linens on the bed and replacing them, she spent most of the afternoon in that bed with her mother watching movies. I took the opportunity to make a trip to the store for supplies.
Carrie has been without a fever and for that I'm thankful. She has sipped on water and Sprite and until a few hours ago she was vomiting every 1/2 hr. Mostly it was dry heaves and we all know how uncomfortable that can be.  She has now made it 4 hours without an episode. A half of a fudgesickle was eaten and that was all she could tolerate this evening. Right now she is asleep on the sofa. I turned off the lamps in the room; I've left the hall light on which casts it's glow into the living room and  should she wake she won't find herself in darkness.
I'm hoping we have a quiet night, restful for both of us. She won't be attending school tomorrow. She will need a day of real rest instead of the erratic sleep of exhaustion  she has had today.
I'm a bit tired myself. Hopefully this virus will bypass me or I will have to rely on April for nurse care. Have I mentioned that April when hearing retching races to the opposite end of the house while gagging her guts up? April is NOT nurse material..
One afternoon after work I headed to April's house to see the children. I had just spent 12 hrs on an Oncology floor with patients that had been given chemo therapy. These patients usually will become nauseated from the chemo and the battle to keep them comfortable is an ongoing chore.
After 12 hrs of working the floor with these ill patients, I stopped by to visit the grandchildren. Teddy the two year old was in the tub and sick and vomiting. His sister had tried to help him and she was gagging along with their mother. I cleaned him up and got him settled while his mother and sister were trying to not add to the mess I had found.
Based on past experience, I'll be taking care of myself should I end up with this bug. I'm hoping it's only a 24 hr. thing. i can make it alone that long!

Silver, Silver and More Silver

I maintained a head of deep brown hair until a few years ago. Those few silver strands started appearing and soon I was a follower of Lady Clairol. We got along fine until more silver started appearing. Soon it was a major pain to have to do the roots first, leave on for 15 minutes and then drag the color through to the ends and hopefully it would all blend correctly.
It never really looked right after that. Taking a deep breath, I decided to let "it" grow out and grow out it did. The first thing I needed was a hair cut to get as much of the old color off as possible. I opted for a "just below the ears" cut which left some of the caramel color on the remaining three inches of length. Every 4 weeks, I would appear at the friendly hair cutters when she would clip another inch off and today I was back again to get clipped.
I now have a head full of silver/blended hair with the very front part of it mostly silver. As I was arriving at this color, I kept telling myself I could always color it if I didn't like it. The gradual change let me have time to adapt to it. I find that being free of the "root" watch is very liberating. Who was I fooling anyway? It's time for me to have silver hair. I saw a lady politician, who must have been in her early seventies, on the television a few days ago. I won't mention her name but she had hair dyed a deep rich brown that she should have let go about 20 yrs ago. It just didn't match the rest of her looks.
Having said all this, I could be in the chair next week getting a blond highlight done to this silver.
I'm grateful that it isn't a "grey" but a shiny silver. I sorta like it!

Again with the 4AM Wake Up

Initially she stated "I'm sleepin at Mom's tonight" and I just nodded. You see, we bought some fancy nail decor stuff today and she was told her mom would have to help her with putting them on. She planned on spending a lot of the evening with me but to sleep she would stay at her house. It didn't happen that way.
I remember her stirring, rolling over onto her side and propping herself up on one elbow, her waist length hair hanging forward to shield her face. A few hacking coughs and the vomiting began. Carrie is sick. As I crawled out of bed, I noted the time. It's 0400 hrs.
Half asleep, I stumbled around the end of the bed to get to her. I removed her from the bed and  we headed for the shower. There would be no bath on this one. I lathered up and shampooed her hair while she bent over from the waist, the long hair almost touching the floor of the tub. Washed conditioned and scrubbed softly with the wash cloth and soap, she emitted an odor that was quite different then what we appeared with in the bathroom.
Towel drying her hair, I kept whispering to her that it was alright; Nana was going to fix it. I know how I feel when I get so sick I start vomiting. I feel vulnerable and I appreciate some support, be it verbal only. It's the time when you feel the need to have "mom" there.
Wrapping her in a big soft towel, we went into the living room to get dressed. Into a light blue cotton t shirt and a pair of black cotton shorts, she was ready to get on the sofa beneath the brown plaid lap blanket and rest. She is sipping on a Sprite and watching cartoons. If she drifts off to sleep, I'll douse the lights and quietly spend my time in another part of the house.

As with any mother, this grandmother dreads a child being ill. It wrings the heart to hear her soft whimpers as I was cleaning her up.
I'll be spending the rest of my morning washing and cleaning up the bed and linens.  From the laundry room I can hear the washing machine whirring. Clean sheets and pillow cases, a few minutes replacing them on the bed and I'll be back to square one. 

Now what to do with the remainder of my day? It's going to be another long one since it started at 0400 hrs. again. I'll sip on this cup of coffee and not think about it for a while.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

You awake?

It's 0400 hrs and I'm awake. My CPAP machine screen shows I've been asleep for 6.6 hrs and my AHI is 3.3.
Apnea Hypoxia Incidents = AHI.
Last night I deleted the Ambien from my normal bedtime routine. I wanted to test whether or not I could sleep with the CPAP mask on my face without the aid of an Ambien.
Have you ever tried to sleep with a mask covering your nose; a head harness holds this mask in place. Not only does it leave a lot to be desired in the way of attractiveness, getting past the feeling of being captured by the contraption tying you to a hose leading to the CPAP machine that sits on the bedside table  will be something to get adjusted to. I'm not a fan thus far.
I have friends that become anxious at the thought of not having their CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines at bedtime. Those are the friends that fall asleep mid conversation mid day. I'm not one of those people! Do I really need this machine as my bed companion? That's where my dilemma lies. If I had a problem staying awake or a problem with decreased energy during the day I might be able to cave in to using this machine; set my mind on the fact that the use of the CPAP was something to accept and move on. I'm not there yet.
This is how it works. ...referring to the CPAP. Mine is an Auto CPAP so it adjusts automatically to what I need in the way of air while I sleep. An apnea event is when one stops breathing for over 10 seconds. At this time the CPAP kicks in and shoots air past the obstruction and allows oxygen to perfuse the lungs. During each one of these apnea events, the person's sleep is affected. The deep sleep required to rejuvenate the body and brain is interrupted during these events. The person may have been in bed asleep for 8 hrs but it wasn't a "restful" sleep; the person feels exhausted upon awakening; falls asleep at inopportune times and has difficulty concentrating.
Fascinating information eh? Did I mention the sleep study that is required and a doctor's order to acquire a CPAP machine. I did not go to a sleep study lab but chose to wear a monitor for two nights at home to collect the information needed to determine the AHI and my oxygen levels during each AHI.
I've found, during this experience, how lucrative this has been for the people operating a business associated with sleep deprivation. Sleep labs abound in this city. Medicare pays for two days in a sleep lab and also for the expensive little CPAP machine and nothing about this diagnosis is inexpensive.
This reminds me of all the home health agencies that sprung up when the government was doling out money to care for patients that were home bound. When the money allowance was squeezed, the home health agencies on every corner disappeared. It wasn't as lucrative as it  was initially and those operators moved on to the next government funded program and I suspect that these sleep study labs have now taken up where the home health business has waned.
My friends that have a CPAP machine profess to the increased amount of sleep they enjoy related to using this machine. Not so for me. I have not had any improvement in the length of sleep time as evidenced by the fact that I'm awake at 0400 hrs!
I'm going to slip beneath my soft lap blanket and kill the lights, turn the volumne on the televison to "low" and hope to catch a few more hours of sleep before Carrie hauls herself out of bed. There will be no naps with Carrie around. We have a shopping date today so she will be all hyped to do that. We are in need of new ballet slippers; ones that have ties that adjust to the required snugness to stay on her feet during her leaps and bounds in her dance class.
Carrie hasn't really gotten to the leaps and bounds stage yet in her dance career. She has been to one class. She did enjoy her time there and later this month I will be registering her into a Brownie troop. Hopefully we will find another niche for her to enjoy and learn new things. I'm a big fan of learning and new experiences!
I'm going to try to get that extra sleep now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sept 11...9/11

Today is one of those anniversaries that one can remember exactly where they were and the recall is so vivid each year.

I was sitting in the home office seated at my desk top computer and chatting with a woman in Massachusetts when she commented "a plane just flew into the World Trade Center!" Thinking it was a small private plane, I left the office and seated myself in the living room on a sofa and switched on the television.

I, like so many others assumed this was an accident. Later talking to seasoned pilots, they immediately knew this was not an airplane that was lost; too many safety measures for a plane to be that lost.

I sat and watched as the smoke billowed up and confused news reporters were as stunned and clueless as the rest of the nation. In a few minutes the husband walked down the hall and entered the living room just as the second plane hit the south tower of the Trade Center. 

I can remember the chills that ran over my body. It was then I realized along with the everybody else that we were under attack. Soon the Pentagon was hit, planes were being grounded.   I watched as the fire trucks and firemen gathered to put out the fire at the towers and that is what I thought would happen. When the first tower fell, I was stunned and sickened. In the weeks that followed  I was one of those people that didn't want to leave the house.
I can still remember when the planes were allowed to fly once again and I was in my car driving to work that morning. As the sound of a jet overhead broke the silence, I peered toward the sky and marveled at how any passengers were able to board an aircraft.

Approaching the anniversary of this date, I again sat and watched the videos captured on that day. The broadcasts were broken up into categories and one of them was the recordings of the people on board those planes calling their families and the airline companies to alert them to what was happening on board.

The one broadcast I didn't hear was the airline hostess and what she said that day. I've talked to a few people that heard what she had to say but it was only broadcast a few times. It wasn't repeated on the shows I watched a few nights ago but I shall never forget what she said and when I looked up to the skies and saw the first jet to fly again after the planes were allowed back in the air her words came back to me.
She said and this is paraphrased: "we are flying along the Hudson and we are low. We are too low and  the buildings are ...oh my God.........." and that was the last words she uttered. I can just imagine her looking forward and seeing the World Trade Center and knowing in those last few seconds what was coming.
I know I heard her voice along with a few others that were watching their televisions  that day. I haven't heard that recording since but it's what I thought about when I had to board a flight after 9/11/2001.

And today was Carrie's first dance lesson. Carrie wasn't around when those planes hit the World Trade Center and she has no idea of a world pre 9/11. This was a memorable day for her as it was for me but for an entirely different reason. Keep on dancin Carrie..a little joy on this sad anniversary..... 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Allergies, Summer cold?

At first I thought my eye sight might be going. I tried reading what I normally can see without a pair of glasses perched on my nose and the print was blurred. Rubbing my eyes and squinting did not help. Add to that the "break the sound barrier" sneezes and the dripping nose, I believe I either have a summer cold or allergies.

I suppose I could be developing an allergic reaction to whatever may be blooming at this time of year but chances are, all those sniffling little kids at the elementary school where Carrie goes everyday and are afflicted with the same symptoms are simply dealing with a little summer cold. I want to climb back into bed again and sleep the day away. That's how I handled yesterday; dosing and watching television. I had high plans for today. The weather has cooled down and I do not want to spend the day indoors.

I've finished cleaning my car from engine to trunk; a job I do thoroughly once a year and in cool weather. There is plenty more I could be doing but right now I think I'll just go stretch out on the bed with the remote control in hand and see where that takes me. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to those other outdoor chores.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What Was I thinking?

It's a cool 90plus degrees outside and a pale grey t shirt can quickly look deep grey when it soaks up the sweat from your body. Pat stopped by yesterday. We chatted for a while and during our conversation the subject of her lawn at her rental property came up. "It's just a postage size lot and it looks terrible. Nobody has mowed it for a while now."

Being a good friend and thinking of a postage size yard, I volunteered to mow it. "Let's load up the little lawn mower and the weed eater and go mow it!" I said to her.

My idea of postage size and Pat's idea of postage size is two different animals.

After a few swipes down the front part of the property, the sweat was running in my eyes, my shirt sleeves were saturated from wiping the sweat out of same eyes that were now stinging from the salt of the sweat.

1400 hrs is not the best time to decide to mow a lawn and me pushing a mower and not riding on my lawn tractor is something I won't do again! I huffed and puffed and finally made it around that yard. Today I spent all day in bed. I started this morning sneezing and with a runny nose. I'm sure this had nothing to do with the lawn ordeal yesterday and that it's only a summer cold causing this though it might be that I'm allergic to heat and lawns. 

I slept all day. I'm ready to take another 30 cc's of Nyquil, my Ambien and get another 12 hrs of sleep. Hopefully by tomorrow my little summer cold will have passed, the cold front predicted will be here and I'll be outside enjoying some nice cool weather!
Since I had promised Carrie I would have lunch with her at her school today, I dragged myself out of my nap, dressed and drove to her school. We visited while she ate her lunch and was happy that I had honored my promise to her to be there. I slid back into my bed immediately after arriving back home.
Saturday morning:
Pancakes sound good. I must be healing!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Busy Today....Bored Tomorrow?

Bored? I must learn to not complain about being bored. I looked across the lawn and noted that just 4 days ago I had mowed and again it was looking a bit shaggy. Mowing isn't a great task here. I have a beautiful lawn tractor;  we are the best of friends, that lawn tractor and I. I remember too well the lawn mower I used to push around this yard in the August heat, sweat soaking my clothes and face bright red .

It gets worse after that. Doing the trim work puts me back into that sweat soaked clothes and face of red. There isn't an easier way to get this done. Finishing up, I showered and dressed and prepared to accompany the husband to the casino. 
I wanted to hurry home to collect Carrie and make a visit to the dance studio where she was to be enrolled last week. That was cancelled due to hurricane Isaac. We missed it again today; Carrie had an appointment to have her eyes examined after school. We did eventually make it to the studio but only to register. Next week she will dress in her tights and leotard and attend her first class. She is a little excited and I'm sure a bit nervous. I'm hoping she enjoys herself, gets a bit of exercise and makes a few new friends.

Carrie passed her eye exam with flying colors. I was worried. Carrie complained of not being able to see clearly.
She would find a pair of my old glasses that were very weak in strength and wear them around the house. Testing her, I would wait until she took them off and then call her to have her read to me. She read without a problem sans glasses. 
A few days later, returning from school she informed me that she had my glasses in her book sack. I looked at  her and said "Why are my glasses in your book sack?"

Without a flicker of guilt she said "I wore them at school today. I told the teacher they were my Nana's glasses."

I stared at her. Biting my tongue, I didn't scold her but gently told her she couldn't wear them again. She would have to have her eyes checked. Wearing someone els'es glasses were not good for her eyes. Secretly all I could think about was what the teacher must have thought when she realized Carrie was wearing her grandmother's glasses!

Tomorrow is parent/teacher's conference and I will be attending with April. This will be my first time to meet Carrie's teacher. I'm looking forward to explaining to her  Carrie's decision to wear those glasses.

It's time to clamp on my breathing machine and swallow an Ambien. Tomorrow I plan on enjoying a little boredom. I have a nice fresh book to read!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Picture Pretty ..enought to Post?

It has been said I have a sleeping problem. I find that a matter of opinion but unfortunately the "they" that are saying this have written confirmation to back this up. "They" also say over 10 million people suffer with a disorder called OSA.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the long version of those initials which here after will be referred to as OSA simply to avoid typos. All shortcuts are

Do you snore? Did you know your soft palate is drooping? After many years of snoring, the soft palate gets stretched and when laying on your back in slumber, it obstructs the airway causing your oxygen level to drop while you are sleeping. Lack of oxygen causes you to rise out of deep sleep, the restorative part of your sleep period back to REM sleep which is not the most restful period. Have I bored you enough?
If you think this is boring, there are many other articles to be found on the web for other causes of OSA. Not all of them are "palate' related.

Most people with this affliction complain of being exhausted upon awakening after a full night's sleep which immediately clues their doctor in and he orders a sleep study. Also complaints of not being able to stay awake during the day spurs the doctor into action.

My problem was, I had a severe inflammation of the lungs when I complained to the doctor about being exhausted on awakening he ordered a sleep study.

I now have a wonderful machine sitting at my bedside that forces oxygen gently down my bronchus and into my lungs should my oxygen level drop during my sleep. I wear a mask that covers my nose and my mouth; this mask attached to a long flex hose connects to the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) from this point forward will be referred to as CPAP and the reason is quite obvious.
This small little machine does not have to be set at a certain pressure as it is an "auto" model that reads and sends out only the amount you need on each breath. Smart little thing isn't it.

I'm supposed to be brimming with energy the following day related to this machine keeping my oxygen starved body pumped up with enough oxygen to keep me in a deep restorative sleep.

I have no clue if this is working. The doctor fixed my lung problem by giving me high doses of steroids for a week. The inflammation has receded for the most part and I can breathe much better. Do I really need this machine at my bedside with the attractive facial attachment strapped tightly around my head at night?
I'm still trying to make that determination. My little machine has a computer in it but then, what doesn't these days?
I can study the readouts each morning on it's little LED screen to tell me how I did the previous night. A little red face with a frown indicates my mask wasn't  perfect airtight fit during my sleep period. A yellow smiley face indicates a good face mask fit. I awoke to an angry red face with a frown. I went to bed with a smiley face and woke up to that little red devil face.
Right now that is the only indicator that I have memorized. There are other readings I am supposed to be concerned about but the icon of the angry face is the only one that I can recall easily. I plan on studying my sleep history as soon as I study the manual that came with this piece of hi tech gadgetry.
Friends that have this affliction and sleep with a CPAP swear by it and about how much energy they have during the day. How they are able to stay awake to watch TV, the exhaustion gone and their lives back to normal. I've always been a bit OCD; always moving and active. These friends would fall asleep while giving a verbal report, while driving and while doing anything that required them to be inactive.
I didn't have that problem until the lung inflammation which caused my inactivity and oxygen starved body to demand rest.
My sleep study showed "moderate apnea". At point I'm still trying to determine if this machine is really  mandatory for my health.
My goal tonight is to get the mask fitting to be a "smiley" face in the morning meaning I get full oxygen supply during the night. I'll decipher the remaining readings and then access my activity/energy level.
First of all..I must get a face mask that seals well. Tonight I will use the nasal mask that just covers the nose only.
This is my way of noting to myself my progress and opinions on using this CPAP. I won't tag this to Facebook. The less people subjected to this the better!
Stay tuned for the exciting follow up to my sleep posts. Have you zoned out yet?