19 April 2007

Try it Without Breathing

The Greek word apnea, means literally “without breath.”

Too much of that can cause “without life.”

That is never good.

I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. I have been chronically exhausted for about a year. I have been depressed.

Not blue. Not suicidal. Not sad. More...flat. Nothing has much appeal. Spring came and went last year and I never noticed. Summer went by. I didn’t notice. Winter. And here we are again. Spring.

I dread it, mostly. Its damn insistence on re-birth and joy. Its moments of sun that send those around me into paroxysms of glee, hope, mirth. I just don’t care. It feels like an imposition. Buzz off. Don’t tell me I have to go out and play. I have no idea anymore why people do that. Play, I mean. I just don’t really care.

See? Depressed. Flat. I can see it. But I can’t will it away.

My friend SN, concerned about the change in me and my unrelenting lack of interest in anything, told me about her mother. She was “depressed.” Eventually doctors decided to do a sleep study and determined she had sleep apnea. She was treated for it and feels better. No more needing to pull off to the side of the road on the way home from work just to sleep.

People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing, sometimes hundreds of times a night, often for minutes at a time. Again, I’m tellin’ ya, that is never good.

The brain, good ol’ brain, arouses one from sleep in order for them to breathe. Sleep is therefore fragmented and of poor quality. People rarely get to REM levels of restorative sleep or only get there for short periods of time.

No restorative sleep. Bad.

The neurologist who interpreted the data from my sleep study determined that I slept about 6 hours out of 8. Not because I was reading, or star-gazing, mind you, because my brain had to keep arousing me from sleep so I would breathe.

I was waked from sleep by said brain 178 times. Normal sleepers wake 5-7 times, although it’s not the sort of wakefulness that we remember.

I spent less than an hour in REM the entire night. Normal, restorative REM is 90-120 minutes per 8-ish hours of sleep a night.


I get to wear one of these:

What has happened to me?

I'm listening to the tune "Perforated Sleep" by Leo Kottke from the album: Guitar Music

17 April 2007

All I wanted, was to be good...

I'm listening to the tune "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole" by Martha Wainwright from the album: Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole

16 April 2007

Little love affair

Chicago, the first font Susan Kare, bitmap graphic designer, created for the Macintosh, in 1983 was originally named Elefont. And San Francisco was Ransom. Steve Jobs decided to name them all after world class cities when he discovered that Susan and Andy Hertzfeld had named them after cities on a train that ran out of Philadelphia, from which they both hailed.

There is no good reason to post this except that I really like the original Mac fonts. I love their sweetness and innocence. They are also pretty darn gorgeous!

15 April 2007

Another birthday story

I mentioned this story to a few people who read my previous post. I wrote it 9 years ago. I said I would post it. So, without further ado:

What I Did On My 44th Birthday

Today is my 44th birthday. At this moment I am sitting on a granite ledge, in an oak wood, above the bay. A lone gull cries, invisible in the silver-grey clouded sky. The cold wind whispers through the pine. Last years’ oak leaves rustle dry on the ground. Peaceful. I chose to spend the anniversary of the day of my birth with my dog, Willow, in the woods.

A few moments ago, as this spot arrived us, I pulled down my jeans and took a poop as can only be taken in the out-of-doors. Each long, sienna-colored turd that oozed out fell softly into the crisp oak leaves. With a sense of reckless extravagance, as much as from experience, I moved my squat with each one. If you take a big poop, it can pile up and poke you in the butt.

This is a pleasure of mine. To shit outside.

Willow caught the scent and came over to investigate. O.K. He sniffed. He’s done it before. He is after all a d-o-g. Then, tentatively, he began to eat one. Hmmm. I don’t object when he eats deer poop or horse shit. “Predigested protein. It’s good for him.” So, I swallowed hard, did my best to turn off my judgment and watched a bit squeamishly as he ate. He followed my roving squats and polished off each turd. I thought, “You won’t be licking me for a long, long time!”

And then—I saw it in my peripheral vision as I squatted 5 feet away with my pants around my ankles and so, was powerless to stop it,—he rolled. His neck, chest, and his collar. It clung to the collar and tags in great fudge-soft globs. All I could do was laugh. And laugh.

What else could I do?

Then, he shook. I was splattered with my own shit like bacon fat. So, I laughed more as I dug through the leaves to reach the leaf mold, the fragrant decay of trees and a thousand other lives that have passed through this area for eons. And I scrubbed me and I scrubbed Willow. And we both dug and rolled in the soft, savory soil.

The sweet, earthy aroma rose into the April air like a balm or incense in a holy temple.

And so, we were cleansed.

07 April 2007

How I spent my 53rd birthday

I woke up. I don't remember when. Later than when I go to work. I didn't go to work. We get our birthdays off.

I tagged a lot of my mp3 collection. I cleaned up a lot of my hard drive. I stayed in bed a lot of the day. Weeeee! (Is she being sarcastic?)

The first call of the day was from C.M-G. who, when I answered, put the phone down with a thud and immediately started playing Happy Birthday on the piano in the halting and embellished sweet way that she does.

I got an invite from F.S. & P.S. to do my laundry in their new washing machine. (Remember, I have no use of my drains right now, hence no practical use of water either.)

F.S. gave me a pack of 6 chocolate Klondike bars and a quart of Rich Chocolate ice cream. P.S. and I ate 3 bars each. F.S. abstained as she is observing Lent. She gave up ice cream.

P.S. gave me a tiny stuffed bear. He did not shoot it. It lived near his computer and once, while helping him with something, I commented on it. I found it in my shoe when I went to leave.

I received an amazingly fitting, and hysterically terrifying story about work, entitled Her Goal was Survival from colleague and friend L.J.L.

Without intending to hurt anyone, I am compelled to say, the story was my favorite gift. I laughed so hard I ached.

I got a few emails, including one from my big sister. I got a phone call from my middle sister and several phone messages from friends. I received a few cards I still haven't opened. I don't know why. Mail has become something I toss aside. Sometimes with expensive consequences.

I spread seed on the snow covered roof of my tiny back porch. My bedroom window looks right over it. The seed attracted all kinds of early spring sparrows, finches and juncos. I took pictures of them.

Now, I have no batteries for my camera. My rechargeables don't hold a charge any more.

I’m sure there was more but darned if I can recall. Short term memory loss can be a drag.

02 April 2007

Lisa Vollrath is at it again...

Lisa is a multimedia artist/craftswoman extraordinaire. She is generous to boot. So, go to her site(s) and grab some of the free stuff she is giving away for your crafting/art pleasure.

(Click on the title of this post to go to Lisa's give-away.)

01 April 2007

Zombies at Work

Friday at work, whilst visiting a colleague in her office, I happened to glance out the window. To my dismay I spotted a single macabre hand coming very slowly up out of the frozen ground.

It would seem our agency may have built it's new buildings on an ancient burial ground.

Since the ground is still frozen and so far only one zombie is emerging, we figure we have a little time before they get in and start chewing off our faces.

Whatever. It might be a better fate than a 5-day work week.