Monday, November 20, 2006


Too much. Or too little.

Fighting off the logy fog hanging over me. I can sleep eight hours straight but not feel completely rested. I can sleep most of the day and still need recharging. I have a few hours of activity, followed by the strong pull to take a long nap.

Sometimes I have insomnia. It’s as if I have to make up for all the lost time I’ve spent being half-awake or dead asleep. Actually, I don’t mind the insomnia that much because I can get a few things done.

I know what the problem is. Actually, I should say problems. It’s that time of year with short daylight periods and even then those periods are usually dismally overcast with innervating cold saturating the air. I need light and warmth. It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning when the bright sun is beckoning through your window.

But the main problem is sleep apnea, a condition that keeps me from getting a good, deep sleep. I had one doctor who prescribed a C-PAP machine, a unit that increases pressure in my airways to keep them open so that my breathing isn’t interrupted every minute. Ever try to sleep all night with a hose and facemask clamped onto your head?

I had problems with the C-PAP, especially one night when I woke up with swamp miasma filling up my head, despite the fact I had kept the machine clean.

I told my doctor about this. Apparently he hadn’t been getting enough sleep. He yelled at me, saying that I would drop dead from a heart attack if I didn’t use the machine. And if the machine didn’t work, he would give me a tracheotomy and I have to risk infection with that manmade hole the rest of my life.

Nice guy. I left and never went back.

So I’m trying another specialist. Doctor #2 is reasonable. Apparently I’m not the only person who had trouble with Doc #1. Some people who worked with Doc #1 now work at this other doctor’s office.

Once again I’ve gone through the sleep lab routine, trying to fall asleep on demand. At least I knew what to expect: the long, trailing cyborg wires glued onto my head and other parts of my body to monitor my various functions. But sleeping with those wires is a lot easier than being hooked up to a C-PAP machine, even though your movement is restricted even more.

Next month I have another sleep lab study, to fine tune the C-PAP machine settings. In the meantime I just work through the cycles of half-sleep and limited wakefulness. And maybe I can be alert enough at times to get a few things done, like write a somewhat coherent blog post.

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