Monday, March 26, 2007

CPAP: The Misadventure Continues

© 2007 Ray X

“Sleep deprivation played a role in catastrophes such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.” – The Harvard Medical School Guide To A Good Night’s Sleep, Lawrence J. Epstein, M.D. with Steve Mardon (2007), page 6.

Apparently it’s a good thing that the heaviest piece of machinery I am operating is this personal computer.

I haven’t whined about my obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in a while. And I might as well since the only thing going on in UFOdom (or UFOdumb, as it may be) are the usual petty, personal feuds and pointless arguments spiraling around like insane, tail-chasing dogs. Also, someone out there might find some benefit or useful info from this post. (Anyway, this is my party and I’ll whine if I want to.)

I’m still struggling with my CPAP machine, the device that keeps my airways open while I sleep. This is the second CPAP I’ve owned and the same problems are cropping up. It’s a pain trying to sleep with a plastic nasal mask connected to a long hose. You have to be careful when changing positions in bed or air starts leaking out, affecting the pressure. Also, if an air leak is directed towards your eye, it can dry out your orb. Dry mouth is bad enough with CPAP; I don’t need additional problems.

As I explained in previous posts, I used a humidifier unit with my first CPAP, an option to alleviate dry mouth. It ended up making me sick one night. It was flooding my head with moldy miasma, even though I cleaned the water tank every day. I did try the humidifier with the new unit but decided to play it safe and just go with straight air.

Another occasional problem is the unit actually wakes me up. I’ll be dead tired, ready to sleep, and so I hook myself up to the CPAP. An hour later I’m still awake and have to disconnect, forced to sleep without it. The damn thing is worse than a jolt of caffeine. I’ll lie there for an hour or more before I drift off.
With the new unit there are options you can adjust. I don’t know if I accidentally reset the CPAP level for altitude but I noticed it was at 3, the highest, recommended for use at 5001 to 7500 feet above sea level. I’m assuming that the higher number compensates for the thinner atmosphere at greater altitudes, increasing the airflow to maintain a consistent pressure.

I Googled the keywords “Plattsburgh, NY” and “sea level” and “altitude”. I soon learned that this place is only 150 feet above sea level. I made sure to reset my CPAP to Level 1 for altitude. Apparently I was increasing my chances of perforating an eardrum.

Maybe the correct pressure will alleviate another problem: gas. I had to stop using the CPAP for a few days because I had become a walking gas factory (the rear exhaust type). So far that problem has cleared up, a fortunate event for the environment, especially with the threat of global warming.

I still struggle to fall into a regular sleep routine. 6 AM or 6 PM: it doesn’t matter, I can be wide-awake, drowsy, or out like a light. The pattern changes each day. Even with the CPAP on throughout my sleep, I end up sleeping ten to twelve hours, sometimes missing out on a bright sunny day.

But in some ways I am doing better. I’m usually not in a semi-hallucinatory state due to sleep deprivation, a situation I discussed in a previous post.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Magical Ride With Saucerer Moseley (Wheee!!)

I was sitting at the coffeehouse counter this evening when the barista asked me what I was reading. He noticed the name of the newsletter: Saucer Smear by James W. Moseley.

I eXplained it was about “flying saucers,” or UFOs.

The barista replied: “People still see those things?”

Just part of the sad state of modern ufology. Mosely has been around since the early days when aerial phenomena was called “flying discs." Jim is an amiable curmudgeon, a living flame who refuses to be extinguished by the Dark Ages.

What I like about Jim is that he doesn’t accept any crazy story that comes down the space pike – but neither does he side with the Absolute Skeptics. I sat there at the coffeehouse, sipping my brew and reading, educated and entertained at the same time. I know I was entertained; I chuckled out loud a few times.

Some might not be impressed with Jim’s snail mail retro-zine. It’s on plain paper, basic black and white, composed with a typewriter and judicious use of tape when outside items are included. (You kids can Google “typewriter;” I don’t have time to eXplain.) The stuff that serves as comment fodder in his zine mainly originates on the Net; I know that I’m familiar with most of the subjects he brings up. But Jim’s insight and humor turn prosaic facts into a ripping good read.

The latest issue - March 15th, 2007 – really hits the mark. It opens with an article entitled, “IS THE CURRENT UFO ‘FLAP’ REALLY A ‘FLOP’?” I was about to write a post about how boring ufology can be at times and Jim beat me to the punch. Like me, Jim he wants to believe, but isn’t there something else out there besides the same old cases being discussed without any definite proof to back them up? But despite his negative take, the article is still fun (except maybe to Dan Aykroyd).

So if you have a couple of dollars lying around, I would advise to send them in a security envelope to James W. Moseley, PO Box 1709, Key West, Florida 33041. Jim is an institution within UFOdom. Of course, what kind of institution is open to debate (mental?). Saucer Smear is an eight-page magic carpet ride without the bad aftereffects.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ufology As A Catty Girls School

“Well, I think Paul Kimball started it when he made a snippy comment about Kal Korff – no, I don’t mean Snippy the horse – anyway, Paul questioned Kal’s intelligence, Paul put up a photo of Kal as a Green Lantern, well, that wasn’t funny (but Kal did looked dreamy in that Green Lantern Corps uniform), and then Kevin Randle said something snarky and so Kal is having him investigated by the KPMG Sorority – oh, that Kevin!! (but he does look dreamy in his Army uniform) and then Mac Tonnies whispered something into Paul’s ear about Mirka, Mac has no Klass, he just repeats gossip (not that I am doing the same thing, I’m above that), and Merkin – oops, I mean Mirka Fabianova – is going to dish it out about Paul and what an uncool person he is (even though Paul does look dreamy with that big red maple leaf tattooed on his left buttock), anyway, all of this will solve the UFO mystery, won’t it?, maybe in time for the next dance, what are you going to wear?, you could…”