stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
This morning there came a call from Dr. Sleepy with the results of my test. Apparently I have severe sleep apnea, with my breathing stopping more than 60 times in an hour. I thought I had slept for 6 hours but he tells me that the monitors showed a little less than 2.5 hours...

I am feeling decidedly grumpy about this. I went in sure that wasn't my problem and over the last few years have been somewhat superiorly snooty about the whole explosion of c-pap machines being rained down upon the general population. I was prepared to vent my scorn when I'd surely be told that I needed one, since that was the default that each tech or doctor in the clinic immediately jumped to before I was examined but, well - I can't argue with the machine's findings. If I am truly not getting sufficient oxygen and rest then that too neatly explains a lot of my difficulties. Probably not the leg cramping but the grogginess and lack of mental clarity, the irregular sleeping pattern, the odd depression I've been feeling, and the weight gain - those are all symptoms of apnea.

So I've humbly agreed to come back for another session where they will fit me with various masks and devices to see which one is the most effective. I expect that there will be a narrow selection given my history of chronic sinusitis.

A stupid sleep mask. Air being pushed into my face each night.

I am not happy.

But I'm desperate enough to accept the indignity if it will help me towards growing more healthy. Whether or not I'm going to tote the thing to and from SCA overnight events remains to be seen. I will have enough time to evaluate its benefits before the camping season begins again in the late spring. Nonetheless if it will help me change my sleeping irregularities and be able to think again, it will be well worth it.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Three weeks of living in the muggy outdoors was exhausting. And yet not. For the first time I had an air mattress on my bed rather than a real one and it was a joy. The mattress predictably lost air during the first night and then stayed in that state for the rest of the time. Its softness was an awful lot like sleeping on our waterbed. For once I came home without sore shoulders and hips. And slept deeply, too, almost every night.

The Deputy Mayor job was fun. Great, even. I'm going to miss doing it next year.

I'm taking a year 'off' from the SCA. Or more specifically, from my local group. Maybe two years, I don't know. I've been very excited about my plans ever since I made the decision - projects that I had waiting are now things I am looking forward to, and I'm even planning new ones. They are all for my own satisfaction - no deadlines, mostly, and no pressure to please others or work around their expectations. So relaxing.

This break time will eliminate the time sink volunteering has had over me so I cannot use any more excuses about getting stronger and building muscles & mobility. I'm looking forward to camping next summer and being able to be useful during set-up, or rather, during unpacking and erecting the pavilion. I AM useful during set up after the pavilion is up, as I am the one who arranges all the furnishings and creates the kitchen set-up. But the heavy lifting has been done by my husband and it's not fair.

Yesterday started the 'build muscle' regime. Minorly, just one exercise done here in the house, but I feel good about it. Today I return to my food log. It was lovely to set it aside for a month (a whole month!). I ate double-stuffed Oreos last night as my celebratory farewell to unmonitored munching. It wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be - the dietary changes have modified my dining desires. I would have killed for some decent cherries instead. Alas, the season has passed.

Today I also pull out my sewing machine to put together the rest of the blank sheet walls our camp will use for War of the Wings. Or at least 'this batch' of them. I've had the fabric sitting there for a year and was never inspired to finish it up, even with a whole bag of bias tape hanging from one of the cabinets in the craft room as a 'reminder'. Now I want to do it.

After I get some sleep. It's become fugitive again so I guess the "Pennsic Recovery Period" has passed.
stitchwhich: (fireworks)
On Friday I woke up at 6:15 to a grey day - only, well, I didn't know it was 'day'. I had slept so hard that when I woke up to the overcast light I thought the sun was setting and I'd slept all through the day and Bossman had gotten home while I was still abed. I shamefacedly made my way into the kitchen and was sitting at the table glumly contemplating what that meant for the chances of getting any sleep that night when Bossman came into the room and asked me why I was so down. Then he reached for his denture case. I asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was getting ready for work as he does every morning. Oh dear. He got a huge laugh out of my bewilderment. I shook off my dazzlement enough to quickly dress and drive him to work, giving me the car for the day, then called our youngest to see if he'd worked overnight. And that resulted in a lovely breakfast with my son followed by a trip to the DMV to procure a new ID card for him. He refuses to get a driver's license for some odd reason, even in this city-transportation benighted area, but after he'd been mugged he had no ID at all and had been putting off the (dreaded) trip to the s-l-o-w DMV office ever since. With the presidential election season creeping near his need for one was becoming dire. It turned out to be a quick trip - only around an hour. But with the time it took to find all of his paperwork beforehand it was nearly lunchtime when we walked out and his father, having a short day, was ready to come home. So we fetched him for lunch and then dropped our boy/man off for his bedtime while us older folks drove off for fun.

By which I mean that we gassed up the car and then braved the Sprint store to get a new phone for the Bossman. His was so old they didn't even accept it for a trade-in. Somehow along the way I got a new phone also, thanks to the BOGO deal they had going, and a free Samsung tablet E for the man, too. And we came out of it with our monthly bill lower than it was when we walked in. I'm a little confused about how that all happened - especially since we, the two of us, have a third cell phone line now, but there we go. They used my husband's old phone for the new line's number and handed it back to him. I guess we needed a 'new' line in order to get the BOGO deal. I haven't checked to see how long we have to keep it activated. Both of us are now working on learning the ins and outs of our phones' operating systems. We moved away from Samsung models to the newest LG. It is a big phone and barely fits in my pocket. It does NOT fit in there when I have it in its (also freely given before I could say "I don't want that, actually") waterproof case. Apparently with it in that I can take a bath with the phone or take it swimming and use it as a camera. Okay, sure. So there are two cases for mine now - one for everyday which I bought at the mall (a vivid blue case which looks nothing like my husband's previously matching one) and one water-, earthquake-, drop- proof case for Pennsic use. It will be in a pouch then, tucked inside a knitted bag*. We both went to bed early that night. Evidently the process of phone acquisition is exhausting.

Saturday morning started with the uncomfortable awareness that I'd contracted another UTI and off to the Urgent Care clinic I went. I loaded up my sewing equipment before I left the house and after an exam, lab test, and prescription stop I was on my way to a "Sew-appaloosa" at a local library. One of the chatelaines in our barony had reserved the space for the pre-Pennsic panic stitching frenzy. Only about six of us showed up but we got a great deal done and left contented. I worked on creating a groundcloth for our pavilion. There doesn't seem to be a local source for 16x16 canvas tarps but we'd found a 12x16 last year while setting up for service week and made do with it and two 8x8s. Friday morning I bought another 16x12, and that night tore out all of the hemming on both of them, then laid them out on the floor at the library to double-check their measurements. A little cutting and stitching later has gained us a 17x18 groundcloth... yeah, I know, not "16x16" but my beloved husband insists that it be larger than the tent's actual interior footprint. I don't know why. I suspect I'll be making it smaller after we try out his suggested size this year. I've one edge hemmed and tomorrow I'll finish the other three. Today has been 'lazy day' and all we've done is visited Long John Silver's for dinner and then lolled in front of the television to catch up on episodes of the BBC's "Endeavor". And maybe a couple of other shows too; "Houdini & Doyle" and "Royal Pain".

Tomorrow, or rather later today, we'll host a traditional bar-b-que party and cards.

*Why do I need to carry my phone at Pennsic? Because only one of my department heads has a phone assigned to them. We need our phone to communicate with each other. I anticipate that it will feel very weird next year to not need to carry the thing around with me.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I was reading someone else's blog and they mentioned that they'd be 'taking a week off' because they were starting on an anti-depressant/anxiety medication which they knew would give them mild flu-like lethargy and aches. It made me stop and think for a moment. Two weeks ago I, too, was prescribed the same sort of thing... I've rather violently rejected the idea of taking anything like that for years - actually, rejected taking any kind of pill at all, having been raised by a woman addicted to prescription drugs. It scars a child, being the one who sits with her parent and cares for them while they detox again and again at home, away from medical care, throughout that child's middle years of growing.

But my insomnia was getting worse. To the point that I was willing to ask for sedatives (figuring that my expected lifespan will be at best 20 years, I was willing to risk getting addicted to them if I could just sleep more often than once every couple of days.) Instead the doctor suggested that I was experiencing heightened anxiety and suggested treating that as a first step. So with trepidation I've started the regime... I have been sleeping better. Sometimes f-a-r better than I think I should be. Some days have seen as much as 16 hours of sleep but I supposed I've some 'catching up' to do. I haven't, however, completely kicked the bouts of insomnia nor found an improved ability to concentrate and have been spending a goodly portion of my awake hours sort of in and out of focus. Which brings me back around to what I first mentioned reading. Perhaps, since it 'takes a couple of weeks to adapt to the medication' what I've been experiencing is akin to the aforementioned author's 'flu-like lethargy'. I hope so. I also hope that it will go the heck away soon because I have things piling up on my desk which need addressing. As well as sewing projects that are beginning to clamor for attention. (I am a deputy chatelaine specifically in charge of our Gold Key/loaner clothing and have not yet even looked in the bins to see what is available, in need of repair, or needed to be re-stocked. We don't have an event scheduled until January, which gives me a nice healthy chunk of time to get that taken care of, if I could just motivate myself.)
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
The one thing I dislike about the medicine I (occasionally) take for muscle cramps during sleep is that once they take hold - my goodness, do I sleep! I took some yesterday morning and didn't wake up until six o'clock in the evening. Groggy but rested. There is a reason why I just deal with those darned spasm-thingies as best I can, without drugs.

Bossman was watching TV with his headphones on... I gave him those things but I don't know if I like them or not. He has the sound cranked up pretty high on them, so I worry that they may be harming his hearing more than helping. And the house is so silent in cases like today's. Rather creepy, actually, because I can feel that someone is in the house but I have no noise to clue me in as to where or who. I wasn't too groggy to make taco salad for 'dinner', though, and we spent a couple of hours watching TV together before he headed to bed.

Today was his final (we hope) radiation treatment. At last he can let all of the horrible sticky-tape over the multitude of sharpie-pen marks start to come off. Taking the tape off is a Bad Idea as it will also remove a few layers of skin at the same time. But getting it nice and soapy, and tired of holding on, is a good one. He has over a month before he'll have to do tests again. What bliss.

It took me approximately 10 hours to remove all the stitches from my protogee's chemise's neckline. Luckily for my cramping fingers, the sleeves are too long and all I'll have to do is cut them off at the cuff and then re-sew them as they ought to have been done. I'm looking forward to giving it back to her tomorrow. I'm also looking forward to giving her the three yards or so of straps for her Viking apron-dress (hangerroc). She was low on fabric for the making of the hangerroc so I used a scrap cut into short strips, then sewed all of them end-to-end, folded the length over by fourths and stitched the edges. It will be right, one long loop over each shoulder for the brooch pins to go through (and one short loop at each front point) but my goodness was that a tedious bit of sewing. All those tiny seams stopping me every time I'd get in a stitching rhythm! Stitch, fold, stitch, fold, stitch, stop, fold carefully, sew three stitches, fold over again and hold carefully some more, stitch... ah, past that and back to 'normal'. For about five minutes. ARG!

But at least she won't have Osh-Gosh-By-Gosh overall straps like a Minne-so-ta Viking. :)

And I am excited, excited, excited that I found denim fabric with stripes that look like early-period inkles, which I shall use as trim for many, many Viking & Anglo-Saxon items.
striped fabric1
stitchwhich: (Default)
The experimental drug was not a rousing (he he, bad pun!) success. I was groggy and unco-ordinated all day Tuesday but slept well, as planned. But the drug, as so many do, builds up in the system so Wednesday was spent either deeply asleep or groggily sitting up while falling asleep again if I closed my eyes. Even now, 24 hours after taking the last dose, I have to stop and fix my typos because my fingers just aren't working quite right.

So tonight I didn't take the medication. I'll go on hiatus for a day, then use the daytime to find and buy a little cutter so I can take half a dose. If that doesn't do it, then I'll have to see the doctor a bit sooner than we had planned.

But I have to admit, the sleep has been lovely even if it is also a bit irksome (I feel totally lazy and useless, not to mention wasting the last few free days that Bossman will likely have.)
stitchwhich: (taking note)
I haz a sleep plan.

Take new shiny presecription (trazodone) at midnight with a small snack, post "saint of the day" message to the LJ Early Saints community, then hit the bed. Hopefully, be asleep by 1:00. Wake up naturally by 10:00 - get up at 10 no matter what, anyway.

If the new plan doesn't work in the next 3-4 weeks, I have promised the doc that I'll try a (goshdangedit prescribed too easily) seratonin-uptake-inhibitor. But for now, I bargained him down to first attempting to deal with the insomnia by retraining with a drug enforcer*, rather than jumping directly to "you're anxious because you're suffering from depression; and post-menopausal, which causes depression, and that's why you're not sleeping. So you need an antidepressant - for the rest of your life, because "post menopause" is the rest of your life."

My theory is that I'm anxious and grumpy/depressed because I haven't been getting anything resembling good sleep for about half a year now, and that by correcting the sleep disrhythmia, it will follow that a normal mood will also be restored. "Post Menopausal" is not, should not, be some sort of "medical condition" that requires medication to bring a woman "back to normal". It is normal.

I'm not willing to take the easy quick answer and take on a life-altering drug in order to solve what probably is a short-term problem. I'm cool with going to bed later than everyone else and waking up later than everyone else, so long as I get enough sleep every day. That has been, up until fairly recently (in terms of my life), the standard. And was achieved without aid. I'd be happy with retraining myself back to that.

*Yes, trazodone is an antidepressant which also happens to be a kickingly effective sedative. And I agree that my current level of anxiety warrants short-term treatment. But I take exception to "the new miracle drug type" being the automatic answer to every woman's medical problem, perhaps because I grew up in the era when every housewife was taking valium and drinking two martinis in the afternoon just to get through her day.

Sleep log

Jun. 8th, 2010 02:02 am
stitchwhich: (Cindy-girl)
I have 29 days of records now, of my sleeping hours. I don't have any idea of how to interpret it though.

I think that I have discovered the reason for my emotionalism of the last year (discounting the tail end of menopause), and of my inability to think clearly. Of the 29 days, 20 of them featured less than 6 hours of sleep, the majority of which were 0 - 4 hours in one day. That's probably not good. The other nine days were long sleep-sessions of 8 or more hours, and two of those, Glory Hallelujah, were normal ole 8 hours each. Those stood out like sore thumbs.

So I guess I might have enough information to take to the doctor to discuss a plan. The short / short / short/ long / short / long /short cycle seems to have been unaffected by travel or Bossman's heart attack (that occurred during one of my three-days-of-short stretches).

Levels of activity, and of caffeine, do not seem to affect the sleeping. I had days of extreme activity where I didn't sleep more than 3 hours in 48, and other days where I actually drank coffee (rare, for me) and then slept for over 11 hours, with the opposite also happening. So I don't know.

The actual hours were all over the clock but I can see that the morning, roughly 5-ish to noon, appears to be the most common time of unconsciousness for me. Oddly, the next clump of sleep-hours is between 5pm and 10pm.

Not that any of this is interesting to anyone. I've just been up graphing out my next page of sleep log ("You can do that in Excel," said my husband, just to get my goat) and so I had, of course, to play with numbers and see if I could find a common thread going through all of the recorded information.
stitchwhich: (eagerness)

Oh. My. Goodness.
I had no idea there was a name for it...
(Why is it a label makes something so stressful more bearable?)
(That was a rhetorical question.)
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