Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

fashion week with Sleep Testing

not me but ya get the idea
Trying to keep myself awake for the sleep test later tonight. I'm knackered and sure its because I havent drunk any tea today or late last night. I hope they get this cpap mask thing sorted out so I can have a day where I wake up and dont feel like i need 8 cups of tea to stay semi functioning... As much as I love my tea I dont like the headache I wake up with trying to stay awake..

Also typing at quarter my usual speed. Yep its slowly gonzales version of Sinead folks...

So tonight be dressed up with wires on my head, glued on my face, belt round my chest, tube down my nose to lungs, wired up on my hands and feet

guess i know what the best people are wearing in fashion week this year...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sleep Apnea sleepy time and Irish Tea

So I have Sleep Apnea. That's where you stop breathing at night, your brain wakes you up and so you don't actually get a really good sleep. I thought that I didn't have a sleep problem, I would fall asleep instantly the minute by head hit that pillow. I boasted I could sleep standing up ( and used to sleep even when I was skinny wee bus conductor sitting on the rail of the bus by tying my belt around the pole near the front of the bus... I could always fall asleep anywhere..

Turns out that being able to fall asleep wherever is actually a sign if Sleep Apnea. So is snoring but I don't really snore - turns out I have a tiny throat and my jaw comes back at night making space even smaller - that and being overweight its a straight KO..

Check yourself out for sleep apnea try the following questions Sleep Apnea Association
1. Are you a loud habitual snorer?
2. Do you feel groggy and tired upon awakening?
3. Are you sleep during waking hours and/or can you fall asleep quickly?
4. Are you overweight and/or large neck?
5. Have you ever been observed by someone or found yourself choking, gasping,
or holding your breath during sleep?

Yes to any of the above and you could have sleep apnea. Turns out that you have 12% increased chance of a heart attack with mild sleep apnea, 19% with moderate and 24% with severe. I have moderate and eager to get that to zero sleep apnea..

Found out that I had Sleep Apnea a few years ago, the feeling tired even though slept 10 hrs, tingling in hands & feet, vision problems, memory issues and even more than usual I became a klutz. I don't think I had a dish or glass left as I kept dropping them. So after first being mistaken for MS, the neuro doc finally sent me to a sleep study guy on a hunch that proved correct. Turns out I stopped breathing 165 times in 5 hrs, once up to 1 minute and 30 seconds. Good News is that a CPAP machine can help you with this and also turns out that I dream more than most folks, about 25-45% more so my brain is trying to squeeze in that REM sleep and processing in the shorter time that I do actually sleep.

The other thing that amazed me is that when I did use the machine for a few months even for the hour that I kept it on at night I started to lose weight. Turns out that its catch 22. You cant lose weight with sleep apnea as your body is not functioning properly during the day with the severe sleep deprivation and also excess weight makes sleep apnea worse. So I want a machine that I can use all night so I get the sleep that I'm supposed to get and help me in so so many ways.

Cause right now laws of physics aren't helping me -I eat less, move more and yet put on weight... Figure that one out Einstein. (Myself and Sisterchick have postulated that in a parallel universe somewhere we have twins who are getting skinner with the work we do in this universe. So every time they lose a pound I gain it, I diet and they see the results.. More later on a separate rant)

Unfortunately for me the CPAP machine doesn't work for me for several reasons.
1) you look like an elephant in bed with a big hose to your face (see pictures above), I had started to write about it before and ended up on a post about certain elephant characters from Sesame street.. See how easily distracted I am - just put something shiny in front of me and watch me look..
2) I did try the CPAP machine but trying to get mask comfortable was so hard, leaking air into your eyes, cant speak, cant read, cant wear my glasses and took me longer to sleep
3)This is the biggie - turns out that even when I sleep with it I take it off at night about 45 min into sleep as I cant get enough air and I don't remember doing so. (this is tied to your head with a mask of velcro so there's no this just fell off my face malaraky)

So kinda ignored it but lately coming back and kicking me in the arse so went back to sleep doc. We're going to try and do some new stuff and do a sleep test again Thursday night - which means I'll be fragged for Friday and ready to fall over. We'll try different masks to see if I can get one that's better. I'm thinking nasal pillows may work better (two hoses up your nose instead of a mask) or he said may have to do surgery. (of course I'm already thinking - wow if you break my jaw maybe I can lose weight... And get that chin I always wanted..)

Big thing is that he asked me to stop drinking Irish Tea after 3pm to get ready for the test. (There was no way I could go cold turkey)

He basically told me before that only thing keeping me up is my 4-8 cups of Irish tea (Lyons Irish tea but I will also drink Barrys - I'm a tea snob) a day. So Monday afternoon I went to decaf after 3pm(Roberts decaf Irish tea - which isn't half bad).

Tuesday I literally couldn't stay awake in the morning. I ended up having 4 cups of tea back to back Tuesday morning in an attempt to stay awake. I felt too drowsy to drive and thought - this is not good and stayed on tea for the day with diet caffeine heavy cokes. I'll have to go cold turkey Wednesday afternoon in prep for Thursday.

Also Thursday they are going to put a tube into my lungs through my nose so they can see how much I actually get air. The doc said I should be able to sleep with this up my nose and in my lung with a straight face.... This I gotta see. Link to Sleepapnea.org

Right now turns out only thing keeping me awake at the keyboard of life is Irish Tea so until they sort this mask thing out I'll keep my addiction well stocked.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

feeling like Snuffleupagus

Remember Mr Snuffleupagus?

No one could see him except Big Bird - my Mam used to pretend she couldnt hear us when we screamed at her to come quick and see him on the telly on Sesame Street. She'd walk slowly enough so he'd be off the street and we'd be there saying but he was just there Mam. Nowdays everyone can see him which always shocked me a little. No more pretending not to see him for all those parents wanting a bit magic for their kids.

Thanks Mam for always walking slowly when needed and quickly when we fell off things as we were wont to do..

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Rubber Duckie you're the one...

So I have found a new addiction on top of my wonderful www.PaperbookSwap.com site. Its their sister site

A site where you list your CDs and swap with other folks or just like me buy credits and so get the cds for 10 for $29 - so I have found jems and of course its like carb addiction getting my hit every day going to the mailbox and finding another CD that I ordered. Ordered something like 30 and the greatest one yet has to be Bert and Ernies Greatest Hits from Sesame Street

Who can forget such classics as the Rubber Duckie you're the one...

Thinking my sister Grainne should get that CD - shes the one I remember singing it the most

Of course now the tunes in my head too...

Lady of the night

Wonderful weekend away at Costanoa, the luxury camping site where the words hot tub, fireplaces, comfort stations and wine are bantered about.

We spent three wonderful days there - my friends Monica and her hubbie And were over from Ireland so I picked them up and we went over Friday night with himself bringing my sister chick over later. It was fantastic - we started on the wine early and 4 bottles later (just myself , Mon and And at this point by the way !) and one broken one we sent text message on the cell to himself to bring more when he came after work. Himself being a wonderful chap picked up a box of shiraz and he stayed up late chatting to new friends met round the campfire.

We had a fantastic day and later even though we had a bad blowout on the SUV on 280 next day while taking the friends back to the city for some show with a friend of theirs ;-),we all made it no problem.

Himself ran to the rescue and brought Mon and And to the city from where the car broke down and AAA came and rescued me shortly afterwards. He's a true superhero. Then sisterchick was a hero for me all weekend in having such a great time even though I know her head felt like it was exploding like the tire and yet she just chilled and gave comfort to my wee panics !

Later that sisterchick and myself met himself in Half Moon Bay at Pasta Moon a wonderful Italian place on main street. I had rib eye with garlic butter, mushrooms and sweetcorn that melted in your mouth and they had Butternut Squash & Mascarpone Ravioli, Brown Butter Sage, Crushed Amaretti There was all moans aka Harry met Sally about the amazing dinner we were all enjoying. If you ever in the area well well worth a visit.

Then came dessert. After such an amazing dinner and wonderful wine choice I was a quiver to what the deserts would bring. I decided on the following Lemon Parafait

Meyer Lemon Parfait
Lemon Curd, Italian Meringue, Lemon Sorbet,
Passionfruit Caramel Sauce

Sounds amazing doesn't it. On the first taste, I made a face like I was sucking venom hard out of a friends leg. I started to spoon that layer out and put on my plate deciding the rest would be less tart. It wasn't. After 5 minutes of going through 5 layers and my plate looking like I was doing the big hole dig of Boston I came to the realization that some things are just too tart

Sisterchick asked - is it tart? Myself - its so tart they should rename it to the whore of Babylon!

It was a fantastic meal though and we rounded off in the hot tub where we met some lovely folks and today celebrated our 6 month anniversary by a nice Thai takeout dinner at home and himself bought me a perfume set of Amarige by Givenchy. Which I love :-)

So a lady of the night dessert and sweet smelling anniversary with friends and himself. Life is good ladies and gentlemen

You have yourselves a good week :-)