Like most people my age, much of the conversation has transitioned from basic everyday yada-yada-yada to everyday aches and pains, ailments and diseases. Older individuals play dueling sickness with each other. It’s sorta like a “can you top this” contest as everybody describes their symptoms and all the pills they take to keep them in tow.
Okay, I will not bore you with the suckit list of all the daily aches and pains I deal with, but I made a video of myself that displays one of the more humorous conditions I have had for a good number of years. And I boldly present it here totally for laughs.
I have had a sleep disorder since I was in my late 30’s. Part of it is sleep apnea which is a collapsing of the airway in the throat while one approaches deep sleep. When this occurs, the body can’t breathe so it is, for all practical purposes, suffocating itself. So the body wakes itself up in a very jarring fashion and tells it “Hey, stupid, you ‘re not breathing!
There are machines to help with sleep apnea that involve wearing a face “harness” or mask with fittings that force air into your nose and down your throat, thereby forcing your air passageway to stay open. Many people find this cure worse than the ailment because they cannot fall asleep with the contraption wrapped around their head and forcing air up their nostrils. I am one of them.
So for years I have been a very restless sleeper who usually falls asleep and wakes up constantly throughout the night and rarely gets a good night’s rest. The toll for this is paid with bouts of sleepiness all day long because I didn’t sleep all night long.
My daytime “crash” periods usually strike when I am in a still position. As long as I am active I am ok…most of the time. I have crashed my head many times on my desk after falling asleep with no warning. If I am at the computer, sometimes the mouse will go shooting across the room as my body lurches upon being told to wake up. It is actually quite comical at times….and a tad scary.
Before I retired, I had a reputation for “crashing” during meetings–the more boring and longer they were, the more likely I would black out. My good friend Camie Dunbar used to purposefully sit next to me so she could give me a kick if she saw me starting to “leave” the meeting. Now that’s a real friend!
Lately, since I retired, I have explored new territory for my “outages.” While on the stationary bike at the gym each week I will often fall asleep while peddling away at a good clip. I even fell asleep riding my regular outdoor bike. Thankfully, I was on a bike path in a park and all I did was ride off the trail and into a clump of bushes.
So it is no surprise that as this problem has reached new levels, I have been officially diagnosed as now having narcolepsy. This is condition that can have one falling asleep without any warning or knowledge whatsoever. In several cases, people will actually collapse on the floor. I don’t do that….yet.
The benefit of being declared a narcoleptic is now my insurance company will allow me to have a certain pill which it previously refused to pay for. It helps me stay awake and alert during the day. I still have to fork over the co-pay. That runs $20/pill. Consequently, I take them sparingly, only on days that I know I need to be alert.
The most offensive thing about all this, besides never getting enough sleep, is that it is very difficult for me to read and to work on my books, which is what I am attempting to do in the video above. “Ah-ha!” you say. Now you know why my books are all sleepers!
While I’m awake, I want to make sure I thank some of those nice people who recently stopped by marc’s blog…and they are:
Almost Iowa, Patricia Beykrat, Ron Carmean, E.I. Wong, Chris Nicholas, Hungry Monster, Ellen Rothstein Weiner, Alex Porro and Kathleen Neiman