Fucking Christ, that’s enough

Damn near all of this is good news, one way or another, and you can imagine how jubilant I am that we might finally get a perp walk for that orange shitstain sometime in the near future. But all I can think about right now is Salman Rushdie. I don’t know why I haven’t seen the phrase “assassination attempt” used in any of the media accounts I’ve seen of the stabbing attack on him today, but the latest information I’ve seen (as of 8:23 PM) is that he may lose an eye, that the nerves in one arm were severed, and that he sustained damage to his liver as well. He is currently on a ventilator but I’m choosing to not read much into that given that he just came out of major surgery, and being on a vent after something like that is pretty much par for the course.

Initial reports (which may, of course, be wrong) suggest that his attacker is an Iranian sympathizer and he does not appear to have been provided with any security at the event where he was attacked. I don’t know how that happens. If he doesn’t make it through this it’s going to be the biggest loss to world culture since Lennon was killed.

I dunno, it’s got me fucked up. I hope he recovers. I can’t deal with Salman Rushdie being assassinated right now.


Out of town tomorrow for a birthday party in Indianapolis, and I’m back to work for real on Monday, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me on either or both days. The classroom is in decent shape (I’ll have all of Tuesday to finish it off; Monday is all meetings) but I’ve got a lot of writing and presentations to create so if I behave like an adult for the next couple of days I’ll be busy as hell.

On that sleep study

I didn’t write about the sleep study on Sunday like I meant to, mostly because it kind of ended up fizzling as an entertaining story, but a couple of people have asked me about it from Real Lifetm so why not. The thing I was most prepared to be annoyed about was that I was expecting to be told to go immediately to bed upon returning home with the equipment. I believed this because 1) when my mother had a similar trial many years ago they wired her up and told her to go straight to sleep at, like, 7:30, and 2) my doctor told me that was what was going to happen. Sleep at 7:30 simply wasn’t going to be possible, so I was looking forward to many hours of laying with my eyes closed in a not-especially-dark room (we have, in 12 years of living in this house, somehow not managed to acquire curtains for all of the windows in our bedroom) and just … existing.

I made sure I was done with caffeine for the day before noon, which is not normally my move, and tried to be a bit more active than usual, hoping that Tired would set in, and indeed I did manage to elicit some yawns while I was driving to the hospital at, oh, 6:30 or so. I had three different shirts with me because I wasn’t clear about my instructions and didn’t quite know whether they were going to be putting any sensors directly onto my skin or, conversely, wanted to avoid putting sensors straight on my skin; instructions to wear a “button-up shirt or a pajama shirt” seemed slightly contradictory, especially for someone who sleeps in a pair of basketball shorts and nothing else on all but the coldest nights. Sleeping with a shirt on was going to make the whole process even more complicated.

Anyway, it ended up all not mattering; the most interesting parts of the actual wiring-up bit were 1) taking my picture, both from in front and profile; 2) measuring my neck for some reason; 3) having to sign a form stating that if I broke or lost any of the equipment I was on the hook for $5300, I hate you America; and 4) discovering that not only did the shirt not especially matter (I went ahead and wore it, because the nurse suggested the straps could get uncomfortable, which seemed reasonable) but that I should go to bed at my normal time. This was mostly good news, although it meant I had to sit around my house all evening with the equipment on.

I did not take any pictures with the equipment on, by the way. I thought about it and then looked at what the straps were doing to my man-tits in the mirror and … nah. I love y’all but not that much. Here, if you want to see me looking ridiculous, check out this post-LASIK picture.

The actual equipment: a nasal cannula with a little attachment that hung down over my upper lip, both designed to determine whether I was actually breathing; a pulse oximeter attached to my left pointer finger; two elastic straps, one around my stomach and one around my chest, both to measure how much they stretched and contracted as I breathed through the night, and a sort of control box that strapped to the center of my chest and I don’t think actually did anything on its own. I suspect the pulse oximeter was probably the single most important part of the system, as I feel like watching that for eight hours will provide sufficient evidence of whether I’m breathing properly in my sleep or not. Either way it’s going to be a couple of weeks before I hear any results, assuming that nothing disappeared after I put it into the drop box at the hospital the next morning.

Here’s the problem, and yes, I’m an idiot, you don’t need to tell me: I really don’t know if I can wear one of those fucking masks if they decide I actually do have sleep apnea.

I am, and again, I know this is stupid, deeply paranoid about people being able to see me when I’m asleep. I was always the last one to fall asleep and the first one to wake up at slumber parties, and even now with a wife and child, one of whom is in the bed with me every freaking night, I can occasionally be weirdly twitchy about it. And while being asleep around my actual family isn’t much of a thing except on my worst anxiety-melting-my-brain nights, the notion that I might have to be asleep around other people while wearing that ridiculous-looking getup on my face offends me at a deep and primal level. Like, this shit is pre-rational; pure lizard brain. I can’t manage it. I’d literally rather have surgery (and yes, there’s all sorts of paranoia about anesthesia, too, but at least that’s only once) than have to wear that damn mask every night. Surely there’s something they can cut open or cut out or put a stent into or something like that? C’mon. Plus, I’m a stomach sleeper, and granted the whole reason I started pushing for this test in the first place was that if I try to sleep on my back I stop breathing, but I’m pretty sure strapping a 2-1B mask to my face is going to make stomach-sleeping pretty Goddamned uncomfortable, and the idea is that I can sleep however I want, not that I trade one way I can’t sleep for another way I can’t sleep.

Sigh.

At any rate, I’ll let y’all know when I know something.

In which I am on druuuuuuuuugs

I currently have prescriptions for two brain drugs. One, Effexor, is my daily anti-anxiety drug. I’m on 150 mg; I started at 75 and eventually decided that upping my dosage a bit was warranted. I used to have a secondary script for … shit I can never remember the name, but some secondary drug that I only took when I absolutely couldn’t get my brain to shut down, generally when I was trying to get to sleep. My new doctor didn’t love the secondary prescription because apparently long-term use of that type of drug can be Bad, and while I was only taking an occasional and small dose (12 pills would last me a couple of months, easy) I generally am not the type to continue taking medication that my doctor doesn’t recommend even if some other doctor did recommend it.

Anyway, long story short, she switched me to something else the last time I went in, and I gave up and went and took one when I found myself, at 1:00 in the morning, having to research larger outdoor pools on my phone because I needed to know right now how much they cost and what sizes they were available in. That was after ordering a new pillow on Amazon at midnight, apparently, which I didn’t even remember I’d done until seeing the email in the morning. But yeah: random panic about pool prices in the middle of the fucking night is very much a “take a brain pill” moment, so I did, and I think the next time I talk to her I’m going to suggest going back to the old stuff, because I have been a pile of sludge all day today. I took my son to camp at 12:30, came home intending to hop in the shower and get some stuff done, and instead I sat in a chair and stared for over an hour. I’m significantly more human now but the first six or seven hours of being technically awake were a mess today, and not in a good way. Like, I wasn’t high, I just … didn’t want to move. I managed to get to sleep, at least, so the pill did what it was supposed to, but as it stands this isn’t something I can take during the week, which cuts its usefulness to me by a pretty significant degree.

Meanwhile, Day 3 of live-streaming Stray happens in … oh, about half an hour, over at lutherplaysgames.com, so come hang out with us:

Oh, okay, this again

I have said this so many times that even I am bored with it, so feel free to ignore this post as you see fit: my inability to “relax” amazes me, and the surest way to guarantee that I’m going to be in a shitty mood is to put me in a situation where I’m not “getting anything done.” I did basically nothing over the last couple of days other than marinate in front of Twitter and fall into bleak fucking despair at the fact that literally everything gets worse every single day.

Today, I have done the following:

  • Successfully sold the 3D printer
  • Deposited a bunch of change at the bank
  • Contested the $100 bill I got from a lab for a Covid test; those motherfuckers had better go talk to my fucking insurance because there’s no universe where they’re getting $100 from me for a test that I had no choice in taking
  • Paid my car registration and remembered to put the receipt in my car, and did it early enough that I probably won’t even get pulled over and need the receipt
  • Mowed the fucking lawn
  • Murdered weeds
  • Went swimming (this counts!)
  • Went to the comic shop and engaged in capitalism
  • Bought my wife a present
  • Some light cleaning and organization

And I am in a much better mood than I have been for several days now, simply by virtue of having kept busy today. I mean, if I get stupid and start paying attention to the news again I’m sure I’ll go right back to being fucked, but at least I feel like I did something today. And my wife is about to leave town for a week, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be busy for the next several days. Maybe I’ll even write a compelling blog post sometime between now and then! The possibilities are endless.

Two facts about my day

Fact the First: I have been nominated for Teacher of the Year. Again. This is the fourth time; I’ve won twice, although obviously not in this building. A quick check of the other nominees and cross-referencing them against grade levels and subject matter suggests that I have a decent chance of winning, although there are no bad candidates on the list and losing will not be remotely upsetting.

Fact the Second: We went shopping after work, and I am wearing my new comfy pants, which are the comfiest comfy pants in history. I want to go back and buy six pairs.

I will give you one guess as to which fact is the one that makes me happy and which fact is the one that triggered fifteen minutes of crippling self-doubt and anxiety in the middle of class today.

Tomorrow is the last day with the children for a week. I can do this.