In which I am falling apart

I had my first dentist appointment since before the pandemic started yesterday morning, and while I don’t have any new cavities or anything worth talking about– it was just a cleaning, after all– it was a cleaning after about a year and a half when normally my hygienist likes to see me every three months so that she can keep an eye on my gums. She did not quite resort to a circular saw to clean my teeth, but it bloody well felt like it, and then I fucked around and had a chicken sandwich for lunch that ripped up the roof of my mouth, so I spent all day yesterday with my teeth and the inside of my mouth aching in a way that wasn’t necessarily bad— like, on that 1-10 scale they like, it’d have been a one or a two– but in terms of sheer persistence was making me absolutely nuts. I had cottage cheese and some loose deli meat last night for dinner last night because the notion of eating anything I’d have to spend much time chewing just seemed entirely unacceptable.

Today I had an eye appointment; those I’ve stayed current on, since they don’t require people to stick their hands in my mouth, which seems safer, but I’m starting to think that I need to go back in time and prevent myself from getting LASIK. The punch line is, at least according to my eye doctor, who was the person who did the LASIK, this was probably coming anyway, and at best might have been faintly aggravated by the LASIK, but I’m having annoying issues with keeping my tear films properly hydrated, despite the fact that I spend half my day every day pouring liquids into my eyes. She flat-out admitted that she doesn’t quite understand what’s going on with me right now, because my vision is varying widely depending on, well, something, but we don’t know what. Like, on one visit I’ll be corrected to 20/10, and then on this one I was at 20/40, and I was at 20/30 on the last one, and the only things that seem to be consistently different are the tear film thicknesses. Today ended with me walking out with two new sets of eyedrops (one medicinal in a fashion that I’m not 100% clear on, another simply an upgrade to the artificial tears I was already using) along with a heat mask that I’m supposed to wear for 15 minutes before bed every night and tiny little plastic plugs inserted into my tear ducts, which were supposed to help me in some way that she explained perfectly clearly at the time and I can no longer repeat. So all day today my eyes have been bugging me.

She was also horrified that my insurance company turned down the sleep study, which … yeah, that’s a whole separate other thing. I feel like I’ve got enough medical issues going on right now without tossing sleep apnea on top. (And suddenly I’m wondering if you can just buy a CPAP, and how expensive such a thing is.)

Anyway, my point is that my everything aches right now and maybe spending all day staring at screens isn’t the smartest move I could be making with my life right now, but, well. We all know how good I am at making decisions.

Maybe don’t Google this

Here’s a sentence not many people can say: my eye doctor diagnosed me with sleep apnea. That’s completely true, although I don’t think I have it and I have no diagnosis yet from someone whose diagnosis might count. I had an eye appointment a couple of weeks ago, as I’m less happy with the long-term results of my LASIK than I feel like I ought to be and requested a consult. My eye doc then proceeded to confuse the crap out of me by asking repeatedly if I’d ever been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or if I had experienced various and sundry symptoms of sleep apnea, or if I’d ever had a sleep study done.

The answer to all of these questions was no. I absolutely utterly completely can not fall asleep on my back, and am an occasional mild snorer according to my wife, but that’s it. It turns out, though, that I have a severe case of something called “floppy eyelid syndrome,” which I did a GIS for to grab an image for this post and which you should absolutely not do a GIS for. Basically what this means is that my eyelids stretch way more than a normal person’s, which sounds like it shouldn’t be a thing, but it is. I can basically expose the entire orb of my eye if I want to, which I don’t, but it’s possible. And it turns out that you’re not supposed to be able to do that, and it’s not just a party trick, it’s a syndrome.

That’s not the weird thing, though. The weird thing is that floppy eyelid syndrome is very highly correlated with sleep apnea. Nearly 100%, in fact: in other words, nearly 100% of people with floppy eyelid syndrome also have sleep apnea, to the point where it’s actually used as a diagnostic marker for sleep apnea. So my eye doctor suggested I talk to my GP, and as it turned out I had already scheduled a doctor’s appointment a few days later, and my GP shrugged and went ahead and scheduled me for the study, which insurance then denied.

Like, I would like to be able to sleep on my back, but not at the expense of having to strap a CPAP machine to my face while I’m sleeping. My stomach or my side work just fine, thanks. But at the same time I feel like I ought to take this seriously in case it becomes a Thing later on, right? So if they tell me to do a home sleep study, whatever that is, I’ll do it. And in the meantime, I guess I’ll refrain from pulling my eyelids back any further than I need to to put my eyedrops in.

High-pressure sales tactics

I said it was happening, and yep, it’s happening: My novel Click is even as we speak being approved by Amazon’s fooferall machines and will be available for humans to buy in the very near future. Official release date is July 26, but it’ll be available for preorder soon, and as soon as the fooferall process concludes I will actually have a link you can click on to order it.

This isn’t even the official announcement post, really, because if it was there would be a link. This is like that card you get before a wedding announcement, that tells you there’s a wedding announcement coming and to hold a date, but somehow is not, itself, either the announcement or the invitation. This is just the announcement that there’s gonna be a book and that you should be prepared to buy it, if you like.

In other news, my YouTube channel is still out there and I’m still having fun with it, so you should go look at that and hit Subscribe as quickly as possible. Am I talking about it too much? Yes, absolutely– but if I don’t, no one will know about the great fun we’re having with Chicory: A Colorful Tale over there. And that one doesn’t even cost you any money! Go do it.

In other other news, the prophesied Second Child has entered the house, and I’m realizing as I’m typing this that I don’t currently hear any screaming, so either the children are both dead or they have gone somewhere without my knowledge, which seems like it could possibly be an alarming development. I don’t know where my wife is either, though, so maybe she’s with them.

(Thudding in the hallway)

Okay, I guess it’s fine now.

My sleep study has been canceled, because, I shit you not, my insurance company has deemed me “not sick enough” to require one, which … man, that’s a whole entire rant, right there, and I’m going to not bother writing the majority of it because the fact is I don’t think I have sleep apnea and not having to spend Thursday night in a hospital makes the rest of my week easier. Instead, at some as-yet-undetermined point in the future I have to do a home sleep study, and if you happen to know what the hell that might involve, let me know, because I haven’t gotten around to Googling it yet. Fact is I have got shit to do, and taking an entire night in a hospital bed hooked up to machines and pretending to sleep off my plate makes the chances that all the other stuff will actually get done a lot higher. Tomorrow’s tasks involve finding presents for my cousin’s two children, one of whom I’ve never met, and getting all of my video recording for the entire weekend done and out of the way. None of that can really start until the extra child is out of the house, and there may be a trip to the county fair in there sometime as well. I’m bringing my laptop to Michigan with me so I can keep up with bloggery, but if there’s anybody out there thinking hey, I would really love to write a piece to promote something for infinitefreetime on, like, no notice at all, let me know.

I hate it here

My son has a peanut allergy, along with a handful of other other allergies, and while we’ve never had any sort of medical emergency related to his allergies we have always kept EpiPens on hand, both in the house and at school. He’s going back to school next week so we needed another one.

They wanted four hundred and fifty dollars for a pair of EpiPens, and the ones they had on hand had expiration dates in December.

Four hundred and fifty fucking dollars for something that, if you don’t have it on hand when you need it, you’re very likely to die. $100 more than the last time we ordered them, and the last time we ordered them they were also obscenely expensive.

Go ahead. Ask if we have insurance.

Anecdata

If I’m being honest, I was oddly hoping to spend the day sick. Covid vaccine side effects, on an asynchronous Friday where I’ve already given the kids the day off and cancelled my most important meeting of the day? Staying in bed occasionally moaning, taking naps, and sick from something that everybody knows is supposed to make you kinda sick so I don’t have that weird self-gaslighting thing that I do when I’m sick about whether this is Good Enough to justify whatever I’ve chosen to not do? Hell, sign me up.

Turns out I’m fine. I followed some advice that my wife passed on, which was to go into the shot loaded to the gills on Vitamin C and as hydrated as possible. And, like, who the hell knows if that actually ended up mattering at all? But I have Vitamin C dummies on hand and ate a couple of those plus an orange and had a couple of large glasses of water before going in and getting the shot, and I’ve had no side effects at all beyond arm soreness, which is an inconvenience at best. So I figure I’ll pass the advice on: eat an orange and drink a bunch of water before your second shot. It might help, and if it doesn’t, well, you’re hydrated and oranges are tasty.

My brain keeps tossing me a few years into the future where the nanobots in all of the vaccines turn us into zombies in service of whatever company provided the shot, and I will fight for House Pfizer in the irradiated wasteland of 2025. If you end up getting your shot from someone else, I promise that whatever shreds of my mind remain will regret having to destroy you.


I ran into my old boss at the furniture store today, and we talked for a few minutes, and it really hit me during the conversation just how much I’ve re-embraced my identity as a teacher in this past year. I never really thought of the furniture store as a permanent job– this is not something that would come as a surprise to any of my co-workers, I think– but it was far from clear what I’d be doing next, and even throughout last year I was kind of thinking of myself as on probation. This year has solidified things; I’m not going anywhere, and I’m starting to step up for leadership roles in the building again, similar to the types of things I’ve done in previous buildings.

I am putting this in print now mostly so that I can come back and laugh at it in a couple of weeks, when after three days of in-person instruction I am back to wondering what the hell I was ever thinking and checking want ads as a form of recreation again. 🙂