Free advice

If, after a reasonably relaxing six-and-a-half hour sleep cycle, you nearly die on the highway on the way to work because 1) somebody parked their car in a really shitty place on an offramp and oh also 2) you’re honestly fighting falling asleep for basically the entire drive, and then you get to work and, bleary-eyed and brainless, try to open your classroom door with your keycard badge, which, uh, doesn’t work on those kinds of doors, just go home. The day is not going to get better.

I also screwed up solving a problem on the whiteboard for my first hour class, only not only could I not find my error, neither could the entire class, and we sat and stared at it as a group for probably ten minutes. Turns out that, while 1.5 is half of three, that doesn’t mean that 3/1.5 equals 1/2! It equals two.

One grown adult, fifteen honors students, and it took me until lunchtime to figure out what I’d done wrong. I definitely should have given up and gone home after first hour.

Not tonight

I am absolutely and undeniably going to die if I’m not asleep within, like, two hours at the most. Today was not a bad day by any stretch of the imagination but it’s been a minute since I’ve had to get up and actually do anything, much less something starting at 7:30 in the morning, and I am about ready to fall down. Have yourself a lovely evening; I’m going to go learn some Arabic and read a little bit and then it’s 8 hours of sleep tonight or bust.

(Remind me to talk more about the CPAP, btw. tl;dr it’s going well.)

Here it comes

We’re expecting up to a foot of snow, starting tomorrow and continuing through Saturday, and tomorrow is the last day of school before Winter Break. No one will be there and it will be fine. And then God will dump a ton of snow on my house so that no one can come talk to me for a couple of days at least, and possibly moving our planned Saturday Christmas dinner to Sunday, which is actual Christmas, which would suit me just fine.

All I need is to get home before the snow starts tomorrow. No problem, right?

In which I slept again!

Tried the nasal pillow, and … man, that just did not work at all for some reason. I’d had the thing on when we were struggling to make the machine work, but I hadn’t laid down wearing one yet, proper fit or not, and the panic was immediate and uncontrollable. For the record, this is what the thing looks like:

So it’s not as ridiculous as the thing I posted a couple of days ago, where the hose was attached to the top of your head, and in a lot of ways looks more comfortable and more maneuverable than the full face mask, but that thing is constantly blowing a high volume of air into both of your nostrils, and to exhale through your nose you have to overcome the force of the air that’s coming in. I suspect it’s something I can get used to given time, so I’m going to continue trying, but last night apparently was not the time or the place. So I went back to the full face mask, and while I still haven’t quite gotten over the shame aspect of the whole thing (I have issues with people being able to see me when I’m asleep in the first place, and when I know I look stupid, it’s magnified in a way that’s hard to describe) I did once again have a good night’s sleep, and again– despite an experimental large glass of water the hour before going to bed– made it through the night without having to get up to pee. Doing it on any night pre-CPAP was highly unusual. Two in a row has probably not happened in years.

This suggests, by the way, that I was not, in fact, waking up because I had to pee. I was waking up and it happened that I had to pee, but the necessity was not the cause of the waking up. That was, one assumes, the not breathing.

Also, the 7:00 AM roll-over-and-the-machine-starts-popping thing happened again, and it was nearly out of water again, so I’m not sure if I’m blaming the hose or the water reservoir or what, but I turned down the humidity a little bit. I get up around 6 during the week, so it might not happen anyway. We’ll see what happens. That said, if they ever call me and ask me how to improve their machine, “increase the size of the damn water reservoir” seems to be an easy win, as the humidification levels go from 1 through 10 and a 3 didn’t make it through the night. I think they could probably double the size of the damn thing easily. We’ll see if a 2 dries me out.

The stats my CPAP feeds me through my phone also looked better; I don’t know precisely what an “event” is, and I need to find out, but I assume they’re bad, as we want them below five an hour (pre-CPAP, I was at around eighty, I believe) and they were down 20% from Friday night’s recording. So we’ll see what happens on night three tonight.

In which I have slept

And the preliminary verdict: Okay, I can do this.

I slept well last night. No superlatives, no embellishment; I slept well. I woke up substantially fewer times than I usually do (we’re talking about waking up long enough to roll over and go back to sleep, to be clear) and for the first time in a long time I didn’t wake up needing to go to the bathroom, which I have a hard time believing is related to the CPAP but might be. My wife reports that there was no snoring, and I spent at least some of that time asleep on my back, which was previously entirely impossible.

At around 7:00 in the morning I woke up and realized that at some point I had at least slightly kinked the hose that was providing me with air; I repositioned it and it started making a sort of clicking sound as the machine got the pressure in the mask back up to level. Once I realized what time it was and that the clicking was a little annoying I went ahead and got up and went to the bathroom (at 7:00, that’s not “waking up in the night,” since it’s later than I sleep in during the week) and put in some eyedrops and checked my face to see if the mask had left indentations. It hadn’t, which honestly kind of surprised me a little bit, and I didn’t feel like my mouth or my nostrils were dried out or anything like that. At that point I’d had my mask on for nine hours, so I didn’t bother putting it back on and went back to sleep for a couple more hours. I’m supposed to wear it for at least four hours a night, so I was all good from the insurance end of things.

It is probably worth pointing out that I actually considered just staying up at 7:00, which I’m pretty sure I have never done on a Saturday in my entire life without a damn good reason.

I have typically been a side/stomach sleeper, so one of the big concerns was that at some point I would have to roll over onto my stomach and the mask would make that difficult. I can only assume/hope that people know what I mean when I say this; that feeling that you have to roll over just never hit me. Again, it feels weird to suggest that was because of the mask, but who the hell knows. I think tonight I’m going to switch to the nasal pillows and see how that goes.

I don’t want to turn the site into a sleep diary or anything, but I’ll report back tomorrow about the nasal pillows. In the meantime, since they send you three sizes of mask every time they send you a mask, I’ve got four masks I’m never going to use. Does anybody happen to know something useful I could do with them?