cpap to the rescue

Set a timer for 10 minutes and try to write your whole daily post.  Now go back and give yourself 5 more minutes to write about how you felt working under such a tight deadline.

As part of my Search for Health and my Attempt to Be a Responsible Adult, I have been trying to wear my CPAP machine more consistently. I don’t wear it often enough, because the dry mouth, chapped lips, and claustrophobic fighting-against-the-current feeling are, shall we say, less than pleasant. But I’m trying to put those cares aside in favor of the benefits:  it lets David sleep better because he doesn’t have to listen to me snore, it sends more oxygen to my poor  apnea-starved brain, and it apparently helps prevent heart attacks. Those are generally considered to be good things.

We have discovered an unexpected bonus over the last couple of weeks, though: Fu, our nocturnal cat, hates it. Instead of curling up with one of us to sleep – and later jumping into and around the bed in search of food or companionship or whatever the heck she wants at 3 am – she is keeping her distance from the bed. This is huge. We had tried everything to keep her away, and just stumbled upon this unexpectedly. I am thrilled. David is thrilled. Fu is less than thrilled, but I can live with that.

I’m finding ways around the CPAP badness as well: dry mouth rinse and Vaseline on my lips before putting the mask on have been a big help. Constant mask strap readjustment has helped, too. I’ve been able to fall asleep with some conscious relaxation exercises to get past the claustrophobia. It’s getting better – and if we can keep the cat away at night, that will be better still.

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It was weird to try to write a post in only 10 minutes. I rushed to pick something to write about; I wasn’t ready to get to pick my own topic! But since it was just telling a story, it went quickly. In fact, I wrote the whole post in only 5 minutes and 40 seconds, though I was sure that I was almost completely out of time. I used that extra time to read over what I’d written, briefly; the entire thing could be completely incoherent, for all I know.

The whole thing reminded me of timing how long it took Quinland to empty the dishwasher. She used to hate that job and dragged her feet whenever she was asked to do it. When she discovered that she could do the whole thing in under 3 minutes, it suddenly became much more bearable. Knowing that I can crank out a post in 10 minutes, however mundane it might be, is definitely a freeing concept.

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