Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's official ...

I am now a CPAP user.
Sort of.
At least, on a trial basis, anyway.
If I ever get it going properly.
After spending Monday night at the sleep lab, I went to the CPAP machine supplier and had an information session with them.  They lent me a machine for a month so we can find out if it will make a difference to my day-to-day functioning.
Well, it certainly is making a difference.
After the first night's use (Tuesday), I lost the following day (yesterday)!
I came home from that session quite confident about what to expect, not having had much difficulty at the sleep lab (other than not having "slept" much, in spite of the name).  Funny thing that.  The techie told me that I had actually slept better than the first time.
Yeh right!  My perception was that I had slept like a baby the first time.  Not so the second time through.  Go figure.
Anyway, on my way to bed that evening, I prepared everything as I had been instructed to do.  My first attempt at donning the mask didn't go so well but the second try seemed to be fine.
I hunkered down to go to sleep (I was truly exhausted and was quite ready to nod off).
It took me quite a while to lose consciousness because I was acutely aware of the vent that was directed right between my eyeballs.  I wasn't very happy about that but I had been warned that the air at the top of the mask was normal; it had to vent somewhere.  But right between my eyes?  Really?
I woke at my usual hour for that inevitable pee break.  But the dry mouth was unbelievable!  I removed the mask (there is an option to just pop off the tubing but I chose to remove the whole assembly)  and did my business.  On my return to bed, I put the mask on like a pro, cranked up the humidity setting on the unit (as I had been advised to do if dry mouth was a problem) and I settled back down to sleep in no time.
When I woke for the day (at 5:30am), my dry mouth was worse than ever and now I had a headache thrown into the mix.
A headache?  I haven't had a headache since January 2008.
Sure hope this is a temporary, one-off incident.
I noticed that the reservoir of the CPAP machine was almost empty but I had no way of knowing if that was normal.  Never having used a unit before, I had no frame of reference.
As the day progressed yesterday, my headache worsened and I was drinking water non-stop, trying to get rid of the dry mouth sensation.
A double dose of fast acting extra strength Tylenol failed to relieve the headache.
Fortunately, my good friend RLR has been using a CPAP for two years (actually she uses the APAP but the principle is the same).  She was anxious to hear about my experience so we had a long discussion and she urged me to contact the supplier right away because something was amiss.
I called the supplier and she explained that it sounded like there had been a leak.  Had I not heard anything?
Actually, I wouldn't know if I heard anything.  I have no frame of reference.  I certainly didn't feel anything odd.  Everything appeared to be just as it did at her office.
Had the mask moved during the night?  That could happen.
I didn't think it had.  At least, it felt like it was still in place when I woke up.  I didn't need to reposition it.
OK, here's the thing.  Try it again tonight (Wednesday) but turn the humidity up higher still to see if that helps with the dry mouth.  Call her again in the morning to let her know how things work out because she might have to get me back in so she can do some troubleshooting.
So, later in the afternoon, I practised putting the mask on and taking it off, and running the machine to see if I could detect leakage.
And lo and behold!  When the machine powered on, it read out the message, "High leak in last session."
So, presumably, there was a leak the previous night (that being my last session).  But what in hell does "high leak" tell me?  I guess the supplier will know the answer to that one.
My headached progressed to an obvious migraine and for the first time in over three years, I had to resort to taking a Maxalt RPD.  I was not impressed.
On my way to bed, I took extra care putting the mask on, even taking the trouble to tighten the straps around my chin, just in case it wasn't quite tight enough (it had been positioned and tightened to the proper setting at the office).
And once I was all hooked up and ready to go, I powered it up and checked for obvious leakage.
There it was.  Where the tube connected to the mask, I could feel cold air being released and I'm fairly certain that shouldn't be.  So I disassembled it and repositioned the tube, pushing it as far as I could get it (that's not an easy feat for arthritic hands).  And I'm thinking, "high leak," of course -- a leak at the high end (mask) as opposed to the low end (machine itself).  I'm guessing.
Once I made that adjustment to the tube and turned the machine on again, I could no longer feel any air coming from that point.  And I could "hear" the difference; there was NO noise coming from the operation.  There was the very mild hum of the engine, practically imperceptible to my deaf ears.
When John came to bed, I asked him if he could hear the damned thing.
"No, not tonight," he said.  "But last night I sure heard it."
So, I figured I had it beat.
Last night, I again woke for my pee break and again I removed the mask.  Still had dry mouth, and now I'm nauseous.  On my return, I put the mask back on and settled back down but the stupid thing just wasn't right.
This time, the mask was buckling very noisily every time I breathed.  It hadn't been doing that before.
I tried adjusting it every which way from Sunday and the best I could do was minimize the buckling noise.  Back to sleep I went.
Again, when I woke, the dry mouth was severe, but not as bad as it had been yesterday morning.  The nausea was increasing though.  However, there was no headache to speak of (that Maxalt still doing its thing?).
I tested the machine.
"High leak in last session" -- damn!
O.K.  I guess a call to the supplier is in order.
But I'd have to wait 'til they open.  It being 4:00am and all, not much I could do about it at that hour.
By the time it reached a respectable hour, I had tested the tube and found no easily discernible leak.  I was armed with sufficient information to discuss the matter with the rep.
At 9:15am I was on the telephone to the supplier and fortunately, I reached her on my first attempt.
She was oh so sympathetic (perhaps because I sounded so pathetic?).
Her guess is that I'm not positioning the mask correctly but she agreed that I should be able to feel the leak.  She suggested that I bring the whole unit back and she would see if she could figure out what I'm doing wrong, if I'm doing anything wrong.  There could actually be something wrong with the unit itself.  (Let's not forget -- I WAS made on a Monday!).
Problem was, she couldn't fit me in today; tomorrow is a holiday; they are booked very heavily through until the appointment that I already have next Wednesday.  Unless I want to go to their other location this evening.  That's out of the question because I'm going for a massage at noon today and after my massage, I do NOTHING.  Nada.
I'll struggle along, try again tonight to position the mask and see if I can get it right.
Third time's the charm, right?
It better be because I need to get some restful sleep and thus far this week, I haven't had any.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I can't believe my luck!

My e-mail contained the following message yesterday:
"Lucky Winner,
Thank you for Using Microsoft and Facebook, Your Email has won you a $10,000 from Microsoft and $5,000 from Facebook,,
Kindly send us your :
1. Full name,
2. Residential address and
3. Telephone numbers
4 .AGE
5. The time you will be in your house for the delivery man to get your $15,000USD money delivered to you at home.
Send the information listed above to before the end of today's working hours for the insurance and accountancy company to stamp and overnight the winning check of $15,000 to you.
We await your quick and positive responds.
For : Microsoft & Facebook Monthly promotions."
Can you believe it?  $15,000 just like that!
Yeh, sure.
Too bad I missed their deadline of "end of today's working hours" yesterday because I could have used that money.
Oh well.  "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all."
And I was born yesterday too!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Two weeks and counting

This past Thursday (June 23rd) was the two-week mark since I received that steroid injection in my left hip.
And I continue to enjoy its benefits.
What really amazes me is my ability to have had an extremely busy week without inducing a fibro flare-up.
Now THAT's significant!
Last week, I went into the big city on Saturday; I did the same thing on Sunday; I baked all day on Monday; another trip into the big city on Tuesday; OK, I rested on Wednesday; back into the big city on Thursday; and rested again on Friday.
But prior to having had that injection, a week like that would have guaranteed a flare-up, no questions asked.
And here we are, it's Sunday, and I've had a busy week-end in that my step-son is visiting so I've spent a tad more time in the kitchen than I might otherwise, and still no flare-up.
John had surmised that my frequent flare-ups might have been more a result of the hip pain than the actual fibro, and I guess he was right.
My physiotherapist hopes he's right because it would mean that once my hip is replaced, I might be able to look forward to living like a natural person without having to deal with a fibro flare-up every time we partake of a social event.  Now that's something to which we will look forward!
I'm still managing to put in fifteen minutes on the stationary bicycle every day (well almost every day).  But I've found that I have to do the bike in the morning, when my energy level is at its highest.  If I leave it to later in the day, I have great difficulty getting to that fifteen minute mark.
I am soooooooooooo enjoying being able to rise from a sitting position and just walk away without my left leg buckling under.
To walk without pain.
To sleep without pain.
To change positions in bed easily.
The other day, at my little chickadee's place, Pauple noticed how well I was walking and he commented on it.  He couldn't believe that steroids make that much of a difference.
So he wondered why I went around in so much pain for the past ten years.
That, folks, is the 60 million dollar question.
Why, indeed?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to my OTHER daughter

I revealed this secret last year on this date.
Besides my little chickadee, there is an "other daughter" in my life.
And today, she is celebrating her 27th birthday.
My other daughter is the youngest of three children who were actually born to my good friend, LC (good way to "have your children" don't you think?).
From the time this child was born, she didn't much differentiate between her mother and me when it came to her care, so close were our families.
We lived just a few doors down from each other in the years leading up to her birth.  Her older brothers and my little chickadee conspired to bring their mothers together in friendship.
And it worked -- a little too well for their liking, as it turns out.
So by the time her only daughter was born, LC and I were already tight (the two older boys were in my care the night their baby sister arrived).
And that baby was having sleep-overs at my home well before her first birthday.
In fact, it was not unusual for her to fall asleep with her Mom, and wake up with me.
And it didn't faze her one bit.
Hence, I became known as her "other Mother" and she my "other daughter."
Suffice to say, she holds a very special place in my heart.
So, my other daughter, enjoy your day today.
Love you lots.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bizarre policy

Yesterday, before I met my angel for our leisurely lunch, I stopped to renew my driver's licence and my health card, both of which will expire on my birthday this year.
It's such a treat to be able to take care of this stuff at the one stop now and living in a small town adds to the convenience factor.  Never any waiting!
But I was stunned when the clerk told me to remove my glasses, step in front of the backdrop, and don't smile.
"Really?" I said, "Without my glasses, it won't look much like me."
"Yes," she responded, "it's the new policy."
She took the photo and I went back to the counter to finish up the paperwork.
Then she asked if I had the renewal form for my  health card and was surprised when I told her that I hadn't received a renewal.  I simply knew that it had to be renewed because my driver's licence was due for renewal.
Then I changed the explanation to tell her that actually it was my doctor's office that called my attention to the fact that my health card was coming up for renewal.  And that alerted me to the fact that my driver's licence would also be expiring.  She seemed truly surprised that I was aware of the correlation.
Anyway, she instructed me to again remove my glasses and go back to have another photo taken.
"You can't use the same one?" I asked.
"No, we aren't allowed to cut and paste," she replied.
So, some time -- hopefully before my birthday -- I will receive my new driver's licence and my new health card.
Each with a different photo, having been taken within minutes of each other, of someone who may or may not look much like me.
And I'll be stuck with those cards for the next five years!
I can't imagine how these ID cards are helpful in terms of proving identity.  If a person ALWAYS wears eyeglasses I think the photo should reflect that, otherwise the person could quite possibly look like Mr. Magoo.  So the official looks at the person to whom they are speaking, looks at the photo, and says, "Hmmm, I suppose it might be the same person, remove your glasses please so I can compare."
Bizarre policy if you ask me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wow, I've been busy!

Seems that a "fixed" hip is a dangerous thing.
At least for me it is.
On Saturday, I made the trip into the big city to have breakfast with my good friend, LC (my other daughter's mother).  After breakfast, I stopped in at my little chickadee's place and collected hugs from everyone (including one of her neighbours who witnessed the hugging and felt he should get in on the act!).
On Sunday, we went to my step-son's place for dinner to celebrate Fathers' Day (and his upcoming birthday).  They live clear on the other side of the big city so that was another long, round trip.
Yesterday, I decided I should make meat pies.  We still had a freezer full of ground venison that had been donated to us and we wanted to use it up.  I had bought the requisite amount of ground beef and the pie shells last week.
I spent the morning preparing nine meat pies for the freezer.  Then I went back into town to get more pie shells because I had an abundance of meat.  Two more pies were prepared for the freezer.  Today, I will buy another set of pie shells to make yet another two more pies for the freezer with the meat that remains to be used.  (It's really hard to gauge how many pies will be rendered with all that meat, but I don't think I've ever been off by that many before.)
Today, I'm off to have a nice leisurely lunch with my angel.  But not before driving the equivalent of another trip into the big city.
Oh well, c'est la vie.
Sometimes, some pleasures are just worth it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Week One of Heaven

It's now been a full week since that steroid injection and I continue to enjoy its benefits.
My sleep has greatly improved -- I'm managing four hours straight before I wake, having to change positions.  And the change of position isn't nearly the exercise it used to be, now that I have a working hip.
I'm getting a full fifteen minutes every day on the stationary bike and not suffering too much for the effort ('cept my weight is finally moving in the right direction!).
Now that I'm walking like a normal person, without a limp, my SI joint is not inflamed so I don't have that problem plaguing me either.
The domino effect is truly amazing, and at least this time it's a positive one.
I've found out that if I stress my hip in ways that I shouldn't, it wastes no time letting me know that I'm doing a no-no.
Things like taking those long strides that are my nature.
Or taking side steps.
Or walking too quickly, which is also my nature.
And I guess I've discovered that my body really will tell me when enough's enough.
Yesterday, we attended a funeral service in the big city. I had to park a couple of blocks away, which meant that we walked a bit of a distance.  Then we stood around in the funeral parlour before the service.  We stood around some more at the reception, after which we walked that same distance back to the car and I drove home.  En route, we stopped at the grocery store, which we all know involves considerable walking.
At some point during the night, my leg cramps started.
And the cramps continue this morning.
My physiotherapist's first question would be: "Did you do a lot of walking, or standing yesterday?"
Hence, today becomes a day of enforced rest and relaxation to allow my legs to recover (but there is no hip pain!).
There is only one downside to this improved left hip situation.
Already my right hip is starting to complain about the increased activity.  I'm ignoring its pleas right now because they aren't loud enough to worry about yet.  But I know, from past experience, that I will have to deal with it before it starts screaming at me.
That's a discussion I'll have with my physiotherapist next week:  How can I best minimize the impact on my right hip while enjoying the benefits of a working left hip? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I hate playing barber

Several years ago, my beloved husband decided that he needn't spend money going to a legitimate barber.  He could just buy a home barber kit, and I could cut his hair.
ME.  Someone who can't successfully use a blow dryer and curling iron on her own hair is going to take clippers to her husband's head?  (Really, he has to be either very brave or very stupid to let me take on that task.)
The first time we attempted the exercise, I of course had no idea what I was doing.
I had seen it done before.  He had seen it done too, so he was directing me.  Talk about the blind leading the blind.
Not knowing what we were doing, I managed to give him a spot of reverse mohawk at his nape.
Then we figured it out.  That's what those blasted combs were for -- they would control how close the clippers got to the head!
We had great fun explaining to anyone and everyone why he had a bald patch at the back of his head.
His spin was that it was my first attempt at cutting his hair, but I would get better.
I insisted then, and am still of the opinion, that it was a result of spousal abuse on his part.
Well, I have gotten better.  (Lord knows I've had enough practice.)
Now, I let him know when he's due for a cut and I even get the clippers out in readiness for the job.
I still warn him that he shouldn't let me take on the task if I'm angry at him.
And I still regard his "making" me do it as spousal abuse.
This morning, he is once again sheared and ready to face the world, courtesy of his wife -- the reluctant barber.

Monday, June 13, 2011

This is unbelievable!

I continue to be amazed at how enjoyable it is to be "normal" again.
I can sit.
I can stand up.
I can walk.
I can ride the stationary bike. (I'm up to 15 minutes a day now -- gonna meet that weight loss goal yet!)
I can lie down.
I can sleep.
I can change positions in bed.
And I can do it all without pain!
Truly, truly amazing.
What a treat it is!
And this, I'm told, is what I have to look forward to once my hip is replaced (on the other side of the recovery scale of course).
Apparently, these steroid injections serve a truly diagnostic purpose for surgeons:  the relief enjoyed by the patient is indicative of what can be expected from total joint replacement.
Based on my experience, both last year and again now, I guess I can look forward to heaven.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Heaven, I'm in heaven ...

Yup, this is what heaven's like, I'm sure of it.
Last night, I only woke once -- at 12:30pm to change sides.  Next time I came to life, it was 5:30am and I was totally refreshed.
Five hours straight, unbelievable!!!!!
And I feel so rested today.
Even more so than I did yesterday.
I'm guessing that tomorrow will be better still.
I'm walking like a normal person -- you wouldn't even know that I have two hips that don't work properly.
I do have to be careful though.
Certain movements cause a nag pain, just enough to remind me that my hips are delicate. For instance, it is my nature to walk with long strides (I am, after all, long legged) but if I do, my groin pulls in pain telling me that that's a no-no.  And side stretches are still a bit of a problem.
So, I have to remember to shorten my stride and not take side steps.
Surely, that shouldn't be too difficult to do.
Of course, my right hip is already starting to object to the extra activity and I knew to expect that.  I just didn't think it would happen quite this quickly.
So that means that I have to slow down, take things a little more slowly than I'd like so as no to get my right hip inflamed to the point that I can't enjoy the benefit of the left hip's improvement.
Like I said yesterday, it really is too bad they can't (won't) inject both hips simultaneoulsy and give me bilateral relief.
Just think what I could accomplish if I had two working hips.
In the meantime ...
Heaven, I'm in heaven ...

Friday, June 10, 2011


My left hip doesn't hurt!
Last night, I dreamt that I woke up this morning feeling refreshed.
I remember at one point waking up to John's shuffling about and telling him that I was dreaming about feeling refreshed.  It was weird indeed.
But what was really refreshing was the fact that I was able to move in bed without difficulty.  I mean, I got into bed and I didn't have to lift and shift and drag as I usually do.  I just got into bed and settled myself, much as a normal person would.
It was amazing.
I did still wake periodically to change positions, but I was even able to do that without too much trouble.  And without too much frequency too, I might add.  I think I only woke twice all night.  That's a record for me.
So when I actually did wake this morning feeling refreshed, I had to giggle since that's what I had been dreaming all night long.
Then, when I got out of bed and was able to walk normally, without my leg buckling under me in pain, I knew it was for real.
The steroid injection has taken effect and I love it!
The doctor did warn me against "going crazy" because, as he put it, "you can still do damage, you just won't feel the pain."
It's really too bad they won't give me a shot in each hip simultaneously because I'm still going to be held back by my right hip, but that pain is somewhat bearable, unless the bursa gets inflamed again.  (That's where the damned pacing comes in.)
So, cautious I will be.  But I gotta tell you -- this is heaven!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Exercise ...

Exercise, the experts say.
It's an important element of pain management for fibromyalgia.
Best done in the morning.
I'll do that.
So I drag my sorry ass out of bed this morning, after seeing every hour and a half all night long until 3:30am (then I slept right through 'til 5:30am -- woo hoo, yay for me I managed two hours straight!).
Returned to bed with my coffee and newspapers and at 7:00am I started preparing muffins for us to have with our breakfast (a rare treat in this household).
And whilst the muffins baked, I biked.
Now, last week, I had managed to get my biking up to a full eight minutes a day and I had maintained that pace even through the excessive fatigue period I experienced.
But on Monday of this week, I went all out and cleaned the porch again, getting it ready for use (finally).  And that took a lot more out of me than I had anticipated.
When I jumped on the bike later that day, the best I could do was four minutes.
This morning?
A full twelve minutes!
Did you hear me?  I biked for twelve minutes this morning.
However, I experienced the strangest phenomenon -- at the seven minute mark I thought I would have to quit because my right hip was really burning (in the bursa?).  But I kept going anyway.  The pain increased and eventually I was able to pinpoint that it was actually in the hip bone, rather than the bursa.  Then all of a sudden, there was a sensation of movement of the bone, like it had repositioned itself, and the pain stopped.
Just like that.  No more pain in the right hip.  So I continued biking and made it to the twelve minute mark, at which point I figured I'd better not push the envelope.
We also went shopping this morning, running errands in town, and that involved a fair amount of walking (during which both hips were yelling at me to stop).
So I guess I've had my work-out for today.
Now, the experts say that fibromyalgics should strive to exercise every other day, giving their muscles a day of rest.  So tomorrow, I'll not bike (have to go for that steroid shot anyway).
But once I have clearance to go after that shot (24 hours later), I'll be hitting the bike every other morning before breakfast.
With any luck, by the time the benefits of the shot wear off, I'll be well on my way to meeting the weight loss goal that I've set for myself.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anticipation ...

I'm putting a lot of stock into this steroid injection that I'm getting on Thursday.
Last year, I enjoyed twelve weeks of bliss from the shot.
I expect the same kind of results this year.
That means, finally getting some sleep again, doesn't it?
Shouldn't it?
My sleep is becoming increasingly disturbed of late.  I'm waking every hour and a half now instead of two and a half hours.  That makes for excruciatingly long nights, let me tell you.
Of course, the heat that has descended upon us isn't helping now either.  I've had to resort to keeping a hand towel with me at all times to mop up the sweat again.
Poor John, I keep insisting that the fans be turned on and I want them blowing right on me so he is having difficulty finding a comfortable spot as he tries to avoid the line of wind that is being generated.  (The fan is on the lowest setting, really it is.)
Simply put, I am tired of being tired; tired of waking up feeling tired.
So I'm looking forward to getting this steroid injection and being able to sleep again.  Even if I don't get the same twelve weeks of bliss, I'm sure I'll enjoy several weeks of relief and I will be putting those weeks to good use.
Gonna exercise and lose weight.  (Wonder if I can drop the full 15 pounds that I want to lose over the course of this summer?)
But I will pace myself, I promise.
I have to pace myself.  Because it doesn't matter how good I feel, or how well my hip gets fixed, I still have fibromyalgia and I have to live my life by the constraints placed on me by that beast.
Today, I have to go into the big city for my physiotherapy session, to which I am looking forward, as always.  I'll make a couple of stops en route to pick up a few things we need around here (including a birthday gift for my beautiful boy -- his special day is looming).
But I will be returning directly home from the physio session, because I don't have the energy for anything else.
Pace ... pace ... pace ...
God, I hate that word.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trying to resolve my sleep issues

I went to see the sleep specialist last Thursday, to review the results of the sleep study I had done last March.
To briefly provide the background, I had asked my doctor to request a sleep study because in my effort to train myself to sleep on my back (since I can't stay on either side for longer than two hours at a time), I was waking up "gurgling and snorting" with a sense that my tongue was rolling to the back of my throat, cutting off my breathing.  Obvioulsy, I was concerned about sleep apnea and wanted it investigated before I underwent the hip replacement surgery.
Well, imagine how helpful the report was when it concluded that "learning to sleep off supine would be helpful."
Anyway, the sleep specialist is a very nice lady and she immediately understood my concern -- once she discovered what caused the study to be requested.  So, she took my history and agreed that something needed to be done to reduce my daytime sleepiness (I scored 17/24 -- it should be about 6).
She took the time to explain the results of my test, indicating that my apnea score is no higher than it should be for someone my age -- except when I sleep on my back when it kind of jumps to a problematic level.  But overall, I scored as someone who does not "have apnea."  (The threshold is 3 -- I scored 2.8).  I do clearly snore "a lot, and loudly," as she put it.
She also explained that it's difficult to say whether my daytime sleepiness stems from my snoring or is a result of the poor sleep that is a hallmark of fibromyalgia (here we go again!).
However, there are a few options available to me, each of which would help with the snoring (she did not address the fibro issues).
One option is to use a wedge cushion, which would elevate my upper body while I'm sleeping.

Apparently, that should prevent the snoring.  (This solution intrigues me, because even when I sleep on our recliner sofa -- which keeps me in an elevated position -- I still snore, often waking up from the snorting!)
Another option is to use a dental device which holds the lower jaw outward, preventing snoring.  It's a costly, custom-made piece and it can't be "tried before you buy."
I'm not a gambler so I'm not likely to go that route unless I know it will work.
Yet another option is to try the CPAP machine (that's what someone with apnea uses) and if it makes a difference in how I feel during the day, we would know that reducing my snoring helps, and then I could either stay with the CPAP or I could go with the dental device.
She assured me that, in my case, because my apnea score is so low, if the CPAP works, so too will the dental device.
Testing the CPAP machine is the option she recommended I go with but it means another night at the sleep lab so they can measure the pressure I need.  Then they would prescribe a machine for me and I would make an appointment with a supplier (choosing one that allows one month trials, without obligation to buy).  After using the machine for a month, I would again see the specialist to discuss the findings and decide how to proceed.
Her recommendation is that, if I am better rested at the end of the trial month, I opt for the dental device rather than the "torture of the CPAP machine."  (If the trial month makes no difference in my daytime sleepiness level, then her conclusion would be that the problem stems from fibromyalgia alone -- I reminded her of the hip issue which adds another layer to my quality of sleep, or lack thereof.)
So, I am booked to again spend the night at the sleep lab at the end of June and I will see the sleep specialist at the end of July.
Who knows, perhaps my summer will be a very restful one.  With getting the steroid injection on June 9th (and hopefully enjoying twelve weeks of bliss again), and having snoring control for the month of July, I just might be an almost normal person this summer.
I can dream, can't I?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gotta love those robins!

I don't think I've ever talked about what we called "the dumbest robin in the county."
A few years ago, there was a robin trying to build a nest on the ledge outside our living room window (it's a great spot to allow us to watch without disturbing mama bird).
Except this particular poor dumb robin couldn't figure out how to build the nest.
She was nothing if not persistent and determined though.
Day after day, she would arrive with a beak full of goodies to assemble her new home, but she apparently didn't realize that she also needed mud to hold it all together.  So of course, the nest kept disappearing on her.
But that didn't faze her.
She just kept bringing more dry grass to the spot that she had chosen to raise the brood that she planned to produce.
Eventually, John felt so sorry for her that he accessed the ledge from the screened porch and he glued down a nest that he had in his collection of photo props (there ain't nothin' he don't have in that box!).
Next time that soon-to-be mama arrived at the site with a beak full of grass, she landed with a screeching halt, as if to say, "Whoa, when did I do this?"
She wasted no time moving in, making it her own with fresh lining, and laying her eggs.
Before we knew it she was sitting on the nest and we were waiting for babies to appear.
It was a delight to watch those babies grow, but I've got to admit I was a little concerned.  I mean, really, if mama didn't know how to build a nest, would she know how to care for her young?  But, she managed her duties quite nicely and they all flew the coop in record time.
Why am I telling you this story now, you ask?
Because I think one of her offspring has arrived in our yard this spring.
A male robin has taken over much of our property and has given us several days of entertainment this past week.
He's discovered a rival who lives in one of our living room windows, and he's spent most of the daylight hours trying to drive that other bird away.
The rival, of course, is his own reflection.
For three days running, that bird would sit on the scaffolding outside the window and repeatedly go after himself. (We have a black leather recliner positioned in front of that window, making the area highly reflective.)
Now, no one has ever said that a male robin with surging hormones is smart, but this one might have got some help in the brain department if he's descended from that mama who couldn't build a nest, non?
Out of concern for his safety and well-being, John eventually taped a light coloured towel over the window to reduce the reflective properties.  That seems to have worked sufficiently well enough to make the robin think that he's driven his rival away.
He came back a few times since the towel was put up, fluttering around, seemingly saying, "Where did you go, you rotten scoundrel?"
Last I saw of that robin, he was roaming around the property, looking for more competitors to chase off.
And he's determined too.  Just like his mama?