Friday, 4 April 2014

Who is that masked man?

So, the CPAP nasal system  (pillow)  was not helpful.  The wee "buds" did not match my nostrils -  indeed they sometimes fell out or separated from the hose which linked them to the CPAP machine.

Thus on Tuesday the respiratory expert from Lincare (a private business which has a Governmental contract) brought me a mask which covers my nose and my mouth.
I have used it for three nights.  It is very comfortable.  It allows me to breath through my nose and my mouth.
Is it "dealing with" my sleep apnea?  I will not know this until I figure out how to download the readings from the CPAP machine.
a) I can sleep very comfortably for eight or so hours whilst wearing the mask, and yet
b) I am as tired the next day as I was before "going  CPAP"
I will persist for a few more days (maybe a week) to ascertain whether using a CPAP machine will be as efficacious as I hope.
Here are some "selfies".  (but also see P.S.  below)
The overnight mask as she is worn.
The connection between the mask and the CPAP machine.  Fortunately the hose can be easily disconnected from the mask when I need to pee during the night, thus, in those isntances  I do not have to remove the entire mask.
The CPAP machine.  It blows moistened air into my nose and mouth.  I can change the temperature of the air to match it with the outside air.   When I get clever I will be able to view the night's readings using a card in the machine which I can download to my computer.
P.S. Last night  (Friday 4th)  was not good.  I must have fitted the mask too tightly.  It was getting all damp and clammy and I suppose that I was breathing in some of the carbon dioxide I had just inhaled.   I began to gasp for air.  I loosened the straps, but then was so restless and "ancy"  that I took the mask off at about 12:30 a.m.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Words worth pondering from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India (1947-1964) following that country's independence from the British Empire.

He and the last British Viceroy of India  (Louis Mountbatten) respected each other greatly and their amicable relationship led to a peaceful transition from Imperial rule to Independence.

(That transition was marred by the "civil war and massacres" which led to the partition of  the sub-continent into Pakistian and India, with divided Kashmir as a never concluded flashpoint. ALSO - in due course East Pakistan) fought to become the country known as Bangladesh).

(Incidentally that old Imperialist Winston Churchill was bitterly opposed to Mountbatten's appointment as Viceroy by Clement Atlee (British Premier 1945-1951) , and he blamed Mountbatten for the loss of the Jewel in the Crown  (India) from the Empire.)

Nehru and Louis Mountbatten's wife Edwina developed a tender and semi-romantic friendship,  Most historians claim that it was ever platonic.

When the Mountbatten's went to India they took with them their younger daughter Pamela Mountbatten  (now known as Lady Pamela Hicks).

Pamela learned so much in that time in India.  Like her mother she respected Pandit Nehru, and they kept up a correspondence post-independence.  He wrote the to Pamela shortly after she returned with her family to Great Britain.  Here are some of his words worth pondering.

"........  "It is a fascinating business not only to grow in every way but to be conscious of that growth". .............  "Unhappily we have to pay in life for everything worthwhile. If we want experience, depth and an understanding  of life's infinite phases we have to suffer shock and sorrow and then, is we are strong enough to rise above them, life is a curious bittersweet affair.  Too much of its bitter aspect is of course terrible, but too much of unalloyed sweetness can also be bad enough"

(Quotation from "Daughter of Empire My Life As A Mountbatten"  by Lady Pamela Hicks,  Simon and Schuster 2013)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Fox News again ... Oh no.

He walked slowly across the Executive Course of the Bobby Jones Golf course here in SRQ last Monday.
No shame.
No fear.
I saw him again this morning just before sunrise, as I walked through a wooded area.  His spooky eyes glowed yellow as I sought him out with my flashlight.  Penne  "chomped at the bit"  (if such a thing is possible for a dog).
I held back with caution.  He disappeared into the semi darkness.
He  (or maybe she) is a lone and very skinny fox, copper coloured just like Penne.
I think that he/she is more wary of humans than we of her/him, but I do not want Penne to begin a chase.
This lone fox has been in our neighborhood from time to time in recent years.  I once saw him canter by my Lanai in broad daylight  -  it was a beautiful sight.
But I am cautious for my sake, and for Penne's.  There is always the danger that she/he could be rabid.
And that's all from Fox News for tonight.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Cousin Kippy asked "So what's the 411 on the CPAP?"

It took me a moment to figure out the "411".  I have never before seen it in this context. American friends will know what it means. 

But first, following yesterday's post titled "I should get out more often" I report that I have received and accepted an invitation for dinner on April 2nd.

Boy, all at once I am so very popular. (But I know that "they" are after my money).

 "So what's the 411 on the CPAP?"

I have used the machine for three nights, with mixed results.

On the positive side the machine is all but silent, and I can sleep pretty well whilst using it.

BUT there are wee problems. 

One is that the soft plastic nostril piece sometimes gets detached from the air hose, meaning that I have to get up and turn on the lights to re-attach it.

Another is that the nostril piece can sometimes block my nasal breathing, so that I cannot breathe in and out via my snozzle, and have to breathe through my mouth - (this defeats the purpose of the CPAP machine and leads to brief apneas).
The truth is that I have not observed any improvement in my quality of sleep, thus I am still tired during the daytime, and still need to take long naps.
Never fear -  for  the techie from the local supplier of CPAP machines will stop by in the morning, and see if a mask which covers both nose and mouth will be more helpful. (That may be the case since I am normally a mouth breather).
And I will persist since (a) I am damn "tired of being tired",  and (b) untreated sleep apnea increases the chances of  a heart attack.
So, dear Cousin Kippy, "that's the 411 on the CPAP".

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I should get out more often.

Many older people  (such as I) who are widowed, divorced, or single have to fight the impulse to stay at home, and to be isolated from human companionship.
For instance I often think and say "I am quite happy to be at home alone with my dog and cats".
That is true.  But too often it becomes the truth. 
This is dangerous. Isolation can lead to insulation from the cares and joys of a bigger world.
In other words, although my home life with my pets (and with a good book) is very pleasant and comfortable, I cannot and must not settle for solitariness, seductive as it is.
Since it is seductive I often have to force myself to get out of the house and to enjoy other people.
This was the case last Friday, and also today (Sunday 30th March 2014). 
I had invitations for both evenings, but I spent many waking hours on Friday and today to conjure up some excuse or other, and to send last minute regrets to my hosts. (Of course  I could not do so without shaving the truth.)
So out I went.
On Friday to Longboat Key for dinner  where my Pittsfield (and now Wolfeborough N.H.) friends Jack and Pat have a time share.  Pat's sister Nancy and brother in law Roger were there, down in Florida for a week from their home in Reston VA.
I HAD A BALL.  'Twas great company, with great food and great conversation.
Tonight to visit with my local friends Bill and Patrick, and to have drinks and hors d'oeuvres in order  to honour their guest from Minneapolis - Nancy.
I HAD A BALL.  The nibbles were super, Bill and Pat's guest Nancy was utterly charming, and a handful of my other friends were there.  (Patrick's sisters Mary and Betty winter here and were at the party.  Mary is so very funny that I was in danger of wetting myself.
It is good to get out when I have the nouse to stir my bones.
I am lucky to have friends who want to share my company.
So in the coming week I will have:
 tea and cookies with my friends Ron and Char on Monday afternoon;
dinner on Tuesday evening at our local Crepe restaurant with my neighbours Ed and Eddie  just before Eddie travels goes up to North Carolina for the summer;
lunch on Thursday with my Priest at St. Boniface (the Revd. Andi Taylor) and her husband Jonathan;
and coffee on Friday with a new Church friend Billie Harris (she is formally Willmena Harris) so that we can get to know each other a little better.
Beats isolation eh?