Thursday, October 22, 2009

Eva, renewed

or, all hail CPAP

The last few mornings have been different chez Breadbin. Different and really quite cool. See...unlike every morning for the last, oh, five years at least, my wife's been awake.
It's a long-running joke around here that I'm chipper in the morning and she's chippy. Truth be told, I've lost some of my larkiness over the last few years and really put a coffee or two to good use. But Eva has been something altogether different...something closer kin to the walking dead.
She'd thought she was suffering from a touch of CFS--chronic fatigue syndrome. Often plagued with insomnia, she had a hell of a time getting to sleep and an even harder time staying asleep. It was very common for me to wake up at 5:15 a.m. and stumble downstairs to find her on the couch watching television, awake for hours already. If she'd managed to sleep through the night, it would take her, minimum, an hour before she'd be ready to deal with the world. And then afternoon, and sometimes morning, naps would be absolutely essential. I'm not sure, to be honest, she ever really got fully asleep or came fully awake.
She underwent a sleep study a little over a week ago. That was, she reports, possibly the worst two nights of her life. Consider: she was taped to a bed only slightly softer than concrete, in a nondescript room bearing almost no resemblance to a bedroom. (The second night, her bed was in an actual doctor's office, complete with computer monitor screen glow and fan noise.) Taped or glued to her were over a dozen sensors, many of which malfunctioned at some point and had to be re-calibrated. It's really amazing she got any kind of sleep at all.
Really, I don't understand these sleep studies. Rather than accommodating patients wherever possible, the people there, no matter how professional they are, seem to deliberately go out of their way to alienate, stress out, and even humiliate their patients. You're wired up, in your pajamas, in a room with a whole bunch of strangers, before being relegated to your cell bedroom. No reading lamp, no television, no fan, no window. No private bathroom, not even a little two-piece. Very little warning that you're facing a night's sleep beyond your worst nightmare.
This all seems to me not just cruel but counterproductive. How can you possibly hope to properly gauge someone's sleep patterns when you've done just about everything possible to disrupt and disturb them?
Nevertheless, they managed to determine, in the three minutes of sleep Eva got that first night, that she needed a CPAP machine. (An official diagnosis will come in the new year, but we do know she suffers from sleep apnea.)
The second night--almost a week later--she was misfitted with a machine. I say 'misfitted' because the mask was both too large and applied far too tightly.

Pardon me my predictable digression. I can't say for sure the reason they selected a large mask for my wife is because she's a large person. But I suspect it, and it PISSES ME OFF. She's been the victim of entirely too many wrong assumptions in the past. Doctors routinely tighten the blood pressure cuffs to the point of severe bruising because hey, she's fat, her blood pressure must be off the scale. (It''s normal.) On one occasion she had a woman actually grab chips and cookies (one package of each) out of her grocery cart and say "you should be ashamed of yourself"...because obviously that's all Eva ever eats, a box of cookies and a bag of chips and that's breakfast. Oh, it makes me furious, the ignorance piled on the obese.

Anyway...despite the ill-fitting mask that ensured she drooled all over her pillow that second night, she did sleep a little better. And the last three nights, she's had a properly-adjusted CPAP machine in her own bed, and has slept better than she can remember having slept in a very long time.

So good, in fact, that our conversation this morning ran the gamut from zit popping to piglike aliens.

Pimple popping...Eva is completely fascinated with it, to my endless chagrin. She claims to be repulsed by pimples and possessed of an irresistible urge to "make them go away". Personally, when I'm repulsed with something, I don't want to go near it, but whatever. She enjoys popping pimples. Last night before beddy-bye, I was treated to the sound effects of this little beauty. Splock. Goosh. Shlapuck.


This morning, she'd joyfully progressed to the real thing, by way of some presumably disgusting YouTube videos I positively refuse to link. Blech. Still, she was half-frowning, half-laughing at her laptop. It had been a while since I'd seen even a half-laugh at quarter of six in the morning.
She drove me into work this morning and I mentioned I'd read some study purporting to prove that pigs are smarter than dolphins. Without missing a beat, she said "well, let's just hope the aliens aren't piglike, then, eh?"

See, this is one of the many things I adore about my Eva. Because her mind doesn't just leap on occasion, it hopscotches, Evel Knivels and shorts off into geosynchronous orbit...and mine can follow hers. Panting, gasping for breath, but not too far behind. Pigs...we treat them like shit, slaughter them by the millions (and man, we loves us our pork chops...pork roasts, smoked pork shoulder, aka salty porky goodness in this get the point). And suppose aliens exist, and stumble across us, something we've talked about in the past, though never at that hour of the morning. Well, we'd better hope they don't identify with the swine on this planet.

Morning gibberish, dressed up in dreamy logic and discussed in dead earnest. I love Eva. I love wakeful Eva even better.


Wife said...

Ok, I must protest a little bit here. I was a nurse at one point - pus does not bother me. What bothers me is an obvious infection, and having to look at a red swollen pus filled pimple with a giant white pussy tip, pulsating at me, and taunting me. I would rather get the pus, pop it out and watch the wound heal nicely. Plus, there is a certain fascination watching it ooze out. it's pretty common with women, ask your wives or girlfriends. Well at least my best friend and I do, but maybe we are gross, I certainly know we are weird... :)
I still have a sick feeling in my stomach from watching those videos, and they were of cysts, not pimples. I know, I know - I asked for it, but it's like a car accident.
As for the aliens? I just hope like hell, they are not assholes, and/or realize us for what we are- small, spoiled little children who need time to mature and become the race they might want to be in contact with someday.
So I think it's pork chops for supper tomorrow (mmmmmmm, pork), and thanks babe, I'm glad to be back too.
Love you

Rocketstar said...

Nice, sleep = good.