Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hercules and middle school

It's kinda hard to blog when you work somewhere that you don't feel right divulging stuff that happens at work to the whole wide internets. Especially with HIPAA moles everywhere...probably reading this blog post right now, wondering how I'm violating patient health information...Well I'm not! Back off Big Health Brother!

Anyway, without work that leaves...about sixish hours of the rest of my day to make things happen that are blog-worthy. And then I just give up. It's at that point ideas come to me. Mostly ridiculous ideas- the way I like 'em.

I walk about 15 minutes from the Trax station to my actual work- mostly that time consists of me and my thoughts-and reminding myself to not say these thoughts out loud and look like more of a crazy person than I am.

Hercules was on the brain this morning, and I was thinking of that song at the almost beginning of the movie- Go the Distance. Let's sing it together- either in our heads or out loud for people around us to enjoy...and a one, and a two...

"I have often dreamed
Of a far off place
Where a hero's welcome
Would be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer
When they see my face
And a voice keeps saying
This is where I'm meant to be"

This is the theme song of every middle schooler in the entire world.

And it only gets better as we move on to subsequent verses if you think of it that way.

"I'll be there someday
I can go the distance
I will find my way
If I can be strong
I know ev'ry mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere(insert here "do most anything")
To feel like I belong"

"Down an unknown road
To embrace my fate
Though the road may wander
It will lead me to you
And a thousand years
Would be worth the wait
It may take a lifetime
But somehow I'll see it through"

Sometimes middle school feels like wandering down an unknown road for 1,000 years.

"And I won't look back(to elementary school)
I can go the distance
And I'll stay on track(to actually get out of middle school and graduate high school)
No I won't accept defeat
It's an uphill slope
But I won't lose hope
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete"

Yeah- you'll never think of it in the same way again either. Also, I was wondering if we as people get into this mode- the grass-is-greener mode. Think about that. And maybe laugh a little as you reminisce about middle school- I know I did.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10 Things I've Learned About Public Transportation

10. Settle in. Even if everything is on time, you're still going to be 3X longer than it would take, even in rush hour traffic in a car.

9. Bring a book. If you don't have a book, or forgot yours, it's sometimes necessary to buy/play mindless phone games. I recommend Bejeweled.

8. I would highly recommend bringing snacks- when you're pretty much traveling for 3 hours of your day, you get hungry. Also, it's entertaining to watch other people try to watch you unobtrusively as you eat cottage cheese and pineapple- from a cottage cheese container.

7. There are weirdos everywhere, but they seem to congregate in public transportation. Some of my favorites were the guy who said he didn't believe in owning a car because he was sticking it to the man, and the guy who said everyone who is thinking about getting married should get divorced first. What he actually meant is they should look at what goes into the divorce process before getting married, but it was still funny to me.

6. The train will always win. It's terrifying, really, what people will do, even when a four-car light-rail is involved. Especially one that can't stop, even with slamming on the brakes and throwing down sand to stop as fast as possible. Takes at least a good 100 yards or so, depending on what speed it's up to.

5. Every day is a gamble time-wise. I mean, it's always a gamble with any transportation, really, but when you have so many more factors than just your car that you're actually traveling in, it gets interesting. Is the bus driver going to wait for me? Will the train be early or late?

4. Along with that last one, I depend on myself as a part of my transportation a lot more than I do some forms. I walk to and from the station, for instance, because the shuttles are the craziest gamble of all. I'd rather take 5 more minutes and know when I'll be there than possibly be 5 minutes earlier, but probably not.

3. It's okay to say no- especially when a person is creeping you out. I felt bad when a guy hit on me and so I didn't tell him to buzz off. But I was uncomfortable, and he doesn't have that right to do that to me.

2. Making friends is the best way to stay sane and not get hit on by creepy strangers. Or, when you do, you have an easier out. My ride friend is named Summer and I like her a lot. :)

1. It's nice to not have to pay for transportation. Or drive myself an hour every day. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Amy Gets a CPAP Machine

Well, it's been a good two months since I've blogged yet again - I think it's time to rename it "Once a Month Blog" or "Just When Amy Feels Like Writing So Don't Get Your Hopes Up For Frequent Updates".

So, I promised to write about the results of my sleep study - the CPAP-ness and such. It was kind of sad what ended up happening; I got my results and talked to my doctor and I woke up 34 times during the sleep test. 34. And I never even GOT below stage 3 sleep. Ridiculous.

As you can guess, that meant it was time to get a CPAP machine. I got mine from Praxair - a home medical supply place. It's a rent to own type deal with our insurance, so I pretty much got my own unit right off. I met my Praxair representative, who explained how to use my CPAP machine and such, and then proceeded to do a mask fitting to see which one would work best. I ended up going home with this new gel-type one and was pretty happy with it, from what I could tell.

Man was it a whole different world when I tried to use it.

I'm going to ask you to imagine with me again - are you with me yet? Okay, so imagine you're putting on a snorkel mask, but just the nose part. It is literally eating your face and feels HUGE. It presses against your upper lip area because you're wearing a mouth guard because you not only have a blocked airway in your sleep, you grind your teeth. As if one sleep problem wasn't enough.

A snorkel mask is a pretty good comparison not only because of where it sits, but if you have a humidifier attached to your CPAP machine and have it set too high, it feels like you're drowning. If you have it set too low, though, it congests you like crazy.

Also, getting situated is a bit ridiculous - mostly because the hose pushes into the edge of your pillow, pushing the mask into your face. They actually have CPAP pillows that have a hole cut out of the side right where the hose sits, so you don't have that problem. I'm thinking I'm just going to cut a hole out of my pillow. I'll let you know how that one goes.

The best part about a CPAP mask is that you have to get it at just the right pressure - if it's too loose, it leaks and you don't have the right pressure for it to work. If it's too tight, it feels like you're losing all circulation to your face. Yes, that's totally sarcasm.

Okay, so after a week or so of using the new gel mask it was driving me crazy, so I went in and got it switched out for a smaller, older model. The problem with the fitting concept is that the situation of sitting in a chair, testing out masks is not true to how you're actually going to use it; unless people sleep sitting completely upright, which I guess my friend's mom does sometimes (with her CPAP- and now I understand why).

I want to try the nose and mouth covering masks, but the 30-day trial period is up and the insurance won't let me get a new mask for 2 more months. In the meantime, I'm trying to get comfortable in my bed and after an hour I pretty much end up tearing it off in frustration and getting the sleep I can with it off. Why did it work just fine for a month or so and now I can't sleep with it on? I have no idea.

Picture with me wearing the CPAP to come...if I don't destroy it first.