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About DreamDancer

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  1. I haven't been around in quite a while. While I was doing a challenge, I found I had to go to the doctor, because some stuff just wasn't right. I just couldn't make the goals I had for sleeping, loosing weight and a few other things. I already knew I have Sjorgren's syndrome and Fibromyalgia, but I didn't know I had sleep apnea as well. It's taken a lot of time to adjust to my cpap machine and find the correct mask. Then the doctor assigned me to get physical therapy 3x per week. (I was hit by a pick up truck in 2014 and still have a lot of trouble with my left knee because of that.) That's when I found out I also had Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which the physical therapist fixed. Then I fell at work... and got a few previous diagnoses confirmed: Sjorgren's syndrome, check; Fibromyalgia, check; congenitally malformed spinal foramen which impinge on nerves when I have any inflammation, like when I fall. That doc sent me back to PT for three months. By then I'd kinda forgotten about Nerd Fitness altogether, but a friend has been posting about his progress with loosing weight and such on FB, and inspired me to come back and do a challenge again. In May my son devised me a challenge -which I started, but I didn't post it formally here. The challenge I'm posting is based on what he had me do (which was working exceptionally well ---until I fell in the kitchen and broke my nose... at which point I lost my momentum.) Diet: Drink 500 ml water every day --> Be drinking 2 liters by the end of the challenge. Fitness: Stretches: Warm up and cool down 5 min every day. Any of a variety of stretches from PT and other sources that feels right at the time. Climb stairs (Body-weight): Climb 1 flight of stairs to start. Increase by a flight as feels appropriate --> be doing 4 flights a day by the end of the challenge. Alternate with a 5 minute walk as necessary if my knee is acting up. Level up life: Be habitually getting into bed by 10 pm by the end of the challenge. It's kind of free-form, but I'm trying not to over-think this. (I've planned some of the previous challenges like down to the second - "do x amount of this exercise/stretch on this day" - and when I blow the goal because of my knee or some other random problem, I just stop.) Weight: 181 Waist: 39,5 Hips: 45.5 Bust: 44 L thigh: 19.5 R thigh: 20 Neck:14.75
  2. Thanks! Things are looking up for my boyfriend's brother. He lived through 2 surgeries and a Medically Induced Coma so far... As for me - I have entered another phase in the sleep. It turns out that after about a month of CPAP you start getting a ton of REM sleep to make up for what you lost for some years. (REM rebound) My jawbone wristband is showing 4 hours of deep sleep to about an hour of light sleep. That started a day or two ago. But also I am not waking up refreshed like I was the first few weeks of therapy. I wish the sleep doctor or therapists had mentioned this, as I thought I must be doing something wrong, but I found out what is going on via the cpap forum. Apparently once you hit this phase, you enter REM sleep really quickly, and get a whole lot more. But part of the effect is to not really feel like you woke up in the morning. They said that it generally lasts about 3 weeks, until you get enough REM sleep. It can last longer, but 3 weeks is about average. Most of the advice was to sleep as much as possible-up to 10 hours a day.
  3. I am not very good at keeping up with progress reports, but it's been a hectic week - and I didn't even really 'do' Thanksgiving - AND took Friday off of work! I am managing to keep the cpap mask on 4+ hours per night. Usually 5+ hours. I still get up about 2 hours after I get to bed for a potty break - but it's not urgent anymore. That part feels more like a habit now. This is way down from waking up 3 or 4 times a night. Once I take the potty break, I am asleep til about 5:30 am. On the cpap forums someone said that you wake up 'too early' for a while, because your body isn't used to getting this much sleep, especially all at once, and thinks it's done. I am making a serious effort to put the mask back on after the potty break- I get back up into bed (it's a loft bed) and just want to lay my head back down immediately. If I do that, I tend to fall asleep without the mask. Then if I wake up at 5 or so, I have to get it back on and rest or sleep til 7, so I get the 4 hours done. I equipped the loft bed with a few more things, like a set of baskets to hold tissues and bottles of water for the cpap humidifier. I did get a new cpap mask from the supplier and this one works MUCH better. It's supposedly an extra small, but part of it is a lot larger than the first one. I also had to work out heating problems in my apartment. The heater only has 3 temperatures in the winter : hot, hotter and off. I used to solve this by leaving a window open, and turning the heater off one of the times I woke up during the night. Since heat rises, this doesn't seem to work with the loft bed - all the hot air just gets stuck over the bed. So now I run the heater just enough to make it pleasant, and have a small space heater set to keep it at that temperature. (Before I did it this way, I was waking up overheating or freezing with an icy cold hunk of plastic stuck to my face.) Forgetting to smoke hasn't happened yet. Playing didgeridoo is on hold... However - I am graduating my android coding class! I have workshops next Monday and Wednesday to work on job hunting materials, and then on the 10th, employers and city officials, like the mayor will attend the graduation. That's part of why the week has been so hectic. I had to make sure the folks running the classes knew that I finished them, make sure my code was on Github, and help a couple friends who were running a bit behind. But there was also an emergency hospital situation in my boyfriend's family and that's sort of sucked up a lot of time, energy and emotional reserves.
  4. For the quitting smoking part, I am working with a book 'How to Quit Smoking in 15 Easy Years : The Slacker's Guide to quitting smoking'. The idea is to start forgetting to smoke. It's a counterintuitive process. You start by enjoying the smoking, and not busting on your self for doing it. Then you start finding other moments of your day to enjoy. The author keeps reinforcing the idea that quitting isn't really 'doing something' - it's simply not doing something. (smoking) I worked with this on the previous challenge too, but at some point, while I was waiting to get the cpap machine, it became pretty obvious that I have a much better chance of quiting when I can get better sleep. I think when I tried in the past, I didn't feel much better for having quit, but now I might. For the most part I am currently focused on the sleep portion,and it's a bit odd : things I tried to do in other challenges are falling into place, without any particular effort. (Like eating breakfast - I am not waking up nauseous, and am actually a little hungry in the morning.) I did get the beeswax Mouthpiece on the didgeridoo / pipe over the weekend, so now I can start picking it up now and again. I really am not particularly grading any of it - I am a bit more focused on noticing the small differences in how I feel as opposed to the day before - like yesterday is the first time in ages, if ever, that I didn't nearly fall over asleep at 3 pm at work.
  5. I didn't even think about grading this time. I have to meet the 4 hour requirement for using the cpap, to comply with the insurance. Most nights that hasn't been a problem, except that now when the mask leaks, I have had a tendency to take it off. It's like once it starts leaking, I can't get it to stop and every effort just makes it worse. I think I have to disconnect it and adjust it without air going through it. Right now I am mostly concerned with not busting on myself and regaining my equilibrium. I hadn't really realized how tired I am, until I started getting actual sleep. I'm waking up at least 3 times a night, but the quality of sleep is better. This morning is the first time in years that I have woke up feeling somewhat refreshed. I would have thought I was before, but it is relative- now that I have woken up feeling somewhat refreshed, I realize that there's a difference between that and just being a little less tired than I was the day before.
  6. I have been using the cpap every night since last Friday, usually 5+ hours (which may still include a nap, especially on the weekend.) I used it watching TV for a bit too, in order to get used to having it on my face. So far : 1. The cornea of my eyes are not so red in the morning that people think I have been smoking pot or have conjunctivitis. They aren't totally clear but the difference is noticeable. (I thought this was allergy until it went away with the only change being cpap.) 2. My ankles aren't getting sock lines from edema. 3. The pain in my left shoulder and hip is less. 4. I want to stretch like a cat when I get up. I haven't wanted to MOVE any muscles when I wake up let alone stretch for a long long time. 5. My neck and chest were getting papery, dry, wrinkled old lady skin. The rest of my skin was very dry. As of yesterday the wrinkles are gone. 6. I am not nauseous in the morning! One day I even wanted to eat breakfast! (I spent one whole challenge a while back trying to get myself to eat breakfast.) 7. My feet aren't ghastly white with red toes when I take a bath. A little pale with pink toes, but not seriously white. I have no idea how long I have had sleep apnea, but a lot of what I am noticing is stuff I had come to think was 'normal' is changing. I think most of this is due to getting more oxygen as my oxygen level drops to 80 % when I sleep (without the cpap). This all has to be due to the oxygen, because I am not sleeping through the night (in fact I woke up 5 times last night.) I think that's a three part problem : 1. I am still getting used to the mask. 2. I have to work out the leak problem. 3. One of the guys on the cpap forum says it can take a while for your body (and brain) to realize it doesn't have to wake you up so you don't die.
  7. I was a bookseller in a former incarnation. I read the book, then bought the workbook. I used the system for several years, and it works.
  8. If you haven't done the 'titration' sleep study with the mask and machine part yet, make sure to get the right mask (for you) . The first tech was going to give me a medium - the second one substituted a small, and now that I have it home, I am wondering if there is an extra small. I figured that the technicians would know best because they do the fittings all the time, but I have been reading a forum 'cpap talk' and the folks there emphasize having the techs go through the various choices. http://www.cpaptalk.com/CPAP-Sleep-Apnea-Forum.html I have to have a 'full' mask because I have a deviated septum and breathe through my mouth sometimes. The problem I am having at the moment is 'leaks'. The machine runs great for some time, but then I turn over or move my jaw and the air flow starts leaking out the side. I may not be adjusting the straps that hold it on quite right though... I have only had the machine since last Friday, and it apparently takes a week or so to get used to. I chose the didgeridoo as my 3rd quest, as from what I have been reading, it exercises the breathing muscles and has been used to help treat sleep apnea. I also think I might be able to get myself to substitute inhaling through a cigarette for exhaling through a bit of tubing. (I found directions for making one out of pvc tubing. I may buy a wooden one later, but figured the homemade version will do for now.)
  9. I will flesh this challenge out more later, but the basics are: 1. Use my new cpap machine every night for 4+ hours 2. Forget to smoke 3. Work up to playing didgeridoo 1/2 hour per day, 5 days per week. Life quest portion: 1.Revamp my website. 2.Rework my code on Github and get my basic code there. 3. Reconfigure my resume. 4. Fill out my LinkedIn (and anything else I forgot about) per codelouisville instructions. Backstory: Although I was hit by a pick-up truck last year and have fibromyalgia, within the past few months I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and the beginnings of 'potter's rot' (aka brown lung /aka silicosis). So the focus of this challenge is my lungs and upper respiratory tract, and prepare to get a different job. BATCAVE revisions : Vacuum all of the carpet in my apartment and steam clean it with a steam mop, then follow up with a carpet cleaner. (I had gotten lazy about taking off my work clothes immediately upon getting home over the years and there's probably a ton of Pottery dust in my carpet, along with cat dander and dust from renovation to the apartment building.)
  10. It's EXACTLY like the ice cream example! Every time I have tried to quit smoking before, the day I 'set ' to quit I wind up smoking TWO packs, instead of less than one, and it stays that way for a few days... I've read the whole book now, and in a few days I will read it again. The author said sometimes it takes a few readings to get to the point where you're ready to forget to smoke. Part of one of the steps is to start noticing other parts of the day you enjoy. Also to take a few moments without a cig lit up to accept yourself unconditionally. As I go through this process, I am noticing other things in my life changing as well. I am not as likely to get my mind all worked up about trivial stuff. (Another 'exercise' is to stop beating yourself up about smoking, and then expand that so you're not beating yourself up for making little 'mistakes'.) I am sort of putting everything on hold til Saturday or Sunday. Last Friday I thought I might be able to just quit smoking altogether by Saturday morning. I had a split sleep study scheduled. I had to go in at 7 pm, and wouldn't be leaving the clinic til 6 am. I figured it might be easier to walk away from cigs when I had already been in a circumstance where I couldn't smoke for 12 hours. It might have worked if the study had wound up 'split'. In a split study, they hook you up to all sorts of recording equipment, and track your sleep for a few hours. If they see evidence of sleep apnea, they wake you up, add a cpap machine and calibrate it. I was totally tired - - but didn't fall asleep till well after midnight. (Despite turning the lights off at 10.) I had been somewhat hopefull that they would find out I had it--- sleep apnea would explain SO much of stuff, and if it was that, I would finally have been diagnosed with something treatable. But when I woke up the next morning, the technician said that they would go over the logs and call me sometime this week after they analysed them. At that point I figured it meant I didn't have sleep apnea. Oh well back to the drawing board... I got kind of bummed out - - because at the time I figured the doctors would once again conclude I 'just' have fibromyalgia. In my experience with fibromyalgia, which is 20 years of experience, all they do is send you home with the latest meds - whatever is being promoted for use with fibromyalgia at the moment. I lasted a little while longer, but then smoked again... Well, they called today - and I have to go back Friday for a second sleep study - except this time I will spend the entire night hooked up to cpap machine. It turns out that once I finally get to sleep, I have 'mild' sleep apnea, as long as I am sleeping lightly. But - when I hit REM sleep, it goes from mild to the bad end of 'moderate' , and my oxygen level is on the edge of 'severe'. So, while I am not elated to have sleep apnea, maybe I will finally be able to SLEEP! As for 'potter's rot' - it's like black lung disease. The tiny particles of silica dust get stuck in your lungs - and there's no way to get them out. Apparently my lungs are currently clear enough - but I am not allowed to go to work without a respirator/mask. From what I read, it takes about 20 years to develop full fledged 'silicosis', and I have only been working at the Pottery for 4 - BUT I have sjogren's syndrome (very little tears and mucous - the stuff that protects your sinus and eyes from particulates.) I think that's why I am showing signs of problems, when other people who have been there much longer aren't. But - after I was out of work for the week - one of my coworkers woke up not able to breathe AT ALL. She has been there 7 or so years. She was in hospital for a week. They diagnosed her with pulmonary edema and sent her home with a defibrillator (despite that heart tests show her heart is OK.) She isn't wearing a mask at all! And she absolutely knows what my doctor diagnosed me with. I am finding this extremely odd - but I figure she probably didn't mention the dust level we work in. (Whereas I showed my doctor a picture of racoon footprints in the dust by my desk... So my doctor probably didn't have to think very hard to figure it out.. In fact she looked quite aghast and asked how quickly I could find a different job... ) I have actually been getting a bit of flack from other coworkers about wearing the dust mask. It's like they considered me a wus because I 'can't handle it'. (I usually have worn one before this - I just couldn't all summer, because it's 90 F in the building.) Actually, they also give me a bit of crap about having to leave due to the heat as well. (Well I am not the dumbsh*t who is gonna die of the dust or heat! Who's smarter now?)
  11. I had a little breakthrough yesterday. For the first time ever, I was about to habitually light up - and decided I didn't feel like it. I did feel like it later, but I let that be okay. I think I smoked less last night than usual. I am not tracking the number though, as it seems to give the cigarettes too much importance. I also found out that at least part of why I am sick is that I have the beginning symptoms of 'Potters rot'. I have a few rants about it to make, but have to go to work shortly.
  12. After reading last night's chapter of 'The Slacker's Guide to quitting smoking', and getting a big realization - that one thing smoking has been giving me, is a (very short) break in the battle to be better or different - I am wondering if getting sick etc is some sort of forced break our bodies are making us take. One of the things this book keeps reiterating is that it's easiest to change when you are happy, even if you would rather the situation is different from what it is.
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