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Valentine's Day and CPAP - Episode 2

Well hello my peeps! Happy Valentine's Day to y'all! I'm just sitting here chatting with y'all and finishing off a bottle of Andre's Cold Duck champagne. It's good, too! Anyway, I hope everyone's weekend has been great and that everyone who has a sweetheart was able to spend some quality, loving time together this weekend! Mine certainly was wonderful! I'd gotten the hubby a couple of orchids and a couple of cards for Valentine's. Why two cards? Well, I'd already picked out one at Target, but then I saw they had a couple of same-sex Valentine's cards and, while I wasn't going to put back the one I'd picked out, I wanted to support Target's inclusivity, so Steve got two cards. And since I had gotten him two orchids, that worked out just fine. I wrote something suitably sappy on each of the cards and put one with each orchid as a surprise on his dresser for when he arrived Friday night. Usually we go to Dairy Queen after he gets here and I get off work on Friday nights, but this time he said he was tired and just wanted to stop and grab some ice cream from the dollar store instead of going to Dairy Queen. I said that was fine with me and I just drove home after work, only to find that he had a surprise for me as well, a beautiful bouquet of chrysanthemums with a balloon tied to them with hearts and the words "I Love You" on it. That was so very sweet of him to think to do that, since Fridays are his busiest day, working a double shift at the restaurant and then having to drive an hour down here to see me. I'm definitely blessed to have him as my soulmate.

So, you may be wondering, what's so special about Valentine's? You're probably really wondering that if you're single. And guess what? There's another holiday for single people on Valentine's called International Quirkyalone Day. Quirkyalone is listed as a single word. International Quirkyalone Day is a celebration of self-love as well as platonic love, and evidently was first celebrated in 2003. Hmm, I was most definitely single in 2003, wish I'd known about this holiday! In 2004, I had just kicked out my boyfriend the night before Valentine's for cheating on me, so it would have been nice to know it then too. Fortunately for me, maybe not so fortunately for his girlfriend haha, my friend Curt insisted that I join him and his girlfriend for dinner that Valentine's so that I wouldn't have to be alone. Curt can be a very loving friend and I really don't celebrate him often enough. I'm really blessed to have him back in my life again. And speaking of Curt, I plan to have him as a guest on the podcast in the near future, so hang on to your hats for that upcoming event!

Valentine's Day is often depicted with Cupid, a little cherub, shooting arrows with heart-shaped tips into the tushies of people he thinks should fall in love with each other, but Cupid actually evolved from a mature and very handsome man named Eros, in Greek mythology. Eros was, of course, bisexual, as many Greeks were (and certainly as their gods and mythological heroes were), so he didn't just bring together heterosexual unions, but brought together two men or two women as well. Valentine's Day is a day for lovers, regardless of who the lovers are, and thank God for that! Fortunately, many people have become not only tolerant of gay love but accepting of it. Although both tolerance and acceptance are frustrating in and of themselves - after all, why should I need someone to "tolerate" (air quotes) my loving relationship? Tolerance indicates a deep, abiding contempt for something, but you turn a blind eye to it in order to let things slide. Acceptance even has a negative connotation, indicating that something is unpleasing or horrible, but you've accepted that it exists, just shrugging your shoulders and going on about your business. But of course of the two, I'd prefer acceptance.

Ok, now that I've discussed Valentine's, I'd like to discuss something else near and dear to my heart, or more precisely, to my breathing and sleeping. For a few decades, I've had sleep apnea, but I guess I never really realized it, and just went along on very little sleep for most of my life. However, by 2012, it was getting to the point that my sleep apnea was causing another condition to develop, that of narcolepsy. I would fall asleep having a conversation with someone, or fall asleep while driving (fortunately only momentarily there and never had or caused a wreck from that), or I'd sometimes fall asleep while being intimate with Steve. When I left the antique store and started working at the hospital, I would fall asleep while doing my computer training. I learned to compensate for it and would learn to do things to keep myself awake, but it didn't always work, and it was getting bad. But it wouldn't be until I was fired from that hospital (ironically, the hospital that claims not to discriminate against sexual orientation fired me for being gay, or more precisely, for not being quiet about being gay, but that's a story for another time) and hired by the other hospital in town that I was finally able to get a sleep study and identify that I would have an "event", as they're called, about 86 times a minute while sleeping. So of course I was always tired and sleepy - I was never hitting deep sleep. Ironically, I would dream a lot - the moment my eyes closed I would begin dreaming. The times I fell asleep driving or at work, even though those events would be measured in miliseconds sometimes, I would still dream.

In fact, the dreaming became so bad, I was having trouble distinguishing reality from the dreams. I mentioned to Steve once about the trips I'd been taking around the country to various airports. Just the airports. And flying directly back home again. And he's like, "Are you tripping? You haven't been doing that." I started to argue that of course I had, when it struck me - those trips were just a series of dreams I'd been having that seemed real but weren't! And I began wondering then just what else I'd thought was real but wasn't. I mean, it was crazy! But thank God in February of 2019, 3 years ago, I was able to do that sleep study - well, two of them, actually, because the first one I had was messed up by the sleep tech and I had to go back for a second one, this time fortunately by a more reliable tech. And that's when I began using a cpap and began getting my life back. Unfortunately, my anxiety was too great for me to sleep in my bed again, so I began sleeping in my recliner in the living room. It soon became normal for me to sleep there, and my dog would sleep with me through the night, while my cat would come and go from my lap throughout the night. This went on for 10 months until something horrible - and horribly hilarious in hind-sight - happened. One night after Christmas of 2019, I was sleeping soundly in the recliner, and the next thing I knew, my world was upside down. I'd flipped over backwards in the chair! Poor Max the dog was on top of me while I was trying to figure out how to become unentangled from the chair and from him, without hurting him! This was probably a little after midnight, and at the time I was getting up at 4:30am every weekday, so I went back to sleep once I righted the recliner, but I remember waking up several times to make sure I wasn't going to repeat the incident! After that night, I began sleeping on the sofa, where I've been sleeping ever since. I really need to start trying to sleep in my bed again, but every time I have tried in the past, my anxiety just keeps me from being able to fall asleep. Still, I plan to try again in the future. Just not quite yet lol!

My apologies, my cat, Maggie, decided she wanted to be recorded too, and you probably heard her a couple of times in the previous segment! She says she can be a podcaster too! An FPC - Feline Pod Caster! Hopefully she's settled down now!

Anyway, another change from pre-cpap and post-cpap is the number of times I would get up in the middle of the night to go pee versus how often I do that now. Before the cpap, I would probably get up between 5-8 times to go pee. Since the cpap? I may get up to go pee once a month or once every two months. If that often. It's amazing the difference the cpap has made with my bladder! The sleep doc explained it that my apnea would cause my body to panic, which would cause it to dump water into my bladder and hence, my bladder would fill up and I'd have to go. Now, since I sleep more or less through the night and don't suffer from apnea, my body doesn't panic and doesn't dump that water into my bladder. And if that was the only benefit from wearing the cpap, that would be enough for me! But of course it's not. I don't fall asleep during the day anymore. I don't fall asleep while driving anymore. I don't fall asleep having a conversation. However, I will say that I had covid at the beginning of the year, and I've been suffering from a lot of daytime drowsiness again since having covid. Just not to the point where I start falling asleep.

Ok, I think it's time to end this podcast for tonight. I hope I didn't bore anyone, that everyone who listened was entertained and made it this far! I'm so blessed and excited to have concluded the second episode and I look forward to many, many more! I'm still looking around at intros and outtros, so bear with me while I still work out the kinks! Not my kinks, of course, Steve wouldn't like me to lose those, but the kinks for the podcast! *wink wink* Anyway, have a very happy Valentine's Day, or a very happy International Quirkyalone Day, whichever you end up celebrating, and I'll talk to y'all again soon! Much love to everyone! Goodbye!


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