Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Girls' Weekend!

There's nothing like spending time in the company of girlfriends. Even if it is family! Marynell and I spent the weekend at Mary Kay's house. Peter (their brother) was banned from the house, and spent the weekend at MNs. It was a fabulous weekend of marathon scrapbooking for me, and card-making for MK and MN. I started (and completed!) an entire gift album. We stayed up until 4 a.m. Saturday morning working on our projects, and til 1 or 2 am on Sunday morning. Dinner Saturday night at a wonderful Chinese place called BoBo's off of Pleasant Hill (check it out if you're in the area). Such a delightful change to my routine with crafting, food, fun, and OH SO MUCH laughing!!! Being around those two is certainly an endorphine-producing event.

Then when I returned home, my house was spic n span clean. Normally when I come home from a weekend away, my home is a disaster, but she worked very hard to keep it clean, and do lots of extra things. Oh yes. It was a great weekend.

Minutes are low at work, so instead of a 12-hour day today, it's an 8-hour day, and I'm just now about to get started at 3 pm instead of 11 am.

Corey has tubes put in his ears tomorrow, so please remember him in your prayers (and my mom and dad tonight- Leyland will stay overnight with them since we have to be at the hospital so early tomorrow!) Have a good week, everyone!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Yesterday (Saturday, June 27) was my dad's birthday. I forgot to call him. :-( We had a little cookout at his house on Thursday night to celebrate Father's Day and his birthday. Michael came down, Whitney and the kids and I went over for a nice evening of burgers and dogs and some good old family time. My dad is one of those dads who can do anything. Well, maybe not ANYthing any more... it's hard to realize that he is 78 years old, so physically he isn't able to hold out as long as he once could. He's a jack-of-all-trades, an amazing craftsman, and a most wonderful family man. He loves his kids, his grandkids, and absolutely dotes on his great grandkids. He and my mom just love to have them visit. Kinda keeps 'em young, I think. Up until the digital electronic age came along, there was hardly anything we could break or mess up that he couldn't fix. He loves tinkering around with things, fixing things, creating things, and building things. His current project is building a Model T (or maybe a Model A... I don't remember) car from scratch. He is having the time of his life building this car. He's hoping to have it ready by the end of August for the Sunflower Festival in town. Stop by and see him if you make it to the festival.

He is an incredible man, and I'm so lucky to have him for a father. I suppose somewhere in the recesses of my mind, since we celebrated on Thursday night, I just thought that his birthday was over. I was a busy girl this weekend playing in MK and MNs craft room working on a gift album, and I honestly didn't even think about it. I was so focused on "getting away", that I just plain, flat out forgot that it was his birthday. I'm so sorry, Dad!! I know you had a busy weekend too... and I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday! I love you very much!!!
Thanks for all you do for us!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday (Monday) was my mom and dad's 52nd wedding anniversary. My mom totally forgot. How funny is that. The husband usually gets accused of forgetting, but I don't think my dad has ever forgotten. At any rate, way to go, Mom and Dad. I can't imagine doing anything for 52 years, much less living with the same person!! Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

CPAP, CCATH, And The Georgia Theatre

Well, what a day Friday was. Ipicked up my cpap machine, and thankfully, it is nothing like the monstrosity I had to wear for the titration study. (That's not me in this picture, but this is what my mask looks like.) I believe I can make it work. I'm expecting great things.

All the way on the drive down to Athens, I was watching the horizon for black smoke. We learned early Friday morning that the Georgia Theatre was ablaze. According to the radio, downtown was pretty chaotic, with the power grid being shut down, and many streets closed. Though I am not necessarily a patron of local bands (excluding my brother's band) and didn't frequent the theatre, it still struck a chord of sadness when I learned it was burning. Athens has been home to several bands who have "made it" on the music scene, and the Georgia Theatre was the venue of choice back in the day. Some of our more famous local bands include REM, Widespread Panic, B-52s, as well as some lesser-known, but up-and-coming acts, Corey Smith being the only one coming to mind right now. I remember when it was a movie house. At any rate, it has long been a landmark for Athens, and it is sad to lose that. The owner hopes to rebuild. But back to the smoke... I couldn't believe that I wasn't seeing any smoke at all, and decided that when I left the pulmonary clinic, I'd do exactly what the city government, fire officials, and the DJ on the radio said NOT to do... and that was drive downtown to do a little rubbernecking of my own. While I was being fitted for my mask, however, I started experiencing an excruciating pain in my right jaw. Not having any dental issues that I'm aware of, I was alarmed that it could be related to my as-yet-undiagnosed cardiac "condition". The pain subsided somewhat, enough that I was able to indeed drive downtown. Most folks had stayed home, so there weren't many cars in town at all. Lots of foot and bike traffic though, and lots of spectators were on hand. A few traffic lights were out, but I was able to drive behind the theatre. Not much to see, just some firemen in bucket trucks dousing the smoldering ruins, but the outside walls were still intact.

From that adventure, I went into Sam's to upload some photos. I was feeling pretty bad again, and sought out the refuge of one of the sofas in the furniture section to await my photos. Now I've heard of left-sided jaw pain being a flag for cardiac issues, but never the right side. I called Dr. F's office (my oral surgery transcription account) to see what he would think. If anybody knows jaws, it's Dr. F. He said it didn't matter, left or right, and to call my cardiologist right away. I just wanted to go home and take some anti-reflux medicine and take a nap. And then go to Wild Bill's to hear the band. I called my mom, and we tried to decide if I should go get it checked. I picked up the photos, got in my car and was in the left-turn lane to go home when my jaw pain pumped up a notch. I knew I already didn't feel like going to the show. I knew if I called my cardiologist's office or my PCP's office they would tell me to go to the ER. So, I decided to just go. I did call the cardiologist on the way to let them know I would be going. Unknown to me, he went ahead and alerted the ER and instructed them to prepare me for a cath. That fine-looking ER doctor, Dr. H, was the bearer of that news. I joked with him that it must be time for Dr. S's car payment. This was not a total surprise, but so not what I wanted to hear. It would likely mean an overnight admission... something I totally didn't want. I called mom and dad, who were already prepared to come down there (as I figured they would). It was amazing. I walked into the ER right about noon, and by 3:30, I had finished my cath, completed recovery, and we were on the way to get some dinner. (I was rushing the staff so we could make it to dinner before the Senior Citizen Discount hour was over. NO I'm not really a senior citizen, but some places will give me the discount, so my daddy just says "three seniors". Getting older does have SOME advantages!) The most interesting aspect of the cath is that they did it through the radial (wrist) artery, and not the femoral (groin) artery. The femoral approach would have entailed a far greater recovery time, more painful, and probably an overnight stay, since it would be later afternoon before doing it. The radial route recovery time was about an hour. In all my years of transcribing cath reports, I have never heard of using the radial artery approach. There's only one guy in Athens who does it, and he happens to be the partner of my (and Whitney's ) electrophysiologist/cardiologist. And he happened to be on call yesterday afternoon. I was pretty much bucking the whole idea, because 1) I didn't want to bother with it (don't have time for such things you know), 2) I was scheduled to work the next day, and they told me I could not work, 3) I wanted to go hear the band. However... I relented... (I guess I was alarmed enough to justify it). So much the better, since another episode was bound to happen, and maybe I wouldn't have got the really cute ER doctor (which probably did little to help my heart rate and blood pressure...haha), but most importantly, I may not have gotten Dr. K., who did the radial artery thing.

The final diagnosis is... my heart is clear!! Yay!!! Dr. S. had previously encouraged me to get a cath, based on some minor abnormalities on two prior cardiac tests, but relented to let me postpone it, with the admonition that should I have another episode, he would insist. Now that it's all over with, I am relieved to know that my symptoms are not cardiac related, and at least I no longer have that "threat" of getting a cath hanging over my head. Two of my co-workers were gracious enough to cover the hours that I had been scheduled, so that worry was relieved. After dinner, I went home to my mom and dad's house, because their house is a bit more peaceful and much quieter than my house. :-) I enjoyed a nice visit with my parents, slept more soundly than I have in a long time ;-\ and picked up a good book along the way. I've returned back to The 409 now. The Veals have gone to Zoo Atlanta today, so it should be nice and quiet. I'm going to finish the book I started, and watch a movie that Whitney and Kate got yesterday. And I'll probably take a nap or two.

Not the Friday I had planned on. Not a Friday I hope to experience again. But all's well that end's well, I suppose, and I continue to be thankful for all my blessings.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Made In The U.S.A.

It has long chapped my britches that so much of the stuff we buy is made in other countries. It has hit home a little harder since the recent problems with tainted chocolate candy from China. I found myself stopping strangers in the store when I saw them looking at bags of "generic" chocolate at Halloween and Easter, telling them to be sure they weren't buying candy made in China. When the kids brought home their Halloween candy, we went through and took out all the "generic" chocolate candy. Not that we are snobs, we just didn't want our children to get sick or poisoned. Same deal with kitties and doggies. Remember the folks who lost their pets because of the tainted food from China? Of course, no manufacturer is exempt from fluke contamination issues, as we have recently seen here in the USA with peanut butter and various fruits/vegetables/meats over the past few years. Those events were indeed tragic, but somehow they seem a little less sinister than those caused by tainted products imported from outside the walls of our country, where the regulations are minimal to non-existent. At least in the USA an effort is made to verify the safety and quality of the products through various government agencies that mandate inspection of the products. Besides the quality-control issue, is the fact that when we buy imported products, (especially from American-owned companies who have outsourced their work force) we are supporting the very concept that has resulted in the loss of thousands, perhaps millions of jobs across our land. The mentality that the American business owner can profit more by paying pennies on the dollar to overseas employees is a practice that should be ILLEGAL in this country, and their products should be boycotted by all American citizens. I have firsthand knowledge of this situation, because medical transcription has been outsourced to "transcriptionists" in India and Pakistan for quite some time now. I don't blame those women, they are just trying to feed their babies, in a country that puts low value on women to start with. They are able to make good money (for them) at a fraction of what it costs to pay a medical transcriptionist here at home. :::I need to get off this soapbox right now... my blood pressure is starting to rise:::

I'll have to revisit this post topic again sometime. For right now, though, I'd like to share an e-mail I received (that prompted this post topic). Disclaimer- As with everything I post that I "hijack" from somebody else, I can't validate any of these statements. However, it doesn't really matter to me if the specifics are accurate... the principle that it brings to mind is indeed valid. Here ya go. And remember: Buy American whenever possible!!!!!
the e-mail reads: Check this out. I can verify this because I was in Lowes theother day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments. They were all made in China. The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in USA . Start looking. In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else - even their job. So, after reading this email,I think this lady is on the right track. Let's get behind her! My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more. My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything. This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60 W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next tothe GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was thefact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in- get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland , Ohio. So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here. So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets....yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been usingfor years and at almost half the price! So my challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in theUSA - the job you save may be your own or your neighbor's! (emphasis Cathy) We need to start buying American, one light bulb at atime! Stop buying from overseas companies! (We should have awakened a decade ago......) Let's get with the program.... help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the U.S.A.

Get the picture? Let's buy American Made as much as possible. Let's educate ourselves in which manufacturers, though they may be American-owned, embrace overseas labor practices to realize more profit- at the expense of American jobs. Let's read those labels in the store and choose the products made right here at home.

(And now, having "preached" this little sermon, I will probably cringe to find that my favorite products are imported... and I'll have to suffer needless loss... Sigh.....Sometimes doing the right thing isn't the fun or easy thing.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Link Within

I don't know if you noticed or not, but I have added a gadget that supposedly relates the current post to similar posts in the past, and offers you a link to read that post. I have no idea how this works. Or even if it does work. Sometimes I just laugh when I see the prior posts that it associates with a current one. And sometimes if I go back and look, the linked post has changed. Crazy. So let's see what former posts will be linked to this one....

Friday- A Big Day!

I'm looking to have a pretty big day on Friday. First and foremost, I'll be going out Friday evening to enjoy the awesome sound of Departure at Wild Bill's. I'm working Saturday, so it's doubtful that I'll get to stay and see the entire show. That's too bad... I just love the encore part! Normally I don't work on Saturdays any more, but it worked out beautifully for my co-worker, Jeneine, and I to swap days so that I could be off the Sunday of Corey's birthday, and she has a family reunion on Saturday. Talk about a win-win!! That's a really great thing about my job. There's usually always someone willing to cover or swap schedules when someone needs or wants to be off. Sorry. Off topic there. Just had to give a shout-out to those co-workers so willing to be flexible! Back to Friday. So, I'm going to hear the band. Hopefully some friends will be able to join me, and it will be a nice change from my routine.

Another exciting thing about Friday is that I have an appointment to get fitted for my CPAP! I thought I had to wait another two weeks, after my appointment with the doctor, but the DME office called yesterday, and I'm scheduled to go in Friday morning. Yipeee! (or maybe Uh Oh!... I'm not sure whether to look forward to this thing or to dread it. The more I look at pictures of these things, the more apprehensive I become. However, for the time being, I'm going to be optimistic and look forward to it. I don't know if mine will look like the one pictured here or not. I'm really hoping to get one that doesn't have a thing between my eyes. That would interfere greately with the late-night watching of Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel.) Dare I hope that the contraption will facilitate a healthy night's sleep? Is it possible to actually wake up in the morning without a headache? Do you think perhaps my memory/forgetfulness will improve? Tune in later for my personal review of the experience.
Today the major task at hand is to seek and destroy two tiny little winged creatures that are practicing their stunt routines in my work space. I am freshly showered, and there are no fermenting food particles on my desk, so I'm not certain why they are buzzing about, how they got in here, or why they insist on coming so close to my face. A person looking through my window might think I have gone mad... for all the slapping at my own face, and batting unseen (to them) objects in mid air.
AHA! There! I got one! One down, one to go.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Congratulations to Micaela and Jeremy B.! On the last day of school, Jeremy received the award for Academic Excellence for having the highest GPA of the entire third grade: 99 average! Go Jeremy!! Micaela was in the top five of her 6th grade class with an average of 97.66!! You Go Girl!!! It is truly refreshing to see such bright, promising youngsters, who also exemplify true character and integrity. Dale and Tangela, you're doing a fine job. I know ya'll are so proud! Keep up the good work!

All That Agony....

And no definitive answer. I transcribed my sleep study last night, and the physician said my study was a "challenging" titration for several reasons, including the fact that my sleep was very fragmented, but also the fact that the oxyhemoglobin probe was not functioning for the major portion of the study. At the highest tested pressure of 10 cm water, I was only asleep for 10 minutes, during which there was no REM sleep. (REM sleep is usually the time that the events are the worst, and titration results are best obtained in REM.) In the Recommendations section, he said that should I have difficulties with control of the sleep-disordered breathing at 10 cm, repeat CPAP titration vs home aut0-CPAP titration should be considered.

Can I just say grrrrrrrr?!?!?!?!?

My follow-up appointment with the doctor is next Friday, the 26th. Hopefully I'll move forward with the CPAP, and get some reassurance that, despite the suboptimal results of the titration, we'll be able to tame this beast.
Other than that, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I'm counting my blessings! Please continue to remember Delores, who returns to Texas next week for an exciting new (for her) chemotherapy regimen.

Friday, June 12, 2009

CPAP Study Completed

The grit behind my eyelids may limit my ability to compose a coherent post. Oh yes. It was just as brutal as my initial sleep study, in a couldn't-go-to-sleep kind of way. I had requested from my friend Pam at the Sleep Lab that I be assigned to the same tech, a wonderful guy named Reuben. Fortunately for me, he was on duty last night and again did an amazing job with my case. Let me just say, I am so glad it is over. Next stop- Dr. Lazenby and Chuck, then on to the DME for the fitting of my own personal alien mask.

Here are a couple of (HORRIBLE) photos taken from my cell phone. Refrain from the fat-girl-in-her-jammies comments, if you please.

I've written a little ditty to commemorate my night of torture.

'Twas the night of my CPAP, and all through my room,
Not a creature was sleeping: my REM stage was doomed.
I wiggled and squirmed all snug in my bed,
With thousands of electrodes stuck to my head.
The alien mask, so snug on my face,
Delivering air at a pressured pace,
Did little to help my insomniac state,
As the minutes ticked by at such a fast rate.
The sheep were just laughing, and hopping about,
Impossible to count, so I shooed them all out.
The blinking red light above on the ceiling,
Reminded me constantly of how I was feeling.
Eyes wide open, then shut really tight,
On again, off again, like that stupid red light.
At least my tech Reuben was as nice as could be,
And did his best to make it comfy for me.
When at last Mr. Sandman appeared by my bed,
He bid me to sleep with a nod of his head.
Morning came soon, then up for a shower.
Removing the hair-glue took nearly an hour.
Now that it's over, I'm ever so pleased,
And tonight I am hopeful to catch me some Zs.
You'll hear me exclaim when I turn out my light,
I can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gimme A Break

I'm not an Oprah fan. I used to be. I was terribly put off by her remarks about Jesus. There are many who share her views that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. There are many who believe we are not in need of any kind of salvation at all. My faith leads me to believe otherwise. And while I respect the right of each person to believe what they may (God is good that way… he doesn't force us to believe His way, he lets us choose for our own self), I personally believe that Jesus is the only way. I'm not going to get into a theology discussion here, or discuss the merits of those who live good lives. I only know what I feel to be true in my own heart. I'm just explaining, if anyone is interested, why I am no longer an Oprah fan. I don't base it on that one comment alone, but as well, the theology that she has publicly embraced, and offers to her millions of viewers. That she has been made a goddess of sorts, makes the offering far more enticing to millions of people who, seeking to fill that God-given void in our hearts and our spirits, will lap it up like kittens with a fresh saucer of warm milk. If Oprah says it, then it must be gospel. Now, I will be the first to admit, that her shows are entertaining, often informative, and I have discovered some really neat folks who have been guests on the show (Mattie Stepanek and Il Divo, being my favorites.) I'm also aware that Oprah does some really great things (albeit sometimes stupid things) with her gazillions, and she is a philanthropist in the truest sense of the word. I'm not about Oprah-bashing.... I'm just no longer a fan who thinks she is All That. I'm working when her show comes on, so whether or not to watch is a non-issue. I will also admit that if there is a scheduled guest that I like, I will tune in, if possible. But it's kind of like an AA meeting. Take what you need (or want, in this case) and leave the rest. But for the most part, I don't watch her any more, and I have canceled my "membership" to her website. Yesterday, due to low hospital census and lack of work, I took the day off. I was in my office doing some chores, and the Oprah show came on. In my busyness, I didn't change the channel. I almost did, because the topic was Spirituality 101. I figured it would be the usual poppycock theologies that she embraces, but I decided to watch while I finished my chores. She had three "Spiritual" people on her panel. I don't remember their names, nor who/what they represented. One was a black male minister of some sort, one was a white male dressed in a priest outfit, (who said that being gay was a blessing from God… and even Oprah said he was the first minister she had heard actually say that!) and one was a white female who had written a book of some kind. I'm not going to get into what they discussed, nor how they advised the people who Skyped in. What I'm going to focus on is the comparison between two women who Skyped in with questions for the "leaders". You can read more on the episode here on her website if you want.

The first Skyper was what appeared to be a young/middle-aged black woman who seemed to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. She and her husband had invested all their savings into a business venture (I forgot what kind), and in these tough economic times, their business was failing. She said she had many family members who were dependent upon her success at running the business, and even had a grandchild whom she was raising. Her question was how best to survive this situation and remain positive and hopeful. It was very easy to sympathize with this woman, and I truly wish her well.

The second Skyper was a white woman, hard to tell her age, maybe 30s/early 40s. She was sitting in a very nicely-decorated room, her hair, makeup and nails finely done, wearing a really pretty outfit. Her dilemma was: How can I feel good about myself when I am taxiing my kids around and doing laundry and cleaning the toilet? She was also fretting that she is identified as "somebody's mom". [Okay, I can identify with that, especially with teenagers. I was always "Whitney's mom". The main difference is… I had no problem with that. It brought me great joy to introduce myself to her friends or their parents as "Whitney's mom". I still do it, even though Whitney is all grown up!] She continued to whine that her husband works and is also in law school, and it was a "family decision" to support him. But "I feel like I want it to be MY turn."

I pretty much stopped my chores and sat there with my jaw dropped to the floor. You have got to be KIDDING me!! Lady. How can you possibly sit on national TV and whine about your poor, pitiful existence. Do you not realize how many people out there would LOVE to be identified as "Somebody's Mother"??? Women who have been unable to bear children of their own, or mothers who have lost their children?? Not to imply that you don't love your kids, I'm sure you do, but Get Out!! And you want to feel important when you are doing the laundry and cleaning your toilet?? Do you watch the news? Do you realize that every day people are losing the opportunity to do those mundane chores when they are forced to leave their homes? Do you see people who live in cardboard boxes? Do you see people in third world countries who would love to even drink the water from your clean toilet? Do you see children with flies and bugs crawling on their naked little bodies? They don't even own clothes. I am sure those mothers would be delighted to wash clothes on the rocks down by the river… if they only had clothes to begin with.

Ma'am, I hate to burst your bubble… but it already IS your turn. You have no idea how blessed you are to have children. To have a car and gasoline with which to taxi them around. To have friends by whom you are known as "Your Kids' Mom". That your husband has a job. That he is able to attend law school, likely securing an even greater financial future for your family than you already enjoy. That you not only have clothes to launder, but the appliances and the electricity with which to do so. That you are able to sit on a nice porcelain potty, and that you can buy the cleaning products with which to clean it.
I hope when you replay your DVRd version of Oprah, that you are ashamed and embarrassed by your narcissism and hedonistic presentation. You are indeed a pitiful woman... not because of what you lack.... but because you are too blind to see what you DO have.

Praying for zzzzzzzzzzzs

Later tonight I'll be visiting the sleep lab again. I'll be hooked up with all the wires and tubes, and be expected to sleep. On my back. With yet another appliance strapped to my face, forcing a continuous flow of pressurized air through my nose/mouth. I'm hopeful that the end result will be an apparatus that will allow me to sleep soundly, and eradicate the daytime sleepiness, and all the other problems resulting from sleep apnea. If I can just survive another night at the sleep lab.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Corey Turns One!!

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since Corey joined our family! Where does the time go? I remember the initial disappointment I felt when we found out he was a boy. I had hoped for another girl. It had been 23 years since we had a little boy on my side of the family, and on the Bennett side it had been 45 years! Whatever would we do with a noisy, smelly, rambunctious little boy who would play with bugs, want to go fishin' and play football? We had been buying hairbows, lacy socks and girly girl things for two generations. Thankfully, however, it didn't take me long to become accustomed to the idea, and soon I began shopping for those cute little boy clothes. There really are some cute little boy things to be had, and I was starting to get excited about trucks, cars, dinasaurs, baseball caps and even the thought of going fishing with the little fellow. By the time he arrived, Whitney and I had decided that having a boy was probably the best thing anyway... that way we wouldn't be forced to compare two little girls... after all... nothing could compare to Leyland!! So we were delighted with our new little bundle of blue, who stole our hearts with his first breath. (The bugs, the fishing, and the sports stuff is yet to come, but I know it will be just as much fun as playing with baby dolls, dress-up, and watching princess movies.)

You may remember that Whitney and her best friend Jessica both delivered their sweet baby boys on the same day. Corey and Corbin have been best buds since then. The girls decided to have a joint birthday party to celebrate the first birthday. The plan was to have Corbin's guests arrive at 2:00, and let him open his gifts. Corey's guests were invited to arrive at 3:00, at which time we would all have cake, ice cream and refreshments together, then Corey would open his gifts. It was the perfect plan... except there was a little "intermission" time between when Corbin finished opening his packages and the time Corey's guests arrived. At last, it was time to sing Happy Birthday and let the boys dig into their cakes for the obligatory 1st Birthday Cake Mess, and the photo ops that such a mess would provide. Corbin enjoyed mutilating and eating his little personal cake, but Corey didn't much care for it. He was pretty tired by then, and starting to fret a bit. He rallied though, enough to enjoy opening his gifts. It was a lovely day, albeit one that left us weary, and happy to have survived the festivities. I've attached a few pictures for your enjoyment. (Sometimes you can click to enlarge.) HAPPY BIRTHDAY COREY & CORBIN! I love you boys!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Results Just In..

Actually the results were in yesterday. I typed my sleep study report, and it's official. I have "moderate" apnea during normal sleep stages, and "severe" apnea during REM sleep. To be technical, it's really hypopnea, not apnea, that I have, but the end result is the same... sleep disordered breathing. Though I figured I'd probably have to go back, after doing the report and knowing for sure, I was kinda bummed out about it. While I know that a better sleep regimen will help so MANY of my issues, I'm still dreading the next study. In addition to all the wires and monitors, I'll also be wearing the space alien mask, and while I'm sleeping, (a big fat HA!) they will titrate the pressure to try and find the optimal setting-- one that reflects the fewest events per hour. This weekend was particularly bad, as I awoke with a headache on Saturday morning, and after my usual routine of Taking-Advil-Sleeping-It-Off didn't work, I knew I was in for the long haul on Saturday. Unfortunately, it was still present on Sunday, and I swallowed more Advil over those two days than I should have. Then of course that makes my stomach ulcer hurt. Today the headache is gone, so for that I am very grateful. This photo shows one of the many different styles of CPAP machines. While I am looking forward to ridding myself of the sleep apnea issues, I'm not looking forward wearing this contraption. How in the world will I sleep on my stomach and bury my nose between the other pillow and mattress? That's going to take some getting used to for sure. There are less "obnoxious" face masks out there, but I'm sure I'll be at the mercy of my insurance plan, and I don't imagine they will approve the Cadillac version right off the bat. Oh well, those are challenges for another day... I'll face them when they come.

I'm toying with the idea of joining the STMH Fitness Center out at The Exchange. It's about a 15-20 minute drive one way, but the gym is open 24/7. I've dug out my old Walk Away The Pounds videos, which will really kick your butt at the three-mile level. That's as far as I got with them, though.. is diggin them out, and filing them neatly in the bookcase beside my desk. And I also found the resistance bands that came with the videos. My room is nice and big enough to do the workouts, so perhaps I'll wait and see how faithful I am at doing that workout before committing to paying for and driving to the STMH gym. As an employee, the membership fee is incredibly low, plus the convenience of payroll deduction. I think I'll wait until after I'm on the CPAP for a month or so, to see how getting the proper amount of sleep is going to change my life.

I am taking baby steps toward becoming a healthier me, and even started another blog for my own personal use, in which to journal food intake, goals, record of FBS readings and check boxes for taking meds. Since I enjoy blogging so much, I thought it might be a motivating thing for me. I'm not going to make it public, but if anyone wants to follow it to offer encouragement or to follow my progress, just let me know, and I'll get you there. I've given up on the "Magic" diet or program, the one that will make me look like a model in six weeks. Right now I'm not even on a regimented program... the first baby step is simply being aware of my issues, (getting my head out of the sand!) and a concentrated effort to start doing better, a tiny bit at a time. My new philosophy is that if I change my behavior with regard to eating and activity, then weight loss will follow. And if I can just make a few changes for a few weeks, then perhaps new habits will be formed and I'll feel better and live longer. Now that's gotta be a win-win... right?