July 14th, 2011


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Sleep consultations and light artifacts - my day

Tuesday night I read for a couple hours then went to sleep early because I was exhausted from the pagan meetup. The kind of exhausted one gets after doing something fun. Anyway, I woke up this morning at 8 AM, feeling great. I was on the computer for a while, then about 11:30 AM I left early for my initial consultation at OHSU's sleep clinic (OHSU is a medical university that also has a hospital and a sleep clinic), though I stopped at the Trimet ticket office to get a replacement for this big book I have of all the schedules, since mine expired last September. But I got there and found out that they're all like that, and a new one won't come out until *this* September, so I'm glad I didn't throw the old one away.

Went to OHSU, was worried I'd be late, but I got there about 10 minutes early. Did some reading while I waited for my turn. (I was reading "Deadline" by Mira Grant.) After some long and boring details of basically being interviewed about my problems by the nurse, the doctor himself finally came in and checked some things. Of the risk factors he mentioned for sleep apnea, the only one I didn't have was my age - people my age don't tend to get sleep apnea as much as older folks, apparently. But weight, weight-to-height ratio, neck circumference, and the shape of my palette were all risk factors. So when the doc was done with everything, I went back up front and got a sleep test (which will be at a hotel, of all places) and then scheduled a follow up at the clinic about two weeks after that.
Oh, and one thing the doc said was to try to have lights off and on at the same times every day - whatever suits me best - to help tell my brain when bedtime is, or when it will be getting there. Which made me remember another bit of advice about making the bed be for sleeping and not for things like reading.

Anyway, so I left OHSU and decided to go to Target because the only comfy place I have to read at home is bed, so I was looking into getting a comfy chair, like a beanbag chair or something. But the ones they had at Target were too flimsy. On the suggestion of an employee, I tried the nearby Bed Bath and Beyond. That store is neat, and has lots of cool stuff, but even getting an employee to check online, I didn't find anything suitable. But I found a new alarm clock (taking advice from the doc about multiple alarms), a metal water bottle that has a caribiner so I can clip it to my belt, and a squishy pillow made of some stretchy fabric (which feels AWESOME).

Oh, and I had a strange experience there. Maybe it was all the bright lights in the store, or something, but I started seeing this weird light artifact. You know how when something bright flashes in your eye, it leaves an artifact for a few minutes? Well this was like that, only it was like a circular shape made up of triangles. I don't remember anything that might have directly caused it, and it wouldn't have been noteworthy if not for the fact that not only did it not fade away, it was getting worse. By the time I was checking out, it was so bad that I could barely see anything on the left side, and had to keep shifting my head around to operate the debit card reader for the transaction. And it was distorting my remaining vision slightly, making me feel slightly sick to my stomach. The weird artifact thing didn't go away until I got out in the sunshine and put my sunglasses on. I kept checking now and then to make sure it was gone. Oh, and it gave me a headache. By the time I sat down to wait for the bus, I had to take a couple Advil. Even with the Advil, when I got home I had to lay down in the dark and quiet to nap.

Before I napped, though, I set up my new alarm clock, and set the alarm for 9. And I can report that it works amazingly. My old alarm clock makes this horrible screechy noise, hence my name for it: The Screechy Alarm. But this new one does something else. It makes this beep that doesn't wake you up immediately. It sneaks up on you and invades your dreams, pestering you to wake up wondering what that sound is and going looking for it. Then, if it takes you too long, the beep's pacing speeds up. The most insidious part of it is, even though I still had a headache, and wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep, I tried going back to sleep and finally gave up in frustration because it had woken me up too well. Let's hope it continues to be that awesome.

Oh, and strangely enough, when I decided to give up trying to go back to sleep, and stood up, the headache vanished.

BTW, that squishy pillow feels awesome under my neck and head!

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org