August 14th, 2011

Picard facepalm

Sleep study: the morning after

So... had a sleep study last night. They put electrodes with wires all over my head and face, on my throat, one over my heart, one on each leg, and there may have been other places. I got on the computer for about an hour before going to bed. But I tell you, if I had known the kind of night I was going to have, I would have skipped that and gone straight to bed.

I imagine even normal people would find it hard to sleep all wired up like that, in an unfamiliar bed. But I'm even worse. I normally sleep naked because clothes bother me enough when awake, and it's worse at night. Covers and blankets I don't mind, oddly, but clothing bugs me. So not only was I wearing pajamas I basically bought specifically for the sleep study (I have a winter PJ top, but didn't have a complete set, and not a summer set), but I had all this shit stuck to me that pulled when I moved, itched, and made me aware of every other itch and odd body signal. Then I was either too hot or too cold, going back and forth and trying like heck to get things just right.

I told the technician I needed a fan going, and she got this dinky little thing I could barely feel and could barely hear. It wasn't the kind of white noise I needed.

The mattress... I think it was softer than usual. Took a while to find a position that didn't hurt my back.

Also wasn't even remotely tired. I'd woken up a lot earlier than usual - noon - but given that this was 10 pm I was trying to go to sleep at, having not had time to do much of anything during the day, I was trying to go to sleep less than 12 hours from waking. If I had left the house earlier yesterday, I could have gone to Moonshadow and gotten incense, gone home, and still had time to get ready and leave for the sleep study, which would have worn me out a little for the sleep study. As it was, I spent the whole day online, so I wasn't tired.

It was midnight when I called for the technician's help so I could take the generic Ambien the OHSU sleep doctor gave me for the sleep test. It said to take one pill. I did. It did absolutely nothing. [This isn't entirely a surprise to me; about the only medication other than antacids and anti-gas meds that does anything for me is liquid-gel pain reliever caplets. Well, and anti-biotics. I was on Prozac once, and the first bottle did absolutely nothing. They doubled the dose, and all it did was make me dizzy on occasion. Even moderate doses of caffeine do nothing for me. I could drink half a bottle of soda less than half an hour before bed and go to sleep in 10 minutes. I used to fall asleep at work even taking No-Doz pills.] I should have ignored the instructions and taken both pills. Probably still would have done nothing, but at least I would have gotten rid of both pills instead of having an odd one left.

Actually, come to think of it, melatonin works as a sleep aid for me. If I had known the Ambien would be useless, I would have thrown away the prescription unfilled and brought my melatonin.

Anyway... so quality of sleep: I tried getting to sleep by relaxing myself. I even tried the last resort that almost always works, of making artificial dreams until I drifted into real dreams. Nothing worked, before or after the Ambien. I kept drifting between "almost asleep" and "fucking hell!" I do remember one real dream, a vague and short thing with my younger sister Tara in it, which I remember because I woke up mid-dream.

When I was roused at 6 AM, I had to ask the technician if I'd gotten *any* sleep. She said I had. I should have asked how much, to find out if it was more than that one dream's worth, but I didn't think about it. Luckily, like always happens with me, no matter how crappy my quality of sleep, no matter how little sleep I get, and no matter how early I am roused, once I got past the initial few minutes of "fuck the world, I want to go back to sleep, even if it WAS crappy," I was alert. And I have since moved into "awake" territory. The technician had me fill out a post-study questionnaire. I can confidently report that I confidently reported that that was the single worst night of sleep that I can remember having. And in the comment section, I said "This would have been much easier if you guys had a shift for nocturnal people" and listed my usual hours.

By the way, the OHSU sleep study people have about a dozen permanent rooms at this hotel. And these rooms are impressive. Half as big as my whole apartment, the room was. The kitchen has a fridge, a stovetop (didn't check for an oven), a microwave, and a dishwasher. The living room had a nice fluffy chair and a sofa. The bed was twice as big as mine, and the shower was marble. Even the shower curtains were awesome.

Anyway, after doing the questionnaire, I showered and got dressed. Had to wash more of me than I'm used to, to get the electrode gel off of me and out of my hair. And of course, I forgot my comb at home. But at least they had a hair drier.

"Check out at 7" turns out to have meant "get all your crap, and your ass, out of the room at or around 7, but feel free to hang around in the lobby or food area however the hell long you want to" I left the room about 10 after.

No matter how crappy the night was, the complimentary breakfast buffet made it worth it. Strangely, my stomach did NOT get upset after that crappy night, which is good, because aside from the usual cereal, toast, english muffins, fruit, bagels, juice, and yogurt, they had no-limit scrambled eggs, potato wedges, sausage patties, biscuits and sausage gravy, and toppings. I think they also had waffles and pancakes.

Myself, I had scrambled eggs and potato wedges, both with sour cream, green onions, shredded cheddar, and salsa on them. I also had about 6 of the sausage patties, because eggs only last me about half an hour before I get hungry again, and I needed meat. I also had two cups of English breakfast tea, two cups of cranberry juice, a banana, and a yogurt. It was all very yummy!

Anyway, I'm going to leave around 9:30 to go to UU church. Then I think I'll stop by Moonshadow for some incense on my way home. Once home, I will get some actual sleep. I shouldn't need to buy incense, but I can't find my favorite kinds at home.

Oh, one last bit, unrelated, before I go: obviously couldn't do one last night, but the night before last was the second or third ritual I've done in a week, and I think I may have figured out how to get myself to do a ritual every night. Which is good, because just doing a ritual every night for the last 2 or 3 nights has improved my mood significantly and made the music in my soul easier to find, and makes it come out more readily. Which is good, because at the height of my spirituality I was having occasional moments of hearing music in every single sound in the world for half an hour or more at a time. It was like the whole world was playing me a symphony, and I sincerely hope I'm building up to those experiences again. I'm not even exaggerating at all. While it doubtless sounded just as noisy and discordant to everyone around me, every noise was a note in a symphony. I miss that. I miss the music welling up spontaneously several times a day, driving me to sing.

Ironically, I can't sing in a group. The kind of music I sing has only nonsense syllables, no actual words.

Damn, they had trays as well as plates? Somehow I missed that.

Anyway, all for now.

EDITED TO ADD: Logged into wifi last night, the hotel wifi had the standard "agree to play nice" thing to continue. This morning, despite my computer being off all night long, I didn't need to re-agree, because it REMEMBERED MY COMPUTER! I wish more wifi services did that, that's cool!

Crossposted from

My tweets

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Steph laugh

Along the lines of Monty Python's biker grannies.

Alex and I were discussing that news article from weeks ago with the two elderly lesbians getting married in New York, and he said something that made me literally laugh aloud. :-)

Me: "So much for 'it's a phase, it'll pass.' "

Alex: "Yeah, you know those elderly lesbians are only in it for the crazy, drug-fueled sex orgies."

[ He was, of course, making a joke. :-) ]

Crossposted from

Bikers and squashes and incense, oh my!

So I had an interesting day earlier. Got up from the sleep study, which I've already posted about, and went down to eat. Then I left to go to UU church. Got there about 15 minutes early, and found an art museum along the way. I've been looking for one for months with no luck, and there it was. :-|

Anyway, today's service was... odd. I'm glad it wasn't the first one I'd been to. I felt sorry for the first timers, I wonder how many got bored away. Cuz, well, these things have a fair bit of music in them to start with, which I'm not thrilled about because I don't like singing in groups, especially songs I've never even heard of and don't know the words to. But I put up with it, and the occasional "responsive reading" bits because I like the sermons, and the services in general. I also love the gigantic organ they have there. (Bad Brooke, no jokes! *slaps*)

Today's service, the theme being "trees," was basically nothing but music and responsive reading. No sermon. A lot of the music was the chorus, but it got to be a bit much after awhile, and I was glad when it was finally over. During one of the whole-congregation songs, somebody nearby was "singing" (I use the term loosely) in a manner that sounded like a wounded animal baying at the moon. It was so painful I was tempted to say "Someone put that poor suffering creature out of its misery!" but didn't.

The responsive reading was strange. The reader was reading in normal voice, but our response was sung. And it was broken into three parts throughout the service. I didn't bother saying along after the second piece, it was so tedious. And even though the chorus singing was beautiful, it was also dull. I couldn't make out any of the words, which didn't help.

Oh yeah, and then there was responsive singing. In the form of a kids song, with two kids on stage "helping show the hand gestures to make" through the song. It was painful watching so many grown adults act like monkeys or snakes or sloths. Oh and that reminds me, normally the kids leave the service partway through to go to the UU version of Sunday school, but they stayed this time. Which I think was a stupid idea, because the last half was boring as hell, and extremely tedious. But it did give me an idea for a story.

After the service, though, I went downstairs and poked around again. Not terribly exciting, the main two groups I wanted to speak with weren't there this time around. But I did find one stand where they were giving away free fruits and vegetables! I took one enormous zucchini and, at the insistence of the stand's keeper when I was talking about how much I love zucchini, took the other one. (She twisted my arm *ever* so hard! /sarcasm) Also took some apples, reluctantly, because they had shittons of the things. Some of these things don't even look anything like apples. I took a picture of the zucchini:

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Anyway... then the world took a little bit of a downturn, because the line 15 wasn't running, but it said it was. (Liars!) All because of some stupid biking thing downtown. I saw more bikes today than I have in my entire time in Portland, which is really saying something. Also, I saw more children today than I've seen since elementary school; seems there were hella families at the bike thing, biking.

So, giving up on the 15, I wandered around a bit, getting lost until I found a MAX station. Before that, though, I had to buy a bottle of water so I could take some Gas-X, because I was getting painful gas. Took the red line MAX to Hollywood TC. Now, the red line is usually not that full, but it was PACKED today, because of the bike thing AND Saturday Market (which runs Sat and Sun). But I got to Hollywood TC fine. Of course, then I had to poop, so I went to Panera to do that. One of the Panera employees (who must have seen the pentagram around my neck) said "Blessed be!" at me as I left, which was cool.

From Panera, I took the line 75 to Belmont so I could go to Moonshadow. Got incense there. Frankincense, myrrh, and "opium" are what I got. Oh yeah, and some Dragon's Blood incence. Then I went home and took a nap for three hours.

Also, took the trouble just now to translate the UU "Spirit of Life" song into Trai'pahg'nan'nog, for anyone interested:

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Crossposted from