Along for the ride:

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cause and Effect

The Artistic One scored this week, in many ways. Big win; passing his written test to renew his License to drive; after a dozen fruitless treks to the DMV and many attempts on my part to explain that he needed to answer as if a Cop were asking the questions, not as if recounting an amusing anecdote to another cliche French Driver. (The California Department of Motor Vehicles deserves credit for the availability of a French Language written test and the courtesy shown at each visit.)
Second win was to find a pleasing pair of new glasses. The old ones were horrible when he first selected them and then he just had the lenses replaced over time, rather than changing the frame, so the ugliness was with us for years. No change in his eyesight over a two year period and the enormous surprise that insurance kicked in and there was no charge. Flabbergasted!
There have been several weeks of TAO complaining of general fatigue and lack of interest in anything but sleep. He's barely set foot at our business since before Christmas and I've been envisioning a future with a spouse in a diminished mental state, unable to drive or participate.
He had a similar malaise a year, or so ago. That episode included falling asleep at the wheel and crossing three lanes of midday freeway traffic, before the vibrations of scraping along the concrete center divide woke him up. The Doctor diagnosed Sleep Apnea and TAO was fitted with a breathing machine for use at night. Much whining ensued.
"What's this for?" "Why do I have to wear this?" "I don't like it" "I don't see anything wrong with me?" and repeat...
I've felt angered by the impression of dealing with a recalcitrant toddler and worried about where this was headed.
I emailed TAO's doctor and she set up a full range of blood, urine and EKG tests. She brought him in to examine him up close and determined something we've heard before; that his oxygen level is low, but he's otherwise healthy. He needs to breathe better at night.
The breathing device has a chip that discloses how often it is used and how it is functioning. At our latest meeting to review, the Tech told us that TAO was using the machine less than two hours a night and that, during those two hours air was often leaking from the face mask.
Armed with the info that this had to change, as he was otherwise deemed healthy, I asked the Tech if the extended swoops of TAO's mustache were the culprit. Of course they were!
The riot act was read, a trim ensued and the machine stayed on with less leakage. After only a couple of days, brain function and concentration swam back up out of the murk of oblivion and TAO was no longer lying in bed for eighteen of every twenty-four hours.
We went to the DMV and the written test was passed at first attempt. 




22 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear it was as simple as Sleep Apnea, which thankfully, can be controlled. My husband also has sleep apnea and since he started using the machine at night gets a great nights sleep. There's no down side to using it if you need it. Hope Tao continues to use his mask, it's a learning curve at first and you need to give it a chance. It does take some getting used to but it's well worth it.

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    1. Grey Horse, the machine has to be used to be effective. I noticed he's been shirking it again these last few days. I hate having to nag him as it's for his own good.

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  2. "All's well that ends well". Sometimes a small change makes things so much better.

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  3. Happy news! I hope things continue this way for you both. Nice to see you blogging!

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    1. e, Hi! It took over a week to complete this post. I do think about blogging, even when I don't manage it.

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  4. I have sleep apnea and absolutely cannot sleep without my CPAP machine. Tell him to stay the course and not give up on it. He will get to the point where he wants to have it on.

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    1. Birdie, I wish I believed you. I see a future of continued policing. I'll do it, but it won't be graceful.

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    2. One reason people give up is the mask is uncomfortable. There are so many different masks out there. He will eventually find one that fits and that is more comfortable that the rest.

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  5. Leo is heading for the mask treatment...and I can hear the protests and howls already.
    I am eyeing the moustache too, ready for remedial action.

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    1. Helen, you can cite TAO as an example of success. We persevered through 5 overnight hospital sleep studies, many revisits to try different masks etc. We did get there in the end.

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  6. How lovely to find such a simple solution! And what a relief for you.

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  7. Frances, He went grocery shopping yesterday, for the first time in almost a year. It helps my life a lot.

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  8. Congratulations !
    If I thought that this would help , I'd be tempted to try duct tape .

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    1. S&S, There's no arguing with Duct Tape.

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  9. Good news indeed. Glad to hear there was a relatively easy solution to TAO's health issues. Someone else I know had a sleep disorder and the machine made a huge difference. Wonder when they will come up with an easier cure. A pill would be nice.

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    1. Jean, the sad truth is that weight loss is a cure. Fat throats close up more easily. Almost every question in my world can be answered by either "Lose weight" or "More Leg". I prefer the latter.

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  10. Haven't dropped by for a while. So good to read your good news. More power to TAO!

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    1. Hello Martin, I read your au revoir to blogland. Life changes around us, doesn't it? Hope to see you from time to time.

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  11. Hello from Alberta, Canada ... stumbled across your post via Friko ... and love it here ... smiles ... Love, cat.

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    1. Hi Cat, Thank you for your kind words. ER

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  12. I've just successfully and pleasantly avoided doing anything on my to-do list by catching up with your last 20-or-so posts. Very nice to spend some time with you, ER!

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