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Happy Birthday to Me!

Okay, so my birthday was amazing. Not sure how amazing my food choices were, but they were definitely better than they would have been a year ago. I got extremely spoiled this year for my birthday. Probably more than I should have, but Jason is just that type of man, when he can do it, when we can afford it, he does it.

My first birthday gift was a new iPod Touch from a group of my friends that heard that I had broken my iPod and raised the money among all of them to buy me a new one. They wanted to keep me going in the gym, keep me motivated, and I have to say, I am blessed to have such caring friends in my life. One of my two best friends, Heather, orchestrated the entire thing, and when she had gathered the funds gave me a four hundred dollar gift certificate for the Apple store to make the purchase.

I actually ordered the iPod online, but canceled it shortly after when Heather found out that Apple always comes out with the new iPods in September, so I’m going to wait a couple weeks and see what the new iPod touches are like.

Next it was Jason’s turn to spoil me and of course, our first stop was Nordstrom’s. We hit the perfume counter and got my Angel stars filled while we shopped for a new scent. Jason is such a trooper because he stands there and smells everything, he’ll even sniff coffee beans to clear his nose so that he can smell something else and he always helps me pick the scent. I love not having to think about it and wonder if he’ll like the scent on me, and I love going to my vanity and the end of the day and being completely confident in every perfume I have and knowing he will enjoy it.

Next stop was Teavana. If you haven’t heard of Teavana, it is a tea lover’s dream come true. This store is absolutely amazing, and if you know what you like, you can order online just as simple. Since I have recently had to give up carbonated drinks tea has become even more of an important drink in my life than it was before. I’ve always been a tea snob, which I blame totally on my best friend Tora and her husband Colin. Colin is British and together they have turned me from an occasional tea drink into a tea addict and they introduced me to Teavana, so that huge tea collection in the kitchen, yes, it’s their fault. I’m innocent in my addiction to tea, it was all peer pressure.  You believe me right? Having to give up caffeine has left my tea drawer full of quite a bit of things that I can’t drink in volume anymore, though my surgeon says that I’ll be able to have a cup or two of caffeinated tea once I am post op.  So we spent some time at Teavana stocking me up on a few teas. I picked up a white earl grey, because earl grey is a must! A few herbal teas found their way into my bag; all of them boasted a citrus flavor. The addition of a few tea making quintessentials like Teavana’s perfect tea maker and a iced tea pitcher that fit’s it perfectly and then we were off to another of my favorite stores, Safora.

Safora is just; there is no other way to say it, girl heaven. Well it’s girl heaven if you are a girl that likes make up and skin care products, which is exactly what I was there for today. The pool has been drying my face out, I’m sure it’s the chlorine and I was looking for some skin care products to put all that moister back in. My Safora bag included a new 60 SPF sunscreen, two new cleanser products as well as some black circle reducing under eye cream and some intense moisturizer. I snuck a new mascara in there as well, shhhh, don’t tell, I wasn’t there to buy makeup.

Next it was off to Best Buy to pick up a new pair of Skull Candy headphones and then it was time for dinner. This is the part you were waiting for right? Waiting to see if I stayed on course? Well, I didn’t, but I wasn’t HORRIBLE either. Jason took me out to Todai, which Tom was paying for as a birthday gift to me. Todai is this incredible all you can eat sushi restaurant in downtown Portland. Now, if you had taken me here a year ago I would have polished off three huge, and I mean huge, plates of sushi. I love sushi. Tonight however, I was very good, my first plate and a few pieces of sushi rolls on it, some snow crab legs, some seaweed salad and a muscle that was covered in cheese and surely very bad for me. My second plate, which was significantly smaller, focused on sashimi, seaweed salad and just a couple pieces of sushi rolls. I had poured myself a bowl of miso soup, but by the time I got around to trying to eat it a couple of bites were all I could take. Miso soup is probably the only thing in the world that you can put Tofu in and I will actually eat it! For Desert I had two little bites of cheesecake, and then, we headed home to end the evening with a movie and some cuddling.

I didn’t do too badly. I’ll compare notes next year.

Another Sleep Study

This has been a rather “hard week” for me. When I say hard, what I really mean is annoying and frustrating and one of those moments when I want to shout and someone and I just have to remember that this is a journey and that there are going to be bumps along the way.

On the 13th sleep study at Northwest Sleep Health. Late last week I got a call from them asking me to come back in and do another Sleep Study and that they would like me to contact my primary care physician and ask him to prescribe some sleeping pills so that I would fall asleep faster this time. After doing the proverbial double take, I informed the girl that I had in fact, fallen asleep very quickly and that I had taken two Xanax just as I arrived there to help insure that, so really, I wasn’t understanding what the issue was.

She explained to me that they apparently hadn’t gotten the pressure on the CPAP high enough while they had me there and that they had wanted to put me on a BIPAP machine to see if that worked better for me and that they didn’t have the time to do that.

Now my problem with this, as is my problem with anything redundant, is that I felt the entire process was flawed. I’ve done sleep studies before this one; in fact I’ve had a CPAP for about seven or more years. Going into this sleep study I knew what to expect, I also knew that unlike my previous sleep studies, they did not have to spend the first portion of the night proving that I had sleep apnea and the second part of the night diagnosing how high the air pressure on the CPAP needed to be set at. In fact they had the entire night to get those pressures set correctly, so in my mind, the fact that they didn’t have enough time, showed a seriously flaw in how they preformed the study. The other issue I had is that I walked into their office with a CPAP that was already set to 18. They knew that my pressure was set very high and that if the pressure I needed exceeded 20 they would have to move me to a BIPAP machine, a machine that allowed for higher pressure settings. Now one might ask themselves why if you now someone’s pressure is already set to 18, you would start them out at a significantly lower pressure and then proceed to waist the entire night getting their pressure back up to 18. All I can really say is … Duh?

So after arguing my point back and forth with the woman that called me, she finally asked what I wanted to do and I told her that I wanted to speak to the doctor. Once the doctor phoned me back and I explained my feelings about how poorly the study was preformed, he actually agreed with me, and confirmed that he too, felt that the situation was handled poorly. He also offered to perform a study during the day, rather than at night, since I work a late night shift and letting me do the study during the day would eliminate me having to take another night off of work unnecessarily. This, along with the promise that I would not be charged for the second sleep study, convinced me to come back in and do a second study.

This time the study went off without a hitch, I actually had two techs doing it, one named Kendra, who is the most amazing lady, she’s been absolutely a dream working with me through this process, and another very nice lady whose name I’m afraid has slipped my mind.

I got the news today that they got the results of the study and that they do in fact want to move me to a BIPAP machine rather than a CPAP Machine and that I should be expecting a call from Providence Home Medical Care to get me set up with the new machine.

While I’m waiting for all that to take place, I face the first REALLY big challenge of my journey… my birthday. My birthday is just two days away and I’m crossing my fingers that I can stay on track here and not slip. However I have also promised myself that if I do, I won’t let it get to me too much, that I will get right back up and get back on track rather than letting it be something I beat myself up over. We’ll see how I do.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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