Day 450: ABC’s (and an F).

Ann’s Ambivalence and Associations

Yesterday — in Day 449: Variations on “I Don’t Want to Go” — I wrote about the past and the future, regarding some hospital stays of mine, including a sleep study scheduled for tonight.

In a comment, Kate @ Did That Just Happen wrote:

Well, I’m not sure if you wrote all of this just to avoid saying you don’t want to go, or if you are okay going… You’ve been hearing “I don’t want to go” out of others, and you shared some of your own experiences – but since you didn’t say you didn’t want to, then I just have to go with your written words and wish you well! I would imagine that it won’t be pleasant, but I bet you get a lot of good information out of it and that information can only help as you go forward!
Plus, you have a concert to look forward to!

… which I’ve been thinking about a lot. I wrote a reply yesterday, but I want to write another one, now:

Dear Kate,

I’m not sure, either.

I seem to have some fear, that is all out of proportion to what’s going to happen tonight in my sleep study at the hospital. At the same time, I agree that I will probably get a lot of useful information out of it.

I know that tonight’s sleep study will not be like my hospital stays when I was a kid.

Actually, that’s not true.  I’ve been told that they are going to put gook and electrodes in my hair and electrodes on my body tonight.  When I was a kid in the hospital, I REALLY hated that (especially the gooky hair part, which only happened once).

So, Kate, I would say that I Do Want to Go AND I Don’t Want to Go.

Your fan,

Ambivalent Ann

As I was writing that reply to Kate, I was having associations to the Gooky Hair thing they did to me was I was 8 or 9 (they did an EEG study on me, in the hospital, to rule out epilepsy, because I was fainting, because of my heart).

I thought,

If I  google images for  “sleep study,” maybe I’ll find something that will make me feel better and less anxious about tonight.


Eeeeek!  I found that image from “Sleep Studies Suck Ass.”   I’m not kidding.

Here’s a Googled Image that didn’t scare me, quite as much:


I found that image at

For some reason, I’m feeling less anxious now.


In response to yesterday’s post, Sitting On My Own Sofa wrote:

This is beautiful. A beautiful piece of writing and a beautiful glimpse of what it is to be human and fragile and 13 or any age at all.

 And I replied, “I was wondering what you would write about this piece. And, of course, it was beautiful.”

For some reasons, I’m feeling less anxious now.


Compassion and Cats

In response to yesterday’s post, Mel Wild wrote:

Ann, I think God must’ve installed a very good heart full of tenderness and compassion in you at that young age. It shines every time you write (your cats know it too!). You can certainly know that our thoughts and prayers ARE going with you.

Also, Cat wrote to me, blessedly soon after I posted:

beautiful cats. hope everything works out okay

For several reasons, I’m feeling less anxious now.


In response to yesterday’s post, two readers — Louise Gallagher and Mark Bialczak  — posted comments, where they called me “my friend.”

For many reasons, I’m feeling less anxious now.

Thanks to Dooley Noted (for the first photo, for his awesome attitude, AND for being from my beautiful Boston … I think), to all my amazing readers — those I quoted here AND those I did not — and to you, of course, for being here, today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “Day 450: ABC’s (and an F).

  1. I can totally understand and support wanting to go and NOT wanting to go! That makes total sense to me!

    We lost my baby brother last year to a heart condition (age 28), and the memories of all of the time I spent at the hospital with him aren’t easy, and I was just visiting! I can’t imagine how much harder it was for those of you as patients.

    Love that you are feeling less anxious now, and my wish that you carry those thoughts and well wishes with you and that they give you peace. Oh, and that you don’t get gooky hair!

  2. I’ve been missing and missed your posts (Sorry) I hope all goes well with the sleep study – I’ve chickened out on mine and now I find I don’t need it after all because they found out the ‘real’ problem.
    I understand your yes/no feelings. I hated the thought of being wired up. Be thinking of you and wishing you good thoughts. 🙂
    Susan x

  3. You, my friend Ann, will feel very much better on the other side of this sleep study. As you approach the goopy-haired stage today, think of picture two and forget all about picture one. I myself will have nightmares tonight about picture one, so you don’t have to. Be well.

  4. I’m glad you’re feeling less anxious

  5. Your words are always such a great reminder to stay in the moment and be rea. Thank you my friend!
    Btw. Not sure I’ve ever told you that Boston is one of my favorite cities in the US. 😘

  6. I can relate to the situation of having ambivalent thoughts at times it is very exhuasting. I am glad to know that you are feeling less anxious . Your sleep study will go well . You have a gift of sharing your thoughts with your friends via your blog . Sharing reduces anxiety .Wish you luck 🙂

  7. I expect to read in this weekend’s headlines that a Boston-area hospital has discovered the part of the brain responsible for excellent blogging, thanks to a creatively-minded but sleepless patient. The more gunk they put in your hair and the more electrodes they tape to your forehead, the more colourful the blog posts you will mentally write while under observation. This could advance the science of writing and will surely benefit the readers of your blog.

    …. Seriously now, I will be thinking of you tonight. I hope that the nurses give you warm blankets and Harley takes care of your anxiety for the night. He looks up to the responsibility.

    It’s rotten that your sleep study has to be done in a hospital, given your childhood history. I think they should have sent you to a sleep lab in a four star hotel in Panama. With parrots. (Quiet ones.)

    From time to time you share with us a little of your childhood. I love reading those posts but often I feel very sad (though, obviously, glad that you had excellent care and survived). I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain and stress on any child, especially doctors who don’t listen to you when you say that your heart is skipping. I get the feeling, though, that you were in some ways forged by your experiences and that you have more empathy and sensitivity than most of us. It’s like you had an extra fifty years of life by age twelve. That photo of the bemused-looking young man with all the wires taped to his head made me think of you, not because of the sleep study, but because you have grown a whole extra set of wires and nodes and sensors inside you. Good luck tonight.

    • Okay. I am on my way to the sleep study and am stuck in a standstill traffic jam. I think this is an excellent location to officially confess that I am obsessed with your comments. I always avoid pressuring people to do anything, including commenting, but please do your best to comment on each and every one of my posts. Thank you.

      • I laughed out loud reading your comment. If you are reading comments in traffic, I wonder whether you are going to take your phone to bed with you during the sleep study? Maybe they could attach an electrode to it? We could all take turns writing you through the night….

      • I can’t access my blog on my laptop here. Eeeek! It’s blocked. So I can ‘t read yours and I don’t know if I will figure out how to post from my phone. Stay tuned …

  8. Dear. Good luck with the sleep study. My father finally went to one after years of poor sleep that everyone around thought contributed to his aches and fatigue, but, they weren’t able to find anything particular. He felt weirdly vindicated by the result.

    • Thank you, Joseph, for the luck and for telling that story about your father. I hope to feel weirdly positive about my results, too.

  9. I’ve done a couple, Ann. They’re not that bad. You won’t have the best sleep of your life being wired-up, but it’s a far cry from being chained to a dungeon wall.

    Bring your favourite pillow. Feel free to email me at themirrorbooks if you have questions. If you haven’t left yet, that is.

    • You were right, Navigator. Thank you, as always, for sharing your wisdom with me.

      • You’re welcome, Ann. Hope everything worked out. My problem was more snoring-related arousals, but with some apnea and hypopnea events at a frequency below the threshold for a sleep disorder diagnosis. Couldn’t tolerate the CPAP–hard to sleep with a hissing octopus on your face. Have a colleague who loves his, though. Says it saved his life and really improved his quality of life.

        What’s been interesting in my case is that changes in diet, of all things, seems to minimize or eliminate the problem. Not certain if it’s wheat, sugars, or carbs in general, but the Dukan diet (and a similar protein-rich, low/no carb diet earlier) appears to be helping here.

      • All helpful information to help me in my future navigations. Thank you!

      • Anytime, Ann.

  10. Thinking of you, Ann. I hope that you’re sleeping now….

    • I think I might have been sleeping, as you hoped, when you wrote this. I guess I shall find out, for sure, when they give me the results, in May. Thank you for being with me.

  11. Pingback: Day 542: Making Meaning | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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