Posts Tagged With: sleep apnea

Day 1053: Things I never knew

Every day, I learn many things I never knew.

For example, I never knew there were exactly 100 things I never knew about my  own brain.


I never knew there was a brain user’s guide available for purchase, even though I used to write user’s guides in the 1970s.

I never knew they made peeps for dogs.


I never knew how to weld.


Before I started this blog, I never knew I could write about the coolest topics. I also never knew that writing about something would bring more of that into my life, almost immediately.


I never knew where I could find the coolest looks, before yesterday.

I never knew all the anagrams for the word “cake.”



I never knew it was okay to advertise with backwards letters, even though I had an advertising company in the 1990s.

I never knew people decorated cars like cakes.

I never knew cats liked baseball.


Before I met him, I never knew there was a cat that could be as omnipresent as Oscar.


I never knew my dentist would read my blog, every single day.


I never knew it was the 30th anniversary of my favorite ice cream place


… or that Rancatore’s made a chocolate sorbet.


I never knew I’d work in a part of Boston with so much noisy construction.


I never knew there’d be so many fancy places to live in The Fenway, either.

I never knew I had the nerve to put different colors in my hair …


… or to reveal so much of myself to the world.

I never knew I’d find a dentist’s office that offered hot chocolate, either.

I never knew there were so many different ways to treat sleep apnea.


I never knew that dental devices could be made with a 3-D printer.

I also never knew I had a  thyrohyoid, or where it was.

I never knew there was a town that encouraged people to walk their bikes on the sidewalk.


I never knew that same town had a cafe designed for bicycles.

I never knew that same town had an art walk, either.


I never knew there was a turkey trot in Concord.


I never knew the name of this tree.


I never knew I’d rely on an implantable defibrillator for the rest of my life.


I never knew I’d taste caramel corn ice cream.


I never knew there was a chocolate galaxy, either.

I never knew how many tastebuds cats have.


I never knew that driveways could be so active.


I never knew I’d see so many interesting things in one day, before I started writing this daily blog two years ago.

I never knew I’d find a blogging platform as random as me.

I never knew I’d find perfect music every day, either.

What did you learn today that you never knew?

I never knew there was so much to be grateful for, including wonderful readers like you!


Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1014: Positions

Last Wednesday, I was in a position to meet with a sleep specialist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He took the  position that my mild sleep apnea could be effectively treated without my wearing a mask positioned on my face and a machine positioned by my bed.  He said that some data — from my sleep study performed over a year ago—  indicated that if I stayed sleeping in a side position, that would position me to have few or no occurrences of sleep apnea during the night.

He also told me about “positional therapy” devices I could buy that would position me on my side, all night long.

My positions about that included:

  • joy, because I REALLY dislike being attached to medical machines at night,
  • surprise, because I wondered why nobody else had noticed or interpreted the data that way before,
  • amazement about  the fancy  term “positional therapy” and the fancy price for something that looks like a fanny pack gone wild (if you position your cursor over my link for “positional therapy,” you’ll see what I mean), and
  • belief that I could MacGyver something else that would work just as well at keeping me in a side sleeping position, all night long.

If you don’t understand how I positioned the word “MacGyver” just now and do not want to position your cursor to find a helpful definition,  I’m in a position to easily share that right now:

Syllabification: Mac·Gy·ver
Pronunciation: /məˈɡīvər/
Definition of MacGyver in English:

US informal
Make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand:
“he MacGyvered a makeshift jack with a log”
“he has a pair of rectangular-framed glasses MacGyvered with duct tape”


1990s: from Angus MacGyver, the lead character in the television series MacGyver (1985–1992), who often made or repaired objects in an improvised way.

I am now in a position to tell you that I’ve stayed sleeping in a side position every night since my appointment with the sleep specialist last Wednesday.  How? I positioned socks and other clothes tightly in a backpack and positioned it on my back.  That perfectly keeps me in position sleeping on my side, all night long.

Now that we’re at this position in this post, is anybody else aware of a particular song positioning itself to be heard?

That disco song — “All Night Long” by Lionel Ritchie — reminds me of the very entertaining film my son, my boyfriend, and I saw positioned on a movie screen last night. Aaron, Michael, and I — positioned in some comfy theater seats — watched The Martianabout an  astronaut/botanist played by Matt Damon who is positioned on Mars for many months, MacGyvering his own survival over and over again, with disco the only music keeping him company.

When we got home from the movie, I said to Michael, “I think I could have survived on Mars.” Why did I take that position?   I was thinking about my “positional therapy” backpack and many survival techniques I’ve used over the years.

I shall now position some photos — taken from several positions yesterday —  into this post.

IMG_5779IMG_5780 IMG_5784 IMG_5785 IMG_5791IMG_5788IMG_5793

IMG_5851 IMG_5795 IMG_5802 IMG_5803 IMG_5804 IMG_5808 IMG_5811 IMG_5818 IMG_5819 IMG_5822 IMG_5824 IMG_5826  IMG_5838IMG_5846 IMG_5847 IMG_5849IMG_5850

Cats sure do get into some interesting positions, don’t they?

I think you can guess my position about any comments you might position below.

I’d like to position some thanks to Michael and Aaron, sleep specialists, The Martian, the Broken Tail Rescue Shelter (positioned at the PetSmart in Cambridge Massachusetts), everyone who has ever MacGyvered a solution to a problem, survivors everywhere, and you — of course! — for positioning yourself here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1006: It Takes Two

It took two earbuds, yesterday morning, to deliver to my two ears a great Stephen Sondheim song — “It Takes Two.”

It takes two exceptional actor/singers — Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason — from the original Broadway production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods to sing “It Takes Two” in that YouTube video.

It takes two things very dear to my heart — seen on October 2 — to create the first  “It Takes Two” image of today’s post:

It takes two happy moments for me to tell you that’s my wonderful friend  (and ex-co-worker) Mary next to my new yellow car.

It takes two — I and my iPhone camera — to notice and capture pictures I think relate to my blog posts, every day.


As I’m typing this post with my two hands, it takes about two moments for me to come up with more than two associations for “It Takes Two.”

  • It takes two parents to help our son Aaron negotiate the college application process, so I’ve asked Aaron’s father, Leon, to meet with us today after 2 PM, to discuss all that.
  • It takes two days for me to come up with all the wonderful things I can say about my son Aaron, so I’m probably going to spend two hours today at the keyboard creating a “Parent Brag Sheet for College Recommendations.”
  • It takes two people, or more,  in a therapy office to come up with effective ideas for dealing with anxiety, depression, and many other challenges to people’s mental health.
  • It takes two cardiologists — Drs. Deeb Salem and Mark Estes — to give me the level of care I need for my very unusual heart.
  • It takes two doctors — my Primary Care Physician and a sleep specialist — to help me figure out how the heck to treat my mild sleep apnea.
  • It takes two sleep machines for me to conclude that I really dislike wearing a medical machine at night.
  • It takes approximately two minutes for me to attempt to explain why I dislike wearing medical machines at night. That experience is way too close to too many memories I have of being attached to medical machines before the age of 12, when it took two parents to take me and leave me at Children’s Hospital to receive more than two pacemakers between the ages of 10 and 12,  to keep me alive.
  •  It takes two months to reschedule an appointment with the sleep specialist at Tufts Medical Center, so I’m too grateful that I’m finally seeing seeing him, in not too much more than 2 x 2 days.
  • It took two tickets to Boston’s Symphony Hall last night to get me and my boyfriend Michael in to see Mozart’s Requiem  — which I sang 2 x 2 decades ago with the MIT Chorus.  Musical scholars think it took two people to write Mozart’s RequiemMozart and Franz Sussmayr to complete it after Mozart’s untimely death at age 35.

It takes two people (at least) to create a legitimate Wikipedia page, and it takes two sentences from the Wikipedia entry about Mozart’s Requiem to show that it takes two of several different instruments to play the Requiem:

The Requiem is scored for 2 basset horns in F, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets in D, 3 trombones (alto, tenor & bass), timpani (2 drums), violins, viola and basso continuo (cello, double bass, and organ). The vocal forces include soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass soloists and an SATB mixed choir.

When I sang the Requiem with the MIT Chorus  two years after I had graduated from a college not too far from MIT,  I was an “S” in the SATB (Soprano Alto Tenor Bass) mixed chorus.

Yesterday, it took two people to have this conversation about the Requiem:

Me: Perhaps the best music ever written — Mozart’s Requiem — is playing at Symphony Hall tonight.  Do you want to go?

Michael (after a pause):  Sure, baby.

It takes two words from my boyfriend to make me really, really happy, sometimes.

It takes two seconds for me to decide to share this part of the Requiem (which everybody agrees was written only by Mozart).

It apparently takes two musical numbers for me to successfully complete this post.

It takes way more than two people to help me create every post I write here. Thanks to all of them and to you — of course! — for taking the time to read this.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 383: Waking up around 3:30

On Day 40, when I was visiting an old friend in South Carolina, I wrote a post titled “I’ve been waking up around 3:30 throughout this vacation.”

Last week, I visited a different old friend (whom I hadn’t seen in several decades), and he told me this: He often wakes up in the middle of the night around the time of his father’s death.

Last night, I woke up around 3:30, again.

I wonder what the time of my mother’s death was?  I know it was during the middle of the night.

There are many possible explanations for my waking up at 3:30, last night:

  1. I ate some food for dinner, which was very delicious the first time I tasted it, but less delicious the second time.
  2. I might have sleep apnea.  For those of you reading this who think I should have a sleep study done as soon as possible, I’M WORKING ON IT, OKAY?
  3. My subconscious had lots of ideas about my next blog post.
  4. Lots of people, including me, seem to have forgotten (or never learned) how to sleep, which is pretty incredible, when you think about it, since sleeping should be natural for human beings, much like — say — breathing and eating.
  5. Oh.

I’m sure there were lots more reasons why I might have woken up last night around 3:30, including the fact that it’s Full Moon Time.  Lots of smart people I know remark on the importance of the full moon, and how it affects us.

When I looked out into the Wide Wide Internet last night and this morning, I saw many people sharing photos of the moon, including:


(thanks to Mark Bialczak)


(thanks to Poesy plus Polemics, plus Anonymously Uncool from

And here’s one (plus a poem I especially appreciated), from Fool’s Blog  …


… which reminds me of the one I took, full of wonder, last night:


So even though the current full moon is the smallest of 2014:


(left to right, front row:  Current “Minimoon”; “Super Moon” expected 8/10/14) 1

…. it still has a big effect. And that effect may have included my waking up around 3:30, last night.

Thanks to friends old and new, my mother, my fellow bloggers, moon-y people everywhere, and to you — of course! — for showing up today.

  1.  My main reasons for creating this footnote were (a) to let you know that I blogged, here, about some past pursuits of Super Moons  and (b) to continue my practice doing footnotes here at WordPress. However, I also have to comment on that photo. It’s doctored, people! I mean, look at it!  When have you ever seen two moons in one photograph? Also, look at the caption.  The moon on the right IS FROM THE FUTURE. Oh, and thanks to The Mother Nature Network.
Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

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