Tag Archives: Health

😷 Covid-19 Info & Resources Update August 27, 2020 (USA)

keep-calm-wash-your-hands_8.5x11

Info and Links for Friends and Loved Ones
New tests and testing info! More relatively current updates about Life in the Age of Covid arranged roughly by topic with newest articles first. Explainers about transmission in the air. Should I wear a mask? Is that really still a question!? The big question: Will the Pandemic ever end in the USA? Answer: If the current administration remains in power, the pandemic never EVEN happened. With actual leadership, Covid-19 should be under control within 18 months. PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE, VOTE EARLY, AND DON’T COUNT ON THE USPS TO DELIVER YOUR BALLOT.


Get Tested for COVID-19 at Home! Mail-in kit from Pixel by LabCorp (Not an Antibody test. A test to see if you are currently infected. You will have to come up with a reason for being tested if you don’t have symptoms.)
8/25/2020 — Read on –  www.pixel.labcorp.com/covid-19 Read on

Coronavirus Antibody Tests? It would be great if they worked and told us what we needed to know. But so far, they don’t.
8/21/2020 — Read on NYT – www.nytimes.com/2020/08/21/health/coronavirus-antibody-tests.html

Should I get tested for COVID-19 antibodies? Can antibody testing tell whether someone has been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19?.
8/x/2020 — Read on NJ Health Department – covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/testing-information/should-i-get-tested-for-covid-19-antibodies-can-antibody-testing-tell-whether-someone-has-been-exposed-to-the-virus-that-causes-covid-19


Europe lockdown: New coronavirus rules country by country (Americans stay home until you can manage your Covid better.)
8/20/2020 — Read on BBC NEWS – www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-53640249


What Happens to Viral Particles on the Subway – Very cool Graphic Explainer!
8/10/2020 Read on NYT – www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/10/nyregion/nyc-subway-coronavirus.html

Covid 19 is airborne [Don’t you want to just say “Duh!!”. But it was only the beginning of July that scientists could prove it and the CDC began to accept it.—Christo]
7/4/2020 Read on NYT – www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/health/239-experts-with-1-big-claim-the-coronavirus-is-airborne.html


Could my symptoms be Covid 19? (Yes, whatever they are. A great Graphic Explainer.)
8/5/2020  Read on NYT – www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/05/well/covid-19-symptoms.html


Face masks: How to wear a covering and stop coronavirus (Video)
8/25/20 Read on BBC – www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-53517968

Coronavirus: which way round to wear a face mask? (Video)
07/15/20 Read on BBC – www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52606128

Coronavirus: ‘The masks you throw away could end up killing a whale’[So RECYCLE, or put them in the trash for heaven’s sake!!—Christo]
7/7/2020 Read on  BBC – www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-53287940


Nurses Who Battled Virus in New York Confront Friends Back Home Who Say It’s a Hoax (I include this because to me it is unfathomable that people could believe this is a hoax. You probably have neighbors, as I do, who still treat it like it is a hoax. RANT FOLLOWS: And that the wing nuts could think this is a Leftist Conspiracy? When the damage, the death, is being wrought on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations—seriously, the “Democrat”, liberals, poor, seniors, and people of color— those populations. While the government is compensating giant corporations and banks and billionaires? Who is benefitting from this disease? People on Social Security? Sounds more like a conspiracy of the Republicants to wipe out their troublesome opponents. But, NO, I don’t believe that. “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”—Christo)
07/07/20 Read in NYT: www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/us/coronavirus-nurses.html


Stay Healthy #WearAMask and #VOTE!!

— Christo

Life in the Age of Covid – Friday August 14, 2020

Friday August 14, 2020 11:38 am

“This rotten time wouldn’t seem so bad to me now. If I didn’t die, I should be satisfied, I survived. It’s good enough for now.”— “Sky Blue Sky”, Wilco

Winding down the summer of 2020. It’s 86 degrees in Western Central New Jersey with 98% humidity—that’s pretty swampy weather, even though it’s cooler by 5 degrees than most days for the last few weeks. I’m listening to the Goldfinches chirp as they fly overhead in between feeder stops. A Kingfisher chatters his way north up the river, while the nattering Nuthatches explore the walnut tree from every angle—upside down, sideways—jerkily walking the bark in three dimensions without hesitation or fear of gravity. They do sidestep the big yellow wasps, who have a nest in a hole in the tree. While one guards the entrance, wings buzzing incessantly, the others come and go quickly with a sense of purpose.

Too late to go for a cool morning ride.

We’re six plus months into this Covid thing. I haven’t been to GIANT market, where I now appreciate leisurely strolling, relaxed, picking through the corn chips, looking for the healthy ones, and trying to find the sliced wild salmon with no sugar or flavorings. In all this time I haven’t returned to the gym where I taught T’ai Chi—not since that last Saturday morning, right before lockdown, when only four students showed. I haven’t met my friend Pendar for dinner at Bell’s Tavern, a habit we’ve maintained for over thirty years. No tuna sub from Valpariso’s for lunch on work days. I have bought a few dozen bagels from Hee San at Bagel Delite, had a few TLT Sandwiches from Jess’s Juice Bar, sushi from Ota Ya, and the grilled chicken pesto panini at Liv and Charlies, all from curb-side pickup of course, no sit-down restaurant meals anywhere. Not happening. I miss the social ease of dropping into Rojo’s coffee shop and reading at a table, or treating myself to cookie-dough ice cream at Oh Wow Cow.

I wear a mask whenever I go out, and ALL DAY at work – and a bandana when I ride my bike. I used to say I did it to set a good example, which is still true, but I really do it because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t need to hear or make any arguments about it. My mom was an O.R. nurse. I know intuitively this is the right thing. I get pissed at people who don’t wear masks – including my neighbors with their small children. But I don’t say anything. When someone sneers some comment at me for wearing a mask, I resist the urge to shove them into the canal, where they belong. And to be fair, I have recently witnessed my neighbors and children rolling the downtown sidewalks, all masked. Not consistently, but at least around town.

This is serious business, and most of us will get through it – eventually – and some won’t.

Do what you need to stay sane and healthy, be excellent to one another, and for God’s sake, vote and vote early!

— Christo

😷 Covid-19 Info & Resources Update June 6, 2020 (USA)

keep-calm-wash-your-hands_8.5x11Info and Links for Friends and Loved Ones
More relatively current updates about Life in the Age of Covid: As businesses open, valiant warriors peacefully confront racism and Police Violence, and the unwanted visitor in the People’s House relishes any #Diversion as he refuses to #WearAMask.

 

Should Runners wear a mask?
6/5/2020 — Read on www.nytimes.com/2020/05/30/health/running-exercising-masks-coronavirus.html


What’s the risk of catching Coronavirus from a surface?
5/28/2020 — Read on www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/well/live/whats-the-risk-of-catching-coronavirus-from-a-surface.html


Where and how do I get tested for COVID-19 in New Jersey? Who should get testing? FAQ.
5/27/2020— Read on covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/general-public/where-and-how-do-i-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-new-jersey-who-should-get-testing


The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them — Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time  It seems many people are breathing some relief, and I’m not sure why. An epidemic curve has a relatively predictable upslope and once the peak is reached, the back slope can also be predicted. We have robust data from the outbreaks in China and Italy, that shows the backside of the mortality curve declines slowly, with
5/20/20— Read on www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them


Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Reëntry | The New Yorker A four-part strategy of hygiene, distancing, screening, and masks will not return us to normal life. But, when signs indicate that the virus is under control, it could get people out of their homes and moving again.
5/17/20— Read on www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/amid-the-coronavirus-crisis-a-regimen-for-reentry


QR codes and dramatic vistas: travel tips during the pandemic Marketplace’s China correspondent reports on bureaucracy and beauty far from Shanghai.
5/15/2020— Read on www.marketplace.org/2020/05/15/qr-codes-dramatic-vistas-tips-for-traveling-during-the-pandemic/


U.S. officials are preparing to begin checking passengers’ temperatures at roughly a dozen airports as soon as next week, as the coronavirus pandemic has heightened anxieties about travel.
5/15/20— (Paywall) Read on www.wsj.com/articles/tsa-preparing-to-check-passenger-temperatures-11589579570


How to keep your glasses or sunglasses from fogging up while wearing a face mask – nj.com
4/2020 — Read on www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/04/how-to-keep-your-glasses-or-sunglasses-from-fogging-up-while-wearing-a-face-mask.html


Supermarkets, grocery stores are shifting hours, adding hours for seniors and have purchase limits. What you need to know. (April 18, 2020) – nj.com
4/18/2020 — Read on www.nj.com/business/2020/04/supermarkets-grocery-stores-are-shifting-hours-adding-hours-for-seniors-and-have-purchase-limits-what-you-need-to-know-april-18-2020.html


 

Stay Healthy and #WearAMask

— Christo

COVID-19 Info and Resources (USA)

keep-calm-wash-your-hands_8.5x11Info and Links for Friends and Loved Ones

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted anything. I noticed I keep emailing this info to people and update it every couple of days when someone sends me something of value. Silly me! It’s easier to put it on the blob. So here it is…

March 22, 2020, A doctor in New York recommended this video by another doctor. A bit long, PLEASE watch the whole thing, important and hopeful information throughout. “Dr. David Price of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City shares information in a Mar. 22 Zoom call with family and friends on empowering and protecting families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 17, 2020 Web Blog entry, by Dr. Hyman. Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.
March 24, 2020, The Guardian, web page article.
March 26, 2020 New York Times Web Page, broken into 4 sections:
  1. Prevent Infection
  2. Prepare
  3. Stay Home
  4. Recover from Illness

April 19, 2020, Web Page is dynamic, I can’t find the “permalink” so you might have to follow it from this page. If you don’t want all the latest news, scroll down, to the bottom of the page to “Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions”, and click “Read More” and pick a topic.

April 1, 2020 Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen

April 18, 2020 Supermarkets, grocery stores are shifting hours, adding hours for seniors and have purchase limits. What you need to know. – nj.com
— Read on www.nj.com/business/2020/04/supermarkets-grocery-stores-are-shifting-hours-adding-hours-for-seniors-and-have-purchase-limits-what-you-need-to-know-april-18-2020.html


No-Sew Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie-2
April 1, 2020 Article, No sewing required!!

How to keep your glasses or sunglasses from fogging up while wearing a face mask – nj.com
— Read on www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/04/how-to-keep-your-glasses-or-sunglasses-from-fogging-up-while-wearing-a-face-mask.html


April 1, 2020 A computer model. Only look at this if you can handle the news. Big numbers. Fascinating and depressing information.

After that serious model, everyone should watch this!!


BTW: No. COVID-19 is not caused by 5G. Seriously? C’mon people, now, smile on your brother, everybody get together (with social distancing), right now.

 

Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands, and Wear a Mask! — Christo

 

#5G RU TV Drama—is the controversy really about Russian Trolls??

back1Saturday May 25, 2019 — The New York Times published a front page article, Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise.” It reads like a marketing piece for Verizon. Maybe because NYT has a 5G Joint Venture with Verizon?? Then, the Wall Street Journal, responded, with “Russia and the 5G Cancer Scare—America’s cell-phone industry couldn’t be happier about the Kremlin’s meddling.” And you can’t read the whole article unless you have a WSJ subscription…but you can read it if you go to the link the WSJ provides in their “CIO Journal” newsletter, where the WSJ article is described as “debunking” the NYT article.

But does the WSJ really “debunk” the NYT? Or just stir up the drama pot? Let’s remember, the WSJ is a Rupert Murdoch paper. That is, it might as well be a Fox News paper. Reading the “debunking” article takes you to a site called “Fierce Wireless“, clearly a marketing mouthpiece for the telecom industry, which seems to end each article with an explanation that there is no definitive proof of the dangers of cellular radiation!!

Do you feel “whipsawed”? Does jumping around from article to article remind you of trying to figure out what happened in the final weeks of the election in 2016? Does all this drama remind you of reality TV? Do you feel like you need to wash your hands? Do you have that uneasy feeling in your stomach like the one you get when you have been spending too much time on Facebook? That queasy feeling that you’re being used, or played, and that something you are doing is wrong? Pay attention to that feeling, and spend less time on the Internet!

Because have you ever had to work this hard? To find out the truth? To get people to see that you are calm, and reasonable, and believe in facts and science? Had to work this hard to get your friends, neighbors, colleagues to understand that you agree with them? That you have common ground? Mutual goals? Our opposition—the trolls, the haters, the deceptive marketers, the monopolists and corporate shills, I lump “them” all together—they would like us to just say, “Screw it! I have no control, the monopolies are gonna ram this through, I don’t know who my representatives represent.” The opposition have managed to make us distrustful and antagonistic even of people who AGREE with us!!

Now take a deep breath. Fortunately, distrust of others, including of our own government, is one of the seeds of our (mostly, still) democratic system!! There are processes and inputs and options. Wahoo. Really. So hang in there and talk to your neighbors. And I mean talk, not text, not email. And go to meetings. You won’t agree about everything. Who does? And you can always back off, regroup, compromise—the opposition wants you to quit—but don’t, don’t give up!

Now, let’s get back to facts and articles…

I like the Environmental Health Trust. They may have a slightly slanted view, but the “slant” is towards facts and health and safety! EHT Founder Devra Davis, PhD. responded to the clearly biased NYT drama-mongering piece with a thorough link-laden article of her own. Now, before you dive down that rabbit hole, READ THIS ONE.

After searching and reading until I am sore in the head (can you tell?), I found one article that I recommend to everyone. This is really for the skeptics. There’s a ton of great material on my 5G page, but just read this one article. After that, if you are so inspired, then off you go. Here it is, and please read ALL the words:

A comprehensive guide to the messy, frustrating science of cellphones and health” from VOX.  https://www.vox.com/2018/7/16/17067214/cellphone-cancer-5g-evidence-studies


I am about to retire from this topic, I hope…
Peace Out — Christo

Wake up and smell the 5G — Not for me!

 

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Wednesday May 8, 2019— Some new links…

1) The EHT “Fact Sheet” —Better than the printed version because all the links in the PDF are live.
2) The “Sample Code” for small city ordinances (the PDF is helpful for copy/paste if actually crafting an ordinance)
3) “Generation Zapped”— the movie I would like to get the Lambertville ACME to show.
4) “The Terrifying Potential of the 5G Network”, by Sue Halpern, in The New Yorker, April 26, 2019, recent article recommended by a #StopPennEast associate—

April 2, 2019 —Update: Verizon wants Lambertville to be a “Smart City”. Want to be smart? Learn about 5G! Lots of great information from the Environmental Health Trust.  Keep it simple, and start here:


Saturday, April 20, 2019Update: Thank you to Nancy Kay Anderson for sending me an informative fact-based link from Physicians for Safe Technology, about Wireless Technology and Public Health“.

— Christo


March 12, 2019 — My first pass at summarizing 5G…do we really want this hazardous electronic junk cluttering the streets of our quaint, historic city???

Verizon, Verizon, put away your new 5G.
No more cell towers, just leave me the birds and bees, please!

At the March 5 working session in Lambertville, I asked Mayor Julia Fahl if she had any information about the possible health threats of the 5G technology promoted by Verizon. Verizon claims “Right of Way” to add Cell Tower electronics to an unknown number of existing telephone poles in Lambertville. I gathered the information on this page for the Mayor. To avoid the conspiracy theories and extreme ideas that plague the internet, I sought information that is:

  • About 5G (as opposed to just cellular or cell phone)
  • Current
  • Fact-based (with sources),
  • Covers the efforts by industry (telecom companies) to aggressively “roll it out”.

If you only look at one thing, please watch the first 10 minutes of the video below!

Washington DC Council 5G Small Cell Roundtable
https://youtu.be/ljLynbr5iPc <—Watch the first 10 minutes. (After other speakers, Mr. Motus speaks a bit more at the end.)

Physicians for safe technology – A good written summary which contains many additional sources. There are several studies about adverse health effects of MMW (millimeter wave-length) as well as cellular (microwave) radiation established as carcinogenic.
https://mdsafetech.org/5g-telecommunications-science/

Environmental Damage— Insects, birds, other wildlife at risk? Don’t miss (or be put off by the title of) the “Insect Armageddon” 7 minute video, referred to, and with sources in the link above.
https://youtu.be/zwo2E9b9CiU

The Industry hard push for legislation to ensure adoption—“Verizon, AT&T and other wireless providers have pushed such legislation here (in California) and elsewhere to ease deployment of so-called small-cell equipment that boosts coverage provided by larger cell towers, particularly in urban areas and in anticipation of fifth-generation (5G) network technology. The bill would have granted the companies rights similar to those of utilities, leaving local governments with limited power to set fees or restrict placement on streetlights and traffic signal poles.”
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Gov-Brown-right-to-block-industry-12282623.php

According to Mr. Mottus (from the video, above) the National League of Cities and League of Mayors are opposed to “small cell rollout” which is promoted nationally in U.S. S3157 . <—Click here to check status and read the bill.

At time of writing, S3157 is “in committee” with U.S. Senate “Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee”.  In one committee hearing, Senator Blumenthal asks industry representatives about Health Risks:
https://youtu.be/ekNC0J3xx1w

The push by industry is happening globally. Similar discussions are occurring in Canada…
Canadian Senate Bill 637—Senator Patrick Colbeck Testifies Against 5G: Hearing 2018
https://youtu.be/j-UEuOYOED4

Despite the 5G hype, there is no clear need for it:
“What can 5G do that other systems can’t? This is where there is no clear answer,” said Hemant Minocha, EVP for device and IoT at TEOCO. There is no 5G requirement for IoT [Internet of Things], he points out, and the business case hasn’t yet been proven out for ultra-low latency (not to  mention that LTE is capable of lower latency than it has achieved to this point in networks).”
https://www.saferemr.com/2017/11/5g-wireless-technology-cutting-through.html

How many towers are we talking about?
“While early work estimated that as many as 40 to 50 homes could be covered by a single fixed wireless site, according to Rouault of EXFO, that number has turned out to be around five in testing because of the complexity of beamforming necessary to support multiple homes.”
https://www.saferemr.com/2017/11/5g-wireless-technology-cutting-through.html

What do the towers look like?
“Mystreetmychoice” is a web site in opposition to the 5G roll out in California, see the photos on their home page.
http://mystreetmychoice.com/index.html

Rarely mentioned, Data Security risk— “5G has 200 times more access points for hackers than existing networks, experts warn”, Financial Post
https://business.financialpost.com/telecom/attack-surface-has-multiplied-5g-networks-more-vulnerable-to-hackers-conference-told

Some additional links:

Scientists and Doctors Demand Moratorium on 5G

5G Wireless Technology: Is 5G Harmful to Our Health?

5G Wireless Technology: Millimeter Wave Health Effects

5G Wireless Technology: Newspaper editorials oppose “small cell” antenna bills

Cell Tower Health Effects

International EMF Scientist Appeal

An Exposé of the FCC: An Agency Captured by the Industries it Regulates

FCC: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations–Key Testimony

Cell Tower Radiation Affects Wildlife: Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC

 

PEACE OUT,

—Christo

Your Air Freshener Makes Me Sick

SmellyTreeDeodorizerRant. Don’t read this if you don’t want to hear me go on about it. Seriously. Those bright colored Christmas Trees made of felt and soaked in some un-Godly formulation of toxic and aromatic chemicals that people put in their cars. Why?? I’d rather smell the rotting Burger King leftovers under your back seat than the chemical stench that overwhelms me when you open your car door. I can walk down the sidewalk and tell you which cars have these things in them just by smelling the air around the car. It’s AWFUL. Am I the only one who thinks so? When I’m traveling, and have a driver taking me to the airport, the only way to make a worse beginning to the trip than sitting in a car with an “Air Freshener” for an hour, is to do it with a stomach full of coffee. Oh yea, sitting on 95, stop and go Philly traffic with coffee sloshing around in my belly and overwhelmed by the noxious “freshener”. That is my Hell.

Once I knew someone who didn’t believe the smell was really so strong and obnoxious to me. I cannot tell you how many times I asked her to get rid of it. I begged her to throw it away. I swore I wouldn’t complain about it again if she would just take it out of the car before I got in. Finally, one day, as I was getting into her car she said, “It’s gone.”

“No, it’s not.” I replied.

“Oh, sure it is,” she said. “I threw it out. You must just be smelling the residual remains of it being in here!”

I took a whiff. “No, you’re just kidding, right? I can smell it strongly.”

“No,” she insisted. “It’s gone. Can’t we just drive?”

“Okay, one sec,” I said, looking around. Nothing obvious. I popped open the glove box, pushed a few envelopes aside. Found the f***ing phosphorescent Christmas Tree. Threw it out the window.

“Okay, drive.” I said.

Bitch.

It Sneaks Up On You – A Few Words About Sleep Apnea

At least as far back as I can remember, I was known for being a snorer. Not just a snorer, but a house-shaking snorer. This always surprised me a bit, because when I was snoring, I was asleep and unaware of it. In fact, when I was married, the topic would come up occasionally with friends, and my ex-wife would go on about how I would wake up the children, and could be heard all the way downstairs, even with the bedroom door closed and the television blaring. I joked that the strange thing was, I never snored when I slept alone!

I did have this occasional strange sleep event: I’d wake from a sound sleep because I couldn’t breathe. Not only could I not breathe, but I was suffocating! And I would spring from sleep, often clear out of bed, in a panic, to expel whatever was in my lungs, with a life-saving explosion that opened my sealed throat. You would think that this might generate some concern, but I didn’t think too much about it. I just thought it came from eating ice cream before bed, which caused the insides of my mouth to stick together (even after brushing :-).

There was the exhaustion thing. I loved to take naps, but they were never very refreshing. Yet if I had a moment to lie down somewhere, I’d be inclined to close my eyes. I had a minimum one hour commute on I-95 when I stayed at my girlfiend’s house in Philadelphia, and frequently had a hard time keeping my eyes open and on the road either driving there at night, or heading to work in the morning. And there was the time my son made a poster for his elementary school class. A collage of photos “About My Family”, I was portrayed in the series “My Dad likes to sleep. A lot!” A cluster of photos featuring yours truly taking naps at various locations around the house and yard.

The poking got to me – My girlfriend poked me when I slept with her. My perception—I was annoyingly roused from sleep because I was snoring. And not just from sleep, but from finally just starting to fall into a restful sleep. It seemed like this happened continuously throughout the night. She was harassing me because my snoring bothered her. By morning I’d be full of resentment, unrested, unrefreshed, looking at a long commute, and completely oblivious to her explanation that, “You stopped breathing.” It seems like years, maybe it was years, before it sank in that she was saying, “You stopped breathing. I couldn’t sleep because I’d be lying next to you and I’d be waiting for your next breath, and it wouldn’t come.” You know, (I’d think), I’m a very healthy person. This is ridiculous. Why can’t she just ignore the snoring? Denial is a powerful thing. The poking was one of at least two times Kate saved my life. (Thanks, Kate. I’m sorry I didn’t get it sooner.) It amazes me now how long it took me to realize that I had a real problem.

Headaches – I’ve had headaches most of my life, including occasional migraines. I think they are a learned response to stress. My mom had migraines. Usually 2-3 day events, which miraculously went away when the last of her four children moved out of the house. But I was waking up every morning with a headache. In fact the pattern was: very poor quality sleep, opening my eyes with the absolute certainty that I had been cheated, though I couldn’t explain in what way, a throbbing pain at the base of my skull, the wish that I could go back to sleep and feel better, and the knowledge that the only thing I could do was get up and move around, because that usually seemed to alleviate the pain a bit. For years I’d tried prescriptions for various pain killers for the migraines, but these, and regular aspirin, were usually ineffective for this morning headache. And then, every month or two, one of these morning headaches evolved into a full-blown migraine, complete with vomiting, rolling around on the floor in agony, all that stuff.

Thank You NPR This had gone on for at least a couple years. Chronic pain, sleeplessness, exhaustion, and so on. By this time, my girlfriend had told me quite directly, “I think you have sleep apnea.” And I still did not want to hear it. I think we had even gotten to the point of talking about CPAP, some kind of screwy contraption where you wear a breathing mask to bed. How absurd! Besides, I had more important issues to solve, such as my migraines, and a newly evolving chronic back pain. However, the seed was planted, and I am thankful I had the radio on one morning during a long tiring commute. I wasn’t paying that much attention at first, but I reached to turn the volume up when I realized that whoever was speaking, was describing exact symptoms in precise detail that matched my own. Everything. And the story was about how this person after years of pain, had gone to a sleep clinic, been diagnosed with sleep apnea, prescribed a CPAP machine, and after a few weeks on CPAP, ALL of his symptoms had gone away. All gone away. I don’t even recall if they spoke about the lethal aspects of Apnea—it can kill you after all—because all that mattered to me was that this guy made his pain go away.

I looked into my insurance, discovered the process to get into a sleep clinic, got a referral from my General Practitioner, and was on my way. That could be another blob, but let’s just say, I tried the CPAP. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Basically, you wear a mask that blows air at your nose and mouth. Somehow this keeps the soft tissue inside your mouth from closing off your throat.

Within days, had dreams! One thing I haven’t mentioned, and hadn’t really noticed at the time, is that people who don’t have a healthy sleep cycle don’t dream (or not much, or don’t ever remember their dreams, whatever…) Suddenly my brain was exploding with vivid, memorable, colorful dreams. And, I was feeling rested. And, I almost never had a morning headache! Within a few weeks, I had more energy and my backaches had evaporated. And there were improvements that can’t be measured – I was thinking more clearly. I’ve been on the CPAP now for over 6 years. It is a little hard to get used to; you have to figure out what kind of mask works for you. It’s not perfect. If your partner wants you to live s/he’ll understand and support you putting on this screwy thing before you fall asleep. You can work it out. It is so worth it.

Written on my iPad