February 21, 2010: Nine Hours of Driving

I got up around eight this morning.  That was a ton of sleep.  I am feeling much better today.  That was really scary yesterday.  You don’t realize how terrifying it is to not be able to sleep until you are facing a massive stretch of time where dozing off could be fatal.  Suddenly the ability to safely fall asleep at any time because a rather important life feature.  The feeling is not completely unlike being held underwater.  You know that you are okay for a minute or two but knowing that if you don’t figure out how to get to the surface in that amount of time you will start to panic and eventually drown.  That’s the general feeling that you get not being able to get to a CPAP when you have central sleep apnea.  You know that you have to keep yourself awake “or else” and the difficulty staying awake goes up exponentially each hour.  Here are some interesting facts on sleep loss.

I worked this morning and then at ten I showered and got on the road around eleven to go to get Brian from Houston Hobby Airport.  His flight actually got in almost half an hour early so he had his luggage and was waiting for me when I got there.

We went out to Panera Bread for some lunch but I got paged out and we had to run back to the Grices’ so that I could work for a little bit.  It did not take too long, maybe half an hour.

After that we loaded up the X3 and drove up to north Houston to take Brian to his hotel.  The trip ended up taking much longer than we had expected.  We were hoping that it would be just forty-five minutes or so but traffic was horrible and we were creeping along very slowly once we passed downtown.

In addition to bad traffic we also got caught by the BMW’s GPS system not having the address to which we were headed and Brian’s iPhone pulling maps from Google Maps sent us miles past our destination and dropped us off in the middle of nowhere.  Luckily Jen knew the hotel and had found it without a problem and was able to direct us there easily.  We just lost about an hour due to traffic and bad directions.

The hotel, the Baymont, turned out to be really nice.  We could not believe how nice it was considering that it was only $39/night!  What a deal.  We were worried that it was not going to be very nice but this was great.

Brian, Jen and I talked at the hotel for a few hours and then decided that we were hungry and drove across the street to Waffle House to get some food.

After our late lunch or early dinner I dropped them off at the hotel and I drove back down to League City to pick up Dominica, Liesl and Oreo.  The drive back down was plagued with traffic congestion as well – I have no idea what was going on, there was nothing blocking traffic ever.  It just appeared to be lots of people driving really slowly.  So it took me an hour and a half to get back down to League City as well.

Dominica was mostly packed so we loaded up the car and left in around an hour to drive back up to Irving.  All in all I am driving about nine hours today.  Quite a significant amount of driving for one day – especially when I am so tired.  My weekend turned into a rather major loss in general, here are the stats: fourteen hours of driving (just me, another three hours of Dominica driving), another fourteen hours of attempting to get a CPAP so that I could sleep during which time I was pretty much delirious, fifteen hours of sleep.  That pretty much covered the entire weekend.  Add in the few hours that I spent working with Brian and Jen and that was it.

We got back to Irving around one in the morning.  We were really tired when we got back.  We pretty much got straight off to bed as soon as we arrived.

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