April 26, 2012: No More CPAP

My latest article on Datamation was published this morning: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love BYOD.  My article is the main headliner this morning and my article from January is still on the front page of Datamation as well.  This is my first time with two articles running at one time.

Dominica is starting to panic a bit about how much luggage space we are going to need to be able to carry everything while in Europe.  Things are taking up more space than she had planned.  She is working on a “packing light” article for our new travel blog Kidding Around Europe today.  She also ordered new stickers that have our Kidding Around Europe logo on them (the one that my cousin Sara made for us) for Liesl to hand out while we are overseas.

So last night we were talking about the packing and luggage situation and trying to figure out what could be done.  That’s when it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I had lost enough weight that I no longer need the CPAP in order to sleep.  I’ve been wearing the CPAP for over seven years now and have logged more than 17,000 hours on my CPAPs.  It is like a part of me.  I almost hate to see it not be used, it is a part of who I am.  I’ve had it for most of the time that I have been writing SGL.  For almost all of our marriage.  My kids have never known me to not need it.  Even Oreo never knew me without it.  I moved to New Jersey with it.  Back to New York and on to Texas.  It is a part of who I am now.  I’m not even sure how to fall asleep without the ritual of putting it on or having the white noise that it produces being right beside my head all night.  But carrying a CPAP through Europe would be awful.  We get to bring so little and it is both large and fragile.

So last night I went to bed sans CPAP for the first time intentionally in forever.  Dominica monitored me as best as she could to make sure that I was not snoring.  It was a restless night, mostly because I am not used to sleeping without the CPAP so the lack of the noise and the lack of the head gear was odd.  And Oreo seemed to be extra restless (we fed him a larger than usual dinner) and that probably contributed.

So I got up this morning feeling fine and the assessment from Dominica is that she did not hear me snore once the entire night.  So far, so good.  That is only one night but that is extremely encouraging.  It would be so awesome to be away from the CPAP for many reasons.  For one major reason, it is just annoying to have to deal with it all of the time and to keep it on the bedside table and to carry it in the car at all times “just in case”.  But also because by needing a CPAP I am automatically disqualified from getting personal health insurance in the United States.  It is a black and white issue, according to the insurance companies that I have spoken to, having sleep apnea simply means no insurance, period, end of story.

But in regards to our upcoming European adventure the CPAP was going to be even more of a burden.  CPAPs in the airports are time consuming as they have to go through special scanners and take extra time and management since you have to remove them from the case, wait for them to be swabbed, pack them back up, etc.  It is more effort than a laptop, for example, because the CPAP does air filtering and processing it tends to pick up a lot of things that trigger sensors.

Not having the CPAP simply means one fewer bag to carry and as we will be completely on foot carrying everything all of the time that is a really big deal.  On its own the CPAP is not large but when it is a part of the overall luggage scheme it is burdensome to the extreme – mostly because of the form factor.

The CPAP was also a concern on the night trains, of which we will be taking several, as there is unreliable power there and we were unsure that a CPAP would function.  Setting up and packing up a CPAP in the hotel room every night was going to be awful too.  I hate traveling with the CPAP, it requires tons of effort – especially if in a hotel that does not consider the needs of a CPAP and does not have power outlets near the head of the bed within reach of a bedside table.  It can be quite problematic.

This means that I will be able to nap on planes and trains too!  Something that I have not been able to do in as long as I can remember (well, seven years.)  I think that it is hard to actually account for all of the ways that not having a CPAP could improve our lives for the next few months.  This is really huge.

I had a lunch meeting today out at Canyon Creek Country Club.  I had to meet Jenn out there at half past twelve.  Dominica and I have driven past Canyon Creek before but we have never stopped in so this was my first chance to try out one of the other country clubs.  I always enjoy doing that.

We had a nice lunch.  The weather was awesome today so we sat outside.  Surprisingly the grill was busy but outside was just one table of ladies who had been out playing tennis and Jenn and I at another table.  Such a nice day and no one taking advantage of it.

I finished reading “Bella Tuscany” this morning and today started reading, and made good progress through, “In Tuscany”, the second sequel memoir to “Under the Tuscan Sun.”  I’ve not read the first book in the series, even though I own it, because I have seen the movie and wanted to be sure that I would have time to read the second two before we travel over to Europe.  I assume that I will have a bit of time to read while we are over there as well but I wanted some stuff to be read before we go.

This evening was a very heavy work evening for me.  I worked pretty much from the time that I got home until three in the morning.  That was exhausting.  I played with Liesl and Luciana a little and they both came into my office to hang out with me from time to time but I didn’t watch any television, play any games or get to hang out with the family really tonight.  No relaxing for me.  I got tons of work done, though, at least.

Dominica stayed up with me, longer than me, actually, while I worked.  She did some work and some travel planning.  We have all of our flights and all of our major trains booked now.  Major progress.  Our credit cards are also suffering as all of our travel expenses are on there already.  Boy is that hurting.

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