NOUN: Temporary absence or cessation of breathing.

I found out this past week I’ve got sleep apnea. Apparently about 39 times an hour I stop breathing for at least 10 seconds, and wake up because of it, and don’t remember it.

But in between, I get 1.53846 minutes of extremely restful sleep.

The good news is that a very low pressure cpap completely prevents the apnea, so I’ve got to get one of those, and I’ll be fine.

I wouldn’t really have expected this, because far from sleeping too much (as apnea sufferers tend to), I tend towards insomnia. But the doctor said it can go either way, hypersomnia or insomnia.

I’ve heard some folks say treatment for apnea can make a big difference in your life. I don’t want to get my hopes up or anything, but that’d be neat.

The sleep study which discovered this was recommended by a trip to an ENT specialist, which was part of the ongoing attempt to discover why I’ve had a cough since about February.

It was kind of funny, I saw the notes that the sleep lab sent back. They said, apparently with a straight face, that it was vitally important that I lose massive amounts of weight, or no treatment would be effective — and just after that, that a very mild cpap treatment completely eliminated the problem. So maybe no treatment would be effective except the one they had tried that very night and confirmed was completely effective? I don’t know. Maybe that weight loss stuff was boilerplate.

Since I’m aware that significant weight loss virtually never lasts for more than 5 years, and usually more weight comes back after that than you lost in the first place, weight loss doesn’t seem like a useful long term solution to me. I mentioned this to the doc and he accepted that reasoning, then mentioned bariatric surgery, and since I’m not into Russian roulette, I said I wasn’t interested in that either. To the doctor’s credit, he accepted that as well and we went on with the cpap plan.

I mentioned that I was disappointed that I would have to use a cpap, and he smiled and offered me a tracheotomy as an alternative. I decided the cpap would be fine.

He did give me a good scare-the-patient story, about how he actually did have to schedule a tracheotomy for a patient with extremely severe apnea for whom the cpap wasn’t effective, and the guy died of sleep apnea in the two weeks before the surgery happened.

So I’m taking it seriously. Cpap it is. Bring it on!

William Gibson and Toys

Through the Looking Glass – washingtonpost.com:

“Every hair is being numbered — eBay has every grain of sand. EBay is serving this very, very powerful function which nobody ever intended for it. EBay in the hands of humanity is sorting every last Dick Tracy wrist radio cereal premium sticker that ever existed. It’s like some sort of vast unconscious curatorial movement.

“Every toy I had as a child that haunted me, I’ve been able to see on eBay. The soft squeezy rubber frog with red shorts that made ‘eek eek’ noise until that part fell out. I found Froggy after some effort on eBay, and I found out that Froggy was made in 1948 and where he was made and what he was made of. I saw his box, which I’d long forgotten. I didn’t have to buy Froggy, but I saved the jpegs. So I’ve got Froggy in my computer.

via BoingBoing.

I wondered if that was true, about obscure little toys being out there on ebay. I thought back to my childhood, and remembered a little wind-up robot I bought at Meijer’s.

It’s there.

The one on the right, in silver and orange.

Wow.

Photos and Video of the Great God Bird??

Opelika-Auburn News | Professor makes case for existence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers:

Securing a small grant, Hill and several of his colleagues traveled to the Florida Panhandle in January 2007. Once there, the small group set up a number of listening stations and remote cameras that recorded the distinctive double-knocking sound and Kent calls the Ivory-billed Woodpecker makes.

During their time in Florida, Hill and his colleagues were able to record both photo and video of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers.

I want to see pictures!!

Olbermann Loses It, RE: Bush Lying to the Troops That He’ll Bring Them Home

Crooks and Liars ยป Countdown Special Comment: You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir.:

OK, here’s the story: Bush appears in a surprise visit to Iraq and tells the soldiers and everyone else he just might maybe be reducing forces there soon.

Meanwhile, a quote comes out from an authorized biography of the president, where he says “I’m playing for October or November… to get us in a position where the presidential candidates, will be comfortable about sustaining a presence” — far from reducing our presence, he’s all about making sure it’s sustained even after his departure, by the next president.

Olbermann gets as angry as I’ve ever seen him about this, and that’s saying something.