Monday, October 30, 2006

Titratia lives

My redundant uvula sucks ass.

Wait, no. that's not it.

My redundant uvula and soft palate suck major ass.

Stupid snoring. Stupid sleep test. Insanely stupid CPAP machine with the unbelievably stupid mask made of some godawful mystery material that, get ready for it: I'M ALLERGIC TO! Ass suckage! Major!!

OK, for the record, I know I'm allergic to the paper tape stuff that hospitals use to attach IV lines and to hold down surgical dressings. I know this because after I had a c-section I had a line for IV fluids and a line for drugs as well as a large swath of gauze on my belly, all held in place by the paper tape, and on the second day when I said that those tape places were itching and burning I was told that it was normal and on the third day when the burning was more like SEARING and any slight tug on any of those areas made me well up in tears I told them that this was NOT at all normal and so they agreed to take off the tapes, pulling away some of my blistered flesh with it at which point the nursing staff allowed as to how I might indeed be allergic to that stuff and not to use it in future, and so I didn't.

So, because of that little episode I was prepared to have a touch of discomfort from the tape that's used to hold down all the skin-based electrodes applied in the follow-up sleep study I underwent this weekend, and was again rewarded with raw places on my throat and chest.


What I was not prepared for, and could not have anticipated, was that I am apparently allergic, and mightily so, to the material from which the CPAP machine mask is fashioned. Oh yes! I am!

(An aside - The mask, in addition to being hyperallergenic, is ugly. Just needed to say that. It looks like something a water-dwelling creature (with a nose!) might use if it were required to do business on land and needed to remain hydrated in a manner that would allow communication through a tiny nose-mask in which water from a bubblah-tank strapped to its back would be drawn in through the "nose" and into book lungs (or somesuch alternate oxygen-scavenging apparatus similar to what lungfish probably have). Aside over.)

In the middle of the long night, on, oh, perhaps my 10th random awakening, I noted to myself that the places where the mask was touching hurt. A lot. I chalked this up to how tightly it was seated on my face and, if I was to use this contraption of the rest of my life, I'd eventually get used to the tightness, much like I had to get used to wearing glasses.

On the 12th awakening, I noticed a burning sensation.

On the 15th, there was actual searing, and a distinct twinge of real pain.

At 5:30 a.m., when the nice monitor lady came in to "wake me up" (the assumption being that I had actually ever been asleep), I lifted that mask free of my nose as fast as I could, and winced, because I think a little bit of skin went with it.

As I was cleaning the gel and sticky cream (mind out of the gutter, y'all!) from the electrode spots off my face, the deep red patches on either side of my nose and a marked ridge underneath of it were more than readily apparent. These were no ordinary pressure points, no run-of-the-mill temporary irritations. They all hurt. A lot. And were hot. And raised.

When I expressed concern over their appearance, I was told to "put some lotion on them spots" when I got home, and so I did. Nice, regular, everday face lotion. Which hurt. A lot. (another aside - Face lotion doesn't usually hurt.)

Hmmm, something's wrong, I thought.

Boy, howdy, was I right. The "something wrong" turned out to be a localized wheal and flare reaction that turned icky and zitty and hella painful on Day 2. Friends, I have never had acne, per se, and now I feel ever so badly for those of y'all who did, because if it is anything like what I am experiencing that shit HURTS! Holy God!

And is, you won't be surprised to learn, so, so attractive. Why, who would NOT want thickened cardinal-red skin surrounding their nose? Who would NOT want every.single.damned.pore. to fill with pus? Who would NOT want to have bright red zitty freaking SKIN on their FACE ? Who would NOT want the thickened zitty skin to crust over and scab?

Anyone? Hmmmm?

I swear, surgery is looking good right now. Even WITH only a 50% sucess rate, it would be worth the risk to avoid that damned mask and rash. Plus, even though the surgery would involve pain during recuperation, I'm pretty sure it WON'T involve acne.

Sounds like a deal to me.


Tomorrow - spooky story, for adults only. Don't let your kids surf to Auntie Tiff's on Hallowe'en, for they might learn a few things best not learned by anyone under 21.


Oh, and before I forget - this weekend was perhaps the most perfect weekend, weather-wise. that I have experienced in my entire life. I love fall afternoons when the temps are in the upper 60's and the sky is that insane blue and the puffy clouds are scattered over the horizon. The moon was out during the day, a waxing crescent hanging in the sky. The trees are finally getting their fall colors, albeit a tad muted, and the smell of freshly-cut grass mingled with the scent of woodsmoke. Ah, fall!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 accompanied me on a little trip to our local town park to do some exploring, and were surprised that there is a fitness trail within it. I thought those things went out with the 80's, but no. What a little gem to find this place, right on the way home from work and school, with picnic pavilions and a large grassy field, and actual TOILETS and a big playground and a paved trail. Somebody in that town had their thinking cap on when they put aside that land for park use, because in not very many more years the rampant development that's taking over Wake County is going to find our tiny town, and without some finely honed preservation skillz the land there won't be anything but house farms for miles and miles around.

Just not on those particular 35 acres. Thank goodness.

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