dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
[personal profile] dmarley
I have completed Phase One of the vacation process. For several years, my mother and stepdad have been mailing their luggage instead of checking it on the plane. They started by mailing one bag because they couldn't fit their metric crapton of ski gear into the checked bag allowance, and then eventually realized that just mailing off the bulk of their gear saved them from the crush of humanity that always surrounds the baggage belt at the Jackson airport. (Imagine about 200 people crammed into a luggage claim area about the size of a postage stamp. Then imagine them all with skis...)

This year, the mail-in option became even more attractive because American Airlines decided that checked baggage was no longer free, and would be charging $20 for the first checked bag and $30 for the second. So, I lugged my two ginormous suitcases to the FedEx office this morning and shipped them off. The cost to mail two 35lb suitcases to Wyoming? $66, only $16 more than it would have cost to check them onto the plane. And they'll be there a week ahead of time, and I won't have to fight my way through throngs of passengers to get them.

The downside is, obviously, that I'll have to take everything else with me on the plane, but I'm not taking much more than I would have otherwise. The biggest difference will be lugging the CPAP machine along, since I was warned by three different medical persons to never, ever, check it with my luggage. Fortunately, I only had to have one brief argument with a customer service person about the machine not counting towards my carry-on allowance. Still, I'm taking along a print-out of their own baggage allowance exemptions, with the "CPAP machines" part highlighted.

Speaking of which, this is probably a good place to talk about my follow-up visit last week. According to the data from my machine, I'm being a good little 100% compliant user, and my apneas are down from 8 per hour to .5 per hour. I really haven't had any problems with the machine, and don't mind wearing it at all. Especially when the payoff is a good night's sleep.

I was surprised to learn from my doctor that he doesn't usually treat sleep apnea as mild as mine with a CPAP machine. In fact, insurance used to not cover a machine unless the apneas were 15+ an hour. But my lack-of-sleep symptoms were so bad that he felt I needed the machine, and I'm really freaked out to imagine what I would have been like a few months from now. Probably desperate enough to go hold my breath in a sleep lab if I had to.

Even if my sleep apnea was mild, I can already tell a big difference in just my overall energy level, both mental and physical. I can actually do things all day long--including lugging 70lbs of luggage to the FedEx office--without collapsing into a weeping heap of exhaustion at three in the afternoon. I'm still taking naps, but now it's an hour or two three or four days a week and not three hours every day. I have the mental energy to make plans and carry them out, to take care of the piddly and necessary little details--you know, all that stuff I took for granted until I couldn't do it anymore.

Now all I have to do is get back into knitting. Among the 70lbs of luggage are two skeins of sock yarn. Baby steps.
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September 2012

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