September 11, 2018
4 min 30 sec
How has your sleep been?
Have trouble falling asleep?
Have you gone days or even WEEKS without a refreshing, recharging sleep?
You know then wherefore of I speak.
I've had trouble sleeping since...as long as I can remember.
Part of it has been because I came of age working nights, weekends, days. Whatever was called for in the restaurant business.
But this blog is going to be about sleep and solutions to the issues we face.
This portion of my story starts in 1997 as I recall.
You may wonder what this part of my tale has to do with sleep but please be patient and if you want, imagine yourself in these straits.
In 1997 I was working on the inside of the porch on our house.
I had painted it once or twice as our children grew up.
They were now out on their own with families.
So it was time I spruced it up again.
I thought it would look good with a coat of crisp white paint with the trim a light varnished pine.
I would have to strip paint to arrive at the pine but that was OK. It would be worth the effort.
I looked more closely at the ceiling. It was the biggest expanse of pine and it was narrow beadboard with grooved detail in between in strip of wood. There may be a better name for the material but it escapes me at the moment.
I used a gel stripper I purchased from Benjamin Moore. Great stuff. Better than any other stripper I had used. I used it many times again on projects.
I 'painted' the stripper on, let it bubble up the paint, scrap the combined goo off.
After using the gel stripper to remove the paint from the flat surface.
I still had to dig the paint out of the grooves.
I purchased a Dremel tool for the purpose. It worked surprisingly well.
At least until I burned it up. Back to the builder's supply where they graciously replaced it.
The work was tedious and since I was working overhead, it was taxing on the my neck and shoulders.
Eventually I finished the ceiling portion. That had taken forever.
Next, I started on the floor.
I thought I would find a project where I could sit down on the job.
I started on the floor.
At least eight coats of oil base paint and then some black stuff that was atrociously gooey.
The floor was soon a skating rink. Sliding all around on the gooey mess. I found out the floor was slanted away from the house. Interesting.
Soon my knees become embroiled in the project. So much for my idea of sitting down on the job.
It was quickly time to switch tasks again to give my knees a much needed break.
A big beautiful varnished oak door.
A lot of flat surface area, with eight panes of glass. The glass panes were framed in with very detailed edging.
Well, I thought I would just lightly sand the flat surfaces and skip the frames.
Great idea and it looked pretty good too. A new gleaming coat of polyurethane was a great improvement over the sun-checked old-fashioned varnish. The new style polyurethane went on a lot easier too.
I still had all the frame around the door to do but I delayed it until I did the framing around the windows.
A real 'This Old House'. Built in 1927 it was seventy years young at the time. Fourteen windows. And Frames. Cedar shake for the interior wall and the area under the windows until it reached the floor.
Two door frames.
I was beginning to question why I started this projects. But can't stop in the middle of it. At least I didn't think my bride would let me.
I decided it would be the better part of valor to just paint the actual frames for the windows and strip the paint from the header above and below the windows.
That header was only about 2 inches wide and I should be able to zip thru it pretty quickly.
That done I thought I would now tackle the door frames. The frame for the front door was pretty easy.
Now to the frame around the oak door. This was the entry door to the house.
I started at the top and painted the gel stripper on.
I worked my way down the frame.
The floor was on fire!!
All of the stripper that had been scrapped off and let fall to the floor was engulfed in flames.
I stomped like crazy.
I finally called my bride to help. I couldn't get it under control myself!
The whole house going up in flame was a picture seared into my brain.
Finally. We got the flames out.
I couldn't catch my breath.
I went out the front door and sat on the steps. I still couldn't catch my breath.
The evening air was cool with a slight touch of fall in the air.
That helped but it was a long time until I felt a little caught up in my breathing. I was gasping as much.
That was enough work for that particular night.
Showered the smoke of my skin and from up my nostrils.
Crashed into bed.
The next day was Monday so it was back to work.
I went into the breakroom to rest a minute before starting.
I still couldn't catch my breath.
I called my doctor and he told me to get to the hospital. On the double!
It was only a ten minute drive across the bridge and to the emergency room.
Did I mention I smoked?
Well I stood outside the emergency room and sucked down a smoke. I figured it would be a few days until I would be ready for the next one.
I walked up to the admissions desk and answered the question on why I was there.
An orderly swung my butt into a wheelchair and off to a room.
I got into one of those really ugly, really embarrising, but really utilitarian gowns with only a tie at the back of the neck.
There was no point in even trying to keep the waist tied since it kept coming undone.
I waited for the nurse and then for the doctor.
The verdict was that I was I was going for heart catheterization.
The cardiologist would insert a wire with a light and camera on the end into an artery in my groin and snake it up the arteries into my heart and snap some pictures on the way.
I had four blockages. Four!
No going home for me. I was in for the duration until they could cut some grafts out of my leg and attach them to my heart.
In order to do that they would have to stop my heart. I understood it was pretty much of a challenge to stitch arteries to a beating heart.
My hospital bed awaited.
I woke up with tubes down my throat.
Gagging I demanded they take them out.
That demand required a doctor's OK so it took awhile to get it done.
Finally! I'm glad I wasn't awake when they put that it.
It hurt with room to spare pulling it out!
Four arterial grafts. Amazing.
But that qualified me for a dubious honor. I was a member of the 4 banger club.
Discussing the advantages of this club brought giggles to grown men in Cardiac Rehab.
Giggles? You bet. It hurt too much too laugh.
So giggles bring us to the end of the first post to this new blog.
This was the cause of what brought me to my hospital bed.
It also brought me to the place and time where my sleep issues were addressed and solutions put forward.
Who knew I had issues that could be identified by a name to begin with.
PLEASE JOIN ME FOR THE NEXT POST THAT BEGINS OUR SEARCH FOR THAT ELLUSIVE TREASURE.
Thanks for stopping.