Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sleep Studies

Anyone ever partake in a sleep study before?  Well, I just finished up a 24 hour ordeal at the Sheraton in Burlington, VT.  That could sound potentially wrong but in actuality the ordeal I completed was a sleep study with two tests over a 24 hour period.  I could go into the kinds of tests and what they measure, but instead, I'll entertain you with the sidebar commentary.  Here's a link to the National Institutes of Health if you're interested in the nitty-gritty. http://health.nih.gov/topic/SleepDisorders

First of all, it is kind of nice to escape your everyday reality for a quick  getaway.  That's how I looked at this event.  I was going to a hotel, to sleep over, a night away.  I picked up dinner for myself and headed in unknowingly.  I was ready to do this.

A sleep study is conducted by a sleep technician.  I had three different young women through the evening and the next day.  I requested female technicians; something just felt more comfortable.  One of the enjoyable things about my sleep study was the chance to speak with each of these women.  As one technician glued and pasted electrodes to my calves, we talked about her recent house purchase and my sale, her younger sister and hopes to visit her abroad in Australia one day, and my little sister and how she got a job and moved out of Vermont!

My second technician was all business.  My memory is kinda of hazy at this point in the ordeal.  I was taking naps every 2 hours and what they would do was let me fall asleep, read some early sleeping brain waves, and then wake me up.  After a night of sleeping with a bagillion wires attached to me head to toe, literally - I was a little foggy.

My last technician had a good vibe.  She constantly kept apologizing as she use acetone to remove the glued electrodes from my head.  These young women were all college educated and extensively trained for this position.  One spoke of 'taking the boards' and a bunch of their friends or co-workers end up becoming nurses.  Needless to say, I had competent healthcare technicians perform my sleep study.

Some down sides... I'm going to say it.  Being in a hotel room for 24 hours, without ever stepping out the door, is kind of cramming.  Even the internet got boring to me.  I barely watched TV (cuz TV just isn't that good anymore or maybe we're just getting better.)  Other interesting tidbits, I had to carry around a big black box with my 21 wires plugged in; I carried it over my shoulder like a shoulder bag.   This made me do everything slower, not necessarily a bad thing.  It actually makes me smile just remembering it.

In the end, I was glad to step out into the air with my study done, results awaiting, and objective proof of however it is that I sleep.  I'm a little more in touch with myself too, as if validated by the experience, learning once again through another lesson that I have to take care of myself.  This can happen for all of us, at any time, life gives us little reminders.  What an ordeal!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tips for Taste...

...I've got another fabulous recipe to share.  I bake these in abundance and freeze them so that the yumminess can continue long after the baking has ended.

Pineapple Cream Muffins
servings: 30 mini muffins

1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup well drained crushed pineapple

1. Measure sugar, egg, butter and sour cream in bowl and beat.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Combine wet and dry mixtures into one bowl and stir until moist.
4. Add pineapple to mixture.
5. Fill greased mini muffin trays and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.


The pitter-patter of rain followed by brief periods of silence and often abruptly interrupted with loud crashing thunder - this is the musical background nature provides me with this summer morning.  Summer is here, it has finally arrived.  We celebrated the summer solstice routinely, as we do every year.  Since it is the longest day of the year, we spend as much time outside in the evening as possible.  As the evening slowly passes, we collect kindling and build a fire.  It is our family tradition to roast marshmallows on the solstice.  The fire sparks as the night ever so slowly creeps on.  We ponder the nature of our lives, the nature of our universe, the nature of the cycles that we live by.  And while we enjoy the outdoors, knowing that the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, we are reminded that the days will begin to shorten as we go forward.  Thus another cycle of our lives continues on...