Yes I am woefully behind on my blog (and my improvement program).
April has been the month of slack. I’m not sure whether this is from over-training, changing my diet/supplement regiment or plain ol’ burnout. A three month run was pretty good but I’ll see about getting back on the saddle in May.

March Reviewed

I most definitely did not do what I said I was going to do in March. So what have I learned from my failures?
1. Pick one thing and one thing only – especially for compliance reporting.
For some reason I had assumed that you should/could build on tracking the habits you are developing. This doesn’t work for me. Instead it results in habit development burnout. I’m really tired of writing about the habit that I learned in January. What’s interesting is I don’t think anyone explicitly suggested I keep adding to my compliance list. In fact Benjamin Franklin explicitly did not do this – In Ben’s self-improvement program he only focused on one thing at a time. Henceforth, I’m going to do the same.
2. Even though I’m failing, I’m still winning. So I haven’t mastered the art of getting to bed by 11 each night. I’m still becoming a more present person by meditating every day, developing as a singer on a daily basis, and getting in great shape by working out 6 days a week while following a strict diet. I’m made some major behavioral changes in the last three months and now they (mostly) feel like old hat. Also, I am getting better at the 11pm thing. I’ve quit drinking caffeine after noon. I am insisting that I get 8 hours of sleep which means that if I don’t get to bed at 11, I don’t do my singing exercises in the morning before going to work. I’m playing games with my brain until I figure out what works. The rest of the nighttime routine is a piece of cake, so I am almost there.

Tomorrow is the beginning of April. I need to pick my April healthy habit soon!

March’s Healthy Habit – Nighttime Routine

I have been taking on a lot of new habits lately which I can list in a later post. The habit I need to create for myself is the thing I am not doing – getting to bed on time.
I am waking up every morning at 7 and I really need to try and get 8 hours of sleep – especially with my sleep apnea problems. If I’m not well rested, all other good habits and achievement become unpleasant and difficult and more importantly – I become unpleasant and difficult.

I’d like to get to bed at 11pm every work night (Sunday through Thursday).

There are some things I need to do before going to bed so in this post I am declaring that I will follow a “Nighttime Routine”.

I will do the routine at the same time Sunday through Thursday.
I will do the routine on Friday and Saturday – at some unpredictable time.

Here’s the routine:

Continue reading

It’s Friday

It’s Friday and here is my latest news:

I finally got Intense Debate working on this site again. Unfortunately some old comments were lost in the process. Apologies to the three or four people whose comments were affected. 🙁

In other news, I am finally getting my CPAP machine! And not a moment too soon. I woke up today exhausted and proceeded to have a lame day at work. The lame day continued until I got good and caffeinated with all the irritability and over-focus issues that tag along with a caffeine high. At least you’re getting a blog out of it.

Elsewhere Anthony is having a great candle show in Atlanta. Check out all of the scents here.

More Sleep Apnea Fun

Today I continue my non-chronological sleep apnea report:

I went to my doctor and got my prescription for my CPAP machine. Before doing this I had to go in for a second study to determine the pressure maintained by the CPAP. This seemed odd to me because all of the research I had done indicated that static pressure CPAP’s were old school. The newer machines would automatically adjust the pressure and use the minimal amount required for a successful breath.

I can’t help but think that the sleep study centers have no financial incentive to cut the revenue they get from patients in half… but I digress

I left my doctors with a prescription stating “CPAP at 9cm H20 pressure”.

Armed with the right to buy a CPAP, I decided to ask the extremely helpful Mike over at “SleepGuide: The Sleep Apnea Online Community” what to do next. Mike recommended I get the “Respironics M-Series with A-Flex or the ResMed S8II” from on online provider like Cpap.com.

Ahh – now we are back to the auto-cpap machine. Why is it that all the people I know with sleep apnea have an auto-cpap machine but I have a prescription for an old fashioned static CPAP?

Anyway, I followed Mike’s suggestion and went to cpap.com. Good News! cpap.com will take my CPAP prescription and sell me an auto-cpap. Bad New! cpap.com does not take insurance and is not in my insurance company’s preferred network. I have to pay them out of pocket for the machine and get a reimbursement from my insurance company. When it’s all said and done, buying a machine from cpap.com will run me around $480 (plus the aggravation of paying out of pocket and time spent filing insurance claims).

If I shop from an in network provider, I have to get the static CPAP machine but I spend about $400 less.

Life’s little tradeoffs…

I didn’t want to spend the extra $400 (and I really loathe filing my own insurance claims) so I went with the static machine. We will see how I do with the static machine. I have to go take a class before I can use it.

I haven’t gone into details but the getting this all squared away took about 4 hours of my work day – not including the time and money spent on the second sleep study where they figured out the pressure level for the CPAP.

This would have been so much cheaper had they given me one study to determine my apnea, prescribed me an auto-CPAP machine, and let me order the thing online.

Very inefficient health-care in my opinion.

Regardless, I am eagerly awaiting my machine so I can get a good nights sleep for a change.

Finnish Patient Gets New Jaw from His Own Stem Cells

OK – People who know me know that I am obsessed with medical advances. This has nothing to do with what I do for a living. It’s just a hobby of sorts. If I find medical news that I think is exceptionally cool, I will post it on my blog.

Finnish Patient Gets New Jaw from His Own Stem Cells: “An anonymous reader writes with news out of Finland, where a patient’s upper jaw was replaced with bone cultivated from stem cells and grown inside the patient himself. We discussed other advances in stem cell research a few months ago. Quoting:
‘In this case they identified and pulled out cells called mesenchymal stem cells — immature cells than can give rise to bone, muscle or blood vessels. When they had enough cells to work with, they attached them to a scaffold made out of a calcium phosphate biomaterial and then put it inside the patient’s abdomen to grow for nine months. The cells turned into a variety of tissues and even produced blood vessels, the researchers said.’

(Via Slashdot.)