It’s about control.

As mentioned in my prior post, I legit have OCD (and ADD too, which kind of helps offset the OCD at times, but that’s a story for another time). I can make an educated guess and say OCD affects different people in different ways (like some may be big in keeping a house immaculate — I wish I had that problem — where others might have the counting issue. That’s one of my “things”. I’m a counter on some things. For example, when leaving the house, I count the stove knobs in sets. The knobs on my stove go as follows:

KNOB | KNOB | KNOB | CLOCK | KNOB | KNOB | KNOB

Whenever I leave the house, I do two sets of three and one set of one. So, that first set of knobs to the left of the clock get verified three times (from left to right) that they are off, then the knobs to the right of the clock get verified three times (from left to right) that they are off, then the entire row gets verified once that they are off. If you were in my head, you would hear:Off, off, off. Off, off, off. Off, off, off. Pause, to the next grouping. Off, off, off. Off, off, off. Off, off, off. Pause, back to the beginning. Off, off, off, off, off, off.

If I’m stressed out, I go through that process more than once. And that’s just the stove. Verifying the door is locked is something else entirely. And the lights are off. This is just leaving to go to work. Don’t get me started on going somewhere on vacation.

Anyway, that’s an example of how OCD affects me. But not what I wanted to write about. I can deal with that counting horseshit (which, by the way, I do so the house doesn’t burn down or getting broken into while I’m away…I know, I know), it’s control I must have at all times is what gets to me.

For example, my neighborhood literally only has two streets. The street you drive in and out of, and a side street. Well the dipshit that designed the neighborhood named them the same, except calling one DRIVE and one COURT. Oh, AND KEPT THE SAME FUCKING NUMBERS. Meaning, in my small ass neighborhood, there is a 123 Sandlewood Drive and 123 Sandlewood Court.  What makes it much, much worse, is we have a mail carrier that is retarded. And to add to that, the fuckers that live on Court are lazy pieces of shit. When I get their mail (which is often), I tend to run it down to them because, you know, it’s the right thing to do. The lazy cunt that lives at Court? When she gets my mail, she just puts on the envelope, “Not at this address” and puts it back in the box. I cannot express my rage on both my shit carrier and the cunt at Court. (You may ask why I still run it down to her house, it’s because her son gets boxes from Amazon to me too, and I do it for him because I know he runs stuff up to me; I’ve seen him do it. It’s his mom that’s lazy garbage.)

Anyway, this is the type of thing that kills me because I tend to get a lot of anxiety anyway when I don’t have control over something that I want control over, but this is even worse because I can’t do a goddamn thing about it. Let’s face it, we all know if I complain, I can just kiss my mail goodbye. If this shit that delivers my mail doesn’t give one shit enough TO LOOK AT THE FUCKING ADDRESS SHE’S DELIVERING TOO, there is no doubt in my mind that she will just toss my mail all together if I make a complaint. It doesn’t help that I don’t believe for one second any complaint I make to the Post Office will be anonymous. If her boss likes her, they will immediately tell her who complained. Fuck that.

It’s the same at work. Right now there is an issue going on that is getting dumped on our group to fix as it arises, but nobody is taking ownership of the overall issue, and I just feel like screaming at everyone until something is fixed. And instead of lighting fires under people, we’re getting a runaround on what we should be doing to document this bullshit. I just feel like screaming. Right now the fucking house is on fire, and people are asking our team why we haven’t decided on the brand of batteries to put in the new smoke detectors. THE FUCKING HOUSE IS ON FIRE RIGHT NOW, HOW ABOUT WE PUT THIS FUCKING THING OUT AND THEN WORRY ABOUT THE BATTERIES FOR FUCK’S SAKE. (To be fair, though, I finally forced the issue, a meeting was held, and my manager is now effectively pissed off enough to go crack some skulls. I don’t think he realized the scope of the problem, but once he did, he’s getting everyone involved. But fuck, this is why I can never handle management. The politics of it all is fucking retarded.)

If anyone has any ideas on what to do with my shit carrier while remaining truly anonymous, throw them at me. Apparently, getting the name of the streets changed or renumbered is out of the question. Fucking politics, man.

I know this is insanity.

The thing about OCD is, those that of us that legitimately have it know it’s much more than keeping your movies in alphabetical order or keeping your house clean. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those crybabies that pisses and moans over memes or statements by people about clean rooms and OCD. That shit is funny. But it’s nowhere near an accurate representation of that goes on in day-to-day life.

Here’s but a small example:

Over Christmas, I went on a weekend ski trip with my family. Well, we went to the ski resort (I didn’t plan on skiing, I knew I could get a lot of work done), but unfortunately there would be no tubing — pretty much the main reason my family went up. Because of this, and the shit weather (it was raining the majority of the weekend), we decided to go home Saturday night instead of Sunday because there was really no reason to stay and home was only about two hours away for all of us.

As I was getting into my car, a thought hit me. What if my sister got into a car accident on the way home? The roads were crappy after all. I would lose pretty much my whole family because my dad, niece, nephew, grandnephew, sister and brother-in-law were all in one car. Plus my mom had died the day after Christmas, so the timing meant something! Right? Right??? And that was in my head the entire ride home. I wasn’t happy until I got the call from my family that they were home. This is how OCD works. You get this ridiculous nugget in your head and it’s all you can think about. The rub? I know this thought is insane. I know there is zero reason why I should be…obsessing over this dumb thought. But I do. That’s the real OCD. Getting something locked in your head that just ridiculous, and it won’t go away. Don’t even get me started on when I start dwelling on things that happened 20 years ago that a normal person wouldn’t be bothered by. Or the amount of times I check the lights and stove before I leave the house.

This was going to be a post about my fucking mailwoman, but it went on longer than I thought. So that’s another story for another time, and that is OCD related too.

What’s unrelated is this cover of Bad Company’s Bad Company. Five Finger Death Punch did a phenomenal job with it.

I’ve just closed my eyes again.

Of all the electronic devices in my house used to watch media, my Roku is probably in the top 2. In addition to the standard ‘channels’ you can put on it like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, there are a plethora of other channels available. Channels like Comet, Pluto TV, Periscope, and more have found their way onto my Roku box.

On occasion, I go through my channels and delete the unwatched and expired ones and add new ones that I may or may not ever get around to using. I was doing this the other night when I came across one called “Lucid Dreaming”. I’ve had a half-assed interest in lucid dreaming since I first heard of it, but I never really did any research on it. The short of it is, if you practice, you can take control of your dreams.

The channel has a bunch of little chapters, about 2 minutes each, on what lucid dreaming is, the history of it, how it works, and how you can do it. I watched many of these chapters with some interest, and made the decision to do the tips. I tend to dream often, especially now that I’m getting more sleep with my CPAP machine, so I figured what the hell. And couple the CPAP machine with melatonin — a sleep aid that has the “side affect” of vivid dreams — and you have a party. One I like going to.

One of the things the channel suggests is to keep a dream journal, which I’ve started. I’ve already logged two dreams and I’m debating on making a page on this blog specifically for those dreams. However, the very fact that I’ve started a dream journal makes me feel like a pre-teen girl who is writing about her dream dates with Johnny.

I used to die every night.

About a year ago, I was suffering from severe sleep apnea. I’ve always snored, but it got to a point where I was just not sleeping. (Rather than go into it, you can read all about that here.)

I realize that I never posted the results of my sleep study, and they are pretty jacked. And since I’m sure you all have been waiting on pins and needles for them, here you go.

Generally with a sleep study, you are supposed to have spend the night two nights at the center doing the study. The first night the determine why you aren’t sleeping (apnea, shaky leg, whatever) and the second night they apply the fix and see if it works. They hook you up to kinds of electrodes and what not and you go to bed and someone watches you on a video to make sure everything is going smoothly. They encourage you to bring whatever you use to sleep (favorite pillow, pajamas, whatever) to make it as natural as possible. This makes sense, as they are putting all these wires and shit on you, it makes it difficult to move around naturally.

I don’t have anything ‘favorite’ I use to sleep, but I did bring my…sleep aids. Before I got hooked up, I took my medication that helps me sleep, put on my sweats, and got ready for what I thought would be another restless night. The woman who hooked me up was pretty awesome, and before long I was laying down.

At some point in the night, the lady was waking me up. I asked what was wrong and she said, “You need to put this on right now.” She looked extremely concerned, holding a mask in her hand. She helped me hook it over my face and a turned on the machine it was attached to, which forced air into my fat face. As I was thinking there was no way I could go to sleep like this, I slipped under and got the best night of sleep in recent memory. I mean, I was knocked the fuck out hard. Before I knew it, the woman was waking me up and I was rested. RESTED! I didn’t even know what that felt like anymore.

She asked how I slept. I told her I couldn’t remember sleeping so well. She said she didn’t doubt it. My apnea was bad. I had stopped breathing for 57 seconds. That’s why she woke me for the mask. I didn’t need a second night, they knew exactly what was wrong.

A few days later, I got my results. I’ll put it down as it was explained to me.

For someone to have sleep apnea, there must be at least a 10 second pause in breathing during sleep. 1 – 5 per hour is average. 30 an hour is severe. I was popping 108 an hour. One. Hundred. Eight.

The oxygen you are receiving should be at 90%. I went down to 50%. And the 57 seconds without breathing didn’t help.

Since then, I’ve been using a CPAP machine every night. I’ve changed masks a few times, from one that completely covers my nose and mouth to the one I wear now, which goes just under my nose. I use this sweet Bluetooth app that talks to my CPAP machine and gives me info on my breathing pauses and mask fit and such. I’m now down to maybe one or two breathing pauses (AHI) an hour now, rarely more than three. I’m sleeping through the night, and waking up more-or-less refreshed (this is my fault, though, I go to bed too late and don’t get the 8 hours I should be getting).

At the risk of being melodramatic, this study and machine has not only changed but possibly saved my life as well. I was literally falling asleep driving, waking up on the rumble strips. Since getting the machine, the only place I fall asleep is on the metro.

If you know someone who snores, encourage them to get a sleep study. They are simply not getting the rest they need, there’s no two ways about it. And if you use a Philips CPAP machine, I highly recommend the Dreamweaver app that goes along with them. You can monitor what’s going on while you sleep and make the necessary adjustments to sleep even better.

Here’s one of my favorite songs of all time:

Well that almost sucked.

After spending a great weekend with my family, I came home the night of Christmas, eager to do a whole bunch of nothing other than making a list of some things I want to knock out this week (something I want to try more of in the coming year, using lists to stay organized). But that entire plan fell to the wayside when I heard a loud buzzing sound when the heat kicked in that I at first thought was coming from my vent.

I slammed the vent cover around, thinking it was vibrating on something, but to no avail. So I went down to the basement and I immediately knew that it wasn’t coming from the vent, but the furnace itself. This immediately stressed me out for a variety of reasons. 1.) It was Christmas, so it was going to be a long night because I was not having someone come out on Christmas. I have an electric fan and an electric blanket; I’d survive. 2.) This furnace is 6 months old. I still owe thousands on it. What the fuck.

So flipped it on and off and it didn’t come back on. Fuck. But wait, it did kick back on about 15 minutes later, but it was still making that sound, so I just turned it off for the night.

I called the folks who I got the furnace from (who is a REALLY great company), and to my surprise, someone answered. I fully expected to leave a message. He said he’d send someone out between 10 and 12 the next day. I was cool with that.

Today I got a call at like 8:50, saying he’d be there by 9:10. No complaint there.

Dude shows up, heads downstairs, I turn the furnace back on, and leave him to his work. I don’t hover.

10 – 15 minutes later, the furnace kicked in, but no buzz. I walk downstairs and ask if he fixed it already, and he said no. Fuck. Oh, no, no fuck, because the noise kicked in. Good.

A few hours later, the tech (and shit if I forgot his name, but he’s a really nice guy — he either owns the company or is one of the managers) came back upstairs and said it was all fixed. I asked what happened and he said a bunch of words I didn’t understand (now I know what users think when I tell them how I fixed their computer) and said it’s all good now. I asked how much I owed, and he gave me the best possible answer, “Nothing. This is under warranty still.”

Merry Christmas to me!

Kind of related, but this HD version of Do They Know it’s Christmas looks great: