Nothing Much Archive

Maybe the groundhog didn’t entirely lie

Posted March 15, 2019 By Ruth


On this day 2 years ago Mother Nature dumped about 2 feet of snow on us.  You could lose Apollo (who’s 27″ at the shoulder) in the yard.  Today?  Today I can see the grass.  The ground itself is still rock solid, though some of the areas that have been bare  of snow the longest are starting to get a bit muddy.  There’s still snow in alot of areas of the yard too.  Nor are we past the risk of another storm.  But I’ll take it!


Posted March 3, 2019 By Ruth

I originally started typing this for my own record keeping, but it occured to me that other folks might appreciate the info.  This post will be added to on a random basis as things change and update.

I originally went into my doctor for insomnia (and knee issues) on Sept 5th.  Symptoms: little to no snoring, waking up with a headache constantly, waking up feeling like my brain was wrapped in cotton constantly, waking up “every hour” most nights, feeling brain dead and fogged all day every day

First sleep test was originally schedule for the night of Oct 2nd.  However I ended up sick with a miserable respiratory infection and had to reschedule.  Next available appointment the night of Oct 30th.

After the first sleep test the administering nurse told me I should hear about my results in about 2 weeks.  I did not.  By the 4 week mark I kept thinking that I really ought to call the doctor and find out what the results were, but I tended to think of it as I was headed to bed, which isn’t exactly a useful time for such.

On Dec 4th (five weeks) I received a phone call from the sleep testing office to schedule my sleep test.  First available date Jan 22nd.

On Dec 5th I received a letter from my insurance informing me that I’d been approved for cpap therapy.  I guess this means they decided I have sleep apnea in some form.

On Dec 5th I called my doctors office and left a message asking for someone to call me back with the results of my first sleep test.  they called me back to tell me that they’d contacted the pulmonary specialist to contact me about going over my results.

On Dec 10th I got a letter from the pulmonary specialists office (with a date mailed stamp of Dec 5th) informing me that my appt was scheduled for Dec 14th.  At that appointment I saw a PA who said this is your numbers, you have sleep apnea, calls us back to schedule an appointment approximately 4-6 weeks after you receive your cpap machine, Bye.  I know they’re busy as hell (the waiting room was packed to standing room only when I went in), but really?  Apnea/Hypopnea Index (AHI) of 48.6/hour (which is high, you’re considered “normal” if your number is under 5).  Oxygen saturation dropped to 84% (anything under 90 is considered low).

After the 2nd sleep test it was confirmed that a cpap machine helps me.  The nose only mask did not work for me, 1: despite normally having no problems breathing through my nose normally the constant pressure as I was breathing made me feel like I couldn’t get a proper breath, and 2: I kept leaking air through my mouth.  Full face mask it is.  The nurse warned me it would take upwards of 3 weeks for me to actually get the cpap machine.

I picked up my cpap machine on Feb 8th.  By this time I’d done a bit of research.  Not all cpap machines are created equal, and its not just about differences between brands and therapies required.  If you’re going through this spend some time doing some research and don’t just take the machine you’re handed.  Some machines actually track all sorts of health info related to your cpap therapy and some don’t, and with that extra data you can make sure that you’re getting the proper help.  It’s worth the argument to make sure you’re getting a good machine.  Also, there are so many different kinds of masks, and not all masks fit all people.

The different machine manufacturers have software to make at least some info available to the user.  How much info they provide varies a bit, and isn’t especially comprehensive.  Especially if you start cpap therapy and your doctor insists your numbers are fine, but you don’t feel fine, seriously consider downloading a freeware program by the name of Sleepyhead.  You’ll have to join one of a couple different online forums to actually access the download, but it’s worth it.  It’ll allow you to actually see all that medical data that your machine is recording and give you all sorts of data to take to your doctor (or even modify your cpap settings yourself if need be).

The good news for me is that my very first night using the cpap machine made a HUGE difference in how I felt the next day.  I woke up with no headache, and no brain fog.  I was still tired as hell as getting used to sleeping with a mask on my face wasn’t quick, but the sleep I got was SO MUCH BETTER.  According to the cpap machine my AHI has dropped to consistently below 2, and on occasion I’ve had some nights with an AHI of 0.

My followup appointment with the pulmonary doctor is March 26th.



My husband’s been using a cpap machine for several years now.  At first it seemed to help him alot, but over the last year and a half or so he’s been waking up feeling foggy again.  His doctor scheduled an at home check, and the results said that he was fine and no changes were needed.

Once I was comfortable figuring out my data I decided to take a look at his data.  The machine he has is also one of the models that provides lots of data, so it should have been easy.  It wasn’t.  Turns out the SD card in his machine was screwed.  SO FAR, replacing it with a new SD card seems to be working fine.  The downside to that is that we lost all the saved data prior to putting in the new card, the cpap machine itself only saving “summary” data.  However, looking at those summaries, while his AHI is staying below 5, there are several days where its over 4.  Once we have a couple weeks worth of data on the new SD card we’ll be taking a closer look at it to see about adjusting settings to see if we can fix that.

Update to the blog

Posted March 2, 2019 By Ruth

WordPress informed me that my PHP version was way behind.  I know, that probably means nothing to most of you.  I have updated it.  However, its possible that in the updating things have gotten broken.  At first glance all appears fine, but as you browse, comment, etc, if you notice something not working right please let me know.

More Ice

Posted February 19, 2019 By Ruth

Sunday wasn’t especially warm, but it was sunny, and as a result we were able to clear the driveway of ice.  The sun warming the black pavement enough to pop the ice loose and break it up.

For some strange and unknowable reason my shoulders and elbows hurt now.

My own personal ice skating rink in my backyard.  Near the black drainage pipe its only a couple inches deep, but out in the middle of that is the drainage ditch between us and our northern neighbor, and that is full of ice, at least 2 feet deep.  Yay.


Posted February 13, 2019 By Ruth

Woke up this morning to upwards of a 1/2″ of ice on everything


Which of course had been covered by a decent layer of wet snow.  Be carefull out there folks!

Lesson Learned

Posted January 30, 2019 By Ruth

Shoulda learned it a while back I guess.  But yah, thats life.

Basically all images have been removed from the blog.  All new images will go up with watermarks.  I found a plug in that would allow me to retrospectively add watermarks to images, but it proved to be more annoying than just deleting them.

2018 in review

Posted December 29, 2018 By Ruth

I don’t normally do the whole year in review thing, but sometimes it’s warranted.

Of course, I go to type this post, and discover that WordPress’s latest update has screwed with the Create A Post page, massively, and I hate it. Thanks WordPress for reminding me why I hate software updates.

So, I started out 2018 with major abdominal surgery. Everything has healed beautifully, and I’m long since back to work. Oddly enough I’ve STILL not noticed any major changes. The surgeon was positive that I’d notice all sorts of changes after the cyst was removed, but honestly, nope. Which is all kinds of scary actually, but I’ll take what I can get.

Then we discovered that Shadow is an asshole when it comes to food. But for all the frustration involved we’ve managed to trim his weight by almost 4lbs, so it’s worth it. Even if he doesn’t agree.

We had our first successful Bluebird hatching in years.

Somewhere, May-ish I started having some issues with my left knee again. I injured it in high school, playing soccer, and ended up having to have a lateral release done on it in college due to the same injury, so its not the strongest joint ever, but it doesn’t usually give me huge issues at work as long as I’m reasonably careful about my lifting form and not being stupid when carrying things upstairs. I ended up wearing a soft brace for work all summer, and finally went in to see the doctor, who sent me to an ortho specialist. Ortho says there doesn’t appear to be anything new wrong with it. His theory is that I got far enough out of condition out I was out of work for surgery and I didn’t work it back up correctly. So we’re working through some physical therapy to see if that’ll help. It seems to be, so cross your fingers.

June-ish I started having bouts of insomnia. I’ve always been a restless sleeper, but I don’t normally have huge issues with insomnia. I worked my way through the normal things, no caffeine with lunch or later, melatonin, Tylenol PM, with no real success. I was sleeping worse and worse and waking up with a headache more and more often. At the same appointment with my doctor about my knee I also discussed the insomnia problem with her. Turns out I’m borderline for all the base checks to possibly need a CPAP machine, so she put in a referral to get a sleep study done. She also prescribed a small dose of Trazodone to see if that would help me sleep. Not so much unfortunately, it gave me hot flashes and nausea. Fortunately at least some of the insomnia has gone away on its own. In the mean time the initial sleep test found that I absolutely need a CPAP, oxygen saturation in the low 80’s (it should be 90 or higher), and apparently I stopped breathing some 40+ times per hour. Yay. I go back to be fitted for the CPAP in another couple weeks.

The garden was fun this year. The Gagon cucumbers ended up making stellar pickles, nice and crisp without any extra work from me. I need to sit down and figure out what seeds I want to order for this coming summer.

The podiatrist was unable to find a cause for the ingrown toenail, my follow up with him is in another week.

Arty turned 7 years old in November, and Apollo turned 8 in December. Good lord, where did the time go??

Edited to add: I had a birthday too (duh, I know) and I guess I need to go modify the bio portion of the about me page, cause I can no longer claim to be a “30 something”. Oh well.

Catching up

Posted December 3, 2018 By Ruth

Syracuse NY broke records in November.  Coldest November in 85 years, average temp for the month was 34.5f.  First November on record to have a low temp below zero, the low on Black Friday was -1f.  Total snowfall for the month was 22.8 inches, more than double the average, putting us at 6th snowiest November on record.  Snowiest November 16th ever, with 8.2 inches recorded having fallen, more than twice the previous record.

And thats not mentioning the rain, if the rain had fallen as snow we’d have blown the snowfall totals out of the water.  On the other hand, the rain keeps washing away the snow thats fallen already, and thats not a bad thing.

My work has been busy as hell.  Between normal Christmas season craziness, and the snow fall, my department has managed sales well over our sales goals.  Everyone wants a new snowblower this year, we’re struggling to keep the popular models in stock, but even the biggest one in store (priced $1699) is selling regularly.

So whats the company doing?  They’re slashing hours of course.  Normally as a part time employee I have 20 or so hours (or more) through New Years.  By mid-January my hours have usually dropped to 1 or 2 days a week, both usually being short days, as our slow season gets going, that tends to last through mid-March-ish when spring starts to pick up.  This year they’ve slashed hours early and that schedule is apparently starting in mid-December.  So if you’re in a Home Depot in the middle of December, and you can’t find an employee to help you, please make sure you fill out the survey on your receipt and let corporate know what you think of their “cost saving measure” of slashing hours!

Oh boy

Posted November 16, 2018 By Ruth

Some areas near me got upwards of a foot of snow overnight, though that only looks like 6-8″ to me here.

But this is the coming week’s predicted weather:


12 degrees??  In Nov??  *sigh* its gonna be one of THOSE winter’s isn’t it??


Posted November 5, 2018 By Ruth

Saturday night I was loading one last piece of wood into the fireplace before bed, when my hand slipped, and I dropped the, fairly large, piece of wood, resulting in my left pointer fingertip getting caught between the edge of the lip of the fireplace and the piece of firewood.

I said a few words that I’m not supposed to say.  Getting a finger smashed ALWAYS feels like I’ve broken it, but experience has taught me that if I go and put ice on it right away it’ll feel 90% better in an hour or so.  So I put ice on it for 15 minutes, and then went to bed.

Sunday morning I got up…..and the finger still hurt.  Alot.  More than any bruised finger I’ve managed to give myself before.  Plus it was a bit swollen.  Not like a sausage or anything, but enough to notice.  I dug back out the ice pack and iced it off and on all morning.

By 2pm it was pretty obvious that the pain wasn’t going to go away, I take a prescription dose of anti-inflammatories every day, and it still hurt upwards of a 4 or 5 on the pain scale.  Not as much as the broken arm, but more than your normal bruise.  So I gave in and drove myself down to urgent care.

Urgent care says “not broken”, but these are the same folks who missed the hairline fracture in my arm last year, so I’m not holding my breath yet.  They did give me a splint and told me to wear it for 3 days, and if its not better to call my regular doctor.  It does feel better in the splint.

This morning most of the bruising style pain seems to be gone, but its still a bit swollen, and I get stabby pains if I take the splint off and get to energetic about doing things with it.


I’m starting to think I ought to have a post category for “Ruth injured herself again”!

Update: almost a week later- a large portion of the pain has gone away, though there’s a fair bit left if I bump it wrong.  Cross your fingers!  I had to stop wearing the splint, the inactivity of the finger was making it swell badly.  But so far not using it seems ok.