Home Brrr Home

Well, I'm home from another trip from the freezing north. Its a tad cold in my home too, good thing my flight from DFW to MHK was delayed, otherwise it would probably be colder.

When did I schedule the vacation hold on my thermostat? I was sure I had done it just before 8pm the night before I left....setting a 5 day hold, so that it would expire well before I got home. But, evidently it had gotten super cold in my home so it took a long time to recover. It was 62 when I got home, and it is try to get to 68......based on how much its gone up in about 45 minutes...I guess it has been working since around 8pm to get up from 50 (where I had set the hold at, I'll probably need to rethink the vacation hold bottom.)

Meanwhile, I found my missing smartphone. I didn't leave it plugged in...in the hallway like I thought I had. But, I had remembered to pick it up from there, but I had set it down when I had stopped to unplug my hot water pot....and forgot it there.

As for how the flight home went...leaving Calgary for DFW was uneventful. Going through customs was somewhat easier thanks to Global Entry, though I'm not sure why I don't also have Nexus....wonder what's involved in getting that added. Though the trip into Canada was relatively painless this time. Though I did get picked for secondary screening before security.... And, seems they subject ultrathin computers to secondary screening as well. The picked on the thin macbook product of a person ahead of me...and my chromebook, but they didn't test my thicker Lenovo laptop or other beasts that I recall for people around me. Though was kind of annoyed that Chromebook always turns on when you open it...a complete shutdown really should leave it off. It didn't seem happy about starting to turn itself back on from the complete shutdown, and then getting closed. But, airport security just wanted to swab the keyboard.

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That overwhelming desire to sleep on planes

Yesterday, there I had two flights to get me to my destination....which is the usual number of flights needed, unless my destination is DFW or ORD (then its usually just 1), but other destinations could involved 3 or 4 flights. And, that's just for flights within the US/Canada. Who knows, could be worse to other parts of the world...though I wouldn't know....though someday I hope to change that.

Anyways....Despite the effort to get at least 6 hours of sleep and both doses before the flight, and managing to get almost 6.5 hours...despite the intention to try to get to bed to get 8 (took an extra hour to finally get things squared away, and then woke before the 3am alarm...) I thought I was sufficiently awake and functional during the morning and while waiting at the airport and going through security.

Which incidentally was the first time through security that my medication got pulled out for secondary screening. Guess it was only a matter of time....

By the time I cleared security, they had already gone on to general boarding. So, no usually quick pitstop before boarding the aircraft after having gone through security. Fortunately no problem....since I missed out on beverage service during this flight.

I was awake for plane loading, had forgotten what holiday flying was like (since I normally, the time between Xmas and New Year's is where things at work can get done without the distraction of students and most faculty...since its officially a shutdown period, and everybody is supposed to be off unless you're essential to keeping order/operation or doing something that has to be done during the period....which is not unusual for life in central IT.)

Lots of small children, infants, and people who have never been on planes before and don't know how things are done. Like understanding that there's assigned seating, its not just sit wherever you feel like...just because there's no first class section on the regional flight. Or that when they valet tag (gate check) an item, you leave the item with them.... seemed to think there might be a special area in the main cabin for such items that won't fit in the main cabin.... Though there was a conflict between ground crew and flight attendant on first flight on whether passenger items could be stored in the front compartment.... In the past they have stored items in there that would've have fit in an overhead, but the overhead had filled up...etc. Or after the gate check compartment had been secured for final preparation, and not wanting to get into a delay situation. In fact there are was bit of an argument on who was going to be faulted for the 1 minute delay. Ground person said she was done and it wasn't her fault, it was the flight attendant that she was waiting on and he wasn't being cooperative. He also wasn't being much in the way of friendly, or flexible...and obsessed about rattling off the long speeches from memory (though making errors at points, restarting it to get it right...) Of course, filled with the usual technical misinformation....

And, then, we were informed that during the preflight inspection everything had checked out, except for an accumulation of frost on the wings from being parked overnight, so we would be driving out to the end of the runway for deicing. But, that we should still be arriving on schedule (though we were slight delayed, since we had to reroute to arrive at a different gate.) But, I was awake for the deicing and to finally starting down the runway for take off. Then after that things get fuzzy.

Something about takeoffs triggers an uncontrollable desire to sleep. Which is what I did most of the flight. I have a vague recollection that while I was asleep that the person next to me purchased food....but I slept the first hour or so away...woke to blinding sun coming from across the aisle. Which didn't both the people on either side of me, since they were asleep...but once the guy next to the offending window woke, it got shut.

I was then awake for the duration until the next flight. It was nice 3+ hours layover, where the biggest question was which Admirals club (sure like this benefit of my Platinum American Express card) would I spend most of it in to pass the time. Originally, I was to arrive at B27 and depart from D40. Would I walk to more basic one between gates B5/B6, which isn't that far from further walking to D40. Or would I go to the best one between gates D23/D24. And, take about as long of a walk to get to D40. But, since we ended up arriving at gate B35, it was easier to just walk up to the skytrain and take that to near the Admirals Club in D terminal. I had a cup of tea while I was passing the time online....shut off about an hour before boarding time to just relax in the Admirals club, and then headed out to D40.

Only to find that I had started my rush out of the Admirals club too soon...before the alarm I had set to remind me that I can't stay there forever, and during which to missing the text notification of gate change. But, once I made it all the way to gate D40, the sign was for a Jamaica flight...so I knew something was wrong. Monitors were nearby and I saw it was D28 now. D'oh. I then hike back to D28. The plane didn't start boarding at 10:15am like it said on the ticket...though we still made close to our 10:55am departure. But, it was a pretty sparsely filled flight.

While waiting at the gate, I checked my phone and saw the missed text notification of the gate change. Kind of hard to hear in noisy terminal, and I wasn't wearing it on my pants, so I wouldn't have felt it (I tend to not having anything in my pants when I'm flying, since I empty out all my pockets to go through security...and just find it nicer to leave them empty for the flight(s). Also keeps the phone and wallet easily in reach while seated in the aircraft.

I remember the plane starting its take off...though I was sure I was awake through out, thought I was fighting off the urge to sleep, and probably had a few sleep attacks to account for the gaps. Since I was waiting for the announcement that to be able to turn on approved devices so that I could maximize my gogoinflight Internet usage. I still wish they had some kind of warning that the inflight wifi is about to shut off before it dose. A time before I lost a long blog post because while I was hitting save the service went off. Fortunately the Lazarus extension in my chrome browser saved me. It caught me again this trip...but I wasn't doing anything that major.

Anyways, I missed the announcement....just noticed that lots of people around me were using devices.... In fact shortly after I realized, the captain came on to inform us that we have reached cruising altitude of 32,000 ft....well past the 10,000 ft mark.

At least ear pressure hasn't been a problem this time around....wonder if being awake makes for more problems than not? Though not sure I want to blow an eardrum again while sleeping to find out.

I also missed the announcement about food for purchase, but I caught the flight attendant to get a Turkey and Chutney sandwich for $10 to go with a ginger ale. That sandwich seemed a lot tastier than the roast beef that I had gotten on a previous flight. Also it should end up being cheaper. Since I maxed my $200 airline benefit on my Platinum American Express card, so I didn't get a credit for the sandwich I had gotten. But, I noticed this flight that it says Citi/AAdvantage card holders get at 25% statement credit for in flight food purchases.....though up to 6-8 weeks after it posts. Guess I'll find out if that's true or not. I've never actually used my Citi/AAdvantage card for its AA perks....just to help earn miles on every day purchases.... (except for all the expenses I ran up around May/June/July this year :-( ) [that's the span around my Cataplexy Dx (May 15) and my Narcolepsy Dx (July 12)]

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Almost had to test the trip protection on latest flight

Last night I had a trip that almost put to the test the trip protection insurance that I get automatically whenever I charge an airplane ticket to my American Express card. I went to bed early last night, so try to get full benefit of my sleep medication while still getting up at 3am for the 6:10am flight out of Manhattan.

I got up about 11pm, to go to the bathroom and take my next dose, when I got wobbly and thought I had braced myself on wall between to doorways, but I didn't realize that I while I was against that wall I was still falling forward until my head whacked into the door jamb. And, I hit it really hard and it really hurt. Though after that I was more awake than I had been in a while. (Last time was probably when I broke my foot....)

I could feel a bump forming on my head...but, I still did what I had gotten up to do and went back to bed and took my next dose. Though I lay there wondering if I shouldn't have or whether I would wake or if I should get my head checked out or something. Would I get Black Car to take me to hospital in the morning instead of airport? Eventually these things cleared my mind and I was able to get back to sleep.

Next morning things were feeling ok...so I finished off my packing, and after repeated passes by the mirror...I finally looked to see what kind of bump/mark there was on my head. Didn't look too bad. As I was leaving the near to last thing was packing my CPAP mask. I did make a special effort this time to make sure I had packed my pillow alarm.

And, then I was off. During the frenzy, I kept thinking to myself that I should pick up smartphone for foursquare checkins and such. But, half way to the airport, I realized that I had forgotten my smartphone. So, no foursquare checkins this trip. Guess it'll have to be some future trip before I log an out of country checkin. Probably just as well. These days the smartphone is more of a nuisance than a convenience...especially the foursquare app. Which is why I stopped using foursquare for a long stretch last time.....

I still have a couple other phones with me, so its not like I'm unreachable by those who would need to reach me during the trip. Though I'll probably miss notifications by email...since I don't know how much I'll fire up a regular email client during the trip.

Guess the important thing is that I'll still make it up to Calgary for my mother's 70th birthday.

Though this has got to be the last time I ever do this. I'm getting tired of going on trips to places where the weather is worse (colder) than where I'm starting.

Yes, I ordered "Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy"

I pre-ordered it on December 8th....but via Amazon Prime, I won't receive it until December 18th. I should make a note to have UPS leave it, while I'm getting my MRI.

The strange thing is on the side of the page is the link to "Tell the publisher! I'd like to read this book on Kindle", rather than a link on the page to the Kindle version. And, I wasn't able to locate the book in the Kindle Books section then.

But, I was able to find it today....

Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy [Kindle Edition]

So, I bought that version today....which is presently my preferred medium. I have a different motive for wanting a hard copy &#59;D

Not sure why the order status is Pending still....

Latest new problem -- Peripheral Neuropathy

So, last week I had a routine follow up appointment with my Neurologist with Sleep Medicine specialist. In preparation for the appointment, I had three issues that I've been having that I wanted to bring up. And, taking one of the suggestions from "Strategies & Techniques to help the Doctor help you", the last session I attended at the recent Narcolepsy Network Conference, I mentioned two of them to the nurse as I was getting settled in the exam room.

When doctor first came in, he asked a total irrelevant question, which I answered ("yes"...of course, I'm doing that as part of everything so that I can get quality sleep at night, what do you think I've been coming here for.) To which he said was good. As if its the only thing he cares about with respect to my sleep, but it wasn't. But, that's why I have a different specialist for my sleep problems...the Narcolepsy/Cataplexy dx which he didn't acknowledge in the appointment.

Then, he looked at the what the nurse had written and asked what he had me on for my tremor. I'm on Nadolol, he asked if it was 40mg. No, you have me on 20mg. Well, then you should be on 40mg. I'll write you a new script. Back when I lived in Dublin, Ohio and was seeing a Neurologist for it...he had me on 40mg of Nadolol.

Next thing I had mentioned was the tingling that I have all the time in my right leg. And, occasionally in other limbs. This led to wanting to schedule an EMG, which could either be done right away or later in the day depending on scheduling for the EMG. Well, I had taken the whole day off from work, so that wouldn't be a problem....except I had heard horror stories about how he did EMGs.

Well, there was time before the next scheduled EMG, so I was taking next door to strip and gown up for it. And, then the testing started. The shocks were tolerable at the beginning, though the conclusion was that there was significant neuropathy in my right leg. And, then he continued to shock it repeatedly as if trying to get the result to be normal or just to keep doing it, to get a reaction out of me. Then the muscle part....just flick the needle into my leg randomly, not care if he drew blood, etc. That last part was more painful. The result was normal for that at least. The next few days after that I had problem with cramping in my legs though.

The end of the visit, was to schedule a followup in a month and have me under go a whole bunch of (blood) tests, including a glucose tolerance test.

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