Success: It Smells Like Sleep

Kage Baker would be thrilled. The CPAP mask stops me snoring.

Mind you, Dear Readers, the respiratory techs were at pains to tell me that no more snoring is a mere side effect, not the point of the mask. Apparently lots of patients don’t quite understand how apnea works, and are seeking to control their snoring before a family member takes a pillow to them. I can sympathize; although snoring doesn’t bother me especially, I’ve shared house space with lots of world-class snorers.

Everybody does snore, from time to time. It’s the way our larynxes are designed, that has to accommodate both our unnaturally upright stance and our insistence on talking. There are so many evolutionary kludges, so much anatomical gaffer’s tape holding us together, it’s a wonder we don’t snore more.  But until a couple of year’s ago, when the apnea began, I had not been a notable snorer. Nonetheless, Kage was kept awake by anyone snoring, and would rejoice to discover I am now, apparently, cured.

But, as the respiratory techs told me, that’s merely a side effect. What I also am is feeling actually well-rested for the first time in months. Yes. Dear Readers, IT WORKS!

It really does. It was difficult to sleep, at first, but it’s getting easier – I dropped off immediately for an afternoon nap, and woke refreshed instead of semi-comatose.  I’ll admit, I was sort of anticipating waking up feeling 40 again – but Kimberly pointed out that it took me, after all, 2 years to reach this somnambulistic condition, and I have a serious sleep debt to erase.  So I don’t mind that I don’t yet feel like running out and mowing the lawn. I feel awake, free of so many of the cobwebs and aches that have plagued me for the last while … even my dreams were clearer.

I love dreaming. My dreams are usually complex, highly diverting, in Techniciolour and with fascinating casts. When I first got my cardiac stents, I started dreaming I had Iron Man’s arc reactor in my chest – and I still do from time to time. It gives one amazing strength in dreams, as well as casting a handy reading light … now I’m dreaming about the CPAP, which is appearing in my dreams as a fancy crystalline demi-mask with wonderfully decorated straps. It has cheek pieces shaped like silver gulls’ wings, like a soldier of Gondor. Every inhalation gives me strength; every exhalation imbues me with volume like a divine herald and irresistible story-telling powers. Honestly, that’s what I’ve been dreaming. During my recent nap, I was even running up and down stairs, exhorting someone to follow, and I had no problems at all!

It could be my subconsciousness is writing checks my heart will not be able to cash. After all, the magic mask more resembles a transparent pig’s snout Velcroed to my face. No echo chamber has yet manifested and it’s perfectly likely my storytelling will not improve one whit. I don’t think so, though, and I certainly don’t care: I have to believe that my sleeping mind is aware of the sudden easing of its tormented sleep, and is kicking up its narrative heels in jubilation. This is a clear message that I am getting better, and can expect to accomplish – if not hero’s acts – then at least moderate daily errands!

That alone will be a miracle, to me.


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to Success: It Smells Like Sleep

  1. Neassa says:

    Hurrah! Such good news!


  2. Tom says:

    Far beyond happy for you, Kathleen, far, far beyond . . .


  3. Kate says:

    I realize I am carrying on something awful (not to mention ridiculous) but one of the symptoms of a return to normalcy for me is ENTHUSIASM!


  4. johnbrownson says:

    I don’t think you’re being “ridiculous”, at all; I think you’re rejoicing! And, as for your heart cashing those checks: one of the reasons your friends are rejoicing is, the reduced strain on your heart- and your system in general- is greatly reduced by being able to rest and re-create as you, actually, Sleep. The chances are, you will be with us, on this plane of existence, for much longer than might otherwise have been the case. To be perfectly selfish: I hope to see you at table in the Parlor more reliably, in future. We’ve made do, but we need our Grande Dame!


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