Life As I See It
July 21, 2021
Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh. It is a subtle sound like a gentle wave tiptoeing to the shore. It is a soothing sound that suggests peace and rest. Actually, it is a CPAP machine that helps me get a good night’s sleep.
For the past several months I have been dragging myself through my days accomplishing little because of extreme fatigue. I never tried it, but I think I could fall asleep on a pile of rocks. Reading anything of value had to be done at the kitchen table to lessen the chance of falling asleep. I have had many naps in the car from Cashton to La Crosse. Fortunately, spouse was always at the wheel.
I had a sleep study done at Gundersen Sleep Center. I had wires glued to my head. Other devices were taped here and there in order to determine my sleep habits. I slept in a strange bed in a different environment, and it took me 3 minutes to fall asleep. Was I that tired?
Besides brushing my teeth, moisturizing my face and putting on pajamas, I have to hook myself up to this machine. A mask fits securely around my nose and elastic straps keep it in place. My nose now looks like a snout. Tubes from the machine to the mask inject air into my nose. It is very romantic situation.
These circumstances caused me to think of the different “appliances” that make our lives easier or more comfortable. Usually, we think of appliances as those large items we keep in the kitchen and laundry room. Webster describes an appliance as “a piece of equipment or a device designed for a particular use”.
Heck, I started using appliances a long time ago. Back in my country school days, Mrs. Carter would check our vision at the beginning of each year. One by one we would cover one eye, and then the other, and read letters off the chart. My vision had a lot to be desired. That first pair of glasses opened up a whole new world to me. Now I could see the chalkboard. I could see the landscape with clarity. I never understood why some people do not want to wear glasses. Being able to see clearly is a pleasure that some people cannot experience.
Fast forward several years and now my ears decided to take a rest. Bummer! My hearing loss is not severe, but spouse reminded me that I did not always hear when the grandchildren were talking to me. Hearing aids are great, but they are not like natural hearing. Hearing is enhanced when the speaker is facing the listener. It also helps to be in the room together. It is almost impossible to hear someone who is talking very fast. My ears cannot keep up. I discovered that hearing aids and masks are not compatible, especially when eyeglasses and earrings are thrown in the mix.
I am not making light of the need for a device to improve the quality of our lives. Thank goodness we live in a time and in a country where these enhancements are available to us when the need arises. A cane or walker may be needed some day to add stability to movement. Aging happens and it sometimes holds challenges. We should never feel ashamed when we need a device to make life more enjoyable and more secure.
In the meantime, enjoy the summer with family and friends and please take a nap if the need arises.