Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Explaining the “Sleepy”

Many moons ago (see also: six-ish years ago) I started to wake up in the morning feeling completely exhausted.  It didn’t matter if I slept three hours or ten, I still felt really tired. I thought it was just a phase, but it never let up.  Finally, I decided to go see a doctor, who promptly sent me for a sleep study.

Sleep studies are scary. After arriving in the evening and signing in they took me to this lovely room that looked a lot like a hotel room. There was a nice big comfy bed, a large flat screen tv and even a bathroom with a shower.  Oh and there was also cameras in all the corners of the room so they could watch me. Not creepy at all.

Next, a nurse came in and hooked me up to a machine that monitored my brain (?) or something like that. I’m not really even sure.  She hooked electrodes up all over my body with this sort of sticky glue and all the electrodes had wires that lead to a single pack. My legs, arms, feet, hands…..all strung together.  Let me tell you, they made it really easy to sleep. Or not at all.

After explaining the CPAP machine (used by people who have sleep apnea) in case they might need to use it, they left me alone.  The nurses told me to just go to sleep whenever I was ready.  Thankfully, I had limited my sleep the two nights prior to the test to make sure I would be tired enough.  Somehow, even with all the wires and creepy cameras, I fell asleep. 

Next thing I know, there is a nurse waking me up around 7am.  Just what you want on a Saturday morning.  She tells me that I now must do everything in my power to stay awake for the next hour. I watched a bit of a movie I had brought with me.  An hour later, she comes back in and tells me to try to go back to sleep.  Somehow, I do.  Maybe it had something to do with it being so early?  Twenty minutes later she is back again and waking me up telling me I must stay awake for an hour.  This happens three times. The final time she wakes me up I am free to go.  I head home and when I get there I promptly crawl back into bed. J

Fast forward to weeks later.  The doctor reads the report and tells me in the 8 hours of sleep I got at the clinic, only 82 minutes of it was REM sleep. A normal person would have gotten about 6 or 7 hours of REM sleep in that same time period. I have idiopathic hypersomnia. Mayo clinic says that idiopathic hypersomnia is a “sleep disorder in which you're excessively tired during the day, either with or without a long sleep time.” Also good to note?  Idiopathic means they don’t know why it happens and they don’t know how to fix it.  Lucky me.  My doctors only suggestion was to give me Narcolepsy pills to help me stay awake during the day.  At $250 a bottle, are you surprised that I didn’t take her up on it? Caffeine is my only saving grace. Even then, I don't usually drink a lot of it!

So thats my story.  That's where the "sleepy" comes in. Even though it sucks, I have almost gotten used to it.  Most of the time I don't notice how tired I am and I just push through it.  Sometimes I almost seem to have TOO MUCH energy because I am so good at that.

I will leave you with a photo of me during the test....covered in electrodes and wires!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving....I know I did!

My Thanksgivings have always been small. Only one year of my 27 do I remember spending it with another family. It has always been just the four of us (my parents and my brother and I). Since my brother joined the Navy a few years ago, it has dwindled down to three. The first year I had a hard time without him, but every year since it has gotten a little easier.

Because it is just the three of us, we can have a lazy Thanksgiving. No one leaves their pajamas, puts on make-up or does their hair.  I can't imagine having it any other way. We watched football, did puzzles, watched Gone With the Wind, and drank wine. Oh and we defintiely ate lots of good food!

I even tried something that I've been wanted to try for awhile now....spiked egg nog.  We bought some that was already pre-spiked.  Let's just say I should have spiked it myself.  It burned going down! Now I have no idea what to do with the giant bottle that is still in my fridge.

Anywho, I have plenty to be thankful for and sometimes I'm not sure I really ever stop to think about that.  Its probably a little cliche being that this is what everyone is talking about this month, but I really do need to focus more on what I am thankful for. And not just through the month of November. It needs to be all year long!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Confessions: Part One

I miss Boston.   I went there in August for a week on a business trip and then spent a few extra days exploring. I fell in love.  Something about the city just pulled me in.  I can’t even explain it. It’s almost kind of scary how drawn I was to it.  Maybe I will end up there some day?

Most of the time I am perfectly ok being single.  But sometimes, I’m just not.  I just want someone to go to the movies with.  Someone who will be my date to a wedding.  Someone who will listen to how my day went. Someone I can take care of and just generally care for. Someone who will sit on the couch and watch the Kardashian’s with me.

The Kardashian’s are my guilty pleasure.  I have a crush on Kim.  I think it is because we are a lot alike, especially body wise.  When I promoted Bacardi, I used to tell people I was the “Kim Kardashian of the Bacardi models.”  I’m skinny, but I’m also curvy. And I think I am ok with that. Most days.

I hate mopping my floors. I will do all the cleaning in my house except that. I probably go a couple months before I mop again.  If there is something dirty on the floor during that time, I will most likely take a wet paper towel to it so it looks clean again. Thankfully, I have dark tile floors so it is hard to tell they are dirty.

I pointed my hair dryer at my cat this morning and made a “pew, pew” sound like I was shooting a laser gun at her.  Clearly I need a 5 year old in my life, because that’s sometimes how I act.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

In my spare time (ok, for extra spending money) I do promotional modeling.  It's one of the easiest jobs I have ever had.  You just show up looking cute and convince people to buy whatever product you happen to be touting that day.  I’ve promoted every alcohol you can imagine, worked at some crazy celebrity events (Superbowl Celebrity Gift Lounge or NBA All Star Convention anyone?), and even spent weekends out at Phoenix International Raceway for….NASCAR.

Yup, NASCAR.  Which is exactly what I did this weekend. Going out to the racetrack for the weekend is singlehandedly the best people watching you could ever do.  It's fantastic. NASCAR fans are a different breed. Which is putting it nicely.

You know how there is a total stereotype surrounding NASCAR that involves redneckery and beer?  Well, it’s the truth.  The fans do it to themselves. Sure, there is the occasional normal American human being walking amongst the crowd, but they don’t easily stand out. 

NASCAR fans like free crap.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a hat, a sticker, a pencil or a dang piece of paper, they want it.  And they will usually ask for “just one more” for their mother, sister, brother, dog ect. One is never enough.  They also like to drink beer. At all hours of the day.  The gates open at 8 am and it’s not unusual at all to see fans walking around with a beer in their hand at that time.  Nor is it out of place for a man to walk by with a 30 pack on his shoulder. I’d say 80% of the fans milling about were smoking or had just finished a cigarette. For those that had run out, there were several cigar girls roaming around with a tray to purchase from.

Well-fitting, clean clothing seems to be optional for the hardcore NASCAR fan. Many men don’t wear shirts and many women might as well not be with the tiny pieces of ill-fitting fabric they wear. I saw I don’t know how many pajama or sweatpants ensembles in the 12 hours I spent at the track as well as two curiously dressed college aged boys.  One was wearing a hot dog costume, the other a coconut bra and grass skirt.

I’m not even going to start in the public showers or the FULL SCALE Basha’s grocery store in the middle of all of the RV’s parked at the track.

See what I mean by NASCAR fans do it to themselves?  They create their own stereotype. I could go on and on about the interesting things I see out there every year. But, I love it.  I have so much fun spending hours at the track people watching and get paid to do it. 

See you next April NASCAR fans!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Box Under My Bed

Yesterday as I was cleaning I found a box labeled “HS Boys” and I can’t even tell you how excited I got. I was quite the little pack rat back in the day, keeping some really ridiculous things as mementos.  I knew going through this box was going to be quite fun.  

I finished what I was doing, got comfortable on my bed and popped open the lid.  Papers came sliding out instantly.  All sorts of love notes from various crushes and boyfriends in high school.

The first bit of stuff I looked through was all from “CH.” He used to write super sweet notes telling me how pretty I was and how he couldn’t wait to see me during school.  He was quite the artist and would write all his notes in different shapes on the paper.  On one he had drawn a big heart and written inside of it.  Another the note was written in the shape of a double sided arrow pointing up and down.  So fun! Next I found a mini McDonalds happy meal Barbie doll. I remember him bringing me that happy meal at pom practice and I thought it was just the cutest thing ever. How easily impressed I was as a sophomore in high school.  Of course, he was a popular senior so I’m sure that made me feel even more special. Our first kiss was probably one I will always remember.  We were both super nervous and outside my parents house one afternoon.  Right after it happened, he looked at me and said “Woah. I can’t believe I just did that”  with a shocked expression on his face.  I can still picture the look on his face to this day.  That was almost 13 years ago….and we still talk.

Next I looked at letters from another high school boyfriend we shall call “AR.” He was the first boy to ever tell me he loved me and the first boy I ever said it to. In my little box I have the IM conversation to prove it.  Yep, super romantic.  My first ‘I love you’ was through AOL instant messenger! We were the typical high school couple, he was a football player, I was the pommie by his side that always wore his letterman jacket. I only remember the good times with “AR,”  but judging from the box there must have been bad times too.  There were two stick figure drawings on napkins in the box.  One depicted “AR” on the football field with his leg broken in half and me laughing.  Another depicted a bunch of houses in a neighborhood with happy people, but for some reason “AR” and his house were floating down a river and being washed away.  Clearly I was angry about something to be so mean-hearted and dark.  That’s not me at all!  “AR” and I still talk every once in a while too. We were recently talking and I realized I kind of miss him. The conversation brought up feelings I wasn’t even aware I had. He had the kindest eyes and the best hugs. Maybe one of these days I can another one of those great hugs.

In the box I also found IM conversations from various boys (including one from “AR”s brother who was trying to woo me – scandalous),  a couple diaries/journals, concert tickets, a sheet comparing two boys I was trying to decide between for my prom date, poems a few boys had written for me and a couple secret admirer letters that were left in my locker at one point. I also found a chocolate rose and a bright yellow golf ball.  I have absolutely no idea where those are from, but clearly they weren’t memorable experiences or men.  I didn’t throw them away though.  I want to open the box up years from now and wonder again.  

I loved being transported back into a time when everything was so innocent. Life was so easy back then. I was happy without a care in the world. Too bad we all have to grow up!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happiness is....

*Walking along the beach with my toes in the water*
*Chocolate Pie -covered in Redi-whip*
*Big Bear Hugs*
*Not waking up to an alarm*
*Big Cozy Boy Hoodies*
*Cookie Dough*
*New Clothes*
*Rubbing my eyes after I take out my contacts*
*Relaxing Baths*
*Stargazer Lilies*
*MAC Makeup*
*A clean car*
*Driving around w/the heater on and the windows down*
*Being Lazy*
*Going to the Zoo*
*A fire in the fireplace and a good book*
*Clean Sheets*
*"Butterfly" and "Eskimo" kisses*
*Passion Iced Tea*
*Getting off of work early*
*Getting snail mail*
*Standing on top of the Empire State Building at night*
*Fall leaves*
*Being home alone, blasting the music & singing at the top of my lungs*
*New clothes*
*Ice Cream*
*Teddy bears*
*When somebody tells me I am beautiful...
and I can actually believe they mean it*


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