Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thrift Store Karaoke Is My New Jam

On Tuesday John and I went thrift shopping for a big frame for our friend Scott - which we totally found, and here 'tis:

Only $20! AW YEAH.

Along the way, though, MANY ADVENTURES WERE HAD, culminating in my new favorite thing. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning:

 A lot of these were videos in my Story, so you'll just have to imagine Headphone Guy boogeying down while Minnie farts celebratory music notes.

 Move over, Kitschy-Cute.

I like to include you guys with these decisions, so:

 Initially "LAWD NO" was in the lead, but eventually you guys came around. 

Then a few hours later, someone sent me this!

Several of you think he's even creepier WITH the original paint job. I'm guessing it's the eyebrows?


 This is all at The Sharing Center, which I highly recommend if you're around Orlando!


You guys are NOT helpful in leaving things behind: I've since had suggestions to turn him into a Buzz Lightyear Mickey, Rocketeer Mickey, and Retro Tin Toy Mickey.


Oh hey, remember when John was modeling this "Pooey Puiton" in the Walmart toy aisle last month?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Our $5 DIY Sleep Apnea Solution To Keep John From Dying

[Trigger Warning: Everything's fine, but there is a death scare below. Skip if you're feeling panicky.]

[Also if you just want the DIY without the back story, skip ahead to the "Read More" jump.]

I've been hinting about it long enough, so here's the deal:

Just over a month ago I started noticing that John stops breathing in his sleep. He tends to snore, so the sudden silences would wake me up. I'd count down a few seconds, start to panic, and nudge him into a sudden gasp for air. We agreed he should sleep on his side, and started looking into ordering a sleep study for him.

Shortly after that - just a few weeks ago - I woke up to silence again. John had been getting annoyed by my constant nudges to get him to roll over, so I did my best to wait, to count down a few seconds. Surely he'd breathe soon, right? Nothing. His chest wasn't moving. I forcefully shoved down the rising panic and tried to say something softly, but it came out as a squeak. Still nothing. No movement. No sound. I reached out to touch John's arm... and it was ice cold.


I grabbed John and let out a wail that was half his name, half sheer terror... and a millisecond later he gasped and sat up, panicking himself over why *I* was making that sound.

We were up for hours after that. After my tears dried, John swore to me he'd do whatever it took to ensure this never happened again. His doctor's appointment was still weeks away, though - and a sleep study would be weeks or months after that - so we started searching for ways to at least keep John on his side while he slept.

Side-sleeping is critical for anyone with apnea who doesn't have a CPAP machine to help them breath. When you're on your side your tongue can't fall back and choke you, and sometimes you won't even need a machine if you sleep on your side, as in my case. (I have mild apnea, but only if I'm on my back. Since I've trained myself to stay on my side, I don't need the machine.)

The problem is, John LOVES sleeping on his back, and despite his best intentions, would inevitably roll over in his sleep and start to choke again.

The common solution for this - as any cursory Google search will prove - is to sew a Tennis ball into the back of your shirt. The theory is the ball will poke you if you roll over, and wake you up just enough to get you to go back on your side.

            If you're not feeling crafty, you can even buy a shirt like this on Amazon for just over $20.

I'm sure the Tennis Ball method works for some people, but here were our issues with it:

1) We have a soft memory foam mattress, and John's built like a linebacker - so it's conceivable he could still roll over on the ball without waking up.

2) Even if the ball did wake John up, that means he's waking up a lot - which isn't very restful. Wouldn't it be better, we thought, to have something that physically won't LET him roll over?

3) John wears a fresh sleep shirt each night, so we'd have to make LOTS of shirts with balls in them. Ug, SEWING.

So we kept looking, and discovered the only other side-sleeping aids were a variety of "bumpers" and backpack-like apparatuses:

 This "Bumper Belt' looked promising, but the widest strap goes right over the pectorals (ouch) and it costs over $100. Double ouch.

The Slumber Bump has less straps, at least:

... but this could twist around your waist unless it's snug, and John didn't want a tight band around his middle while he tried to sleep. (Also this glorified fanny pack costs $75. Dang.)

We were in crisis mode, so our first solution was to work with what we had - and it was surprisingly effective:

 (Suki will help demonstrate...)

We stuffed two throw pillows in a backpack, and John wore that to sleep. This supported John completely on his side, so no matter how he tried, he couldn't possibly get onto his back.

Within two nights, John reported he was already feeling more rested. Between no choking and no Jen-nudges, he was finally getting some uninterrupted rest!

The stuffed backpack wasn't a permanent solution, though: after a week the straps were leaving marks on John's shoulders and upper arms, where they cut into his skin as he shifted around and put his arms over his head. (He likes to sleep on his stomach with his arms up sometimes.)  Not to mention the backpack was obviously VERY bulky in bed, ha. Nothing like getting whapped by a giant nylon bag when your hubby rolls over in the middle of the night, lol.

We had a few ideas for a new backpack we could sew, and decided we wanted to use pool noodles, since they're firm but extra light.

When John went to the Dollar Tree to buy the noodles, though, he instead found something we'd never seen before, and which turned out to be the perfect solution: