Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Apnea Wars: The Adventures of Darth Malo, Latin Lord of the Sith
Last night was the much-dreaded sleep study, a procedure in which a patient with suspected sleep apnea (this case me) has his or her brain strapped to an angel hair rainbow of wires, and two punchy technicians on third shift watch you sleep and make sure you don't kick the bucket while you dream of fried pork chops. At least that's how they explained it to me.
As a bonus, however, Punchy Tech Tracy came into my room at 2am and put me on something called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, which basically keeps your throat from collapsing at night and maintains your breathing. Wires, and breathing masks, creepy technicians. What's a good name for the Latino Darth Vader? Why, Darth Malo, of course.
Anyway. For the uninitiated: Sleep apnea happens when the airway closes during sleep and keeps a person from entering a restorative sleep phase. You know you have it when your snoring wakes you from sleep; or you wake up with dry mouth, or heartburn; or when you feel like a walking zombie during the day from lack of sleep. Of these symptoms, I possessed...ah, yes, all of them. Ask my longsuffering fiancee and her pointy, pointy, sleep-deprived elbows. Ow.
They tell you it takes at least a few weeks on the CPAP machine before you notice a difference in your wakefulness during the day. But you can ask the tenants at my day job how sharp I was today. I multitasked. I wrote letters furiously. I even smiled happily when one of them told me where I could shove the price of a 2 bedroom with hardwood floors. Short story long: I need me one of those wonderous newfangled breathing contraptions. Sleep is such a great idea.
Sign me up to the Dark Side.
Some random bits:
--I am writing an online series of articles about the intersections in poetry. Different genres, different approaches. Will be up soon at louderarts.com.
--My poem submissions are down. Need to rectify this.
--Acentos? Ah, that's a longer post, but the workshops are ON, y'all. Every Sunday at Hostos Community College in the Bronx.
--I'm back. If you're wondering where I went...don't worry about it. Just check for me periodically at this blog.
--Chickpea Broccoli Casserole? Awesome! My baby got the recipe from VEGAN WITH A VENGEANCE, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Nah, son. You can't have any.
Rich Villar is the author of the poetry collection Comprehending Forever (Willow Books, 2014). He directs Acentos, an organization fostering audiences and community around Latino/a literature, and he has been quoted on Latino literature and culture by The New York Times and the Daily News.