I’m very particular. And at the age of 57, I’m only just now discovering why. (But that is a blog post for another day, once I have confirmation.)
But, yeah, particular is what I am. I don’t have OCD. I look around at the clutter in my life and I know that if I had OCD, it would be intolerable. But I do have a few quirks.
I don’t like garbage lying about. I’m the first person to cut off a mattress tag. And feeling comfortable is of primary importance to me. If I can’t get comfortable, I’m… well… uncomfortable. This is particularly true at bedtime.
I have this whole insane ritual have to go through if I’m to even entertain the possibility of sleeping. It goes like this.
- Let the dogs out to pee.
- Make sure they’re back inside.
- Lock up and turn out the lights in the rest of the house.
- Then it’s my turn to pee.
- Prep CPAP machine for use. (This includes cleaning, and adding distilled water to the reservoir, etc. Things were much simpler prior to using a CPAP. I could just crawl into bed, sleep on my stomach and… stop breathing several times an hour.)
- Take nighttime meds.
- Brush teeth with sonic toothbrush. (Old school tooth brushes leave my teeth feeling gross now that I know how much better a sonic toothbrush is.)
- Put in my night guard, or risk grinding my teeth to powder as I sleep.
- Ask Dear Husband to put lotion on my back. (My back itches like crazy at night. I once asked a bunch of women my age or older on a Facebook group about this, and it turns out that old ladies with itching backs at night is a thing. The medical profession doesn’t take us seriously enough. It’s maddening.)
- Ask Dear Husband to set the alarm. (I can set the alarm myself, but then I wake up several times a night worrying that I haven’t done it properly.)
- Kiss Dear Husband good night.
- Arrange my MedCline pillow with it’s accompanying body pillow for maximum comfort. (Since I use a CPAP I can no longer sleep on my stomach, so I sleep on my side. But without a MedCline pillow, which raises my torso up and allows me to stick my arm and shoulder through a hole, I would wake up with my shoulders hunched so far forward that I’d be in pain the rest of the day. I also created a pillow case for the body pillow by sewing together three pillow cases. That keeps it cleaner.)
- Wad up a sheet for under my head. (A pillow on top of a MedCline pillow is waaay too much. I’ve decided a wadded sheet works better.)
- Arrange blankets just so (so I can kick them off and pull them on as my hot flashes come and go all night, and also so that my dachshund, Quagmire, feels welcome to come snuggle.)
- Get in bed. (Bet you thought I was already there, didn’t you? Nope.)
- Lotion my feet. (Dry feet scratch against the sheets, and that, to me, is like fingernails down a chalkboard.)
- Say a prayer that I haven’t forgotten anything, because now I have greasy feet and will be loathe to get out of bed again.
- Put on my chin strap. (I’m a mouth breather. I’m trying to get out of that habit. I had to try a half dozen different strap designs before I found one I liked. I’m hoping that if I eventually learn to keep my mouth shut at night, I can use a smaller CPAP mask that is just over the nose.)
- Pull hair out from under chin strap. (By the time I’m using all my implements of torture, my hair is covered in straps, so I try to pull it loose so I don’t walk around during the day with “strap head”. I can always tell when someone uses a CPAP and does not take that extra step.)
- Call out to dogs and say goodnight.
- Ask Quagmire to come cuddle, and tell him he makes me sad when he doesn’t (which is about half the time).
- Put on my CPAP gasket. (That’s what I call the thing, anyway. Most people call them CPAP face liners. They’re Basically a triangular shaped donut of t-shirt like material that is placed between my face and the CPAP mask. Otherwise it rubs my nose raw and I get pimples. These things also reduce seal gaps that shoot jets of air out and wake you up.
- Put on CPAP mask.
- Ask Dear Husband, in muffled tones, to please turn out the lights.
- Lie down.
- Wrestle with sheets, blankets and CPAP hose.
- Ask Dear Husband to turn on the lights again because I can’t find something.
- Put arm through hole in MedCline pillow.
- Rest wrist on airport pillow so I remember to not bend my wrists up under my chin like a squirrel clutching a nut as I sleep. (Without that pillow, my wrists hurt the next day. Sometimes I have to resort to wearing wrist braces, especially if I’ve had a high stress day, because days like those really make me want to squirrel up.)
- Listen to the sounds of relaxed breathing emanating from Dear Husband, who can fall asleep before his head hits the pillow. Must be nice. I sometimes have to resist the urge to hit him with a pillow out of spite.
- Convince myself that I don’t have to pee again, because I don’t want to have to take all this crap off so I can see where I’m going, and then untether myself from the CPAP hose.
- Pull a batik sarong through the part of the mask that arches over the bridge of my nose. This is to block out any remaining light, and, in the event of a CPAP seal break, it prevents the jet of air from hitting my eyelashes and waking me up.
- By now you’d think I’d be so exhausted that I could drift off to sleep. But no. I do a mind grind for anywhere from a half hour to all night long.
- And then of course I have to turn over and rearrange everything accordingly at least twice during the night.
For me, it takes a village to have sweet dreams.
Are you wondering what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner? How about my book, Notes on Gratitude? Place your orders now! (Or any other time, since we’re on the subject.) And… thanks!