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Monday, June 9, 2014


Oxygen to the brain – over-rated, or not? Those of you with remaining grey matter, discuss it among yourselves.
As we get closer (age-wise,) to the big sleep, small sleep becomes more problematic. Sprawling face-down half on the floor, half on the couch after copious beer doesn’t seem to work as well as it did in our late teens.
Now we’re told that alcohol-induced coma is unhealthy and kills brain cells.
And snoring, which was nothing more than a source of amusement to our friends (or annoyance to our partners,) is now a serious symptom of sleep apnea.
Apnea, like alcohol-induced coma, is unhealthy and kills brain cells.
You can’t shut your eyes for a minute without grey matter flying off into the nether regions. No wonder we elect the politicians we do – we are devoid of reasoning material.
Zombies aren’t just a fad on TV - they are us.
I’m not sure if we are more fragile than we were, or have developed a generational obsessive paranoia. Either way, I’m constantly worried that I’m falling apart.
But if this is true of us, shouldn’t it also have been true of generations past?
I remember being a kid watching Dad. Dad would sit in his recliner and snore so loud that he’d wake up the cat. Helix (the cat) looked at Dad with that haughty pissed-off look only disturbed cats can do, and wandered off to find a place where the floor boards weren’t rattling. All of us little Hausers giggled, hoping for another exploit of Dad’s sonorous power like the time his vocalizations vibrated the potted violet off the shelf and shattered the velveteened ceramic Elvis that Uncle Harvey had gotten Mom for Christmas.
The point is back in the sixties and seventies we weren't worried about Dad not breathing – to say nothing about the cat, the violet, or the ugly Elvis effigy. Maybe Dad, being a survivor of the depression and a veteran of WW2, was tough enough to go eight hours a night without O2.
We, on the other hand, are oxygen wimps. I blame Dr. Spock. He spoiled us all.
So I guess that not breathing while I sleep is a problem. I don’t want one of those CPAP mini-ventilators, cause I might be confused for a mostly dead organ donor waiting for a patient needing corneas.
Instead, I set a wedge under my pillow, a stiff band-aid across the bridge of my nose, a plastic horseshoe in my nostrils and a gag-inducing retainer in my mouth. I turn on the sound machine to Oceans 2, purge my sleeping area of blue light, and set my air cleaner to “puree.”
If I was capable with all that crap, I might sigh nostalgically, thinking of how little I appreciated Dad’s machismo as he sawed wood in his recliner.
Or my own back in the days of six-pack comas on available couch cushions.

Come to think of it, we really much concerned with brain health in the sixties.