Friday, September 11, 2009

Why I Screw Up Now And Then, I Recall

I want to take a breather for a couple of minutes from bashing Joe Wilson and other stupid Republican claims about our health care legislation and discuss a condition that has bothered me the past several months.

For no apparent reason my brain insists I sleep 10 to 12 hours a day. Anything short of that, I feel like I'm hungover but I don't drink booze. Furthermore, less than that amount of sleep tends to contribute to stupid mistakes in my blog writings which I greet with self-deprecating humor as a "senior moment."

Well, it ain't funny. I'm a creature of habit. My morning ritual has been well established over the past 60-plus years. Violate that custom and I'm thrown off schedule for the entire day.

I used to get by on five to seven hours sleep and perhaps log in an extra hour or two on Sundays.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea five years go. The condition was corrected simply by breathing oxygen through the night with what is called a CPAP machine. It broke down 10 days ago and I'm waiting for the insurance company to replace it. But the need for sleep began many weeks before. Now, it is worse, for obvious reasons.

A hypochondriac I am not. I plan to discuss this newly found disorder with my primary physician scheduled the end of this month. All she'll do is kiss it off to a specialist.

Nor am I one to read medical studies and diagnose my imagined condition. Well, I read a study today written by Reuters that indicates I could be in the early stages of dementia. I fit all the criteria.

Spanish researchers found that among nearly 3,300 older adults they followed for three years, those who slept nine or more hours per day, daytime naps included, were about twice as likely to develop dementia as those who typically slept for seven hours.

The study of 3,286 adults age 65 and older found 140 with dementia and of those 28 slept nine or more hours a night.

"It remains to be established how the relation between longer sleep duration and dementia is mediated," said Dr. Julian Benito-Leon, of University Hospital '12 de Octubre' in Madrid. He added there is no known cure.

I've defied the laws of medical probabilities all my life and see no reason to quit now.This time the odds are in my favor.

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