It’s like a whole new world for me

A couple weeks ago, I had a new sleep study, to determine if I could stop using my BiPAP machine completely. And while I haven’t officially been told that bit of news, I was able to get my doc to approve that I am cleared to travel without the beast.

It’s a goal I’ve been working toward since this whole journey began. And now it’s here. And like all Good Things in my life, it freaks me out a bit.

You see, I’ve been sleeping with the machine every night (except a couple post-surgery) since December of 2002. It’s not glamorous or sexy, or comfortable. It leaves creases on my face every morning, and the air blowing out of the relief valve every night has turned me into a long-sleeve pajama girl. But it’s also provided 11 years of quality sleep. So though I was excited to be free of it, I was also apprehensive about what Bad Sleep would do to me. Could I even sleep without it? Would I be able to function the next day?

So, it’s the day after, and I’ve traveled for business without the TSA-approved carry-on bag that has to be hand-searched (and swabbed) at every major airport. That part was nice. But with the time change, the non-standard schedule, and the late night visit from hotel maintenance to fix a leak in the bathroom (can you say Water Torture?), I got to sleep about two hours late, and didn’t sleep soundly. I still managed to get up at 5:30 to hit the gym, so not all was lost.

But by midday today, listening to a speaker with a very calming voice, my eyes got heavy and my focus went… well… away.

So now, I’m in my room, taking a break from the high-noise world of 1000 marketing automation pros in one place. I need this time to reboot, so I can be social with my fellow attendees tonight. (And watch a little hockey, too… Go Hawks!)

What else changed for this trip?  Well, since my body is smaller, and no longer officially Plus Sized, the accompanying clothing takes up less space in a suitcase. So, for the first time in years, I was able to pack everything I needed into a rollerboard, and avoid the $25/trip checked bag fee. (Still had to gate-check the bag, at United’s order, since my little regional plane didn’t have space in the overheads for all of us and our TravelPros.)

And I noticed stuff on the plane that I promise I will NEVER take for granted. Even on this small plane, I wasn’t wedged into the seat. I wasn’t fighting for arm room, and I wasn’t trying to push my flab down so the tray table would go perfectly flat. Forever-thin people will never truly appreciate that simple move. Flying was usually just another element of my life designed for embarrassment and torture. But through hard work and commitment, I’ve put an end to that. (Go me!)

To top it off, I went back to one of my favorite out-of-town restaurants, Max Lager’s, a wood-fired grill and microbrewery on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Had to modify the meal a bit, replacing the starch with a second veggie, no sweet tea (ick!) and no dessert (no big deal), but it was worth the effort and the trip. And I tried something new (to me): bacon-braised collard greens. It’s a Southern staple, and I’m a Northern girl, so it never really came up before.

Seems like there are a bunch of recipes out there, so I can recreate the magic at home. Now, it’s just a matter of finding the best one.

That’s enough for now. More later.


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