A beautiful day with my father

by CynthiaYockey on October 10, 2009

Somehow I didn’t hear about Obama’s being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday until almost 11 am, right before we had to leave for my father’s check-up at the cardiologist. I didn’t believe it at first and we were 15 minutes late to the doctor because I had to go online to check my newsfeed (at your right). One of most satifying posts I’ve read so far is from Reclusive Leftist, who I gather is a Hillary PUMA who couldn’t make the leap I did to McCain/Palin (and from there to conservatism and the Republican party), but who also cannot gag down enough of the Kool-Aid to embrace Obama uncritically. So the left-on-left snark there is smart and funny, but with something of the quality of a battered wives shelter that only accepts college professors — they are smart enough to know they are being abused, but frightened of making the leap to the world of the Right their abusers have demonized in order to keep them in the fold:

Violet [the Reclusive Leftist] says:

Mark it now: I’m predicting that Obama will win every award there is. MVP. Cy Young. The Heisman Trophy.

alwaysfiredup says:

Meanwhile, Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs thinks Sharia law is liberating for Muslim women


Awesome. Aren’t there any more awards we can bestow on this prince of men?

# monchichipox says:

I’m getting some cold comfort in the fact that all the blogs and newsites I read have comment sections pretty much filled with humorous jabs at the award. Especially politico.

# monchichipox says:

OK OK I think I’ve finally got something. Though it’s not up to my usual:

Is Kanye West pissed that Beyonce didn’t get the award?

# cgeye says:

You mean… the Nobel Committee thought he couldn’t handle the phone call at 3 AM?

I’m sorry, but even for good news? That’s just sad.

At least waking him up would have allowed his team to fum-fuh some new initiative that would at least make him look Presidential, in response.

When the N.C. also have to handle him delicately, at the expense of making him look awkward, we know something’s wrong with the Presidency as we accept it.


My favorite post for explaining, “Why?,” is by Claudia Rosett at Pajamas Media (H/T Phyllis Chesler at Pajamas Media):

But the Nobel Norwegians express not only their hope that he will play out their fantasies, but their confidence that he is “now the world’s leading spokesman” for their preferred “international policy and attitudes.”

Who are these folks issuing Obama a prize on credit to steer America along their preferred course? The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five Norwegians, whose members are appointed by the parliament of Norway. Ever heard of Thorbjorn Jagland? Active for decades in the Socialist International, a collectivist who navigated a long series of embarrassing moments in Norwegian politics to become current Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Jagland now heads the Norwegian Nobel Committee. His fellow members who have just issued this Nobel IOU to a sitting American president are — are we ready for global policy guided by this crowd? – Kaci Kullman Five, Sissel Marie Ronbeck, Inger-Marie Ytterhorn and Agot Valle.

What, more specifically, might they be expecting of Obama? For starters, Norway, along with neighboring Sweden and Denmark, has been banging the drum for America to hand over to the United Nations enormous control over and constraints upon the U.S. economy, in the name of (warming/cooling/take-your-pick) climate change. Thus did Norway’s Nobel committee bestow its favors in 2007 on Al Gore and the UN’s Self-Interested Panel of Politically Corrupted Science — excuse me, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And this December the UN is convening a big climate conference in Copenhagen, with which the U.N. hopes to “seal” its growth-stunting UN-enriching climate “deal.”

Anyway, there I was, neck-deep in comedy gold, but a day full of errands to do. The cardiologist forgave us for being late. My father’s longevity has amazed him, based on the condition Dad was in when he first sat in Dr. R’s office in December 1997. Dad was not 30 seconds into his speech about his wilderness paddling adventures and how he was just there to shut me up when Dr. R abruptly left the office and Dad heard the admin arranging for him to be admitted to the hospital immediately. Dr. R let him go home, have lunch and get his things before reporting to the hospital. Dad sent me an e-mail to let me know. I wanted to be with Dad that day but had to take Margaret to the neurologist instead.

The diagnosis was idiopathic congestive heart failure. “Idiopathic” means “we know what illness you have, but we don’t know why you have it.” The cause of Dad’s particular form of congestive heart failure actually was discovered in 1996, when obstructive sleep apnea was first connected as a cause of idiopathic congestive heart failure. But the cardiology profession has been rather slow to incorporate the implications of sleep research into the fundamental causes and treatment of some forms of heart disease — intractable high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and idiopathic congestive heart failure — so I was the one who figured out in 2003 that Dad needed to get the sleep study that confirmed he had very severe obstructive sleep apnea.

Why, yes, now that you mention it, the angel of death DOES have to work very hard to get past me and take someone I love.

After seeing the doctor, we had to go to my favorite pet store for kitty and wild bird provisions, PetValu. They aren’t everywhere, but I hardly spend a penny anywhere else on pet supplies in order to keep them in business and supplying me with cat litter that is, well, dirt cheap. If it weren’t for PetValu, I would never have been able to afford the number of pusses I’ve had over the last 18 years. (The ones who have died passed from respectable causes and all but one were well past middle age, thanks for asking.)

The route I took to PetValu is a winding country road for a good deal of the journey and passes my favorite farm stand, which is across the street from my favorite nursery. First we pulled into the farm stand, where we bought apples, Concord grapes (for their divine fragrance as well as their flavor), patty pans squashes and carrots of such majestic length and girth that it is probably illegal to grow them in Alabama, Georgia and Texas. The apples were four Ida Reds in perfect condition, and a half bushel of seconds that were a mix of Ida Reds, Stayman and some others I don’t know as well. Then we went to the nursery to check for flats of pansies and see how the heirloom tomato plants I gave to one of the workers fared. C’s Galina’s Yellow Cherry did well, Berkeley Tie-Dye, not so much, although it was productive for me last year and is one of my “must grow” plants both for the unusual red-green appearance of the tomatoes and their delicious, rich flavor.

After getting our kitty and wild bird supplies, we headed home through a route that passes several farms. It was a clear October day — blue sky with just a few clouds, temperature around 70, only a few trees with leaves turned to gold and everything with a thriving look to it — a beautiful day with my father.

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Ad rem October 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm


No parent could be blessed with a more caring child than your father!

I also owe you a personel note of thanks for your past postings on “sleep apnea”, as my husband has dealth with it for I’d say at least the last ten years. We finally had to agree to separate bedrooms, however, I could still hear him sawing away down the hallway. He had been in the habit of frequently taking Tylenol PM, or Advil PM…sometimes several nights in a row. Our last family vacation was miserable because neither by daughter nor I could get any sleep in that noisy hotel room.
After returning home, my daugher and I had a bit of an “intervention”. I sat him down and watched as he read you article re Michael Jackson and sleep apnea. Since that evening, he has dropped about ten pounds, stopped taking all sleep medications, and ……I no longer hear the loud snoring and gasping! You very well might be responsible for saving his life, as his own father passed away at the age of 51, and he is now sixty.

Cynthia Yockey October 10, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Ad rem,

How kind of you to let me know! Thank you!

If you have health insurance and/or can afford healthcare, please get your husband to a sleep specialist and go along with him to the appointment. You’ll be able to answer questions he can’t. Your husband might still need CPAP therapy. If you can’t afford a sleep study, the specialist might be willing to have him try one of the machines that can titrate the right pressure to see how he does with it.

The weight loss is great! If your husband lost some ground in the organizational skills department, it helps to take dance or step or aerobics classes.

(These suggestions are not intended as medical advice.)


OK, here’s my PSA about obstructive sleep apnea: If you hear silence in someone’s breathing while they sleep that lasts longer than 10 seconds, that’s considered an apneic episode. Raspy breathing can be the sound of hypopnea — the throat is closed enough so it is a struggle to breathe, but the obstruction is not complete. If you hear more than 10 ten-second apneic episodes in an hour, that is the threshold for the diagnosis of mild obstructive sleep apnea. The snore/gasp sound is the sound of the person waking up enough to open the collapsed airway and start breathing again. Dozens, or hundreds, of apneic episodes per night are not just exhausting, they can be deadly. And recent research shows that the reductions in blood oxygen levels during apneic episodes cause damage to the part of the brain responsible for organizational skills. Poor sleep also is associated with reduced creativity and perseveration.

Ad rem October 10, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Oops…..I wrote “dealth”, and meant dealt. (A little Freudian, huh?)

Mary Quite-Contrary October 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I hope your dad is doing better…and for his speedy recovery. Facing our own family medical crisis makes the government take over (maybe, sorta, kinda you can keep the doc you have gone to since ’97…if the guidelines say so) all the more real and frightening.

Last Friday was all Obamas/Oprah/Olympics Epic Fail; yesterday was Obama as punchline. My favorites: White (RAAAAACIST) Smoke Over Vatican, Obama Named Pope; Obama Wins Cy Young (mom jeans proves THIS Barry didn’t juice); and Obama, Motor Trend ’09 Car of the Year.

I wonder what merriment The Won will bring next Friday???

Ad rem October 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm


Thank you for your detailed reply. I will take action immediately!
BTW…..I wanted to donate more than just the $11.95, but couldn’t find a way to alter the PayPal format. Please advise those of us who would gladly offer more . 🙂

Cynthia Yockey October 11, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Ad rem,

How kind of you! You’re welcome, and thank you!

Some people have donated more than $11.95 and I think it is possible by logging into your PayPal account, then clearing the auto-entry of $11.95 and entering a new number, and then clicking on the link that says something like “re-calculate total.” PayPal is not letting me test this myself, so please let me know if that works or you have another problem, so I can clear the way for others. I do appreciate your generosity! Thank you!

BTW, your sharing your experience that my post on Michael Jackson and sleep apnea may have saved your husband’s life was transformative for me. I had gotten stalled on a blog I’m developing to help people improve their health because I had gotten so fat from the sleep apnea that I didn’t feel like a good enough example to be writing about health. Now I realize that very few people get as close to death as I did from sleep apnea and live — and of those, well, it was a year before my sleep doctor admitted that he’d never seen anyone as far gone as I was not only live but also get their life back. It’s been over six years, but I’ve figured out how to get my life back — lessons healthier people have never had to learn and don’t know how to teach. So — I do have something important to say and I can help myself and others become healthier at the same time. Thank you for the positive feedback that restored my determination to get my health blog going.


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