Big Brother in My Bedroom or Taking Over for Santa

sleep chartIt’s way past Orwell’s 1984 so we might expect some miracles of modern technology to invade our lives but some things I’ve seen lately take it to a whole new level and frankly it’s a little disturbing.  Big Brother has made his way to my bedroom.

A few months ago I was diagnosed with a fairly significant case of sleep apnea.  In short that means I stop breathing quite frequently as I sleep.  Because my kids started teasing me about snoring about 25 years ago I suspect it has been happening since then but recent frustration with a variety of annoying ailments led me to search for answers.  This is the one which arose.

After the two most annoying sleeps of my lifetime they determined I need a fancy air machine and how to set it for my best results.  Now I don’t have to sleep with wires on like I did at the sleep lab but have a sort of harness which wraps around my head and holds a little cup on my nose.  It is attached to a machine which pushes air into my lungs all night and has enough pressure to keep the airways open so they will no longer collapse every few minutes causing me to stop breathing.

It is a magical machine and has increased my level of deep sleep.  In time it will also help alleviate some of the symptoms which accompany the disorder, including constantly feeling tired, constant pain, weight gain, depression, high sugar, high blood pressure …and the list goes on.

All this wonder aside there is one thing about this magical machine which has me a little dismayed if not disturbed.  It seems there is a computer chip which records information about my sleep patterns and somehow (I suspect via WiFi) sends signals through the air and allows a computer somewhere to record all it knows about my sleep patterns.  It cannot hold a candle to Santa.  Not only does it know if I am sleeping but also records the number of times I stop breathing (events), whether the mask is sealed properly and if I am breathing through my mouth.  I can’t get away with anything as long as that machine is on.

My darling partner has had a similar experience lately but his is with hearing aids.  They also send information to some computer in the sky but his is about what sort of noise environment he is in and whether or not he turns the volume up or down.  It then takes that data and makes adjustments to the device so it will learn to turn itself up and down depending on the noise environment.  I’m sure it would know a great deal more about his movement and could prove more valuable than Dick Tracey, if he actually wore the things.

So who is watching you?


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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