people hold hands around a thanksgiving dinner

Giving Thanks

The older I get, the faster time seems to move. I joke about how fast the summer goes every year. Memorial Day to Labor Day feels like an extended weekend. When the football season starts, I feel the same way. From the opening weekend to the Super Bowl goes by in a flash.

Here we are entering the holiday season. Last year's holidays seem just like they ended last month. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I have always enjoyed the simplicity of the day.

Enjoying life's simple pleasures

Gathering around a table with family, friends, and loved ones and enjoying a meal is simplistic. There are no expectations of shopping for gifts. Cooking a meal while spending time with loved ones should be something we do more often. I've been blessed with many wonderful memories shared over Thanksgiving.

Speaking of simplicity, what can be more simple than sleep? Literally, it should take zero effort. We lie down in a comfortable bed. During this time of year in the Northeast of the United States, wrapping yourself in a warm blanket adds to the comfort of what should be a blissful and restful experience. Unfortunately, when you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, it's not that simple.

I love the smell of fall

I sometimes miss the days of falling asleep without wearing my CPAP, especially in the fall. I like keeping a window open to cool down my bedroom and burying myself under a few blankets. I enjoy the smells of fall.

If you've never experienced fall in the Northeast, there is a distinct smell once the leaves start falling. That smell together with people using their fireplaces creates pleasant aromas that spark old memories of spending Thanksgiving on my aunt and uncle's farm in upstate New York.

A time of reflection

Now that I use CPAP, my air is filtered through the CPAP machine and I can't smell those distinct fall smells as I'm falling asleep. However, I am grateful that my CPAP provides me with the correct amount of airflow to prevent my apneas. I am someone who probably wastes too much time thinking about things I can't control.

During this time of year, I think we all start reflecting and getting nostalgic. Those reflections and nostalgia can also include our health. How were things before my sleep apnea diagnosis? What was life like before I had to use a CPAP machine in order to get a good night's rest? I think these are all questions we might ponder.

Giving thanks

I am thankful that I live in a time where we can treat these diagnoses. Think back 100 years, which really isn't that long ago. We probably didn't have the knowledge to diagnose, let alone treat, sleep apnea. This makes me thankful to be living now. I think it's wonderful that we have these options available to us.

As you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal and give thanks, don't forget to include the people and machines that help you on your health journey. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

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