Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sleep Apnea and Miscellaneous Stuff

Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day.  If you didn't remember our military on the 4th of July here is your chance.  Click on this link to help veterans who fought for our freedom.

For those of you in the Kansas City, Missouri area don't miss seeing the WWI museum at Liberty Memorial.  It is the only museum in the country dedicated to WWI, and they celebrating a 100 years since the war.   Here are some links to visit for prices, times and directions to their site. and Wednesday is the cheapest day to go there; it's only $7.00, but whatever you pay to visit it is well worth the price.  On any day but Wednesday ask for a military discount, or senior discount. 

It's just been recently, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea.  Most people think sleep apnea only happens to overweight people, but that's not the case.  Skinny people have sleep apnea, too.  Here's some of what I have learn about this disease. 

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

·                     Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax

·                     Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing

Common Signs of Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

·                     Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)

·                     Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea

·                     Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person

·                     Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea

·                     Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat

·                     Morning headache

·                     Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)

·                     Attention problems

Causes of obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the side walls of the throat and the tongue.

When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in, and you can't get an adequate breath in. This may lower the level of oxygen in your blood. Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don't remember it.

You may make a snorting, choking or gasping sound. This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. These disruptions impair your ability to reach the desired deep, restful phases of sleep, and you'll probably feel sleepy during your waking hours.

People with obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware that their sleep was interrupted. In fact, some people with this type of sleep apnea think they sleep well all night.

Causes of central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea, which is much less common, occurs when your brain fails to transmit signals to your breathing muscles. You may awaken with shortness of breath or have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep. Like with obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and daytime sleepiness can occur. The most common cause of central sleep apnea is heart failure and, less commonly, a stroke. People with central sleep apnea may be more likely to remember awakening than are people with obstructive sleep apnea.

Risk Factor for Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea

·                     Excess weight. Fat deposits around your upper airway may obstruct your breathing. However, not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight. Thin people develop this disorder, too.

·                     Neck circumference. People with a thicker neck may have a narrower airway.

·                     A narrowed airway. You may have inherited a naturally narrow throat. Or, your tonsils or adenoids may become enlarged, which can block your airway.

·                     Being male. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea. However, women increase their risk if they're overweight, and their risk also appears to rise after menopause.

·                     Being older. Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in adults older than 60.

·                     Family history. If you have family members with sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.

·                     Race. In people under 35 years old, blacks are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea.

·                     Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat.

·                     Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who've never smoked. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk likely drops after you quit smoking.

·                     Nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — whether it's from an anatomical problem or allergies — you're more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea

·                     Being male. Males are more likely to develop central sleep apnea.

·                     Being older. People older than 65 years of age have a higher risk of having central sleep apnea, especially if they also have other risk factors.

·                     Heart disorders. People with atrial fibrillation or congestive heart failure are more at risk of central sleep apnea.

·                     Stroke or brain tumor. These conditions can impair the brain's ability to regulate breathing.

Complications caused by sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications may include:

·                     High blood pressure or heart problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) is greater than if you don't. The more severe your sleep apnea, the greater the risk of high blood pressure. However, obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke, regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure. If there's underlying heart disease, these multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from a cardiac event. Studies also show that obstructive sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and other vascular diseases. In contrast, central sleep apnea usually is the result, rather than the cause, of heart disease.

·                     Daytime fatigue. The repeated awakenings associated with sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible. People with sleep apnea often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability. You may have difficulty concentrating and find yourself falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. You may also feel irritable, moody or depressed. Children and adolescents with sleep apnea may do poorly in school or have behavior problems.

·                     Complications with medications and surgery. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia. People with sleep apnea may be more likely to experience complications following major surgery because they're prone to breathing problems, especially when sedated and lying on their backs. Before you have surgery, tell your doctor that you have sleep apnea and how it's treated. Undiagnosed sleep apnea is especially risky in this situation.

·                     Liver problems. People with sleep apnea are more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers are more likely to show signs of scarring.

·                     Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. It's not uncommon for a partner to go to another room, or even on another floor of the house, to be able to sleep. Many bed partners of people who snore are sleep-deprived as well.

People with sleep apnea may also complain of memory problems, morning headaches, mood swings or feelings of depression, a need to urinate frequently at night (nocturia), and a decreased interest in sex. Children with untreated sleep apnea may be hyperactive and may be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

I used these links for my sources on sleep apnea and you can find even more information on them. and

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author

Sunday, June 29, 2014

When Do You Know You Aren't In Love Anymore?

Is it when you say, 'I hate you,' stop communicating, run around on each other, or is it because you just gave up?   There's a thin line between hate and love, so it would be something that could go either way.  Although, it's not uncommon for you to really dislike your spouse one minute and love them the next. 

Communication is always important, but even then it's still possible to still love someone and not communicate as much as you once did.  Usually, it's a sign of taking each other for granted.  Sometimes all it takes is finding a new interest to do together to start you talking to one another. 

Even if one spouse runs around on the other it doesn't mean they don't love you; they might just be a little bored with you, or you're not providing something they need.  A couple like this could work it out if they want to. 

Giving up is the most common reason for why marriages don't last.  People get mad and they quit working at their marriage.  It's so much easier to quit on a relationship than to work at it, and I guarantee it takes work in any relationship. 

There are times when you can't love someone anymore.  For instance, someone you love turns out to be abusive; it's time to get out then.  Your partner murders another person; it's time to get out. 
In my new soon to be released short story, All Bets Are Off, the heroine has a gambling addiction, which nearly costs her husband his business.  Would you still love someone who did that to you?

Could you trust them again? 

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Are Memories of Events Accurate?

Most people have so-called flashbulb memories of where they were and what they were doing when something momentous happened: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, say, or the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. (Unfortunately, staggeringly terrible news seems to come out of the blue more often than staggeringly good news.) But as clear and detailed as these memories feel, psychologists find they are surprisingly inaccurate.

Eye witness accounts are often unreliable.  There are cases where a person has ended upon death roll and the person is innocent.  Here is one such case:  A man was convicted of rape and murder of a child in 1984 by five eye witnesses.  After serving 9 years in prison,
DNA proved him not guilty.  Such devastating mistakes by eyewitnesses are not rare according to a report by the Innocence Project.
Memories are stored in a region of the brain called the hippocampus, shown in red in this computer illustration.  Photo by Researchers, Inc.

Researchers have known for decades that memories are unreliable.  They're particularly adjustable when actively recalled because at that point they're pulled out of a stable molecular state.  Last spring, scientists published a study performed at the University of Washington in which adult volunteers completed a survey about their eating and drinking habits before age 16.  A week later, they were given personalized analyses of their answers that stated - falsely - that they had gotten sick from rum or vodka as a teen.  One in five not only didn't notice the lie, but also recalled false memories about it and rated that beverage as less desirable than they had before.  Studies like these point to possible treatments for mental health problems.  Both PTSD and addiction disorders hing on memories that can trigger problematic behaviors, such as crippling fear caused by loud noises or cravings brought about by the sight of drug paraphernalia.

Childhood memories are often inaccurate.  We can be led to believe almost anything if we are told the same thing over and over again. Memory is not like a video recorder, recording every moment of our lives in accurate detail. It is a murky, complex system that can be manipulated as research shows.  There have been cases where a psychologist or psychiatrist has led a child to believe sexual abuse happened to them when it didn't.  An ordinary adult can manipulate and convince others something happened in their childhood that didn't, or at least not the way they remember it.

Hypnosis is, also, and inaccurate tool, but yet has been heavily relied on.  Okay, my question for all of you:  Is your memory of events accurate, or twisted?  I know for a fact that my siblings and I have different memories.  Life is too short to allow bad memories to live in your mind, especially, when they mostly inaccurate. 

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you again next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

To all father's out there, I wish you a very pleasant Father's Day.  This day is not a national holiday, and it was mostly started because of Mother's Day. 

A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father's Day.  Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother.  This was uncommon at the time, as most widowers placed their children in the care of others, or quickly remarried. 

Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who has pushed for Mother's Day celebrations.  Sonora felt her father deserved recognition for what he had done.  The first time Father's Day was held was in 1910.  Father's Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon. 

Father's Day in the U.S. is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.  It celebrates the contributions that fathers and father figures make for their children lives.  Its origins may lie in a memorial service held for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907. 

Many men disdained the holiday.  As one historian writes, they "scoffed at the holiday's sentimental attempts" to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products-often paid by the father himself.  lol  Most men I know are like this, but those same men are there for you when you need them. 

In the 1920's and 1930's there was a movement to scrap Mother's Day and Father's Day for a special day to be called Parent's Day.  The Depression derailed the effort to combine and de-commercialized the holidays.  Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts Father's Day a "second Christmas" for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods and greeting cards.  

When WWII began, advertisers argued that celebrating Father's Day was a way to honor our American troops and support the war effort.  By the end of the war, Father's Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.  Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than 1 billion dollars each year on Father's Day gifts.

I want to wish my sweetie a Happy Father's Day.  Smooch!  Smile!

Thank you for reading my blog this week.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing      

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Crohn's Disease

I became interested in Crohn's disease because I know two people with this disease, and one is my youngest stepson. For this reason I decided I wanted to know more about Crohn's disease. 

You're probably saying to yourself about now:  What is Crohn's disease?   It is one of two diseases of the gastrointestinal tract called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  The other is ulcerative colitis.  Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract.  In some people only the last part of the small intestine (ileum) is involved, while in others the large intestine may be affected as well. 

Another question might be:  What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease?  Crohn's symptoms vary but can include bloody bowel movements, severe frequent diarrhea, mouth sores, joint pain, fever, body ache, exhaustion and severe intestinal cramping and pain.

The next question you might ask if you have Crohn's disease is:  How did I get Crohn's?   An exact cause is not known, but if someone in your family has it, you're at risk.  Also, people of European or Jewish descent are at higher risk.  Also, smoking makes Crohn's disease worse. 

If you have Crohn's disease you will need to be on a special diet, have a gastroenterologist and be prepared for a possible Crohn's flare, which is a worsening of the disease.  Stress will worsen this disease, so it is important to stay stress free.  This disease can affect women as well as men, although, the two people I know with it are men. 

Here are two sites to go to if you are interested in learning more about Crohn's disease. and

This link will tell you the foods to avoid if you have Crohn's.

Crohn's disease is not something you can mess around with, and there are no guarantees anything will work, or keep you in remission.  However, there are new studies going on and one such study is in Phase III of the clinical trials.  

Thank you for reading my blog.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

It's party time, and I'm celebrating to be alive.  LOL
June is the month I was born, and since I'm turning the big 7 0 tomorrow I'm going to tell you about the events that happen in June.  For one thing, this is the month when the most weddings are traditionally held.  The flower for June is the white, or cream-colored rose, and the pearl is the birthstone.  

This period was named after Juno, the Roman Goddess.  Also, the sign for June is Gemini until June 21, and then it's Cancer.  Some of the holidays in this month are June 6 when we fly flags for D Day, June 14 is Flag Day, June 15 is Father's Day and Litha known as the summer solstice is 20 through 21st. 

I bet you didn't know this is National Dairy month.  I didn't either.  Also, it is Paul Bunyan month and several others I've never heard of. 

Since, I'm celebrating my birthday this month; I'm going to give some lucky commenter a chance to select one of my e-books by selecting the book they want from my website.

Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

I thought I should give everyone a bit of a history lesson since tomorrow is Memorial Day.  Smile!  So here goes.  Enjoy!

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans - the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) -established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be ovserved on May 30.  It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.  The first large observance was held that year at Arlington Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee.  Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies.  After speeches, children from the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places.  One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh.  Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy.  Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves as well.

Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866.  Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va.  The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claimes it began theirs two years earlier.  A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866.  Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan.

Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.  The official birthplace of Memorial Day was declared in 1966 by the Congress and President Lyndon Johnson to be in Waterloo, N.Y.  There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War.  Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo's claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation.  State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.  It was not until after World War I, however that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.  In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day.  It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

There are even some States who have Confederate Observances. You can find more information at the below link:

We have many Memorial Day events in the Kansas City, Missouri area, and one such event is held at the World War 1 Museum and Liberty Memorial.  Even if you don't go on Memorial Day this museum is well worth visiting.  I prefer to go when it's not crowded because I like to take my time.  There is a lot to see there. 

Liberty Memeorial and WWI Museum
Here is a link where you can get more information about the museum and Liberty Memorial.

I want to dedicate this blog to all of our servicemen and women, and thank you for giving so much to keep our way of life. 
Now, I want to end with a quote from General George S. Patton Jr. (1885-1945) - "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

Personally, I'm thankful for all of our military.  Thank you for reading.  Have a wonderful week, and I'll see you next Sunday.
God Bless America!

Sandra K. Marshall, Author