Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1/3 of my life

One of the major sources of conflict in my marriage, and I'm not pretending we don't have a few, is my snoring. I'm not a particularly overweight man, and I'm not a drunk; my snoring is purely genetic. I inherited it from a long line of Norwegian immigrants, and before that, Norwegian fishmongers, and before that, trolls. But for reals, you guys, I snore like a battleship. I rumble the walls. Sawing logs is an understatement; I saw redwoods. Sometimes I actually wake myself up with my snoring. I'll be trying to sleep and I'll hear this monotonous, repetitive snarling and I'll be so irritated. Then I'll realize that it's me. And I'll wake up, furious with myself for keeping myself awake. Imagine how my wife feels.

She has been patient over the years, or more accurately, "patient." She hasn't divorced me, is what I mean. Even though she has grounds for it. She hasn't slept in seventeen years. She has figured out special commands to get me to stop snoring, most of which moderately work:

1. "Stop. Snoring."
2. "Turn over."
3. "Open your mouth."
4. "I hate you."

Any one of these does the trick, and particularly number five. But it's a brief respite; she gets about 5 minutes before I'm off again like a farty pig. I feel bad for her. I'm not making fun. But there is honestly nothing I can do about it. I've tried everything, including turning over, opening my mouth, and "stop. snoring." But nothing works. Until recently.

Like many of you, I have seen commercials for those Breathe Right strips on TV and felt a blend of hope and skepticism. How can a little piece of modified tape cure my snoring? I mean, I was happy to try it. But would it really work? And would it irreparably widen my nose? The people in the commercial seemed so attractive and well rested. Could that be me? I thought I would give it a shot, so I drove out to Walgreens and picked up a box.

That night, I carefully blew into a kleenex and scrubbed the bridge of my nose down, per the instructions on the box. Then I methodically peeled back the protective backing of the Breathe Right strip and affixed it to my nose, just like the picture showed me to. Immediately, I felt a new sense of air flow and a cool rush of breeze. Interesting! Is this what I had been missing all my life? Breathing? Is this what other people feel? Could I finally paint with all the colors of the wind? I'm happy to report that I slept soundly that night, and in the morning Lisa texted me and said she had "slept like a baby!" I was thrilled. Problem solved! Kind of.

I have used these strips now for three weeks, and turns out I'm still snoring. It's not as much, but with my nasal cavities, where there's a will there's a way. Last night I got the classic "open your mouth!" and a few nights ago I got "CHRISTOPHER." So I know it's still going on. Lisa has been kind not to mention it. But I know. Do you think it's possible that I have a deviated septum? Celebrities seem to get those all the time. I feel like I should go see a doctor, but I hate going to the doctor because I'm always positive he's going to tell me I have the bird flu or some other disease du jour that has nothing to do with my snoring. I could get tested for sleep apnea, which is a thing, but then they make you wear a mask that reminds me of this:

I guess maybe that's what it comes down to, though, that horrible mask. I don't know. I'll try it. I'll try anything. My wife is a remarkably attractive woman and I hate to think that my snoring is getting in the way of her beauty rest. So, if you guys have any tips, please pass them along! And DON'T recommend those Breathe Right strips, because, as I've been saying, I tried them. With moderate success AT BEST.
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