Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April Update

Darren has received another transfer, this time to an area called Lempira, which is still in the city (and in fact is in the Comayag├╝ela Zone, where he served previously in Flor del Campo). His companion is Elder Pac (see photo), a Guatemalan who was in his previous district in the Torocagua Zone. Darren is about to hit 19 months on his mission and, because he and his mission president have made tentative plans for him to come home three weeks early (so that he can attend fall semester at BYU), he only has about 4½ months left. He's still enthusiastic about the work and has been blessed, in the main, with excellent companions.

My sleep situation is still rife with uncertainty. I'd more or less come to the point where I decided I needed to go back on prescription sleep meds, actually asking my sleep doctor for a couple of prescriptions. I tried, for the third time, to take Mirapex, the doctor's preferred med for restless legs/"leg jerks," but it simply wasn't having any positive effect (and in fact was having very annoying side effects). However, I finally agreed, rather than go back on Lunesta and/or Temazepam, to try an alternative "leg jerk" med called Neurontin, which I understand is an anti-convulsive when taken in larger doses. I've taken it the last several nights, and it does at least have a mild sedative effect (although it isn't strong enough to put me out for the entire night), and thus far doesn't seem to have noticeably bad side effects. Thus I think I will be able to take it for a month per the doctor's instructions, and I'll just wait and see what it does.

I still don't think I have any significant problem with being roused by my own "leg jerks" at night, but the sleep doctor seems to think that if a person's inability to sleep isn't attributable to sleep apnea (and my "VPAP Adapt SV" machine seems to be treating that part of my problem well), it is, by default, due to restless legs syndrome or "leg jerks." (Sure, I tossed and turned during the sleep studies I've had done, but I defy anyone to sleep soundly when wired up like that; it seems preposterous to me to base a diagnosis of restless legs on such an unnatural and unrepresentative situation.) For that reason, I'm relatively convinced that sleep medicine isn't in a very advanced state of understanding, and that the "experts" are still really only guessing most of the time. Meanwhile, in cognitive terms I only barely function, and I find it all too easy to fall into profound fits of depression.

Chris and a friend have started their own auto repair business, J&C Auto, which is located on east Central here in Albuquerque. I've long known that Chris would need to open his own shop if he ever wanted to make really good money doing car repairs, but it's a precarious time right now to be starting any kind of business, especially one that depends on the rapid development of a loyal clientele. We're praying for them.

Kiley has now taken the ACT, and she's working on the material for her AYS audition for the '09-'10 school year, which will take place on Friday May 1. One would think that with eight graduating senior cellists, the competition won't be as stiff for next year's group, but of course Kiley doesn't view it that way and is already nervous about it.

It appears that Dorine and I probably won't have to be a "ma and pa" for the stake youth "handcart trek" in June. Our ward will have only a handful of youth going on the trek, and since there is another (younger and hardier) couple called to go, we'll probably be let off the hook. Inasmuch as Kiley will be in Australia at that time with AYS, Dorine and I might actually get to go somewhere by ourselves -- I don't suppose she'd want to go to Las Vegas.

Oh, and in case anyone reading this doesn't already know, Heidi and Devery are both pregnant and are due in late October. They seem to be doing relatively well, especially given their heinous work schedules (Heidi works nights as a labor-and-delivery nurse, and Devery commutes to Salt Lake City from Provo on a UTA bus, which results in very long days). It will be interesting to see if either of the babies is a boy, given the high percentage of girls in our family!