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I know I'm a bit erratic (mostly its lack of sleep)

by Ziks511 / March 20, 2006 7:02 AM PST

but sometimes I really honestly want the answer to questions, and I'm not being provocative or trolling, I'm just puzzled by the cognitive dissonance of American politics these days. Now before we get into this, yes, I'm not thrilled with a lot of Democratic politicians, from Clinton to Teddy the K either.

But can anyone in the committed, ultra-patriotic, Conservative, true believer cadre we have here at SE explain rationally, and without attacking me personally, why a man who received 5 deferments from the Viet Nam war because in his own words he "had other priorities" is more patriotic, more admirable, more honest, more trustworthy, than the several Democratic candidates who actually went to Viet Nam and served. (Gore, Kerry, Edwards, plus a lot of Congressmen and Senators)

Having seen what you have said you believe about John Kerry, how can you not want to rip **** Cheney limb from limb? How can you not want to see Paul Wolfowitz swallowed by a crevasse of unknown origin, especially since they've put American troops in harms way. I just don't understand how someone can hold that draft avoiders are admirable, and the guys who went are not, no matter that one of their services was shorter than the nominal period of service, and I seem to remember contemptuous things being said here about Gore's service as well. What's a Democrat got to do to get some respect from you folks and how come you don't apply the same criteria to Republicans? I understand partisanship, but why the disconnect between what you say you believe, and support, and the actions of some of your leading pols?


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Maybe it would be a more profitable
by MarciaB / March 20, 2006 7:19 AM PST

discussion if we helped you with your sleep problem?

Are you having difficulties with your CPAP machine? Is your stress level over the top?

I know that lack of sleep, for whatever reason, can certainly put my system on "E" for empty real fast nowadays. Used to be I could exist on minimal sleep for days, then one real good snooze would get me caught up. Not now!

Take care of yourself,


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Thanks Marcia. I have no idea what the problem is
by Ziks511 / March 20, 2006 4:53 PM PST

I sleep too well for much too long, or I sleep for about 4 hours and feel wretched. Its been a life long problem, I used to do my most productive work in the middle of the night, but daytime has almost always been less than optimal for me. When I have been on an daytime schedule it usually takes until 10 or 11 for me to feel even completely awake and capable, but the later in the day it gets the better I feel and I just hit my stride about 9 Pm which is when I'm supposed to be slowing down. Often I then cannot get to sleep and am up til 2 or 3 which makes the following day a total misery. My wife theorizes that I really have a 36 hour internal clock. 12 hours of sleep 24 hours of awake time.

But I am honestly puzzled by the disconnect in the problem I posed.


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Re: the problem
by MarciaB / March 22, 2006 12:48 AM PST

The only reason I responded at all to this post, Rob, was because your subject line made it appear that what might really be bothering you was a lack of sleep, and, therefore, being/feeling "erratic."

It appears as if the rest of the membership here decided to pick up on what you really wanted - a continuing cuss/discuss of politics.

Might I suggest that next time you make your subject title what you are truly wishing to discuss, and not preface it with a personal issue. That way, folks like me that stay out of the majority of "heated" thread topics, will not be confused as to what might truly be the "subject." I guess I was the only one that thought your "disconnect" was due to your original subject title.

Hope things get better for you health-wise. Mothers know what a disjointed and disconnected biological clock is all about. Been there. Done that.



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Thanks Marcia, and I take your point although I was hoping.
by Ziks511 / March 22, 2006 5:51 PM PST
In reply to: Re: the problem

that this wouldn't become an over-heated thread, hence my preface.

Even as a child I had a less than optimal sleep pattern, tired in the morning but waking up the later in the day it got. It used to take me forever to get to sleep as an adolescent, and forever to wake up in the morning. Most of my good work at University was done after midnight, so I tried to schedule my classes in the afternoon, even to the point of signing up for evening classes to replace some of the ones I found too early. Eventually I ended up working graveyard shifts for the same reason.

More recently for the last couple of weeks or more I have been waking up at exactly 3:40 AM and not being able to get back to sleep for hours. Same thing today and it frustrates me.

I was also trying to explain why I may occasionally persist and eventually "lose it" in discussions here when I should just back away from the discussion entirely, as you so sensibly do.


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Lack of sleep
by TONI H / March 22, 2006 6:27 PM PST

One of the first things my cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center told me was that short spurts of sleep and then being wide awake for no apparent reason are actually symptoms of pending heart attack or stroke, especially if that pattern becomes the 'norm' rather than just happening occasionally. I saw on tv (cnn medical report) just the other day that studies being made public now have confirmed that fact.

I, too, have always been a 'night owl' (my kids called me the 'zombie') because I preferred nights to days and even while working a full time job would wake after just a few hours sleep and get up and do the laundry, cleaning, etc. because I found it to be a peaceful time for me. Fortunately, it wasn't happening early in life for me, so I was at that time getting adequate sleep even though it was still less than most people were getting.

The older I got (in my middle 30's) and although I wasn't working anymore, I found that I was staying awake longer in the evenings and going to bed but would watch tv or read until 1 or 2AM before drifting off, and then be wide awake again by 5:30AM and begin the day at the kitchen table playing cards and drinking coffee waiting for the newspaper to arrive so I could do the crossword puzzle. This became a pretty routine thing for me and on the surface didn't seem to be affecting me. By the time I was 48, I had my first heart attack. I wasn't overweight, didn't have diabetes, didn't drink, worked in my gardens and yard on a regular basis creating flower gardens out of my hillsides and had massive vegetable gardens and canned everything I grew. I was pretty active so it wasn't like I got no exercise. I smoked (still do).

Found out I inherited a vessel disease from my mother but until I talked with my cardiologist and he discussed the sleep issue with me as a huge sign of internal stress, I never matched that up with the fact that my mother also hardly ever slept. She had her first heart attack at 38.....also very active, tiny and thin, and also lived on cigs and coffee on a regular all day long basis.

My sleep pattern hasn't changed a whole lot....I can very easily go to bed one night, fall asleep soundly by 7:30 or 8PM and not wake up even once until 6AM the next morning.....but the norm for me is to read or watch tv in bed until around 11PM, sleep soundly (or so it seems) until 2 or 3AM (or less) and be wide awake again instantaneously for the rest of the night and next day. Once in a great while I will feel sleepy enough during the day that I can sit in the recliner, doze off for a power nap of about twenty minutes or less and be good to go again.

Anybody with sleep 'habits' such as what I've described....I highly recommend being checked out for something else that may be going on no matter how 'healthy' you feel right now.


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(NT) (NT) Very interesting
by Dragon / March 23, 2006 10:42 AM PST
In reply to: Lack of sleep
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I'm getting checked out. I have developed borderline
by Ziks511 / March 23, 2006 1:30 PM PST
In reply to: Lack of sleep

high blood pressure in the last 2 years, but I tend to blame all of this on fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue which has been creeping up on me since my late 30's and became an issue in my late 40's. CPAP has helped but less than I hoped. I just bumped my pressure up to 10.5 cm H2O in case I've been running it too low and will be going back to see the sleep lab people next month so they can re-titrate my level.

Thanks for the info and sorry about your heart attack. Do take care and you have my best wishes and thoughts.


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Re: "I'm getting checked out."
by MarciaB / March 24, 2006 2:51 AM PST

Good - glad to hear you are doing some follow-up on things. And pay attention to things that you (we) may think are "no big deal," or "this has always been a problem." Sometimes there's a darned good reason why certain ailments continue to nag you - they aren't going to go away without intervention, and they may be a signal of something worse!!

Who knows? Getting some of this kind of stuff straightened out may lead to you being less erratic. OR, heaven forbid, it could lead to you having more energy to be even more erratic!! LOL Grin

IOW, take care of yourself,

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You're a very naughty and altogether too insightful person.
by Ziks511 / March 24, 2006 5:00 AM PST


Despite the sleep thing, my erratic behavior is settling down, due in large part to the editing job. I'm being useful to someone, and am getting some warm feedback from myself (in other words I'm reasonably pleased with the job I've done so far). I'm helping a friend deal with a painful task that she wants done but finds too painful to do herself. And I'm forcing myself to stay up from my current waking time of 3:40 AM for the last 2 1/2 weeks, until as late in the evening as I can in the hope that it will eventually settle down so that I sleep from 10 to 7 and I have a day to use properly. I'm also fighting against the agoraphobia that's been trapping me at home, so I actually feel like I'm getting somewhere. It's wonderful what a few words of concern and encouragement from a long time friend can do. Karin has, in many respects, turned my life around from 1500 miles away. And my wife appreciates the change too.


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I think I would try an occassional Lunesta
by Dragon / March 23, 2006 10:39 AM PST

And, maybe light therapy.

The human body contains a clock, located in the brain, that controls the timing of functions such as sleep and body temperature. This clock can be reset by light shining on the eyes so that when days grow longer or shorter, human physiology will adapt appropriately. Now, in a report in the same issue, Campbell and Murphy show that the light signal to reset the clock can be applied by another route, through the skin on the back of the knees. In their commentary, Oren and Terman discuss the ways in which this unexpected mechanism may work and how this finding could affect the way depressed patients are treated with light.

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Not available in Canada. There are some drawbacks here
by Ziks511 / March 23, 2006 1:20 PM PST

and a very cautious Drug adoption policy is one of them. I'm still groping, may try Nyquil which has the advantage of being OTC rather than prescription.


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Rob, did you ever check into triazolam?
by Cindi Haynes / March 24, 2006 1:55 AM PST

It works for me at only 0.25 mg. And it's generic, you may have it available there.


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Never heard of it before,sounds like a relative of midazolam
by Ziks511 / March 24, 2006 4:48 AM PST

which is a hypnotic if memory serves. Many thanks, I'll give it a shot. YOu're most kind.


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It's known as
by Evie / March 24, 2006 8:59 AM PST


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When I can't sleep and I don't have to
by Diana Forum moderator / March 24, 2006 12:35 PM PST
In reply to: It's known as

get up early, I take one Benedryl. Knocks me out all night. It's great. Don't need to do this very often.


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God you're good. Many thanks Evie. But to let you know
by Ziks511 / March 25, 2006 3:36 AM PST
In reply to: It's known as

I haven't taken Nyquil for sleep problems, though it was once reccommended here, and when I'm desperate for sleep sometimes I'll consider anything. What I've been trying lately is to stay awake after waking up in the middle of the night, hence some of the odd times on my posts. I've been on a wake up at 3:30 Am jag for about the last 3 weeks. No matter what time I fall asleep that's when I wake up. I'll just keep trudging along trying to persuade my biological clock that 7 AM is right and 10 PM is right. In terms of my internal comfort level, I'm doing pretty well as incicated by my reasonably relaxed responses in this thread. Truthfully I'm pretty happy, having earned some money over the last couple of months, completed the first pass through the memoir manuscript, and having got an indication that there's a fair amount more in the way of material out there to flesh it out into a possible book. My son's average has passed 80% again and he's on the Honors List(or Honours List, it is a Canadian school after all) and a good University is assured. Our personal finances will recover by November or December from the house purchase, and Robbie has a part time job. All in all things are looking up


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I get bouts of insomnia too ...
by Evie / March 25, 2006 8:16 AM PST

... usually it's when I'm stressed about something, but frankly other times I cannot find a cause. I think you have a good idea there just to stay awake when you wake up. I do that whenever I can as well. Usually take myself out to another room so I don't disturb my husband, but sometimes just read on the internet or even grade papers or whatnot. Nothing like grading papers to put one to sleep! LOL. Since Robbie is old enough to be taking care of himself, and you don't work outside the home, it seems that if you do the same and are then a bit tuckered during the day, there's nothing to keep you from taking a nap. Not everyone is ''wired'' to sleep regularly, or at least it doesn't seem that way.

I would suggest that part of it may be related to you being so seemingly housebound. I don't know what all is involved with the agoraphobia you mentioned, but my insomnia was definitely the worst in my life during the year or so that I taught exclusively on the internet. It's easy to get into a rut where I wouldn't bother to change out of my pj's or brush my hair or shower. I had no schedule except that hubby would be home at a certain time. Teaching online took a lot of my time, but I had no fixed schedule. My bodyclock got all farkled up. I might suggest that you try just getting out a little more. Once I started teaching in the classroom again, the problem went away. The first semester it was only two days a week but it made a huge difference having to actually be somewhere else to do something even if only for those two days for a few hours. I don't think I'll ever go back to teaching online exclusively again unless I have some other ''purpose''. Wasn't good for me in the end.

Hope you find a solution for you! Take care. Happy

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Many thanks. I've just been a bad sleeper since childhood
by Ziks511 / March 25, 2006 10:41 AM PST

no real obvious cause except perhaps nerves and an over active imagination, but asthma may also have played a part because I sometimes woke up in dire straits wheezing, and the medication I took contained ephedrine which hyped me up a lot and made it hard to sleep. I'm just going to keep on trying to adhere to a semi-normal schedule, doing work each day, even if its only the laundry or loading the dishwasher and running it. At least my spirits are better and I feel kind of hopeful/interested. A month ago I was a mess, but Karin's lifeline (the manuscript) has really had an effect.

Thank you for your good wishes and concern and advice.


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Used to hand this out when I was working in the Pharmacy
by Ziks511 / March 25, 2006 3:50 AM PST

in Basildon (England). It was the drug of choice for the elderly with minimal adverse effects.

I too am probably going to buy myself a light box for use when I'm on the computer, which will ensure the requisite time per day. That's probably what will make the most difference to me in the long run.


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For starters, it would help if you
by Evie / March 20, 2006 7:28 AM PST

... got facts straight. Edwards, for example, never served in the military.

Kerry's service is negated by his LYING UNDER OATH in front of the US Senate, undermining his country in a time of war, and/or committing war crimes. Re: his Senate testimony, EITHER you believe he committed those war crimes, OR he lied. IAC, that alone disqualifies him to serve as dog catcher IMO, but certainly not as Commander in Chief of the military.

Perhaps you can explain how you come up with "cognitive dissonance" as a conclusion.

It may come as a surprise to you, but Bush and Bush alone commits troops to combat. He did so with the blessing of the US Senate on the urgings of many of the same Democrats who now seek to abandon the troops for perceived political advantage.

Do you read ANY of the links provided here? To, KERRY's own speeches for example?

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The principle I am trying to get at is urging patriotism
by Ziks511 / March 20, 2006 5:44 PM PST

on others while having pursued a career of evasion and self-interest. Whatever Kerry's manifest failings, he served and Cheney, Wolfowitz and Co. avoided service when it counted, but that's just fine in your eyes, because they're "Your Guys". Let anyone else engage in the same behavior, like Bill Clinton for example, and it's a character flaw. That's the dissonance I'm talking about. From my perspective, Republicans talk about principles and patriotism when they're trying to get other people to do what they want, but when it comes to their own behavior, self-interest wins out every time.

How come Paul Wolfowitz could get a deferrment for graduate school when a CalTech 4.1 GPA Physicist couldn't get one to pursue Physics in the States?


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What is "urging patriotism on others"??
by Evie / March 20, 2006 8:23 PM PST

I don't know about Nathan v. Wolfowitz. YOU don't know the circumstances of Wolfowitz either. And remember, those are memoirs you're editing. In retrospect, we ALL tend to remember circumstances through 20/20 glasses and color our perceptions through them.

We have an ALL volunteer military now -- for quite some time Rob.

Kerry urged anti-Americanism when he was part of VAW. History only shows his actions in a worse light and he had no business being CiC. It disgusts me that he ran on his status as a vet when he so despises his own military. Sad

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There you go again, as old what's his name used to say.
by Ziks511 / March 21, 2006 2:30 PM PST

Kerry urged opposition to the war. That is a free speech issue, and not Anti-Americanism. You despise him, that's your free speech issue. You, and your fellow travellers always perceive opposition to an Administration you support, not as opposition but disloyalty, it's not. It is the exercise of those freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. As noted elsewhere, the President is not sacrosanct. He is not a King. There is nothing in the Constitutional Law of the United States (as opposed to the Common Law of Great Britain) that says "the President can do no wrong". And despite my dislike of the Connecticut Texan in Abraham Lincoln's court what I oppose is the policies and actions of this Administration when I think they're wrong.

Republicans have no trouble attacking a sitting President when they don't like him or his policies, at least be even-handed about it and grant the other side an equal right to do the same.


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Kerry did more than oppose the war
by Evie / March 21, 2006 8:43 PM PST

He lied to Congress and gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

Can you cite an example when a Republican undermined our President on the foreign stage? Balkans? Haiti? Rwanda? ME Peace Process? etc.?????

THIS is the big difference with the Democrats. They don't care how much it harms the country. Expose secret CIA/NSA programs, interfere with policy by speaking abroad as if one is President, speaking out against the President on foreign soil, accusing him of lying on the Senate floor, etc. Doesn't matter, so long as it damages Bush's poll ratings. Thank God Bush is a better man than to govern by the polls.

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It seems like it's you who tries to wrap himself in
by Kiddpeat / March 22, 2006 12:38 PM PST

patriotism while calling others 'fellow travellers'. What's that?

It's highly questionable if Kerry served with honor. It is unquestioned that he lied before Congress about what US troops were doing in Vietnam. That's not free speech. That's giving aid and comfort to the enemy during war time.

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Yes I inverted the usage of a phrase of dubious merit.
by Ziks511 / March 22, 2006 6:27 PM PST

It was a dry little academic joke meant to point out how useless name calling is because it can all be turned around and used against one. I was certainly not wrapping myself in the flag as you suggest, but pointing out that extreme conservatism acquires all kinds of "ditto-heads" to quote a famously extreme conservative's analogue of the term "fellow travellers".

Kerry testified that the usual rules of war were hard if not impossible to apply in Viet Nam and that Americans were violating them often out of anger and frustration at the impossible job they were asked to do. Or that is what I judge his testimony to be.

I am not an expert on either Kerry's testimony or its details, but I tend to doubt your characterization for 2 reasons. The first is your previously displayed hatred of the man and your contempt for anyone else who tends to the left of the spectrum from your position. The second is that if his lying was not a matter of continued dispute he would have been charged by the Nixon administration who were in charge at the time of his testimony. I am willing to plead guilty to the same prejudices from the other side, though I would acknowledge proof if such had been proven at the time. Please don't bury me in ex post facto arguments, they're as likely to be concocted as they are to be real.

Given the inflexibility of your opinions and the paucity of undisputed evidence, we're at our usual impasse.

I think it likely that you view all anti-Viet Nam War protesters as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" though investigation has shown that all those protests and the protesters were home grown and not part of a Communist conspiracy, just as those who now oppose the Iraq war are home grown rather than the product of some enormous Iraqi conspiracy. I trust we can both agree that a Communist conspiracy isn't very likely.


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There you go again. Where did I ever indicate that I hate
by Kiddpeat / March 23, 2006 1:30 PM PST

Kerry? How can you establish that I have contempt for anyone to the left of my opinion? You'll have to figure out for yourself why Nixon didn't prosecute Kerry. The guys who were there with him, and the Vietnam vets who know what he told Congress have been quite clear about his lies. Ask them about it.

BTW, why didn't Kerry turn himself in for his confessed war crimes? Why didn't the media, who hated that war just as they hate Iraq, verify his claims of war crimes? Maybe because it was all a lie?

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I think other Viet Nam Vets Against the War probably agreed
by Ziks511 / March 23, 2006 9:12 PM PST

with him and his testimony. He wasn't the lone voice that you guys make him out to be. That's what makes all of this so difficult, you won't accept Kerry or his supporters including that group of vets who opposed the war's views as valid, whereas I tend to think they're telling the truth since there are other corroborating incidents unrelated to Kerry or his friends, the most obvious of which was My Lai and it was not a one off. And I have developed a healthy or perhaps unhealthy skepticism about what the Government tells us. You mistrust the government about social programs and a variety of issues, I mistrust them about other issues, particularly about their veracity in regard to foreign conflicts.

You will please note that I'm trying to be as even handed as possible here, and am not picking a fight. I said I wanted information, and I do. The most telling evidence for me has been Evie's quotation of two articles attacking Cheney which have essentially turned my opinion around on his deferments. I am now willing to accept them as legitimate for the times. Please try to loosen up and relax because I don't want a battle.

Regarding Kerry though, your opinions have been extremely strident, and I took that to mean you hated the guy as indeed you seem to despise anyone on the liberal side of the argument. Maybe that's just my perception but you have been extremely forceful in your opinions.


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"Your opinions have been extremely strident,..."
by EdH / March 23, 2006 9:18 PM PST

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! You should review some of your posts about Bush and others.

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