My missing brain/sleep solution

Lately my brain has been in a sad state of affairs. Three examples:

Example #1

  • Yesterday I went to Sacramento to see a doctor, and then to the art store to pick up a board for a sign. Since the art store was an unknown location, I used Google Map’s turn-by-turn instructions guiding me home. Then I got to Arden Fair Mall. Arden Fair Mall! Why, I had been there multiple times. Surely I could get home now!
  • So I turned off the maps phone.
  • As I was happily tootling home on the freeway, I started to notice that the freeway signs said “99.” This was a bit odd, as I was certain I was on I-80. But maybe 99 overlapped 80. Highways do that sometimes.
  • After a while, the exits started to look unfamiliar.
  • So I pulled out my phone again and it said, “Take the next exit and make a U-turn.”
  • Oops, it was the wrong direction after all! I had made a multi-mile detour and now my car was short on gas.

Fortunately I made it home and in time to the gas station before my car expired from subsisting on gas fumes, and I got home safely!


Example #2

  • Today I went to pick up my sister. I opened the car door and said, “Oh! I forgot my phone!”
  • I closed the car door and headed back to my house.
  • “Oh wait! My phone is in my pocket!”
  • I went back and got back into the car.
  • I turned out of my neighborhood and down the street to my mom’s house.
  • I realized I was on the wrong street and had to make another U-turn.

Fortunately I made it to my sister’s. Good thing she doesn’t live far away, or I might have ended up in Arizona.


Example #3

  • After buying the said board above, I mounted the print out onto the board. Then today I went to my office to get my cutting board, T-square, and knife.
  • However, said office did not have any cutting board, T-square and knife. I checked every possible location but nothing.
  • I went downstairs to check the closet where we keep our communications supplies. Nothing.
  • I emailed Wendy to ask if she had borrowed the cutting board.
  • She said no, go ask Marisa.
  • I emailed Marisa.
  • Marisa said, no, sorry!
  • I emailed Glen.
  • Glen later went and searched the entire church from top to bottom and then told me the cutting board was in my office. He had found it!
  • Then I went to church and discovered the cutting board was half the size of my cutting board. It was not mine.
  • So Glen and I searched the whole church again.
  • We ran into Dave, who has been doing custodial work and sees every dark nook and cranny. Dave said, “I found the board!”
  • Dave ran up to get it. It was half the size of my board — the exact same board Glen had found!
  • Then I said, “Well, maybe I can find something to cut it at home. Wait. Home! I think I might know where it is!”
  • I went home and saw this:


There it was, my light green board, stashed under the piano with the T-square and my yellow cutting knife peeking out on the left. This is where I store all my design class drawings.

I am sad to say I used this space every day this past summer and had no recollection of the cutting board, T-square, and knife being there, even though I moved them around frequently as I was looking for my drawings or storing them there.

Alas, for the brain cells that are no longer functioning! Three examples, all within a day of each other.

Hope ahead

However, there is hope ahead!

Yesterday I went to see a sleep neurologist. The opportunity itself was a miracle as this guy was booked until April. My sleep lab test was in April this year, which meant it would have been a year before I could go see a neurologist who could help me.

It was amazing. He diagnosed me almost immediately. In fact, he asked me, “Did you have this… did this happen?” and guessed it all just based on my symptoms. After six years of insomnia and health challenges (which I think are linked to the inability to sleep), there is hope on the horizon!

He even had a recommendation on treatment, called sleep restriction. It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it is supposed to work and if it does, the effort will be worth it. It’s basically sleep depriving your body so it can reset itself.

I have been a bit frustrated like I have trouble speaking clearly (words get tangled up), and I have trouble typing… letters switched, think one word and type another, etc. These are all related to lack of sleep. What was encouraging to me was asking him stuff like,

Me: Why is it when I try to sleep, I feel a jerk inside, like my body is jerking, but my body doesn’t move?

Dr: That’s normal.

Me: It used to happen once in a while, but now it happens like every five minutes.

Dr: That’s from sleep deprivation.

Me: How come when I just sit there, my head just nods forward like I just fell asleep, but I feel wide awake?

Dr: That’s from sleep deprivation. Basically, you have been sleep deprived a long time.

So why do I do these forgetful things like the examples above? I feel glad that I can blame my sleep deprivation. 🙂

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

2 comments to “My missing brain/sleep solution”

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  1. Carmen Lin - October 11, 2013

    This is really no laughing matter, but you made me laugh.
    Your sleep deprivation came from your working too many hours a week and going to bed too late. I hope this doctor can get your problem solved.

  2. A Yee

    A Yee - October 12, 2013

    Thanks, Mommy! Actually the doctor said I go to bed too early, which is contributing to the problem. I do not work that many hours now… just a normal week. My sleep deprivation is from almost 6 years of insomnia and I am glad the doctor found out why!

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