Monday, August 20, 2007

Well, Here Goes Nothing


Miss a week of blogging and it's hard to write again. Truly, writing is something that should be done daily.

I mentioned a week or two ago about having spent the night at a sleep center to test for sleep apnea.

I got a call Friday from the doctor's office and the nurse told me that the results sent to them showed that I had EXTREME sleep apnea. And she emphasized the word extreme like that on the phone.

So I wisely said, "Really?"

And she said, "Mr. Masters, you had over one hundred apnea episodes per hour." She said it like she was amazed that I was still alive. And she proceeded to tell me that they were faxing the information over to the company that sells the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines.

I guess I'll be sleeping from now on with a machine that will make me appear to be an elephant.

Maybe I can scare the dogs with the new mask when I get it.

I'm actually looking forward to getting it. If it can help me get better sleep then I'm all for it.

That night in the sleep center I began to like the machine within a couple of minutes. It helped me breathe and it felt really pleasant to lie there and just breathe with the mask on my nose, gently forcing air inward. It made breathing much easier, and I was surprised, because hey, breathing is easy anyway.

Like tinnitus, which I've had since childhood, I can't remember ever waking up and feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Morning fatigue is something I've always had. Sheer will power, what little of that I have, is all that has rolled me out of bed 999 out of every 1000 days of my life.

It's so rare for me to wake up energised that I can actually remember the last time it happened.

In spring of 2001, I awoke one Saturday morning at 6:15am, and was magically clear-headed. I thought that since it was Saturday, I could go back to sleep, but I didn't feel sleepy at all. I just lay there thinking of all the things I wanted to do, so I just sat up and got up and got going.

I'm being truthful here. The last time I woke up feeling like a million bucks was 2001.

Then again, that was before I fell and messed up my back and before the two back surgeries of 2004, but you get my drift.

It seems that physical problems are much like troubleshooting electronics.

You know from the symptoms that you should start looking in a certain area. If you find a problem, fix it, and test for other issues. Many times in electronics, one problem is hiding several others. So as you fix one problem, others may be revealed and you take them one by one and narrow down the point of failure and fix it.

I simply thought that my depression was the main problem with my bad sleep, and that depression caused my inability to wake up and mentally be ready for the day.

That may still be an issue, but I have definitive proof now that I have a physical sleep disorder that is a least part of the problem.

I'm hoping this CPAP machine gets me a step closer to feeling good.

It has been so long since I flat-out felt GOOD that I can't remember what it's like. All day, every day, is a series of efforts that I dread, regardless of how simple.

I won't expect too much from the machine, but I will take any break I can get, and if it helps me feel a little bit better every day, then that will be a huge blessing to me.

Especially if I can have just a bit more energy in the morning, it would change my life.

And as I continue to slowly lose weight, I know that I can improve my chances of not only being healthy, but regain the simple pleasure of feeling good.


On the subject of sleep, several months ago Lovely Wife and I paid a hideous amount of money for a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed.

I had slept on the floor or in my recliner since 2003, and I thought that if I could get a bed good enough to just get me off the floor, the price would be worth it.

First of all, after a couple of months on it, we just love the thing. Plain and simple, we love the bed.

We bought a king sized one, and Lovely Wife can set her side softer than I do, and both of us just lay there, luxuriating in the feeling of the bed and telling each other, "This bed is SO comfortable!"

Lovely Wife even joked about calling Select Comfort within the 30-day trial period and telling them to come take it away. She imagined they would ask what problem we were having with the bed and she was going to tell them it was too comfortable. That the bed felt so good that we never wanted to get out of it and couldn't get anything done.

As for me, I can harden or soften my side to "dial in" a level of firmness that gives my back relief on any given day. I literally change my side every few days until whatever pain is in my back starts to lessen. The pain never goes away, but sometimes having the bed a bit softer relieves some pain and other times I crank that baby up and it's super firm and that lessens the pain.

The beauty of this bed is that it can be any bed we want our side to be at any time. I haven't slept on the floor or in my recliner since we bought it, and that alone makes the hefty price worth it.

Just thought I'd give y'all a final report on the new bed.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up, both Lovely Wife and Myself, on the Sleep Number bed.

The only, and I mean only thing we've even remotely not liked about the bed is that it seems to be a hotter bed than our old one. I guess during the night the air chambers start to retain body heat. Not bad, but noticeable. If I lived where it was cold this would be a plus, but it never gets cold here.

OK, lunch time is over, gotta go.

12 comments:

katherine. said...

I've been thinking about the sleep number bed....good to know.

Travis said...

Thanks for the wrap up on the bed. I figured since the last time you wrote about it was a glowing review, that you continued to find it helpful and restful.

Now the sleep apnea thing is interesting. Did you know you had it? Was this a complete shock to find out how bad it was?

I wonder sometimes about my sleep problems and whether I should get tested.

Welcome back to writing. I hope all is well with your brother.

Wingnut said...

Dude! I so know I have sleep apnea, I even find myself gasping at the 'puter cause I forget to breate! I wake with a roaring head ache, and did ya know you can die in your sleep if it's too bad from lack of oxygen.... not a nice thought!

Unfortunately my insurance bites the big one right now, and it's not a time I can pay for the testing on my own. I will be watching your progress, I hear people loose weight, feel better, have energy, wow what a concept!

I can't wait to get myself tested, hopefully soon, I have to pave a total paper trail and twist their arm to make it happen, no fun!

Hammer said...

Glad they nailed it down. You will notice a huge improvement.

Babystepper said...

I'd like my dad to read your posts on sleep apnea. I know he has it, too. It really can be dangerous, so I'm glad to hear yours will be treated, and hope that my father's will someday too.

Qtpies7 said...

I bet you will feel a ton better in every way when you start getting real sleep!
I'll keep your brother and daughter in my prayers.
My brother has the sleep number bed for his back, and his only complaint is the wedge in the middle, its apparently not so great for couple time, lol. They keep their bed really soft, so that may make a huge difference.

Sindi1968 said...

Wow you are back. Miss you and your Blog. You will be close to sheer heaven with the new bed and being able to breathe. My husband has severe sleep apnea he will not go to the doctor. I was telling him about your new bed a couple months back and I said to him wow if we got a bed like that and you went to the sleep doctor BOTH of us could get some sleep. Glad all is well. Happy Friday

photowannabe said...

Its amazing what real sleep can do for our bodies. I am so glad you got tested and that the apparatus will help and probably lengthen your life span. keep it up and let us know your progress.
Still praying for your brother and daughter.

The Rock Chick said...

We bought a new mattress last year and were deciding between the sleep number and the temperpedic foam. It was really a toss up because I really liked them both..We decided on the foam. I have to tell you, I just love it!! It really makes a big difference having a really comfrotable mattress!!

Hope this machine helps with your sleep apnea! 100 times per hour is a LOT...wow!!! I think you will definitely feel a lot better if you get that under control

Jessica

Norma said...

That is extreme--glad you're getting help. Ah-hem--if you hadn't mentioned that skinny person inside (wearing a red and white hat), I wouldn't even mention what losing weight will do for the disordered breathing.

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