Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sleep And Energy / Coming To Life


Three nights on CPAP and I can honestly say that I'm feeling a lot better already. I don't go through the day feeling like a beached whale. I was actually awake yesterday morning 10 minutes before the alarm went off and I didn't hit the snooze button for an hour. Actually, I didn't hit the snooze button at all. I got up and did a load of laundry, played with the cats, fixed breakfast... Wow, what a difference!

I've even had DREAMS!!! Yes, I have not had dreams that I can remember in years. During my first sleep study, I didn't even reach REM sleep. Not fun. Oh, but now I guess I'll have to deal with nightmares too - now that was ever a problem before.

The sleep department at the hospital has a good program too. I was able to take 2 masks home with me to try. I can return and exchange at any time if I don't like them. One of them does kinda give me a fit. I'm laying in bed and then the air pressure ramps up and then the leaks around the seal start. Ugh.

This is the one I prefer:
The Two Little 'Buds' Are Called Pillows - They Go In Your Nostrils :)
Great Seal
This is the one I don't prefer:
I'm An Active Sleeper - It Doesn't Like That


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Good Intentions, I Do / Alive Again

Everyday at work, I tell myself that when I get home, I'm going to sley that reed, thread those heddles, start the weaving. And? When I do get home I'm often too tired to even think about it. I usually curl up on the sofa and watch a few episodes of Brothers & Sisters. I never saw any of the shows when it was airing on TV so I'm in catch-up mode with Netflix streaming. Then I fall asleep on the sofa and wake up a few hours later and drag myself up to bed. Not good.

There is something good that I recently found out though. I am tired a lot (even before these bad sleeping habits on the sofa). Way too much for someone of 45. I also have high blood pressure and didn't want to take medication for it. I wanted to get it down by cutting out sodium, eating healthier and getting good amounts of exercise. I started losing weight, and feeling good, but I was still tired a lot and the blood pressure was holding fast.

So I decided to check out other possibilities for my symptoms. Long story short - I found out that I have Sleep Apnea. Severe Sleep Apnea - a major factor with high blood pressure AND weight gain. Ugh.

Then I heard about the horrors of having to sleep with a mask on to force me to breath. And of waking up with marks on my face from the mask. I wasn't too worried about these things I heard though. I figured if it was going to help me then, so be it.

I just had no idea how much it would help. I did one of those sleep studies. That is how I confirmed that I had Sleep Apnea. The second time I had to do it, I slept with one of the masks on, attached to a machine. You know what? I was able to sleep with it on! Even better, I woke up the next day feeling refreshed and alert.

I saw the Dr. on Tuesday and he went over my sleep study results. Scary stuff. Really scary. I need a pretty high flow rate of air to keep me from snoring and having apneas. Apneas are when you stop breathing during sleep due to a number of reasons. My upper airway collapses when my body relaxes. So, basically, when I'm asleep, I'm suffocating. Way not good.

So, the great news is, on Monday, I go to pick up a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Air Pressure). The machine will pump room air into a hose attached to a mask that's fitted to my face that will keep my airway open while I sleep - so I can breathe.

I'm really excited about it because I want to feel alive again!

I Think These Two Will Be Excited About It As Well!