kevyn: (Default)
( Jul. 25th, 2008 09:53 am)
So I spent the night last night at the sleep centre on Cordata, titrating a CPAP for my apnea.

I liked the nose-only mask, but my nose kept clogging up, and I'd start mouth breathing. (Yes, I am, get it out of your system.)

So they switched me to full mask. It actually wasn't bad. I did sleep well.
Just got back from meeting with my sleep doctor, to go over the results of last week's sleep study (which I think I neglected to blog about).

Turns out, I stop breathing an average of about 70 times an hour when I am asleep, in all sleeping positions.

More than 30 times an hour is considered severe sleep apnea. I'm WAAAAAAAAY beyond severe -- the doc called it "super-severe," and insisted that I come in tomorrow night for an emergency sleep study with a CPAP.

70 times an hour? That's more than once a minute! ("Stop breathing" is defined as not breathing for more than 3 seconds).

No wonder I am always tired, depressed, moody, unstable, unable to focus, unable to complete tasks, overweight and suffering from heart problems! It seems that this may be one of the key factors in all of my health problems.

Here's hoping that the CPAP works.
Just got a call from the local sleep study centre. Dr. Gober had asked them to visit with me. They said they could have a consultation with me tomorrow morning at 9am, but they won't be able to get me in for an actual sleep study until July. All paid by the state. Cool with me!
I met with Dr. Gober at the student health center yesterday, and she said my lungs sound great now, all clear, no rales (noises in the lungs). It appears that the azithromycin did the trick. Everyone was so focused on the drug interactions, the fact that I smoked, and the severity of my shortness of breath, that no one except Dr. Gober stopped to consider that it may have been a simple case of pneumonia.

After a 5-day regimen of antibiotics, my lungs cleared right up, and I am breathing normally again. It wasn't asthma, COPD, or anything else, just a case of pneumonia, coupled with bad drug interactions from the lithium & carvedilol.

That issue settled, now it's on to two unresolved medical concerns:

The first is the anemia question. I am still anemic, and it is clearly affecting my energy levels... and no one can figure out *why*. This is frustrating. Dr. Gober ordered a whole battery of blood tests -- they took four vials of blood from me -- and are trying to pin down the cause. So far my iron levels are normal, the white blood cell and platelet counts are normal, and I don't appear to have a history of anemia, so we're all puzzled. The next step will probably be a visit to a gastroenterologist to see if I am bleeding in my intestines somewhere, perhaps from a polyp.

The second issue is the sleep apnea. That's going to affect all sorts of things: energy level, depression, heart function, weight, metabolism. I know I have severe sleep apnea -- most of my lovers have told me I stop breathing frequently in my sleep, and I know it wakes me up sometimes in the middle of the night, often dreaming about drowning and fighting my way to the surface -- and it looks like I need to do something about it. In other words, get a CPAP, something I have resisted doing for about 8 years, since I had my first sleep study. But things are so bad for me now, physically and emotionally, that it seems time to do something about it, especially given that I have insurance coverage from the state.

I just hate the idea of being encumbered by the damn thing.
kevyn: (Default)
( Feb. 13th, 1999 08:00 am)
...I was talking to Ken from MMF. He was wearing his outfit from last year's Dress-Up Night: He was wearing a leather vest... and nothing else. He is so handsome!

Then the scene shifts, and I am swimming in a large body of water with someone else.
I dive down deep into the water, deeper and deeper, and I look up at the other person who is still at the surface.

I can't breathe, my air is running out, I swim towards the surface, I 'm desperate, I have to break the surface before I suffocate, drown.
I fly towards the surface until I break the surface...

...And I wake up. Gasping.

I think that I had stopped breathing, and the dream was telling me, "You're not breathing! Wake up! BREATHE!"

I think I stop breathing often at night. I snore, and Dad said that he thinks I have sleep apnea. Could be. I could lose weight, that would help. But I think that someday, I am going to die in my sleep because of it.

But not today. Today, my dream was warning me. And Ken's presence in the dream was probably part of the warning, since Ken once told me that he had sleep apnea, and he's a big guy, too.
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