Sleepy in Connecticut

Way too much yawning going on today. I wake up groggy and lethargic which are symptoms of not enough sleep – which in my case can be because I think my CPAP machine needs to be adjusted, or because I stayed up way too late watching the run of Lord of the Rings on TNT. Or both.

First the CPAP. It works by regulating room air, not oxygen, through a tube attached to a mask strapped onto a person’s face. Masks can cover nose and mouth both if the person is a mouth-breather, have little nasal “pillows” that insert into the nose but leave the rest of the face pretty normal, or something that fits over the nose and has a brace across the forehead. That’s the most common kind and it looks weird. But it works when it’s fitting correctly.

People with sleep apnea stop breathing many times a night and their bodies wake them up as they gasp for air. But they don’t usually know that’s what they’re doing, they just know that they wake up tired and aware that they’ve been awake during the night, but nowhere near the amount they actually ARE awake. I have 38 apneas an hour, or did at my first sleep study, so no wonder I don’t sleep well without my machine.

But people change with time, with weight loss, with medication changes, and the pressure that worked before may be too much or not enough now. This is my current problem. I’ve gained back about 45 lbs since I was last tested and I don’t think I’m getting enough oxygen. So in its infinite wisdom, my health plan is having me tested with an overnight oxymetry thing here at home – which is cheaper than a sleep study, I guess, but depending on the results, they may need to do one of those anyway.

The home health providers are coming on Wed. to deliver the equipment and show me how to use it. I’ll clip that little boxy device into my finger when I go to bed and hopefully it won’t fall off during the night while I’m sleeping. It will measure the oxygen levels in my blood by some kind of magic means and if it’s below a certain amount, I’ll get another study which will result in a different pressure. Which will in turn result in better sleep. That’s the plan.

Of course, if I would stop thinking I have to watch the LOTR movies every time they are on, it would also help. I kept trying to make it to the place where Frodo drops the One Ring into the lake of fire in the depths of Mordo. But I could only prop my eyes open to the end of the battle at Minas Tirith. I’ve seen these movies at least 10-12 times, all the way through, and read the books more times than I can count. But I still want to watch it all.

No wonder I was tired. Good thing for this Wed. test that there’s not much on that I would want to watch.

image from the Yahoo CPAPUsers group website