Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Sleepy in Connecticut

4 Comments

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

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4 thoughts on “Sleepy in Connecticut

  1. do I remember that you have to go off all meds? Or do you not have to with the home test? will be interesting to see what it shows. have you always had trouble sleeping – as a child too? – or is this just as an adult?

  2. I asked the same question, Vickie. With a full-blown sleep study, I would have to not use the mask and stop taking my sleep meds. But the purpose of this particular test is to see what my oxygen levels are while I’m using the CPAP. If I’m not getting enough, then they know I need to have the whole study to get recalibrated.

    I don’t remember having problems sleeping as a child but know that I have for most of my adult life. I’d go to sleep but wake up several times. Now I know that I probably actually woke up a lot more than that, just without being aware 🙂

  3. Sleep apnea? I’m having a continuing argument with my new primary care physician about sleep apnea. She says that I’m obese, and therefore I must have sleep apnea. And since according to her) I have sleep apnea, I can’t lose weight unless I deal with the apnea.

    Hogwash! I don’t think I have sleep apnea. I’m not aware of any sleeping problems, and I wake up completely rested. She wants me to take a sleep study, and then probably to wear a CPAP device. It seems to me that I’m doing well without a dang mask, and I don’t intend to do it. So my doctor and I just have to agree to disagree.

  4. Good luck on the test; we were watching the LOTR marathon the other night too. 🙂

    It’s amazing the way that they can determine oxygen levels from the finger clip and other things. (BF is having his blood glucose monitored through interstitial tissue in his stomach which shows up within 15 minutes.)

    I can believe he (and my BFF) have sleep apnea. He snores and sounds a bit strangulated without his CPAP and my friend woke me up from a sound sleep.

    Jim, does anyone in your circle complain about any snoring? The BF said he didn’t think he had this except for the snoring until he had a car accident. Good luck with the sleep study — if you don’t have a sleep disorder, it should show up (I would think).

    Anne, the BF’s CPAP face mask changed quite a bit in the time I’ve known him. It’s a lot less bulkier but it still blows cold air on me. (Brrrr!)

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