Saturday, January 28, 2012


For as long as I can remember, I've always been tired.  Like, can't keep my eyes open, fall asleep at the wheel, tired.  T-I-R-E-D.  And I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what it was.  We checked my thyroid, fine.  Iron level, fine.  BP, fine.  Blood sugar, fine.  Everything is fine.  But I'M not.  I KNOW there's something wrong.  Yeah, I'm overweight, but not everything is weight related.  I have no energy.  NONE.  ZERO.  ZILCH.  ZIP.  You get the point?  NO ENERGY!

Finally my doctor suggested I go have a Sleep Apnea test.  She actually suggested it a few years ago, but it was right before we moved to China so I told her I'd do it when we got back.  But of course, I put it off.  But after seeing her about some other things a few weeks ago, she told me again to have the study.  She was 100% convinced that I have Sleep Apnea.

They scheduled the consultation and I went in to meet with the doctor.  A few people were skeptical.  'Of course you have sleep apnea, everybody has it.'  'I've never known anyone to go in for the test and NOT have it.'  Statements like that were very frustrating.  So I got a little discouraged.  But I still kept my appointment and I went in to see the doctor.  And I told him the things I was hearing.  He said that's not true, not EVERYONE that comes in has it, but that I needed to keep in mind that they weren't just pulling people off the street and having them tested.  If you go in, you are there for a REASON.  Or maybe lots of them.  People are sent there by their doctors because they have morning headaches, or they're tired all the time, or they fall asleep at the wheel.  They don't just send every patient they have.  True.  So after the consultation, he decided to schedule a sleep test because he was pretty convinced that I have Sleep Apnea.

I went in for the test on a Tuesday night.  You go in, and they hook you up to a TON of wires.  It took over an hour for her to completely hook me up to the probes. 

This is what they looked like before she started separating them
and putting them on me.
That's A LOT of wires!
All of them are intertwined.  I don't even know how many there were total.  But it was A LOT!
And they just keep coming!  
On the plus side?  
I got to sleep in the bed ALL BY MYSELF!


As she was hooking me up she explained to me what everything was monitoring and how they measure the results.  Anything from 1-4 "episodes" an hour is not really a concern.  Anything 5-29 is a concern, and it's a diagnosable problem, but she's not allowed to tell me anything or do anything about it.  If I have 30 or more episodes an hour for 2 hours straight, then she will come in and wake me up.  It's considered severe - 6 times the diagnosable level, and she will put me on the C-PAP machine to use the rest of the night to see how well I sleep with it on. 

So after an hour of her hooking me up to the probes and explaining to me how the study works, I looked like this:
And this:
Last one:
Told you it was a lot of wires!  :)

Then I just laid down and fell asleep watching "Big Bang Theory".  LOVE that show!  :)  She came in at 1 and told me that I had 30 or more episodes for the first 2 hours so she was going to put me on the C-PAP machine for the rest of the night.  Some of my episodes were so close together that I wasn't getting oxygen for 1-2 minutes at a time.  And every time I stopped breathing, I woke up.  So I was waking up 30 times an hour.  Is it any wonder I was tired all the time?!

Because my case is severe, insurance will cover a lot of it.  I received my machine last week.  
This is what I now get to sleep with every night.  I look like Darth Vader!

I've only been using it for a couple of days, but I THINK I can tell a difference.  I'm sure I'll know within the next week or so whether it's working.  If so, and I continue to use it correctly, then insurance will purchase the machine instead of just renting it.  

At least now I know what my problem is.  (One of them anyway).  I hope it helps.  Everyone I talk to seems to think it will.  I hope they're right.  I'll keep you posted and let you know how I feel in a couple of week.  Wish me luck!  *crossing fingers*


Amy said...

I hope it makes you feel better!

rmgales said...

Wow. I have a brother who has Sleep Apena too. I hope the machine works for you, and you find rest soon.