October 12, 2013

The thing that takes my breath away……

Sleep, that's right! Sleep!
Did you ever get out of bed in the morning and feel unrested?
I spend a good eight hours in bed every night and I never feel rested, EVER.
My neurologist suspected something was going on.
I obviously wasn't sleeping well so he set up a test to find out why. 
A sleep study is what the test is called. 

I went and had a sleep study.

I lay in the bed looking at the back of my eyelids for what seemed like forever before sleep finally came. Who could blame me really! The room is nice but with the camera on the wall over the bed it was slightly icky. The wires that the sleep technician has attached with some glue like substance were hanging off the back of my head and I looked like a demented monster with a braid.  ( I actually have a picture of myself and it's so bad I won't even include it in this post for fear it will scare the readers away)

The results…

I have obstructive sleep apnea and hypoapnea as well. During my test my breathing either stopped fully or partially (for an average of 23 seconds or more) or slowed so much that my blood oxygen levels dropped dangerously low a lot.  

How many times could something like this happen in one night, you might wonder?

Basically I had 102 respiratory events (apneas hypoapnea’s) and 290 arousals which are basically abrupt changes in the level of sleep or from sleep to wakefulness.  It’s a wonder I’m not a walking zombie every day.

What does this mean to my health?

This  basically means I’m at risk for all sorts of health problems if this is left untreated, the biggies are heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, headaches, diabetes,  sudden death, obesity.


CPAP have you heard of it? It will probably help me with my problem more than cussing but saying it made me felt good anyway.  CPAP is an acronym for continuous positive airway pressure and is the recommended device for my condition. It’s basically a little machine with a mask that pushes air gently thru the nose and down the airway to keep the passages open.

Once the doctor and the insurance company sort out all the details I’ll have one more sleep study to get fitted for a face mask and for them to figure of the pressure of air required to stop my events during sleep.  But I’m hopeful that …

Before long I’ll be sleeping like a baby.

October 8, 2013


I have a confession to make. I have baggage. Not luggage but baggage. Maybe you have a baggage too?You know what I mean right? The kind of baggage filled with ideas or beliefs from your past life experience that may affect your life now in a way that either isn't relevant or my even be inappropriate.
 I've actually just opened a bag with a childhood issue the other day.

This is how my issue came to light…

Have I mentioned before that I wasn't a good student when I was a child? As I think back I remember actually having bursts of desire to do well but I just could never produce consistently. As a child I didn’t think there was anything unusual with my abilities or intelligence. But hey what did I know? Looking back however I do remember having problems concentrating.  

I don’t think I ever fully understood how well I did in school would be to my future whether college was in my future or not. What we accomplish (or not) is so very important to how we feel about ourselves when we get older as I would come to find out very recently.  And believe me I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of that feeling of insecurity.  

Fast forward to me in my fifties...

It has now been some five months since my appointment as guardian of a friend who is intellectually disabled adult. My duties as guardian are varied and many. I have heard it said that being a guardian can be a burden, they even said it in one of those little booklets they give out. Take my word for it… DO not believe it. Taking care of our most vulnerable whether it’s our children, our elderly or our disabled DOES involve work and an added amount responsibility but the way I see it it’s an act of LOVE.  

Flash back to my school days….

As part of my certification as a guardian besides the background checks and such I was informed I had to take a course at an approved college either in person or online classes were available.(oh no!) And there would be a test which I had to pass in order for me to be certified. (crap) Did I mention I hated tests?

I’ve had enough therapy to know that it was totally unreasonable for me to have anxiety about entering into a school situation.  A teenage girl, a ghost from the past had high jacked my emotions and left me worried and insecure and questioning my abilities.

With little choice I put my big girl pants on and I signed up and took the class. I diligently listened to the lectures, read all the available handbooks and for a total of eight hours I and watched the necessary videos and carefully took notes.  

Then the moment of truth…the test

Do you remember when you were a kid and things seemed so much bigger than they really were? Well, when you’re 54 and channeling your inner 15 year old it’s the same. 

 I aced the test. (exhale)

Do you carry around baggage from your childhood?