Monday, November 4, 2013

False Hope

            Appointments grew farther apart, and finally after what seemed to a long time, I went in for a review appointment. The medication seemed to be working, but I had become even more tired.
            With the next appointment she indicated that she had talked to an associate, and that they had suggested that I might have “sleep apnea” .   An appointment was made with the groups sleep lab for a “sleep test”.  This occurred late November 2004.
            Let me say at this time, with each change in medication, or, Why don’t we try this or that, I felt a wonderful anticipation that it might be the answer. This time I was sure. I had never complained about not sleeping well, but this Sleep Apnea, would caused serious sleep problems without your realizing.
            It took what seemed forever to be finally scheduled for the sleep over test at the lab, and to be monitored throughout the night, by a person and computer. The first test was somehow inconclusive, because I had not slept long enough to accurately measure. I had to have two sleepovers, but the results were that I had “Severe Sleep Apnea.”  At last there was something physical contributing to my problems.  The solution was C-PAP.  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A C-PAP machine. It consisted of a machine that you use at night that generates a “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”  into a mask that covers your nose.
            Apnea, is when you stop breathing while you are asleep. Usually it is something that normally happens to everyone. It becomes serious when it is caused by an obstruction. Usually, it is from the soft tissue and the back of the throat relaxing too much, as you get older, the soft tissue gets sloppier and can causes an obstruction.  When you stop breathing your nervous system takes over and jolts you just enough to start breathing again Now your sleep patterns have been disturbed, you wake in the morning, thinking you have slept all night. When this goes on without your realizing it, and when it is severe enough, how often you are jolted, so you can start breathing again, you take on many of the symptoms of sleep deprivation.
            At last, I know why I am so tired.

            I doubt that many have actually taken this machine home, hooked it up, put the mask on and slept all night. There are a whole lot of problems to adjust to , before the machine can offer any real help. Take my word for it, trying to sleep with a mask on your face and a machine running is not what nature intended.

Symptoms of sleep deprivation:

   Exhaustion, fatigue and lack of physical energy are common sleep deprivation symptoms. Exhaustion and fatigue affect our emotional moods, causing pessimism, sadness, stress and anger.
   Sleep deprivation is a common condition that afflicts 47 million American adults, or almost a quarter of the adult population. Symptoms can interfere with memory, energy levels, mental abilities, and emotional mood.
Lack of sleep may result in:
   Irritability,   Slurred Speech, Memory Lapses, Memory loss general,
   Confusion,  Clinical Depression, Decreased mental activity,
   Decreased Concentration,  Daytime Naps,  Inability to tolerate stress,

            I suffered from almost all of the sleep deprivation symptoms ,  Cure the sleep problems, cure the depression.  This had to be the answer.
            I used the c-pap faithfully. Took it on trips. I don't think I slept any better. Finally, in December of 2007,  an appointment was made to see about throat surgery. The surgery would correct the Apnea problem.  The surgery has corrected the problem, but the depression hasn't changed.

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