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Archive for the ‘Sleep Apnea’ Category

Still waiting on bloodwork results, but research has confirmed that 100% of the random symptoms I’ve been experiencing for the last few months are part of the fibro suite. Part of me still hopes that the bloodwork comes back clear, but then I’ll have to address each individual issue with my medical team- it’s a bit to think that a fibro diagnosis would be “easier”. *sigh*

Speaking of my medical team, the endo I hoped to transfer to is moving out of the area, so I am stuck with my current doc for a while longer. The medical centre where my rheumatologist is plans to add a new endo, so once they have someone on staff I’ll make an appointment.

All this is going on the week before I fly out to Utah for a week-long conference. Yesterday was a dental cleaning and today is my allergy shot. I am starting to think that this was foolish on my part, because by the time I get out there I’m already going to be worn out. This will also be my first flight carrying my CPAP machine, so that should be… interesting. As soon as I land I need to hunt up a pharmacy or grocery store to pick up distilled water; I can get by on bottled water for a couple days in a pinch. I think I will be glad for the humidifier though- it is very cool and dry there. Packing extra warm layers for chilly evenings- which reminds me, I should pack my largest heating pad. *adds it to the list*

And while I’m making my packing list, that reminds me that I need to do a review here. I have discovered the joy that is SmartWool socks! I’m practically giddy about them- one of the few times that I wrote a review for a commercial site. That will  probably happen after I get back (and recover) from my trip.

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Birdwatching

Current count:

  • 1 snowy egret
  • 2 cattle egrets (one black, one white)
  • 2 female mallard ducks
  • 1 cormorant
  • 13 ibis

I love how busy our pond is in the winter! It has been unusually overcast and rainy the last few days. Most of the holiday decorations are already packed up- just waiting for dry weather to take down the outside lights.

The new CPAP mask is working quite well, thank goodness. I am still stuffy and my nose is still sore from my cold, but I’m getting there. Also, I never thought of my nose as being small, but the mask people are experts on this sort of thing and they keep telling me so, so it must be true. Who knew?

Lucas is not doing well- he has been back and forth from the vet already today. My stomach is tied in knots.

Finally have a date/time for my treadmill delivery and assembly- for Friday. Ah well, would have been nice to have it while I was still on holiday. My sister and I are working our an exercise challenge- I will walk on my treadmill and she will use her elliptical and we will “walk” toward each other! My starting goal is a mile every day- I’m very excited by the idea! We have a map online and everything.

I am mentally preparing myself for work to restart on Thursday. It was not as restful a holiday as I would have liked, but overall it was very good.  :}

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Yesterday was a down day. I did get out to the grocery store and make the cranberry sauce, and vacuumed the house, but that pretty much used up all my spoons. I knew that the high energy of the last few days couldn’t last, and am just grateful that the slump hit Tuesday and not today. I am still not sleeping great and a couple calls with my medical folks makes it clear that I will probably need to change to another mask, so I’ll call them tomorrow for that.

I also expect a call from the delivery folks to set a time for my treadmill. I had a touch-base call from them, which I appreciated (I didn’t expect to see anyone until after Christmas, anyway).

The other call tomorrow is to the vet. Lucas, our senior cat, is having problems. I am grateful that we had him as long as we have (15 is a respectable age for a cat) and that he made it to Christmas- I plan to spoil him with turkey nibbles. I am hoping it is not too serious, but am not optimistic.

Despite thawing in the fridge since Sunday afternoon the turkey was not quite entirely thawed. Thank goodness for the Internet so I could see pictures of what things *should* look like, lol. It is now in the oven and my fingers are crossed.

More updates later, I’m sure, but for now I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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Cold Time

I’ve been down for the last few days with a nasty cold. It started with head congestion, so I took a night off from the CPAP but still slept lousy. Things began to loosen up and move down into my chest yesterday so I used the CPAP last night and discovered the horror of coughing with the mask on. I am back at work but still coughing more than I’d like and will probably take another night off from Das Machine (the new name for the CPAP, because CPAP sounds like the thing the girlie doctor does).

Just a few more days until the holiday break. I still have hopes of getting the rest of my cards our and ornaments on the tree before Christmas. Also planning to host dinner and do my first full turkey. I will probably need that week off afterwards to recover. Cheers!

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…and the second, since I didn’t post this yesterday.  ;}

The medical device rep came by the house and walked me through all the parts, care and use. I already had a pretty good idea between online research and that my sister was able to give me a tour when she was visiting (we have the exact same machine). One little detail I wasn’t prepared for, though- it’s a “for her” model, so, of course, it’s pink. He thought that I might like it. ‘Cause I’m a girl. Although he conceded that not all girl like pink. *sigh* I suspect they have more than they know what to do with so they’re not giving new folks on option. I’ll survive, but I am considering covering it with removable stickers, heh.

I am using the “nose pillow” mask. This is the least obstructive, so I can read with the mask on if I want. I also like it since is has the most minimal straps. The fuller nose version put pressure on the bridge of my nose, right where I broke it in my teens. Since my sinuses are one of my migraine triggers, I really didn’t need to risk aggravating that as well. Sadly, I have had a headache for 48 hours that is just barely under my migraine range. I really can’t tell if the two are related or not. I did increase the amount of humidity last night and that seems to have helped a little.

I am currently using the “extra small” nose pillow size. I have never been more aware of my deviated septum than when wearing the mask. There is definitely less air flow on the right side than on the left. I may move up to the small tonight and give that a try so that I don’t feel quite so constricted.

The first night I managed less than five and a half hours with the mask. The second night, it took me two hours to fall asleep (yay, insomnia!). They would prefer that I not take melatonin to help me get to sleep, but I really can’t afford to lie awake for hours on nights when I need to work. Thankfully, I was able to sleep in this morning, so I actually ended up wearing the mask for 9 hours even though I only slept about 7. Both mornings I took the mask off when I got up to take my early- morning meds. Once my schedule settles down, I expect to wear it 9:30 pm – 5:30 am most nights. There is a chance that once I have better quality sleep I won’t need as much, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. My minimum compliance requirement is four hours a night, and technically I can have a night or two without the mask, but I want to use this consistently for the best results.

So what else? I’m not doing a formal product review yet since I’m still learning the machine, but overall it’s very easy to use and the programming is straightforward. I might need a larger nightstand or to add a small table next to the bed so I’m not knocking things over and can read my alarm clock without the tube in the way. I will keep tweaking things while I learn the system better and become more comfortable with it- updates will follow.

I will say, despite very poor sleep the first night, I woke up feeling more rested than I had without the machine. Sadly, today my headache is overwhelming everything else. I have moved my allergy pill back to earlier in the day, which I hope with help the sinus headaches and keep things down to low roar.

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I woke up with a notable lack of spoons today. The cooler weather is lovely but definitely making my joints stiffer and more painful in the morning, so it was a real effort to get out of bed, especially since I’m still not sleeping well. Saturday I had a glorious 12 hours of sleep, but one good night’s sleep in two weeks only gets you so far.

A hot shower helped some of the stiffness (and I always feel better when I’m clean), but between that and getting dressed I ended up spending a couple more spoons. Breakfast was simple and I fed the cats, then laid back down on the couch and closed my eyes for a few minutes. If hubby wasn’t able to drive me to work I probably wouldn’t have made it in today.

Other than that, I love the cool weather since I can actually wear my sweaters and light scarves. Tomorrow night is my CPAP test so we’ll see how that goes. I am still losing weight- not a lot (maybe half a pound a week) but I’m pretty pleased at my progress so far. I had a slight setback the week my family visited (so. much. good. FOOD!) but even then gained less than I expected by being moderately careful. The weight loss should also help the sleep apnea. (Honestly, the weight loss should help EVERYTHING.)

I had my first allergy shot in a month, yesterday. First I had my flu shot (which went quite well) and an ant bite in the same week, then family in town, so that’s why the delay. It’s only a moderate reaction, so I’m glad about that. An eye doctor also opened right next door to my allergist, which is great timing since I picked up a nasty scratch in my line of sight on my right lens. It’s my bad eye so it’s not as bothersome as it could be, but still annoying. I am due for an eye exam anyway (it’s been 18 months) but still debating if I want new frames or not. I will definitely remember the progression lenses this time, though!

And speaking of all this medical stuff, I finally sorted out some things with my medical reimbursement card. I will not go into it too much here, since I am partially angry with the system and partially disappointed in myself. Basically, I could have saved on a bunch of out-of-pocket expenses. At least I am properly informed now, all late bills and fees are paid, and I can use the card for the rest of the year, but I find this sort of thing supremely frustrating.

I have been completely off my anxiety meds for a week now and it has been… rougher than I hoped. I did so well during the taper I thought that I was in the clear, but that is not the case. A combined new-grocery store (mild) anxiety attack and heavy nighttime traffic culminated in a teary breakdown on an unsuspecting hubby. I have to keep reminding myself to not keep this stuff bottled up- talking about it with hubby helps, and writing about it here. I may start seeing a new therapist, but overall I’m trying to keep my worries from triggering more anxiety. The irony is palpable.

In a way, being medicated for a year means that I now have to re-learn all my coping mechanisms for anxiety. I do feel like I better understand when I’m mildly depressed versus when I’m anxious, but my next big progress step will probably be putting anxiety in my category list on the side, here. Obviously, I’m not quite there yet.

In fun news, I had Monday off for Veteran’s Day and got lots of little jobs around the house caught up. It was a very relaxing and productive day- I could use a few more of those. I am also still casting around for holiday gift ideas- I really need to get on that. One of my neighbours already put up their Christmas decorations, which I think is just TOO EARLY. *grump*

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