Sleep apnea? Crap! Or is it?

28 Mar

Sleep apnea? Crap! Or is it?

Truth be told there was a point during my journey to good health where I thought I would have a heart attack before too long. Physically, I am the size of two full grown males who themselves are also overweight … that’s a reality horrifying on its own. Add into that I had little to no impulse control and very much treated my body much like a fun house. I ate too much and what I did eat, it was pretty consistently a terrible diet. I drank soda almost twice daily and I drank energy drinks literally every day for the past six years. And, if I am at all honest, I enjoyed my whisky far too frequently (a 26 oz bottle over a weekend most weekends for several years … not a great idea). To make matters worse, I was having some pretty terrible sleep.

Since January I have changed a lot in my life. I cut out the frequent caffeine down to 1-2 times every couple of weeks or less. I eat well–by which I mean on the 80/20 scale of things, I eat shockingly well. I drink alcohol quite infrequently (though did have a good drunk on once in this time frame, but that pales in comparison to twice per week). Yet, despite controlling these things, I was still sleeping horribly. I’d wake up 2-4 times per night and I would find myself exhausted. My typical routine would be to go to bed at 9:30 pm because I knew I would wake up every two hours until around 7:30 am. That’s a horrible way to live especially when you add in a nine and a half hour work day (including the short commute). Despite knowing I was sleeping like crap, I was very much in denial that I had a sleeping issue. I very much thought it was my pre-diabetic state that was causing it all and that my medication would soon fix that. I was wrong.

There is some rationale to all of this. Back in 2002, I had a procedure to remove my tonsils, adenoids and removed some tissue from my mouth. The procedure is called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and it is to help with easing obstructed sleep apnea. I thought that because I had that procedure done, I wouldn’t have an issue going forward. As it turns out, I had more issues than I thought and as I gained weight they would only get worse.

On March 19th I finally went in for a sleep study after waiting several months and I slept. Not only slept but slept well. During it I learned that I needed to have a CPAP machine because I would stop breathing a few times per minute. It was startling news, but it was news I not only needed to hear but news I would benefit from.

For the past week, I have been sleeping with a CPAP machine. Despite all my Bane jokes, I have learned already to like it. I sleep soundly without rousing in the middle of the night. I have not fallen asleep on the sofa watching TV. I have not fallen asleep sitting at my desk at work when the tediousness of the job sets in. It has been rather remarkable how much energy I have too and people around me say I appear far more energetic and happy. I cannot begin to express how amazing it is to sleep once again and I encourage literally everyone to consult their doctor to see if they might need a sleep study.

Now, next up for me? The next class with the Weight Management Clinic and then a surgery date.

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