A few weeks ago I met with my doctor about my weight loss. She and I discussed how the Phentermine was going, how my overall progress was going, and what some next steps would be. She also mentioned that she wanted me to be part of a sleep apnea test, on the off chance that I might have it.
I’ve never had any symptoms of sleep apnea: no waking up gasping for breath, no snoring (well, not much), no nasal/sinus congestion (unless I have a cold), and no sleeping on my back. I wake up feeling rested and alert. So why did she want the test? Because of my problem with losing weight. Apparently one of the side affects of sleep apnea is that it can cause people to have trouble losing weight. I had no idea! I’d always heard that obese people can develop sleep apnea, but not the other way around, that sleep apnea could in fact contribute to obesity.
So the first step was going to an informational meeting where the head of pulminary medicine discussed what sleep apnea was, the treatments, and what the test would be like. Luckily, Kaiser’s first phase is to have patients take the machine home and sleep in their own bed – no going to some strange place for a “sleep study.”
Step two happened yesterday – I had to go to a quick 20 minute orientation about how to use the machine. There were three straps – one for around my middle, one for under my arms, and one for around my hips/belly button area. Then there was a finger sensor as well something to insert into my nose. Some of it had to be taped in place. The nice thing was that we didn’t have to go to bed at any certain time, nor did we have to worry about turning the machine on or off.
So I got ready for bed and got the machine and all the parts set up. Click the most unflattering photo ever if you want to see a closer image. Be warned, it’s not pretty!
(Seriously, did I just post that awful photo for the world to see?!)
As I mentioned, I sleep on my stomach, and soon after my head hit the pillow, I started to feel sort of suffocated. The nasal tube was making me feel like I had no airflow, but I tried to just get over it. Finally, I was so anxious/claustrophobic that I yanked it out, my heart beating a mile a minute. Then I went into the bathroom and told myself, “don’t be a baby. Put it back in and just deal with it. Go to sleep and it will be over. It’s only one night!” I tried, I really did. But I still felt that suffocating/can’t breathe feeling and my mind was racing, and after quite a while I just said, “F it. I don’t have sleep apnea, so there’s nothing to measure. Why am I going to put myself through this for nothing?!” And I took off the whole machine and put it back in its case.
The entire night I felt like such a failure for not being able to hang, and I slept pretty poorly. By morning, I was fine with my decision because I know that I tried to stick it out. I rushed around the house getting read to return the machine by the 9am deadline, and returned it without much fuss.
Later in the afternoon I got a call from the sleep study unit and the woman asked me what happened, and I explained the entire situation, including the fact that I didn’t think I had sleep apnea. She responded with, “Yes, I can confirm that. I was able to get about an hour’s worth of data, and you don’t show any signs of sleep apnea.” Which is a relief.
But it wasn’t a total loss.
While I had a pretty crappy night’s sleep, the rest of today was absolutely amazing. It was the type of day that I hope to have everyday this summer. I woke up, made a good breakfast (even though it was on the go), met up with BeautyJunkie824 and her sons to take a walk around Lake Elizabeth with Sofi in tow. We had so much fun, and we got in some exercise, too. Then I was able to get my brows threaded; I can’t explain the joy of having perfectly groomed brows in my world. And then I met my dad for a swim. I spent some time catching up with my mom, then with my sister and nieces. Made a nice dinner (which you’ll see in tomorrow’s WIAW post), and talked to my uncle who lives in Michigan. I even had time to cut some roses from my backyard garden to make a new centerpiece for my dining table: