Monday, January 28, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream...

Dunno if I’ll post this or not, but for sure I’m going to write it, “it” being my thoughts on sleep, or to be more accurate, on sleep apnea, with which we aging Boomers are being diagnosed more often than we were diagnosed as requiring tonsillectomies when we were kids, something I’d never have thought possible...

What the hell, I’m posting it.

DISCLAIMER: Please note, the pic is NOT of me. :)

I knew the definition of the word long before I could spell it, because I’ve had insomnia for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I discovered that blowing up balloons made me sleepy, and when I was about 10, desperate to get some decent sleep, I kept a cache of balloons beneath my bed. Midnight would find me sitting on the edge of my bed, shivering in the unheated upstairs of our house (we didn’t have central heating) in the icy Minnesota winter, blowing up balloons over and over, trying to get to sleep. It never seemed to quite do the trick, and the whole experiment ended suddenly one night when my older brother shouted from his room next door: “Jude! What the HELL are you doing?!?!?! No, never mind, don’t tell me ‘cause I don’t wanna know, but STOP RIGHT NOW!”

It’s a pain, being the younger sib.

On the plus side, I’ve never required much sleep. 5 or 6 hours out of 24, and I was always good to go...and go and go. Like the Energizer Bunny, I’ve always been a high energy woman, and I’ve always been able to (and still can, if the situation requires it) pull an all nighter without much trouble. Now that I’m old, though, I find that it takes me a lot longer to recover from pulling an all-nighter than it did when I was young.

Last spring when Alex got married, Katharine spent a week crashing on the chaise lounge in the corner of my bedroom. When the week was up, she said, “Mom, sometimes you snore, and you stop breathing so much when you sleep that it’s scary.” She made me promise to get evaluated for sleep apnea, and since there’s a strong family history, and since, more and more in the past couple of years, I’ve been so tired when I wake up that I can’t believe I’ve actually slept, I agreed to go get evaluated.

Which I did, a couple of weeks ago. And no big surprise, it turns out I have sleep apnea. Which means that there are two reasons that I’m so tired in the morning when I get up: first, I’m not sleeping at night, and second...for more time than I care to think about, it turns out I'm not breathing either. And I sort of like breathing, sooooooooooo...tonight I’m going back to the sleep lab to get hooked up to what my friend Ked (who has sleep apnea) calls his “Stayin’ Alive” machine...

Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother,
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.

Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’,

And we're stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive....

by the Bee Gees



Lisa :-] said...

Let us know how it goes...

Anonymous said...

If the doctor prescribes a CPAP machine do you also get a tattoo like the one in the picture?

dreaminglily said...

I'm freaked out my dad has it. Only because I know he'll NEVER go see a Dr. Sometimes I think I have it too.

Whenever I can afford it, I'd like to be tested...

And that better not be you, that tattoo really doesn't bring out the color in your eyes lol


Diane said...

our choir director has it.

Chris said...

Hmmmm if you have a midnight snack of chocolate and accidently wipe it on your facepiece, is that a "CPAP smear"?

ba-dum-dum Thank you, I'll be here all week, tip your wait staff!

I have the opposite problem. When they were testing me for the preventricular contractions which I turned out to have, no big deal, they also found I have brachycardia, that my heart slows to 20 something beats a minute when I sleep.

I hope everything turns out ok for you. I don't think I could sleep with a CPAP on in the first place.

Tammy said...

Whatever it takes Judi! You will be rested and feel great! I had to giggle at your brother's

Thanks for the movie reviews. I have been snowed in and have not left the house in a month.

That accident was way too close to you...whew! I hope they were ok. Dave slid this morning with 4WD, snow tires and studs. Mountain life will take getting used to.