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Friday, February 12, 2016

Medical Musings

My sister said my blogs are upbeat.  My "spiritual journal" and "therapy journal" are less so.  Maybe I will post this one and maybe I'll decide to keep my less upbeat thoughts to myself.  I certainly will not share it on Facebook!  So this is for my blog friends--and for the memory book I will do at the end of the year.

I don't feel upbeat today.  Last night was the first night of my Novasom sleep study.  I was prepared to lie awake all night but I did better than that.  I feel tired but I don't feel any worse than after other nights of insomnia.  An earlier oxometry test showed that I have mild to moderate sleep apnea.  That is not really news because I know that I snore and need a new sleep appliance.  By doing this more thorough sleep study I may have a chance of  health insurance paying for a rather expensive snore guard.

Last night was an adventure in being a bionic woman with a breath sensor, chest sensor, and finger sensor all plugged into a gadget on my wrist.  The worst part was the first hour when a voice said at least five times "Check finger sensor" or "Check breath sensor."  Sometimes it needed to be plugged in again; sometimes I could find nothing wrong.  It was very hard to get comfortable but I did get the necessary four hours of sleep even if it was in 30-60 minute snatches.  This morning I unplugged all the cords and replugged the gadget to a charger which sent my data to Novasom.  One night down; two to go--maybe, unless I just forget the last one. .

If this blog has a theme, it is living in retirement and the changes that makes in our lives.  We are trying to get our medical and dental issues done before we go on Medicare and while we still have Notre Dame's good insurance.  So in the last month, I have had a physical, mammogram, bone density scan, dental appointment with the x-rays that I always try to avoid, and the snore guard consultation.  Much of this brought good news with no need for biopsies or more medication and even no need for the crown that my dentist has discussed for years.

But the sleep apnea is an issue and how much it is related to the insomnia I often experience is not known.  I know that insomnia causes depression and that depression causes insomnia.   I can feel  pretty low after not sleeping or after taking any sleep medication, prescription or over the counter.  Maybe a new sleep appliance will help.  I hope so.

I am often glad I do not have the commitment of teaching each day because that took a lot of energy. I do what I need to do, sleep or not, and try to remember something I read and noted: "Courage isn’t the absence of fear—it’s being afraid but doing what you need to do anyway."  One of the biggest issues in insomnia is the fear of not sleeping and coping with the tasks of the next day.

In the middle of the night I pray, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee."  It occured to me that that text comes to me in King James English and with a sexist pronoun!  Never mind.  It is a heartfelt plea in the wee hours of wakefulness.

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One day and night later--all went much better last night.  It really is an amazing system--and far better than going to a medical center for a sleep study.


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