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Picture taken by my friend Cyndi Leos....thank you Cyndi.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2nd Sleep Study with CPAP: Felt Like Panic In A Cockpit...And I'm No Pilot...

It has been a busy week. Tuesday, my husband and I were gone all day doing errands and finishing our Christmas stuff.  Tuesday night was the 2nd Sleep Study with the CPAP machine (I will describe later in this post). Wednesday when I returned from the Sleep Study, I had another doctor appointment with the Dermatologist to burn off some barnacle sun damage on my hands and slice off a mole/blister looking thing on my upper chest.  Afterward, I picked up my husband from the car dealer, had lunch, and finished our Christmas stuff.

When we got home I was too tired to do anything.  I used the last of my energy to cook dinner and hit the sack.  Today I had a hair cut appointment at 10am, more errands and then an appointment with the Nutritionist at 2pm.  GOOD NEWS!!!  I LOST 5 POUNDS!!!!  She was very impressed with my food diary, my exercise, and weight loss.  She told me to stay on track and call me if I need her..then we agreed to touch base in January...

2nd Sleep Study with the CPAP Machine:

I had not spoken with my doctor about the first results, other than being told I have moderate sleep apnea.  A few days before the 2nd test, I called the Sleep Center and the manager explained I also had restless leg syndrome.  She told me I stopped breathing 26 times per hour and my oxygen went down to 74%.  Pretty scary... She asked me if I was tired all the time.  I told her I did not have the energy of my youth, but I did not usually nap during the day...

Same as last time, I was asked to come at 10pm.  They were BUSY!  I had to wait in the lobby instead of going straight to a room.  Another woman and her husband were waiting.  She spoke in a whisper, guess she was afraid of disturbing anyone. Her husband was waiting to find out what time to pick her up in the morning. She told me she did not snore, or have sleep apnea, but her oxygen drops to 85% while she sleeps and she said it made her red blood cells increase.  (I googled this and discovered a drop in the oxygen levels in the body will trigger the kidneys and liver to release ERYTHROPOIETIN, which makes more red blood cells.)  She told me to check with my doctor on my next visit.

Our conversation was cut short when I was called to my room.  The young lady asked me to get myself ready and my male tech would be in shortly.  GREAT!  Guess I will be sleeping in a bra tonight...I said to myself...

I had plenty of time to prepare, go to the bathroom, and take some pics of my room....

This is most of the stuff they hook or strap on me...there were two long wire thingies hanging behind the door.
    Peaceful photos on the wall, nice furniture...


Dresser and nice plasma TV on the wall...the "how are you feeling at check in" questionnaire, my water bottle, backpack, and my jeans.

Finally, my tech comes in.  He apologizes for taking so long and tells me he is almost done with another patient, so I read some of my latest James Patterson novel... I look at my phone and it is 11:05 pm ...
This is going to be a long night...I can feel it.

Fifteen minutes later he comes in and apologises again.  He is holding four masks in plastic bags.  I ask how they are sterilized in between patients, as I am grossed out thinking of someone elses nose, mouth, bodily fluids being on the masks.... He assures me they are sent out and sterilized.  I am still uneasy...

First he suggests we try on the various masks because he has been forewarned by the nice nurse manager I spoke with earlier, about my claustrophobia issues.  He shows me the first one for people like me, then casually says, "Most people don't like the air shooting up their nostrils"....

'YA THINK???

I told him I would try it on...

Believe it or not, it was pretty comfortable...he had different nose pieces depending on the size of the various nostril holes.  It sits right above the mouth, even though in the picture, it looks like it is IN my mouth.

He asked if I wanted to feel it with the air?

This is the machine which is a combination humidifier and air.  He told me he will increase the air pressure during the night as I need it.  I don't know about this...

He started the machine with a light flow of air and I opened my mouth to tell him I did not like it and all the air went out my mouth, making talking difficult and giving me the sensation I couldn't breath, so I ripped it off my face and he lunged to assist me...

I rejected number #1 mask and moved on to #2....

When he connected #2 to the air machine, the air kind of waifed over the bridge of my nose and sneaked down and up my nostrils.  It didn't seem too bad, so we put that one aside as a "maybe"...

I have no pictures of #3 and #4 because I would not keep them on my face long enough for him to take a picture, let alone turn on the air.  #3 captured my nose and was too claustrophobic right away.  #4 had a thicker strap across my forehead and chin and despite him adjusting it, I felt like someone had me in a head lock, so I ripped it off my face immediately.  He started sweating at this point and ask politely if I would allow him to help me on and off with the masks from now on...

By this time it was close to midnight, and I am still not hooked up.  I selected #2 and he began the hooking up procedure.  He used to be a diesel mechanic before he decided he hated the dirty fingernails and broken knuckles.  He decided he might want to be a nurse, but would start off as a medical assistant to see how he liked it.  He LOVES his work.  He also has sleep apnea and has worn the #2 mask for two years and has so much more energy and better sleep.

He is very precise and uses a red grease type pencil to mark my face and scalp before he places the pads and leads on me. Both of us are sweating now, and I ask if he can open the door (the hallway is always cooler than the rooms for some reason) and he gratefully opens the door.  He asks if I mind if he turns down the AC.  I tell him "GO FOR IT!"

Finally I am all hooked up. The manager also told him about my blister from the "ET light" so he gave me another type which was fine and I had no problems. I ask for my extra blanket and he asks if I want the fan.  I told him the room feels good, so I am OK.  He tells me if I change my mind to buzz him and he will bring it in.  He is very kind and patient.

As last time, he turns out the lights and goes to the monitoring room and will call me on the intercom to test all the connections, having me move my eyes, limbs, etc.  I am not sure if it was the dark or the mask, but all of a sudden I began to panic.  I felt like I was wearing an oxygen mask in the cockpit of a fighter jet and I am no pilot!  I don't even like to fly!!! Quickly, I  buzzed him and frantically announced, "THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK..." 

"I'll be right there Donna..." and in a flash, he had turned on the lights and was removing the mask, I had already pulled away from my face...

"We're out of options here young lady (told 'ya he was kind), if you can't do it, you just can't do it... a lot of people cannot handle it..." 

I was NOT going to drive home at whatever time it was, after getting all hooked up.  I asked him if we could try #1.  After he gets me connected to the machine he warns me he is going to turn on the air...and I brace myself.  I was OK.  I had to keep talking to myself in my mind, making myself calm and telling myself I AM going to do this...

I tell him I am OK.  He turns off the lights and shortly he is giving me my directions.  All systems are GO, so the rest is up to me...

I popped my cholesterol pill with a sip of water, put my ear plugs in and tried to settle in...I have no idea how long it took me to get to sleep.  It seemed like forever.  I coughed once and the air gushed out my mouth, but this time I shut my mouth quickly!  I had worried about keeping my mouth shut during the night, because normally I am a drool-er because my nose gets so stuffy at night.  He had told me I would probably be fine as the machine has a humidifier in it, but if I opened my mouth, he had a chin strap he could put on me...NO FRICKING WAY!!!!  So I propped up my chin with my pillows and hoped for the best...

Around 4am I woke up coughing and momentarily freaked because the pressure of the incoming air felt more like a fire hose of air than the gentle breeze I feel asleep with... Immediately, I heard my tech asking if I was OK, and then before I could focus my eyes, he was in the room beside my bed.

He told me he could stop the study then if I wished, but I did not feel like driving home at 4am and really wanted to return to sleep.  Surprisingly, I feel right back to sleep.  I don't remember any dreams... but he told me the next morning I did reach REM sleep.

Now I schedule a follow up appointment with my doctor and get a script for the CPAP.  Here's hoping between my current insurance and my new insurance, I won't have to pay too much, because I really noticed a HUGE difference in how I felt, especially in my legs.  During the night, my legs feel weird, tingly, like they are going to sleep and I HAVE to move them.  When I first walk in the morning, my legs feel weak and heavy.  My nose is always stuffed and I often have a dull headache.

Another look at my "big hair" from the "goop" for the head leads...and I am so relieved to have this test behind me!

I will keep you posted on what type machine (if I can afford it) I select, but I am leaning toward the nasal one I ended up with.  I know it will take some time to get used to, but I believe the results and benefits will far out weigh the hassle.

10 comments:

Mari said...

Good for you for sticking it out. It sounds like it's going to be a good thing!

Thisisme said...

Crumbs, Donna, such a lot to have to go through. What a pain! I suppose if it all helps you with your sleep problems, then it will all have been worth it. (Love the photo of your big hair by the way!). Still, good news about losing the 5 lbs. Well done, and keep it up! Have a good weekend.

DJan said...

I hope you get it and use it, because I think you will feel so much better. As I said before, my BIL uses one and it makes all the difference in his oxygen levels. Yayy to you for getting through this really tough night!

That corgi :) said...

thanks for the update about it Donna; I am glad you stuck with it and that you could tell a difference with only one night of sleep; imagine how great you will feel with every night of sleep a good one! WTG on the five pounds! Keep up the good work!

betty

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

you sound like me with the claustrophobia and ripping things off. like me, when you're done with something, you're DONE! i have restless leg syndrome but take pills at night to help. the CPAP will probably help with weight loss, too.

ron uses a BI-PAP machine now and our isurance paid all but $27 per month for 12 months, and then it was paid for.

i probably need a sleep study but i am afraid.

Donna said...

I am claustrophobic too, and when I went throught the sleep study, I told them at the very begining that I wouldn't be able to wear the mask. So they set me up with a speciality dentist who works with my sleep doctor. I have the sleep apnea appliance that goes in your mouth, and it worked above what they expected in my sleep study wearing the appliance. My husband is getting the same thing as he couldn't wear the mask either. Good luck, and I know it will help you feel better.

gayle said...

I knew you would be able to do this!! My husband uses one and it does take getting use to. He thinks his air presure needs to be adjusted now. I love that he isn't snoring anymore.

Chatty Crone said...

I knew you'd be able to do it too - hope it works out that you can get the one you want and need. You will feel better fast.

Love,
sandie

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Congrats for getting through the ordeal and I hope the machine helps!

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CPAP Machines