Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Sleep Study

Several weeks back in a craft forum I belong to - one of the gals mentioned she was just tested for sleep apnea and that her results were positive. Some one else posted that she had it too......until there was about 15 gals who have sleep apnea. They described their symptoms and I thought........I have all of those, especially waking from snorts and being overly tired during the daytime even if I'd had 8 hours of sleep. So I mentioned it to my doctor the last visit and she gave me a script for the study. She said she was surprised at herself for not thinking to have me do this years ago - since sleep apnea can cause strokes and heart attacks and I have cardiomyopathy. It just never came up.

I had to be at the Sleep Center at 8:30 last night. There are three bedrooms, all are very homey and comfortable with regular beds ( awesome mattress!!) and pretty quilt comforters. I was impressed with how it was made to look more like a hotel room than a hospital room.

I was supposed to relax and read or watch TV for a while - didn't feel like reading so turned on the TV - they had cable but it was out and could only get 6 channels and NOTHING good was on. At 9:30 the tech began to attach wires to my body. There was one on each leg ( calf), one under my left breast, one on my chin, one on my belly, one on each temple, one on my forehead and about 5 on my scalp. Also had to wear a tubing device up my nose ( like one wears with an oxygen mask - but no oxygen was delivered) and a pulse oximeter that clips to your finger so they can measure oxygen being taken in.

This is the test I had done:
Polysomnogram. This test records several body functions during sleep, including brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through your mouth and nose, snoring, body muscle movements, and chest and belly movement.

I went to bed at 10 pm but it took me a while to actually fall asleep. I'd say a good 20 to 30 minutes. I woke up several times during the night. The first time was around midnight to use the bathroom ( had to be unhooked from a machine that registers everything but all the wires were hanging from me, felt very creepy.)
I woke myself up several times during the night with 'snorts'. Sometimes I was able to fall right back to sleep and a few times it took awhile.

I woke up one more time to use the bathroom and I could hear the tech talking to the man in the next bedroom ( there was only two of us last night) about his mask appliance. To alert her that I needed something, I was to take off the pulse oximeter and that shows up on the screen she is watching. Since she was in the next bedroom and not at the screen, I had to wait. It felt like a half hour or so and my bladder was ready to burst. I would close my eyes and try to go back to sleep but they were talking so loudly, that was impossible. Finally it got quiet and I assumed she returned to the screens and I removed the oximeter. She came in right away and said it was time to get up. I was stunned. I thought it was about 2 am and it was already 6:10 am.

The tests show positive for moderate sleep apnea. When I 'snort' - that's because I had stopped breathing and that's the body's way of waking you up to remind you to breathe. The tech said I did a lot of snoring during the night too. Sleep apnea usually occurs during dream states. She said I dreamt alot, although I don't recall any of them.

With sleep apnea - the tongue and soft palette collapse into the back of the throat causing obstruction. If you have a large uvula ( that hanging thingee in the back of the throat) that can also contribute.

I'll get the official results in about a week. From there it will be determined what type of treatment I'll receive. One is a CPAP - (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) - I believe it's a type of mask.

Another treatment is oral appliances - but I do NOT like the description of these - a tongue retaining appliance and a mandibular repositioning appliance. If I get my druthers, I'd druther have the mask.

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