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Sunday, March 11, 2018

I bet a furry cpap would actually work really well

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I can't sleep. 😕 I skipped a benadryl dose today, which you'd think would be a tiny thing since I'm on twice a day zyrtec, but my sinus went into overtime just before bed and now I have one of those throbbing headaches that sharply accentuates my awareness of every breath through my CPAP mask. So now I'm waiting for the benadryl to work, hopefully I'll be able to use that tonight. I'm in the middle of doubling a med dose that can make apnea worse, so if I sleep without the machine I'm risking not only poor sleep, but everything associated with my OSAT dropping into the 70s will ramp up my risk for heart strain and the resulting morning headache, not to mention the nightmares that sets off.

How many people die each year from sleep apnea? Is there any way to determine sleep apnea or sleep apnea related deaths in a year?

Yes, you can die from sleep apnea. Carrie Fisher did.

19 Celebrities with Sleep Apnea

There are different kinds of and causes for apneas, and evidence for mine goes back to a car accident I had at 19. I very likely had concussion and possible brain steam injury, with most of the scarring and pain located at the base of my skull and the top of my spine. My sleep history is alarming. I stopped sleeping more than 2-4 hours a day for about 2 decades because I was so terrified of waking up from the worst nightmares ever to wildly racing tachycardia that finally had to be surgically corrected. I described sensations that had a doctor sending me to seizure testing, which turned out normal. I grew so fearful of medications not letting me wake up that I stopped taking them completely, choosing to live with excruciating pain for several years. I finally reached a point where the apnea became so bad just during a short nap that I was unable to stand and had to crawl for several minutes before I could regain control of my body and orient enough to function. How I never had strokes in my sleep is anyone's guess, because my blood pressure goes insanely high while that is going on, despite regular blood pressure medications and otherwise healthy lifestyle.

In short, I am very high risk for not waking up one day. My CPAP machine cannot force me to breathe with this kind of apnea, it can only encourage it and keep my oxygen levels high enough to keep my brain from failing so quickly, and hopefully make it easier to keep healing. Doctors have told me this kind of apnea can increase brain dysfunction and damage, and even though by regular standards I stop breathing far less than other apnea patients, I simply don't restart breathing as quickly as they do. I literally have reached the point a few times where I was very close to not waking up at all, and my body was fighting as hard as it could trying to get me to wake up and just BREATHE.

I'm really liking 'getting my brain back' this last year, and I'm especially liking sleep nowadays. I still don't usually sleep more than 5-6 hours a night, but it's a much healthier sleep than I've had in decades. I can tell I'm handling more activity and stress than I used to be able to handle, and I last a little longer before I hit my fatigue wall.

It would be easy to just toss the mask aside on nights like this, but I'd rather feel my sinus calm down and airway open back up again, and then start over with the mask. I feel safe with a mask on my face. I don't panic in my sleep very often any more. My general anxiety level has come down a bit, and the nightmares are nearly gone now. And looky that, writing this out gave the benadryl time to kick in. Laterz.


Monday, February 12, 2018

wizard level health management

Tossing this one over here. I probably put way too much of this stuff on Pinky blog.

The Good- I got boosted to moderator on my fave game server this weekend. 😍

The Bad- I think I've overshot my tolerance level for Nick Jr. Can't wait for snow days to stop happening.

The Ugly- Currently overlapping tamiflu and z-pack, doubling all my antihistamines (zyrtec- long acting H1, benadryl- short acting H1, pepcid- H2), requested inhaler, hopefully that gets filled tomorrow. Crazy weather changes and living in cedar/juniper country brought a pollen burst upon all the flu/crud/cold suffering in my area and there are alerts going around now about asthma can kill in these conditions. Lungs are clear but bronchials squirting like lawn sprinklers reacting to the pollen and I'm racing to stay ahead of all the wet in there, crossing my fingers I don't wind up on pred. Can't take cough meds, so I'm doing what I can not to cough, but the resulting upper torso fibro flare is real and today was charley horse hell around my entire ribcage for awhile, literally couldn't move for about an hour and just stood around attempting to stretch some of it out without triggering it worse. Ear pain has reached suckage level. Throat feels punched. Eye slime is starting to dry up, so that's a good sign. Thrilled I never once developed a fever while influenza B was active in my household.

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Tomorrow I make two trips into town, which means 80 miles of driving. Really hoping Wed and Thurs are real days off for me. I desperately need to decrust my kitchen floor and reclaim a few surfaces. Have started spring/summer planning aka it's time to watch the super sales and replace clothes wearing out. I'm still in a lot of the clothes I got before Bunny was conceived, which means most of it is over 5 years old, and as frugal as I am, I've been wondering for several months now how a particular pair of jeans hasn't poofed away like dust.

Pain management needs to happen, but I'll be taking it much slower this year. Neuro said I could double gabapentin as needed since it's a baby dose (does NOT work like tylenol or ibuprofen or opioids), but we all know I won't just sporadically do that on whims after what happened last year when he tripled my dose and I had to cut that back down. I'll be touching base with the arm/hand surgeon in March, hoping to wind back up in occupational therapy on arms for another try. Of all the things I've been assessed for, no one has actually looked at arthritis in shoulder, so this could get stupidly painful in therapy. I'm keeping range of motion ok, but losing strength and grip through the range of motion, and the pain is referring like crazy last few months. Will also be assessing feet around that time, although neuro says indication is arthritis coming on in hip joint and referring to feet. This is on top of neuropathies I've had for years from injury and flares, so I'm wrapping my head around getting a controlled burn/crash plan in place for the rest of my aging. Totally dreading going back on full meds. Most of the time I'm too busy to think about this stuff, but experience keeps tapping me for attention and reminding that putting it off too long will mean more work getting control over it later.

Have to stay healthy! I breezed through gallbladder removal recovery and a house full of flu victims last 4 months, so it's actually pretty exciting that I have gotten such good control over my health planning that I'm not the one dragging everyone else down for a change. Water, proteins, raw veg, good sleep, and taking the time to move around and keep up my stretches and nerve glosses, was even able to start walking a bit again this month. Keeping the allergens down in a house full of people has been challenging but I'm a washaholic with anything laundry, Scott compulsively vacuums, and we have HEPA air purifiers in several rooms. I know my CPAP has made a huge difference since I breathe through more filters in my sleep. Pre and probiotics are a big deal, too. Healthy gut, healthy body. As long as I control my glucose levels and keep up all the rest, I can take fewer pills, less impact on my liver and kidneys, faster healing, and now I've leveled up to fewer actual sick days for the first time in a decade, and that's with a small child bringing every germ from school into the house. I worked really hard getting here.