Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I actually do laugh at myself

Yesterday was such a busy day that I meant to post, but it just didn't happen.  I had two important Kaiser appointments.  One was the Lifestyle & Weight Management class.  If you are planning on going through weight loss surgery, one of the classes you are required to take in the beginning is this particular class.  They talk about portion control, planning meals, label reading and more.  You are actually given a sample meal plan to follow if you want to lose weight.  The dietitian brought in some of that rubber food that looks like the real thing but really just demonstrates what sizes are when trying to eat in a healthy manner.  It was a good class and I'm glad I went because I picked up some great tips that I can incorporate into my life beginning now.

The other appointment I had was to go to the pulmonary department and get instructions to start my next sleep study.  It's my third one.  I can't even express how much I'm dreading it because I just can't freakin sleep with the CPAP mask on.  However, I have to get on the machine.  One reason is the weight loss surgery requires it if I have a sleep apnea diagnosis.  The other reason is that, if I can manage it, I actually will sleep better.  At least I pray that is a result.  My problem is that I can't sleep on my back.   I will lay down and then, just as I'm falling asleep, I'll start to snore and then wake myself up.  So I generally resort to sleeping on my tummy.  That usually isn't a problem but, given that the gastric bypass is done on the tummy, I won't be able to sleep on it so I'll have to figure something else out.  If I'm being perfectly honest, my biggest fear around the CPAP machine is that I will be one of those people that just can't sleep with it no matter what.  However, I'm trying to take it a step at a time with that.

So, when I was in with the technician, I asked her if I could please use the nasal canal machine.  It just connects into your nostrils and does not have the gas mask.  Okay, so it's not really a gas mask, but it sure feels and looks like it.  She basically told me that she does not recommend that machine because it has a tendency to slip out of the nose and is a problem.  She asked me to please give another device a try and then go to that one after 6 months if I still want to pursue it.  I told myself that I would at least try what is recommended.  So there were two options - one with a mask covering your nostrils and one with a mask covering both your nostrils and mouth.  Sounds lovely, doesn't it?  I have to give a visual reference.  Below is a photo I had posted before I found of a person with a CPAP mask on that I found hilarious because it reminded me of Hannibal Lecter.

This mask is the one covering both your nose and your mouth.  The advantage of this machine is that you don't have to worry if you ever sleep with your mouth open.  However, my machine just covers my nose.  I have a lovely chin guard to wear that will keep my mouth closed.

Ready for a picture of what I will look like going to bed?  I know you're just dying to see it.

Are you sure you're ready?

This image will be one you won't be able to get out of your head. Ever.

Wait for it ...

Wait for it ...


Ha ha!!  Tell me that isn't hilarious!  I purposely tried to look like the man in the other picture with my eyes wide open.  When I showed it to a couple of other people today (I took it last night), we were laughing hysterically in howling laughter.  I just thought to myself, "Oh, that is attractive!"  It just seemed so ridiculous to me.  You can't even see the special chin strap, but that's just like the icing on top of the cake.  At least I'm laughing at myself ;-)

All kidding aside, there were moments when I got very sad as I was getting instructions on how to do the sleep study.  My sleep apnea is in the "severe" category, I believe the worst level there is.  There was a moment when I wanted to put everything back in the bag and run out of the room.  I wondered to myself if this is some sort of punishment towards me for years of having problems with overeating.  Did I do this to myself?  I just felt really, really bad in the moment.  I did remember, though, that this is a process and I am going to be just fine. The gastric bypass will really help with this, maybe even reverse the condition similar to what will likely happen with the diabetes.  I need to remember to breathe and pray that God give me strength through all of this.  I did try the machine last night and, after two hours of attempting sleep, I finally took it off so I could at least get some sort of sleep to be functional today.  I'm going to try again tonight, though.  I'm not giving up.  Besides, the technician said that there are lots of things they could do, even send me to a formal sleep study where they monitor me overnight.  So all is not lost and I don't have to think about it in such a black and white fashion.  I always said my goal was to be transparent here and I wasn't kidding.


Anonymous said...

I use the nasal pillows. Never tried a full mask. But after 15 months with nasal pillows don't think I could use a face mask. Not perfect, but I breath so much better at night. I sleep propped up on pillows with a towel under my neck.

Kathy said...

I wish they would have let me use the nasal pillow. I'm still having a hard time with the mask, but at least it's better than the first night.

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