Thursday, February 6, 2014

Trying not to stress about it

It seems like this issue with my inability to sleep with the CPAP machine has been overtaking most of the space in my head.  Last night I decided to sleep sans the machine and I fell asleep in about five minutes.  I remember my head hitting the pillow and then I was out like a light.  The truth is that I sleep so much better without the machine that is supposed to help me sleep better.  Ironic ain't it?  Two reasons keep me trying the machine.  First, it is incredibly dangerous for my heart and overall health to live with unregulated sleep apnea.  The research I have done has more than convinced me that I have to keep trying.  Second, I am going to have the gastric bypass surgery later in the year and if I can't sleep on my back, how am I ever going to recover after surgery?

This issue with surgery recovery has been really weighing on my mind a lot.  I know that, for many people, they no longer have sleep apnea sometime after the surgery.  Imagine, having this incredible surgery to have a healthier and longer life.  You're in the recovery room and all of a sudden you can't breathe because you wake up every time you fall asleep.  And the doctor tells you not to lay on your stomach because your incisions need to heal.  So you're lying there in a dark room, struggling with a CPAP machine that only keeps you up and prevents you from sleeping.  Your eyes hurt from being so tired but you Just.Can't.Sleep.  No matter what you do, you Just.Can't.Sleep.  Tears are falling from your eyes out of frustration in not being able to fall asleep without losing your breath.  This is what I'm going through right now.  I lay there with every good intention that this will be the night that I will fall asleep with the machine, even if it's just 15 minutes.  It never happens.  I'm talking never, ever.  

I decided to be proactive today.  Instead of sitting here in wonder, I decided to send a message to the doctor who approved me for the surgery.  I am seeing a pulmonologist next week, but I don't know if he can answer questions about the specifics on the surgery.  I know I'm being impatient, I completely own that.  Yet, the worry about what will happen after surgery is messing with my head so much that I just had to ask some questions to find out if I should worry or if I can relax a bit.  So here's what I asked the doctor in my message:

"Hi Dr. R,

I am currently participating in the Options program leading to a gastric bypass surgery.  I have a question I'm hoping you can help me with since I don't have a surgeon yet with it being too early in the process.  I was diagnosed with sleep apnea a couple of years ago, tried the CPAP machine but gave up because I just couldn't fall asleep.  However, I have decided to try again because I know how important it is to be on the machine.  I am still having extreme difficulty and cannot sleep on my back or side.  I lose my breath and wake up.  I have an appointment with the sleep clinic to see how I'm doing.  However, in regards to the surgery, is it possible to still have the surgery if I'm a tummy sleeper?  I'm just worried I won't be able to have it if I can't sleep on my back/side.  If you could provide me with some insight, I'd appreciate it.  Thank you."

So I sent it off with bated breath, hoping the doctor would help me feel better or at least alleviate the worry I have going on inside.  Here is his very detailed response:

"The condition or way you sleep should not interfere with surgery.  Thanks."

Okay.  Mr. Personality he is not.  I might look into whether or not I can contact one of the surgeons that actually perform the surgery just to be certain because his response left a lot to be desired.  He does not perform the actual surgery, but does the final approval for Kaiser members in the San Diego area that want to move forward with the surgery.  

These are the things that take up space in my head and make me want to eat when I'm left with more questions than answers.  And I have to admit that I really wanted to eat today.  Instead, I drank water.  Ho hum ... water.  It didn't give me quite the thrill that a scoop of ice cream does, but it shouldn't be doing that anyway.  Sorry I seem to be talking about all the CPAP trials and tribs lately.  It's just all-consuming for me because I'm very tired, physically and emotionally.  It has wiped me out and I feel non-functional lately.  I'm sure I'm handling things better than I think in my head but I'm just exhausted.

Water Challenge Day 23:  Drank 185 of 185 ounces


happyinca said...

Hi Kathy, that response to your question was interesting - LOL. Have you ever chatted with one of the PAs or nurse practitioners at a Kaiser Positive Choices clinic? There is a great one named Heather Scott who really takes time with her patients. She works out of Kearny Mesa Positive Choices, but I think she may go to other locations as well. I really feel for your struggle on this, you're trying really hard. Hopefully you'll find some answers soon.

Kathy said...

Unfortunately I don't have access to those PA's because I'm doing the bariatric program (I would if I was still doing Optifast). However, I am seeing a sleep specialist on Thursday. Hopefully something good will come out of that!

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