Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

August 27, 2013

Diagnosis: Murder!

Filed under: fitter/happier — Tags: , , — lexifab @ 4:51 pm

(NB: murder is not the diagnosis. I have not been diagnosed with murder, which is any case is not a medical condition. I apologise unreservedly for my attention-grabbing and nearly irrelevant title.)

The sleep news is in, and it’s not too bad, if not exactly good. “Moderately severe” sleep apnoea. Even though I am not suffering from the sort of arrested breathing that keeps a bedmate awake at night in tense anticipation that the next breath may never come, I’m still not doing it right. I vaguely recall there’s an idiom to the effect that a simple task is as easy as breathing. It turns out there’s a sliding scale involved, and I’m on the tilting end of it.

For yet to be determined biomechanical reasons, my breathing during slow wave sleep is inefficient. Which is to say, during non-REM sleep I wake up for brief periods as often as a few times every minute. The waking is rarely shocking enough to bring me fully to consciousness. I don’t open my eyes, I don’t remember waking up. My blood-oxygen saturation is low – like “badly out-of-shape sitcom character hyperventilating through a Zumba class” low.

Every morningĀ I wake up after what feels like it should have been a full night’s sleep and I am already dopey-tired. It takes a couple of hours before I am fully awake on the days that I manage to clear that bar – there aren’t too many of them at the moment – and by lunchtime my head is spinning and I am ready for a nap.

You can see all this on the ECG readouts from the sleep lab. My sleep pattern looks eerily like the graphical representation of a disk drive in urgent need of defragmentation. You can also see it in my face, where the usual bags under my eyes have gone to a luggage wholesaler and picked up some really good deals on eye-bags. Or something. I dunno if my analogies are making much sense at the moment.

I’ve started preparatory treatment to clean upy sinuses as a first step – steroid sprays and saline drenching every day for a month, followed by another consultation to decide on next steps. Which could be more sleep monitoring, a CPAP mask designed to force air down my throat, a mandible retainer designed to force my jaw forward (opening up my oesophagus) or surgery to correct the deviated septum I’ve had all my life.

Yeah, none of those options sound great, do they? But they’re all better than feeling hammered all day every day.

So, onward. Pass me the squeeze bottleĀ for nasal saline injections and stand back, yo.


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