Sleep Apnea — Beginning the Journey back to REM Sleep

It’s no secret. The sound of my snoring resembles a freight train rumbling through the house. Ladies glisten; they do not sweat. Ladies sing while they sleep; they do not snore.

Last night I had a sleep study done at our local hospital. It is a foregone conclusion that I will need a CPAP device as I stop breathing for as much as 40 seconds before my brain can arouse my lungs to function (or however one says such things). Lots of good info on Wikipedia about sleep apnea.

The first thing I did after arriving home this morning (and taking a nap, the 5:00 a.m. wake up was a bit early for me) was to do the necessary research needed to educate myself further on sleep apnea. The effects of it can truly scare you. Believe me, my family history is enough to make one sit up and take notice. My sister dropped dead of a heart attack at 64, my mom had CHF, both my father’s parents suffered fatal heart attacks before age 68 and both my parents snored loudly enough to rattle the windows on our 1960s camper.

I won’t receive a true doctor’s report for a couple weeks. Then my rheumy will set me up with another night in the sleep lab with Leo the technician. According to sleep apnea information, that lab adventure will fit me with the CPAP device, titrilate the air flow until I receive enough air to ensure true REM sleep, and then I will receive a home device. The only thing the technician told me that I can share is that I never went into REM sleep despite being asleep for over 8 hours. He also gave me a pep talk about what the CPAP will do for me including increasing short term memory capabilities as well as lengthening my life span.

My goal for change, for dramatic life change, is the end of February 2013. This should give  ample time for doctor appointments, CPAP sleep study, and a couple weeks for the CPAP to be in use. Over the next couple months I will keep a detailed sleep diary but probably won’t bore my readers with many of those details except fatigue to energy ratios and such.

It’s probably important to get the basic facts of me and who/why/health insurance and all that out there but I won’t say much except I have Medicare, I am under 60 yoa, a female, around 30 pounds overweight (according to doctor) and my blood pressure is a bit elevated. I have fibromyalgia. I take Lyrica and Tramadol. Not much else. I also had lumbar fusion in 1988 and it still holds my spine together (as long as I’ve got my Orange Crush).

Now for the big news about sleep apnea studies.

Playing the didgeridoo helps with overcoming sleep apnea. There is scientific proof. This is the most exciting thing since sliced bread. I get to learn to play a didgeridoo! I’ve done a bit of research this afternoon and located a great online resource LA Outback, an honest to god bricks and mortar resource in, duh, Los Angeles. Understand, for me, a southerner, LA to me signifies the state of Louisiana so I clarify for my southern friends.

LA Outback‘s website contains a wealth of information about how to buy a didgeridoo, what type fits what whatever … and, were I to live on the other US coast, they would give me free lessons. Since a decent didge costs over $100, I will have to wait until post-holiday gift giving budget busting month to purchase one. I can’t wait to have Rob film me playing a didgeridoo. I will become the talk of the neighborhood in this tiny rural southern town — maybe I’ll sit on the front porch of this 100 year old house, playing the didgeridoo while my grandsons and their little neighborhood buddies inexpertly climb the dogwood trees and subsequently fall into the ferns.

A quick internet perusal of didgeridoos and sleep apnea illustrates how far outside of the curve I am, apparently LA Outback has been on The Doctors to talk about didgeridoo doo doo wap. I don’t watch daytime (or nighttime for that matter) television.

The Didgeridoo Nana.

I am certain this will be the only art studio in eastern NC with not only a Dead Mule but also a didgeridooing artist.

*not a paid advertisement, just thought I’d back up my information for ya’ll to see.

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