Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sleep Apnea: Insomnia at Full Throttle

Update 5:56am: Insomnia has proven to be the worst of my troubles tonight. I beat the depression into submission hours ago. I haven't fared so well with the insomnia. I had tried to go to sleep at 5am. I was all nestled sweetly inside my covers, CPAP mask strapped lovingly to my face like Ripley's facehugger, a blindfold over the CPAP mask to block out the early morning sunbeams that were bound to burst into my room any minute, and I managed to drift off to sleep for a moment when I was rudely awoken as I began choking for air. That was exciting. Sleep apnea is always good for fun and giggles. However, after your heart is pounding in your chest because you were suffocating it's hard to drift back into sleep. When the bird started chirping outside my window a few minutes later I knew I had lost the battle.

It is times like this that I do believe in a God because I am fairly certain he doesn't care for me much. All I need is to break out in boils and I could give Job a run for his money. I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I'm just being realistic. Most people have a problem or two to deal with. Mine are legion. Nothing short of there being a Supreme Being who has it in for me makes any sense.

I stop breathing once every 45 seconds. So I sleep with a CPAP set at maximum pressure. We tried to fix it five years ago. I had my uvula removed, my palette trimmed, my deviated septum undeviated, my tongue pulled forward, and my hyoid bone suspended to my Adam's Apple - I can't remember why that one was necessary. The operation was a success for 45 days. Then I was choking again. Now I'm actually worse than I was before the surgery. Since I'm on a roll here I'll share with you the three nifty options available to me to improve the situation. 1) Radiofrequency Tongue Base Reduction - where they use localized bursts of microwaves to burn mass away. Mmmm, what's on the menu tonight? 2) A tracheotomy - the ultimate fix for the problem that gives new meaning to talking out the side of your neck. And my favorite, 3) They break my face to move my whole freakin' jaw forward. Maxillary Mandibular Advancement is not guaranteed to work and would probably only succeed in changing how I look. With my luck, it wouldn't be an improvement.

So I'm going to keep using the CPAP and try to lose weight instead. I want you to be proud of me. After eating a pile of candy tonight I walked up and down the stairs really fast. Then I sat down in front of my computer and typed furiously. I think I've lost a few ounces. Huzzah! I'm on my way to a good night's rest any day now.