Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Story so Far...part 2

I went back in to the doctor's.  This time, I was still not sleeping.  In fact, I was now able to take lengthy bike rides, early in the day, and have my sleep that night be WORSE than usual.  Who does this? 

The specialist who had finally diagnosed my osteoarthritis, just four months before both my hips were replaced in 2008, had told me that if I lost weight (50 pounds enough for you?) and exercised (daily walks and weekly 40 km bike rides?) that I would feel "fantastic".  I should have gotten it in writing.  I seemed to be doing everything correctly, but I was not getting better.  I was getting worse.  To the insomnia, I had added tremours, near agoraphobia, lack of sociability, intense spells of irrational anger, and what felt like blood sugar swings.

I was fnally sent for a sleep-lab which said that they couldn't see anything wrong.  I had 85% sleep efficiency (remember, I was on two prescription sleep meds!).  I am not sure what that means, but if my math is correct, that means in attempting to sleep for 8 hours, I was actually sleeping only 7.  That doesn't sound too bad, but I was waking up tired.  I was waking up in the middle of the night, frequently feeling angry.  I would pick fights at night that I would not have bothered with at all during the day.  And my brain never seemed to shut down. 

Before I was sent home in the morning, the nurse observing my sleep lab told me that  two things jumped out at her.  I was on a LOT of sleeping meds.  One seemed to interfere with my breathing.  She suggested that I start looking elsewhere for answers...endocrinology perhaps?

I love nurses.  It was a nurse who finally pushed my GP to send me to yet another specialist when I was at the point where I couldn't walk.

It was a nurse who got me started down the path that may finally be getting my health mysteries sorted out.

It was a friend and former nursing student who gave me some valuable leads which led to the 'rabbit trails' that have gotten me where I am.

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