Monday, February 05, 2007

Sleeping with Bread: with Apnea and Archives


As much distaste as I have for being labeled, as much as I resist identifying myself as a SAHM mommy blogger, a Christian blogger, a dieting blogger, etc., there is just no getting around my struggle this week with sleep apnea. And so, I risk repeating myself and boring people and defining myself as "the sleep apnea, diet and exercise blogger" today as I Sleep with Bread by asking these questions.



In the last week, when did I feel most alive?

I've been doing Weight Watchers online for just over four weeks now. During that time, I've also been very consistent with my walking. The two combined have made for a decent weight loss and an overall feeling of health. To be able to walk almost three miles in just over 45 minutes feels great. It is still a physical challenge but far more easy than it was when I started. I think I am even carrying myself a little straighter these days and although I haven't lost that much weight, my body seems lighter and I go about my business. The company of other moms from Marley's class and other friends when I walk feeds my extroverted soul and gives me a sense of spiritual well-being as well as physical. Additionally, being out in nature refreshes me. I live in an ordinary Southern California suburb. The norm is rolling hills and beautiful weather. Unless we are getting some infrequent rain, we are usually blessed with a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees and pretty blue skies. What's not to love about that? Yes, I have definitely felt alive this week as I pursue better health. Of course, there is a shadow side to all of this...

In the last week, when have I felt most drained of life?

Hi. My name is Mary-LUE and I have sleep apnea. I've discussed the adventure that is sleep apnea in the past. I was diagnosed seven months ago and began CPAP treatment five months ago. The treatment helps. It really does help. However, there have been two periods where my allergies have acted up above and beyond what my current allergy treatment regimen handles. When that happens, the extra congestion makes it more difficult to breathe with my CPAP contraption on. I'm in the midst of one of those cycles and have only managed more than four hours of sleep on my CPAP machine 4 times in the last 24 days. That is not good enough.

Last Sunday I woke up and knew that I could not face the day. I stayed home from church and hid in bed most of the day. It isn't just a matter of feeling tired. Too many nights without my REM cycle sleep and I get by turn irritable and overly emotional. I might snap at you or burst into tears. I teetered back and forth on this sleep-deprived seesaw all week. Saturday, we took Marley to a college women's basketball game. My sister-in-law's boss has a daughter on the team. We thought it would be fun (it was) and that it would be good to show Marley that girls do play basketball since she is not lovin' her coed team. I crashed about 11 a.m. and went to go lie down for an hour not sure if I could make the game at 2:00 p.m. I did pull myself together but as we settled in to watch the game, I just wanted to cry. For no reason. Just cry. Arghh! I hate it because I know what is causing it and yet knowing doesn't stop what is going on.

I've been trying to resist wrapping every SWB post up with my big picture perspective but I cannot leave it with the emotional ball of mess that sleep apnea lobs at me. I do believe that it would have been worse if I weren't exercising and eating right. I know when the current allergens leave the air, I will go back to getting more hours of sleep on the machine. And, I am fortunate to have been diagnosed and given the resources to treat my condition. So, it sucks. It really, really sucks but it was worse and it could still be worse... but it isn't. I'm very grateful for that.



My posts detailing my diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea:

To sleep, perchance to breathe...

To sleep, perchance to breathe: a boring but informative update on my adventures in sleep apnea

To sleep, perchance to breathe: it's hard to strike a post in your jammies and electrodes.




For a list of other SWB bakers, you can go here.

15 comments:

ewe are here said...

I think the 'big picture wrap ups' might be a positive for your frame of mind as you struggle for regular sleep. And I agree, the walking and treating yourself as healthy as possible can only help.

Hang in there. Sadly, I understand what it's like to not be getting enough REM sleep at the moment (although not because of sleep apnea).

Beck said...

I had sleep apnea while I was pregnant with The Boy. It was not fun. I'm sorry that you have it all the time.

MarillaAnne said...

Goodness girl! I live with a man who has one of the worst possible cases of sleep apnea. You can grumble all you want. I'll relate!!

His allergies tried to go bronchitis in the fall. I tell you this: we'll move again if his allergies flair up that badly in the spring. I'm not willing to risk the man like that ...

You are right to eat better and walk like that. Billy usually sleeps better ... breathes more deeply on his own if he's been exercising.

When you come visit to see Grand Central ... do you know there's a story booth there ... uh er ;~) we can go walk together ... that's about the speed I go! That would be so much fun!

My Sleeping with Bread is up too

ttyl
pam

daisies said...

such beautiful photos!

the sleep apnea sounds horrible, you poor thing ... but the diet and exercise, i so relate : ) its feeling good now that i've gotten myself back to the gym!!

Mel said...

Oh my...what a hard thing to get to deal in....

Thank you for the post of where to find other SWB folks! I've read some awesome things....

And thank you for letting me be a part of SWB--even if I don't 'play by the rules'! ;-)

Em said...

Oh you poor thing... I can't imagine being so sleep deprived on a permanent basis. I hope you'll be breathing easier soon.

Aliki2006 said...

Like Beck, I had sleep apnea when pregnant with Tessa. It was horrible. I just can't imagine having to deal with it regularly.

I'm sorry...hugs going out to you!

atypical said...

I am hoping majorly that your allergies are giving you enough of a break that you are able to get some CPAP assisted sleep. Hugs and prayers headed your way.

Shari said...

I keep meaning to do Sleeping With Bread on Mondays. One of these days, I won't forget and I'll actually do it! LOL!

I love WW's. I think it's such a good, all-around diet, especially when combined with super healthy eating.

I'm sorry about our sleep apnea . . . that really does suck. I hope it improves. :-)

Mary-LUE said...

More thanks to everyone for their sympathies.

Beck & Aliki? Pregnancy Sleep Apnea? Yikes! Did they do anything for that?

Mary-LUE said...

Oh, I am dropping my steroid and adding an antihistamine to my regimen. So far, three nights in a row with 4 hours plus. We'll see how it goes.

V-Grrrl said...

I am so sorry you're suffering so much with the apnea/allergy combination. Considering the apnea, maybe you could get into an aggressive allergy treatment program (i.e. with shots)?

My son was born premature and was six months old before he even slept three consecutive hours, day or night. I became so sleep deprived that I reached the point where I couldn't sleep. It does make you psycho. There's a reason the FBI tries to end standoffs by making the criminals lose sleep. At some point, you'll do anything just to get some peace and rest!

Lamont said...

Mary,
I used to work 6pm to 2am and have my kids to be up with @ 6am - I totally understand the effects of to little REM sleep. I will be praying for you and hoping for happy sleeping dreams!
Tara

Julie Pippert said...

Ah, I am sorry. It's great that ther eis treatment that can help but it does really suck. I hope it has eased for you and you've gotten some more rest.

Good for you on the exercise and feeling better with that, and good for you doing so well with the program.

Take care!

allrileyedup said...

Sorry about the sleep apnea. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't sleep because that is my general approach to most problems.

Good luck with weight watchers! I did well with it when I was on it.

Also, I just read your comment on beck's post about the crazy astronaut and laughed for a long, long time. I would totally watch that Lifetime movie.