Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sleep Study Follow-Up Fail

I wish I could get this sleep stuff right. I felt like I failed my my sleep study, and now I feel like I failed the follow up appointment today.

I had to wait a while before going in this time. I had lots of time to get anxious about the results.

It turns out my calculations were pretty close. I slept for 218 minutes, less than four hours. I slept in two "shifts", one not long after I went to bed, and another early morning.

During the study, I had absolutely no REM sleep, which makes sense, because I didn't remember dreaming, and I usually remember my dreams. (Or at least I have a vague sense that I had dreams.)

The doctor also said that I didn't move much while I was actually asleep, although I moved a lot while I was awake. This is very unusual.

I had a few instances of hyponea, where I didn't breath very deeply, and twice I actually stopped breathing.

This is the part where I "failed" the follow up appointment.

The doctor said technically I had sleep apnea, but it was very mild. But sleeping with a CPAP machine might help, and they could do a titration study to get me started.

How did we get on to sleep apnea and CPAPs so quickly? Before I ever took the study, I looked up sleep apnea, and it just didn't seem to fit. No morning headaches, no waking up gasping for air and I really don't snore that much.

They measured my oxygen levels all night, and I never went below 90%, which is considered normal.

I'm convinced that sleep apnea isn't the answer, or at least not the whole answer. I felt like they didn't get to capture any of the really weird stuff. Like when I wake up sweaty and feel like I've been exercising. Or when I thrash my head around and kick off the covers. Or when I make weird moaning noises. Or all the intense dreaming. (I've had more and more people tell me how weird it is that I dream so much.)

He said "based on my history" that sleep apnea seemed to make sense. I'm worried that's code for "you're fat, so it must be sleep apnea."

(Interesting side note - Here's a good piece on the link (or lack of) between weight and sleep apnea. It focuses mostly on the effects of gastric bypass.)

I feel like I didn't say enough. I mean, I did mention most of this stuff, but I don't think I did a good job of getting my points across. The doctor asked if I had more questions, but my mind was blank, and I said no.

The doctor did say they would monitor my sleep without the CPAP for a couple of hours to try to find out more about my REM sleep. But I feel like they haven't really found the real problem.

So I'm going to call back and see if I can ask a few more questions.

CPAP or not, I have another study scheduled for Friday, February 27. This time, I won't have work the next day.


Suna said...

They most definitely need to watch you sleep longer. I think your instincts are probably right. Keep advocating for yourself and don't let them pigeonhole you because of the weight issue.

SpinalCat said...

You wouldn't happen to be on any meds that cause "vivid dreams," would you? Lexapro made me have horrible nightmares all the time and sometimes wake up screaming. About not being able to sleep at the lab- same thing happened to my mom.