An interesting experience over the last six days. I am using my machine more and more each night, and sleeping longer and longer each bout. I still wake up once or twice during the night, but that’s better than 3-4. In terms of “incidences”, my AHI index of 124 which is way beyond severe apnea, is down to less than 5 (earlier it said .5, but that was an email typo of my results). So that’s the sleep side, which is the primary goal.
However, I have had fewer foggy incidents during the day too. My head is generally clearer. I have felt a bit light-headed a few times later at night, and my sleep cycle is still off. I did better the first week, better sleep routine, this past few nights I’ve been back to going to bed too late and getting up later in the morning. Which then messes me up during the day, particularly if I compensate with caffeine or more fluid intake after 9:00 at night. In other words, the sleep machine doesn’t cure having a stupid sleep routine that can still screw me up. Or, as Andrea puts it, one week won’t cure your sleep deficit of 47 years. Personally, I’m looking into declaring sleep bankruptcy, starting fresh. 🙂
At the same time, however, I have blood pressure issues from before. About 3 years ago, I was sick and jacked myself full of cold remedies for a week. By the weekend, I had a serious sore ear, and thought it was an infection or something. Nope, glands were fine too. I did however have a BP of 165/100 or so. Stroke range. Got the meds going, can’t take decogestants cuz part of how they work is jacking BP, and the meds keep me pretty even-keeled at 120/80ish. Sometimes 125, sometimes 85, but most of the time it is 120/80 plus a point or two.
However, a friend who was doing great with similar machine noted her BP was way down after a month. So I started tracking it immediately, worried about it going too low. Had a small checkup at doctor’s the other day (with an awesome doctor, surprisingly, too bad I probably can’t keep her there, it’s a teaching clinic), and my BP was down to 114/80 and 111/78. So we’re changing dosage of one of my meds. Definitely an encouraging sign.
There’s also an improvement I think in overall energy levels, but not sure quite how to explain it. Basically, I’m less abnormally tired/exhausted and more normally sleepyish? I’m not falling asleep or anything, but I do find myself yawning more than I did before. A very relaxed sleepy yawn rather than a tense over-tired haven’t slept yawn.
I’m not fog free, I’m not using the machine for a full sleep cycle, I’m not bouncing with energy and glowing as the picture of health, but it’s all going well. I have another three weeks before I go for my follow-up appointment but I’m moving from cautiously optimistic to relatively convinced there are strong treatment benefits if not yet an outright “cure” for my apnea.
The success has also had a few ripple effects on other goals — I’m more motivated to do basic exercise (walking, etc.), I bought a new weight scale with better precision for a guy of my weight/size, I’m tracking my sleep times in my phone tracker too. All seems to be moving forward.
Funny thing, I’m more excited to get off my BP meds so that I can take cold remedies again when I’m sick (I have a lot of trouble kicking things now without access to decongestants), but Andrea mentioned — “don’t forget alcohol again too!”. Since I’m such a lush, no doubt! 🙂
Onward. The only way out is through.