Chuqui 3.0: (Wheeze) Luke (Wheeze) I AM your father…. (love me, love my CPAP):
Yesterday, I got the results of the apnea study, and it wasn’t pretty. I also got my CPAP machine, which I’m lovingly modelling above. The details of the study were a lot worse than I expected — averaging 50 events an hour, with a worst-case O2 drop to 58% (the O2 scale runs from 50-100, with 90-100 being normal).
And — results are very, very early, but I was up a bit late, and we had to set the alarm earlier than normal (5:30), so I’m running on around 6 hours instead of 7-7:30 today, and despite that, I feel more energetic and rested than I have in weeks. It’s a subjective feeling, and after one day, way too early to tell, but — it sure seems like a noticable and huge change for the better.
I’ve been wearing the CPAP for a few weeks now; I adapted to sleeping with it fairly well, it seems — according to the nurses I talked to, a lot of folks struggle with getting to sleep with the beast. In my case, that part wasn’t a problem. On the other hand, the change in quality of rest threw my sleep cycle for a loop, and that first weekend I got up at 4:30 AM to take the Point Reyes birding trip and did way more walking than I was really up for, and then that night was daylight savings. And the combination of the three just seemed to confuse the hell out of my sleep patterns — imagine being jet lagged to hell, and you get the feeling. Took about ten days to start settling down, and most evenings, I was happily zombied on the couch, hence part of the reason for relative lack of blogging.
These days, I’m generally crashing between 11:30 and midnight, and sleeping fairly quickly; the alarm is set for 6AM, but I’m normally waking up sometime between 5 and 6. This has worried me a bit, because I haven’t been convinced that’s enough sleep, but I haven’t succeeded in going back to sleep waiting for the alarm, either, and I haven’t felt particularly tired in the afternoons or evenings, so something positive is going on. That is, in general over an hour less sleep than I needed before the CPAP, while at the same time, I’m much more rested. Imagine getting a “free” 30 hours a month back to do things in….
The one worry I’ve had is that this new energy level and reduced sleep requirement is temporary, and aspect of the change in my sleeping habits. It’s been going on long enough that I’m comfortable it’s “real” — and I’ve had a couple of times where I’ve pushed it even harder, and found myself getting tired, but in a normal way. So that makes me feel this is how it’s going to be moving forward.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve never been a morning person. When I moved to Strongmail, to make the commute more rational, I shifted into the early drive. Now, going on six months later (has it really been that long? wow), I find I am really enjoying it. I’ve seen a lot of really awesome sunrises and fantastic bay area weather, I have a chance to enjoy my evenings — and now that we have the apnea diagnosed and under control — my energy levels are way up, and not only do I have that extra few hours a week from sleeping less, I feel up to using them for more than just sitting at the computer or vegging out.
It’s funny, in a sad way — when I talked to the pulmonary nurses that were working with us on the apnea, they noted most folks fought accepting the machines (and many don’t use them or lie about using them, they say) — me, I saw this as an attempt to make my life better, and in fact, it’d made a huge difference (I see no advantage in asking an expert to help, and then arguing with or ignoring them; don’t bother asking, or pay attention).
My one hope is that when I get this weight off, it reduces the apnea enough I don’t need the machine again. we’ll see. if not, not. I certainly don’t want to go back to the “tired me”, that’s for sure. Or see my blood pressure go up again; that, alone, tells me how much the apnea was affecting things — in a scary way.
And besides, I’d hate to miss all of those sunrises. Do you have any idea how beautiful the drive is up 280 when the sun is coming up and the fog is swirling across Crystal Springs? Probably not — from what I can see, most people on the freeway are far too busy being in a hurry to notice.
Their loss… but God, this area’s beautiful, if you slow down and look.