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The Sleep Study

I went in yesterday for the Sleep Study that I have to do pre-op. Now I have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea for about 10 years. I was first diagnosed back in my early 20s the first time my weight hit 350lbs. Later when I lost all that weight when I first met Jason, and I was back down to about 225lbs again I was able to stop using the CPAP Machine and just go back to sleeping normally, which I must say made for much better cuddling. After I had my hysterectomy and once I started putting my weight back on again, it wasn’t long before Jason started hearing the telltale signs of sleep apnea. My snoring got out of control and he started to become concerned about the fact that I seemed to stop breathing in my sleep. Once again I ended up back on a CPAP Machine.

I will say that I am pretty religion about sleeping with my CPAP Machine, I can easily tell the difference in the quality of my sleep when I don’t use one.

The Sleep Study is much the same as it was the first time I did it years ago. You go into what is very similar to a hotel room environment, they put a ton of wires on you, I mean a TON, and they monitor everything. There is an EKG on you, there are electrodes that monitor your chin movements, eye movements, which can tell when your eyes are open or closed and ones that can tell which way you are moving your eyes. They have wires that monitor the rise and fall of your chest. They have wires that monitor the movement of your legs. There is an oxygen sensor to monitor your o2 saturation, and of course there are all sorts of electrodes stuck all about your scalp that monitor all sorts of stuff. It takes a bit to get through all that and actually get to sleep; it’s not easy sleeping while you are in medical wire bondage.

You sleep for about 6-7 hours, while they continue to raise the pressure on the CPAP Machine to get it to where you need it to be to stop Sleep Apnea episodes. Since for me this was just a Sleep Titration, meaning that they were just making sure the pressures where set right, they didn’t have to spend the first part of the night actually proving that I had Sleep Apnea by  letting me go into Apnea episodes to see how often it happened.

I had to be there at 9:30pm I think I was able to go to sleep by about 10:30 or pretty close to that, and then they woke me up at about 6:30 and sent me home. All it all it was pretty standard if you know what to expect from a sleep study.

Alright time to start working on this 4lbs that I need to lose and get my ass into the Gym. Speaking of which, a lot of people have been asking me about what I’m doing for exercise so I will write a bit about that next week.

One Month working on Pre-Operative Requirements

Yesterday was a busy day. First it was up early to drive into downtown Portland again for my last appointment with the Psychologist; Dr. Ude was a very nice lady who made me feel very comfortable talking to her. She told me a bit about the results of my personality test and I have to say I was a little amazed at how accurate that thing was; shocked really. She basically told me I don’t like to be bossed around, that I like to work for myself, that I don’t always take instruction well, and that while I won’t break the law to get what I want, I am definitely the type of person to push the limits. We talked a little about my relationship with my husband, and a little about my relationship with my family, we talked a bit about diets I’d tried, diets I’d failed and of course diets I’d been successful with but gained the weight back later.

We talked a bit about things that I needed to do to be successful with at getting the best results from my surgery, like not eating in front of the TV or at the computer, which is going to be really hard for me because Jason and I don’t really have a dining room. We have always had dinner on the coffee table while watching TV together or eaten at our computer desks, since our dinning room area has always been taken up by our home office. This is going to be a struggle for me and something that I need to work through. I suppose the key will be not to have the TV or computer ON when I am sitting there eating, but that is going to be so hard to do. It’s amazing after all the things I have given up and accomplished so far, the ones that are really scaring me are still ahead. Trying to overcome this and my fears of not being able to drink fluids the way I do now ever again are definitely at the forefront of my mind.

My appointment with the Psychologist ran about 30 minutes over the allotted hour that we had, and lucky for me her next appointment didn’t show up, so she spent the time with me instead. At the end of the appointment she let me know that I was officially deemed “Psychologically acceptable for Surgery.”

Next I was off and running to the nail salon, something I have decided to start doing again as a way of congratulating myself for all the hard work that I am doing. I’ve always gotten my nails done, ever since I was about 14 or 15, used to have my mother drive me to the Salon, once I got my own car I always went by myself, and I kept my nails up until Jason and I started really struggling financially, it was just one of those things that I could put off to save $25 a week and put towards groceries and bills instead. Now that we are doing better, I felt I could start getting them done again, plus I really needed something that was special for me, as my own way of telling myself, “Way to go, you’ve done a good job.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I have Jason, my Mom, Tom, Heather, and my “Aunt” Bev, all in my corner cheering me on and letting me know how proud of me they are. But it’s one of those things where no matter how proud of me they are, I have to be proud of myself before it makes a big difference. So this was my way of telling myself, I’m proud.

After my getting my nails done, I was off to the salon for a quick hair cut, then rushing back home to meet up with Jason who was taking the afternoon off to take me to my follow up appointment at SWMC. It had been almost a month now, of my being on the diet and exercise regimen that they told me to do at my first pre-operative work up, and time to see how successful I had been.

My doctor was ecstatic with both my blood sugars and with the 26lbs that I had lost since seeing her last. My blood sugars were so good that she gave me a high five and told me that I was her start pupil of the day. With my blood sugars improving she decided that it was time to change my medications a bit, so now I have been moved to a new type of long acting insulin call Lantus. I only have to take one shot a day instead of three and no more mixing insulin to get the long lasting and the fast acting working together to get the right results.

The rash I had last month was all cleared up, and the 26lbs put me REALLY close, but just shy of where I needed to be in order to move on to the surgeon. 26lbs put me at 369 ( yeah the 69 part made me laugh!) which put my BMI at a whopping 61.4 – that was so hard for me to swallow, all I needed was 4-5 more lbs and I would have gotten my BMI under 60 which is what they require before I can move on to the surgeon and have the surgery.

But ok, that means I’m very close now! Plus I don’t have my 6 months of not smoking until Sept. 25th anyways, and I still have my sleep study to do next week. I’ve been working on this for years now, and working on it hardcore for the last 4 months, another month won’t hurt me, and I can do this. So I got sent home on the new insulin, still taking the Vitamin D to help with the definitely for another 8 weeks, I need to lose 4-5lbs in the next month, and I have to get my sleep study, then I am DONE with all the pre-operative requirements and can move on to the surgeon and start working on getting my surgery scheduled!

This next month is a cake walk compared to everything I’ve done so far, speaking of walking… time to hit the gym!

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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