Monday, March 24, 2014

Sleep Test Cancelled

This is the way I sleep - mouth wide open and big schnoz 

By me that is.  During my visit to my cardiologist last week he suggested that I take a sleep test.  I had mentioned to him that it was reported that I sometimes struggle for breath when I'm sleeping.  At least that's what I was told by my occasional bed partner a couple of weeks ago.  For years I've slept by myself but I had the good fortune a few weeks ago (no details of who, when or where) and shared my slumber time with a dear and close friend.  I think he said I was catching my breath when I slept.  At least that's what I think he said.  No matter though, I just didn't feel right about undergoing a sleep test for possible sleep apnea.  I couldn't sleep with one of those apparatuses on my head and I'm pretty sure I couldn't even go to sleep with a sleep test.  At least not now.  Maybe later.  Right now my main problem seems to be the frequent bouts of light headeness that feels like a mini-high.  That may be attributable to my extra heartbeat which was detected a couple of years ago.  I'm still ticking but just in case I am taking another stress test.  Something to which I am not looking forward to but I will take it. 

And the beat continues.

Some people can sleep anywhere

18 comments:

  1. Ron

    I'm going to guess you are going to do excellent on the stress test. Maybe it's due to that extra little heart beat you have that they are checking you out. As far as sleep apnea goes - I think a lot of us have it - and over the centuries people had it. I've wakened a couple of times gasping for breath myself. But I guess that's what the body does if something isn't going exactly right - an alarm goes off. Will be interested to hear about the stress test.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      That guy with his mouth wide open, that's me when I wake up in the morning. Apparently I can't breath through my nose. But I don't think I have a serious sleep apnea problem. I think you're right, a lot of us have it one degree or another. I too have awakened at time gasping for breath. Usually the result of a very intense dream. But then my cousin Randy died in his sleep and he wasn't ill. I guess when you're time comes, it comes. I don't see what is to be resolved with a sleep test other than my cardiologist said he could give me a prescription. I would prefer to keep my medications to a minimum. Self medications is where I am the minimalist.
      Ron

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  2. todd has sleep apnea and uses a machine at night. I am a mouth breather; but you will NEVER catch me hooking up to a machine.

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    1. Anne Marie,
      I probably have sleep apnea, a mild version. I couldn't go to sleep with a machine hooked up to me though. It's going to have to get a lot more serious before go down that route.
      Ron

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  3. Ron,

    I don't take tests unless I feel my body is really telling me to. I also don't like this line up of tests. Take the stress test and see what they fine, then you can decide if any other tests are worth the time.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      At our age, if we don't watch it, our lives would be dominated by medical tests. We have to evaluate each one. I wasn't comfortable with this one. That's why I cancelled it.
      Ron

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  4. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Ron,
    Have you Googled your symptoms? I just did and heart arrhythmia is a possible cause. My mother had a slight arrhythmia and she took
    a med for it and that evened out her heart beat. Don't remember about her gasping for air though. Read that might be just your airway
    is narrowing as you sleep from post nasal drip or tonsils even saliva. You might try an extra pillow to elevate your head a bit and see if
    that helps. Lightheadedness can be caused by a drop in blood pressure ( is yours low? ) or a loss of blood from diarrhea or from aspirin
    or ibuprofen( small amounts of blood loss in the intestines ). Even dehydration can cause lightheadedness. More water Ron ! Also, stress
    can cause all of the above and you have been under stress with the tough winter, work, blogging and events. Do you do a walk around the
    neighborhood after dinner and do some deep breathing? That may help to get fresh air in your system and relieve some stress.
    Ok, Dr Stu is done now... one more thing... an EKG should show the arrhythmia clearly and how intense it is..not so sure a stress test
    will do much for that except show up possible blockage when the heart is stressed that could be beneficial. See if you can get an EKG
    when you have the stress test done and get the doctor to show you the arrhythmia on the graph. Great website of info is the Mayo Clinic
    Website.
    Be well,
    Stuart in FL

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    1. Stuart,
      I think my light headedness has been caused by all the stress of the past year. Now that I don't have any events looming in my future, I feel relieved already. As for the sleep test, my blood pressure is normal. I am drinking more water. And more walking is definitely in store if and when we ever get above 30 degrees here and winter leaves. I don't have arrhythmia, but my youngest brother does. I know what that is and I don't have it, just an extra heartbeat which is says is fairly normal especially for someone my age (getting there). I'll get the stress test just to be safe but I'm passing on the sleep test because I don't see what the end result could be. I certainly don't want to sleep with a contraption on my head. I can't sleep with one of those things anyway. One day at a time Stu and try to enjoy life as much as I can before the final call.
      Ron

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  5. I breathe through my mouth at night. Some folks have said I snore like a roaring lion, others say "I didn't hear a thing". I agree, I doubt seriously I could sleep at all for a sleep test, since I never sleep well the first night in a strange bed. And I know a CPAP machine would keep me awake indefinitely. So what's the point? But I do admit that I seldom wake up feeling fully rested. I know I wake up 3-4 times a night many nights. No way I'm getting the REM sleep I need. But meh, you can sleep when you're dead.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      My doctor's recommendation caught me by surprise. Once I had a chance to think about it I thought "Uh huh, this isn't for me." And now a friend tells me they also check your pecker to see if you get an erection while you're sleep. What's THAT all about?
      Ron

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    2. No, Ron, we have not done penile tumescence tests as part of a sleep study for over 20 years, because Medicare and all insurances stopped paying for it, and because Viagra became available.

      Delete
    3. David,
      So the "hard-on" test wasn't a joke? What will they think up next?
      Ron

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  6. OK folks, now I HAVE TO INTERJECT MY TWO CENTS WORTH!!! I am a sleep disorders specialist (RPSGT) and have tested hundreds of sleep patients. You must realize that sleep (and good quality sleep) is just as integral to quality of life as good diet, or good exercise, etc. Most of us (especially if we sleep alone) have no idea what our sleep is like. And I think you are making a mistake in cancelling the sleep study. First of all, an experienced tech can put the electrodes on so that it will not annoy you or keep you from sleeping. Not all sleep disorders are apnea and not all of them require CPAP. Some advice: take your tests only one at a time, and depending on the results, proceed to the next one. Start with the stress test. Perhaps even wear a 24 hour EKG monitoring device, because often, the short little EKG in the doctor's office is too short a blip in time.

    Not only have I performed overnight sleep tests, but I have taken them as well. I do not have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or central apnea. However, I do have a paralyzed hemi-diaphragm. When we go into REM (dreaming sleep), our skeletal intra-costal muscles stop working to keep us breathing. Therefore, we have to depend on our diaphragm to keep the air moving, and half of mine is paralyzed. (Why, we don't know.) So I wear CPAP to help keep enough pressured room air (not oxygen) flowing so that my oxygen saturation will not fall to dangerous levels. My machine is now advanced to A-PAP instead of CPAP, which automatically regulates the amount of pressure I need, instead of a prescribed stable amount of pressure. When I lie down to sleep now, I actually feel "naked" without the mask over my nose, and feel dependent on it! My machine is the newest ResMed model, and is absolutely silent, not like the machines of old that sounded like loud fans.

    Please reconsider. Bed companions are excellent judges of our sleep, and you should be thankful you had one with the courage to tell you what he saw and heard!

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    1. David,
      Thank you for this valuable information. However, I will pass on this test. It just doesn't feel right for me.
      Ron

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  7. If you won't use a CPAP then I don't see any point in having the test; please clarify for me. Why a sleep study if you know you aren't going to do anything with the results?

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      I'm not having the test because I won't/can't live with the results. I'll take my chances on dying in my sleep. In fact, that's the way I prefer to go. My cousin Randy went that way; one day here, next day gone. Unlike my longtime friend Bob McC. who has lost his mind and is now in a total care facility. That is not the way I want to go. Of course we don't have much choice as to the nature of our Exit but I there are such things as prayers answered, then dying in my sleep is my wish.
      Ron

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  8. I never thought I could get use to wearing a BiPAP at night, but I did.
    I had sever sleep apnea(caused by Pickwickian Syndrome or Hypoventilation Syndrome-I don't breath deeply enough while sleeping). Having untreated OSA helped me down the road toward heart failure actually. Not a good way to go and I am not ready to "check out" yet! 8-)
    Within 3 months using that blasted machine I was a new woman.....well, as new as an old bat my age can be. lolz

    It's something I can learn to live with because the alternative is not acceptable.

    If the problem is just your nasal passage closing at night and you are mouth breathing and that is annoying for you, try those breath right strips on the bridge of your nose. Cheap and OTC remedy.

    Good luck whatever you decide.

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    1. Denise,
      I don't' think I have sleep apnea but I do wake up in the morning with my mouth wide open. Never used to be that way. I'm pretty sure my nasal passages are closing at night. I might just give those strips on the bridge of your nose a try. It would be nice to wake up without a desert dry mouth for once.
      Ron

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