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Re: maladies: the chicken and the egg

Posted by RenoTom on July 17, 2002 at 22:40:11:

In Reply to: maladies: the chicken and the egg posted by pookinmom on July 16, 2002 at 12:28:13:

Everyone else is concerned about the current effectiveness of your CPAP therapy, and yes you should keep an eye on that, but in reality it is way to early to tell much.
Let's take a look at your real concerns, and provide a possible direction to help get you better as quickly as possible.
Sleep apnea is a major cause of sleep deprivation and sleep debt. Sleep deprivation/sleep debt is highly suspected to have some effect on the conditions you have described. Either directly, or as a result of a lowering of your general physical condition. Many have reported that some time after they have paid off their sleep debt, they have been able to lower many meds for these and similar conditions. Of course never do this without consultation with your doc.
So, how do we hurry things up? First, by not hurrying! Do a search on Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Debt, Sleep Hygene, and Alarm. You will find lots of discussion about these discussions, and at least one post I have written about how to regulate your sleep to pay off your sleep debt as quickly as possible, and determine your daily sleep needs at the same time.
That's your first step to getting better. Work on paying off your sleep debt, and maintaining your other conditions at their current levels.
Second step. Keep a log. Write down how you felt a week ago. As much detail as possible. Now make daily entrees describing each of your other ailments, but mostly your apnea. And record in great detail how you feel.
Be aware of your sleep, and how you feel. Note problems, and deal with them directly, but only one at a time if you have several come up. Work at paying off your sleep debt. It is the key to all else.
Third step - So, how do you know you are getting better. It's hard, and subtle. You will start to notice little things. Like you don't get up to pee 5 times a night. Some experience differences in dreaming. I started yawning (hadn't in years). You don't fall asleep and run off the road. You finally see the end of that same movie you had seen the start of 7 times! You will start being aware of things that didn't matter before. You will start feeling more alive! You will start using less makeup (many with sleep apnea get a gray pallor). An alternate to the makeup thing is wondering how you got the sunburn (that's my thing. My complexion is much rosier and healthy looking!
It's a bunch of little things that you will see a little at a time. And after awhile you will pick up on a lot of the little things as big things!
The third step is to recognize these things, and learn to appreciate them again. And to be aware of any reversal of them.
You will eventually hit a point when you think you have fully recovered. You will feel so much better, and you aren't feeling the changes any more. Be careful not to back slide. Get all the sleep your body requires (do the searchs I described), and learn to be aware of your other conditions in your new awareness. And watch for changes in those conditions to. It is common to experience those changes. The time period is impossible to tell. It depends on how much you work at things. Watch for them, so that you can better relate them to your doc.
So, We now have you well on your way, and things are getting much better. You most likely will still have some surprises coming. It takes longer for full recovery than we think. After all, how long did it take to get where you are today?! You will have become a pro at CPAP, and won't be looking back but looking forward at your new life.
But I have to look back for just a brief moment. Back at the top, I made comment about the effectiveness of your current CPAP usage. And I then wrote a lot about how to deal with things. I pointed out that recovery is slow and subtle, and it's hard to realize that your getting better. The changes you realize are subtle. Well, the same applies to these first 4 days. Is it possible the simple fact that you feel tired may be an improvement? I never felt tired before I started NPAP therapy. I was a zombie all the time. The fact that I was starting to feel anything was an indication of an improvement. With increased sleep, we become more aware. And one of the thinks we become aware of is that we are tired. It just let's you know what you have to work on!

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