Breathing

I’m in favor of it.

About 15 years ago, well before I was with my current doctor (the reason for the change is a story in itself), I had a sleep study done. The reason for this was that I spent entirely too much time fighting to stay awake during the day.

The result of the study was that while I did not have apnea (then), I did get blood oxygen desaturation while sleeping. They put me on overnight oxygen (2 l/m) and we rented an oxygen concentrator with a co-pay after insurance of something on the order of $35-40/month

This improved matters but I still struggled to stay awake. So next up, a Multiple Sleep Latency test. I went in the night before. They hooked me up to all their sensors, along with oxygen, to ensure that I get a good night’s sleep. (Like I’m going to sleep well with all those wires hanging off me, but okay.) Then over the course of the day they had me lie down for several brief naps at specific times. The idea was to see whether I slept during them or if I stayed awake.  I slept through every one of the naps. Diagnosis “hypersomnia” (which I tag in my own head as “narcolepsy lite”). Prescribed Provigil to assist in that.

More time passes and that provigil was expensive. I eventually stopped taking it and went back to caffeine to fight off the daytime sleepies.  Can’t stand coffee.  Don’t particularly care for tea.  So I drank, and drink, a lot of caffeinated diet soda.

Years passed. My then wife, now Ex, was getting snippy about the ongoing cost of the oxygen concentrator rental. She wanted to know if it was really necessary. So I had another overnight blood O2 test (home test this time) without the oxygen and I was okay. Oxygen concentrator cancelled.

This brings us to last year. Thanks in part to some of the stuff I’ve heard from friends on social media I approached my doctor about getting another sleep study done. This time they used a home unit and, yep, apnea. Got a CPAP.

As of now my sleep still isn’t as restful as I think it should be–as indicated by the difficulty in getting up in the morning even when I have what should be an adequate amount of sleep time. So I’m talking to my doctor about the possibility that I might need both the CPAP and oxygen. Since I needed oxygen before with no apnea, perhaps I need oxygen even with the apnea corrected by the CPAP. I had some difficulty trying to explain the concern to the doctor–they seemed to have some kind of blind spot about my specific issue:  since I had the blood desaturation problem without apnea I’m concerned that I may still have a blood desaturation problem with apnea corrected.

I think I got it through to them now and they’re looking to see how to get insurance to cover it.

I hope they do.  I’m kind of in favor of this “breathing” thing and would like to continue it.

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3 thoughts on “Breathing”

  1. David: I have a Phillips CPAP and it was a true pain to get used to. Had to get a chinstrap to hold my mouth closed, so the nasal attachment was not wasting its pressure! Now I have learned to keep my mouth shut when sleeping. When I am awake? Well I do tend to chat a lot. Grin. There is a nifty different in-line attachment for a CPAP which has a place to plug-in the O2 feed-line. canadacpapsupply offers it for C$6.55
    I had to get a new nasal attachment, october 2017, when the original got too old and hard, thus stopped conforming to my nasal passages. Other than that cleaning once a week does the job…

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  2. You may want to check into having your hormones – including adrenal function – checked as well. Your doctor is not really likely to be up on this (it’s not something that they teach much in school) so I’d check around for one who does.

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