I want to open this post today by telling Dr. Khan, with the OHSU Sleep Clinic, that he can go suck a giant bag of dirty dicks and choke on it! If you have been following my blog regularly you know exactly who this guy is, if you haven’t been keeping up then you should go back and check out the post where I first introduce Dr. Khan here , then check out the follow-up post where I update you on the situation with that doctor here. Now that everyone is on the same page I want to tell you what I found out at my appointment with the new doctor I am seeing at the sleep clinic and why it is that I think Dr. Khan should do vile and nasty things in the name of satisfying the grudge I still hold.
Just to remind you (because I don’t think I talked about it much), I did do some additional sleep apnea research on my own and decide to do the sleep study after all. Big Orange felt it necessary to document the event with photos but I have threatened some pretty horrific things if the photos ever go public so you will just have to trust me when I tell you that I looked heinous and that you would probably be amused by seeing pictures. The sleep study was uneventful… I went it at 8pm; got hooked up to a ton of wires, took a Tylenol PM (because I will not take Ambien), and tried to sleep with the knowledge that on the other end of the camera positioned above my bed and trained on me, there was a woman watching who thinks those creepy fucking toe shoes an acceptable footwear option.
I stole this picture from Amazon so if you want to see what these ghastly things are all about you can check them out for yourself there.
So yeah, I slept and then went home in the morning. Crazy shoe woman couldn’t give me any results at the time so here I am telling you all about this a month later. So here is the deal. I have sleep apnea. I have it bad enough that I have to get one of those stupid machines. BUT… my weight is not the reason that I have it. Yes, the 25 pounds I have gained since I quit smoking doesn’t help matters at all but after actually going over my history, talking to me and asking me questions, and examining me, my new sleep doctor guy (I will get to him in a second) feels that I have had sleep apnea for my entire life. I am not discounting the fact that it is the weight gain that has pushed the apnea into the severe range, but I got pissed off that the old Dr. all over again when the new one explained all of this to me.
Dr. Hagen was very respectful, thorough, and most importantly, he was straight forward and honest without being an asshole (Bonus! He was pretty easy on the eyes as well!). He explained that because I have slept in the position that I sleep in now, or a variation of it, for my entire life and because the position I sleep in is very common of people who are trying to get more air when they sleep, it is likely I have had always had sleep apnea. Add that to the fact that my father, who has never been overweight in his life, has sleep apnea and the likelihood that I have inherited this from him increases the probability that I have had this my entire life. I have always suffered from night terrors. I have always talked in my sleep. I have always had auditory and visual hallucinations when waking up in the night. In recent years I have even developed the tendency stomp around the house all pissed off at something only I am privy to in my sleep. Well it turns out that all of this is caused by REM sleep disruptions and I ONLY have episodes of apnea during REM sleep. In fact, I have frequent episodes of apnea during REM sleep. It turns out that I had upwards of 80 instances of apnea during the two times I achieved REM sleep during the study; each instance of apnea lasted between 30-40 seconds on average, and my blood oxygen levels dropped below 79% during those episodes. I know! Really fucking scary, isn’t it?!?!?
So of course I am upset and a little terrified by this news but I have to say that there is a pretty big part of me that feels better knowing that this isn’t something that was caused by my weight alone. And what contribution my weight does have in the situation certainly doesn’t justify Dr. Khan treating me the way that did during my initial consultation (not that any number on a scale could ever justify being treated so poorly). I felt so much better about all of this after leaving Dr. Hagen’s office that I couldn’t help smiling when I saw Dr. Kahn while I was at the front desk scheduling my appointment for another overnight sleep thing to calibrate a C-PAP machine. He knew exactly who I was when he saw me and he immediately looked at his feet and walked away. His discomfort made me laugh, which confused the hell out of the front desk dude. So yeah, I really wanted to tell him to suck a bag of dicks but I laughed instead. Big Orange informed me that I told him everything I needed to with the look that I gave him. I doubt it, but I will take his word for it.
I will keep you all posted on how this C-PAP machine thing pans out but for now I have other news! Today is my five month anniversary of quitting smoking! WOOT! I still have a craving once in a while but I now know that if I just distract myself for a while it will pass. My cravings are happening less and less often and I am now able to recognize that these moments are about external factors rather than a physical need for a fix of nicotine. I can’t believe that it has been so long! I will have to do something special for my six month anniversary.
So now that I feel like I really have this nonsmoking thing handled I am moving on to bigger things… like my ass (get it… bigger things…. If you knew how hard I am laughing at that right now you would accuse me of being drunk and tell me to go home). But seriously folks… I had to force myself to wait it out for more changes after I quit smoking. I am one of those people who gets in a mindset and hits the ground running but I often end up overwhelming myself and before I know it I am crumpled in that dark corner of my mind reserved for self-flagellation and verbal beatings. I needed to force myself to take my time and I know that if I am going to be successful with my weight loss goals I am going to have to make a lot of changes. Here is the thing about changes though… they fucking suck! They are really, really hard to make! I knew I would need a little guidance with this to prevent the stark raving obsessive and directionless shit storm I usually turn things like this into so in a rare move I admitted I don’t know everything there is to know about things I want to know about and deferred to/sought help from an expert.
That is right folks; I pulled up my big girl panties and joined Weight Watchers! I am doing it on line because I am just way to bitchy, proud, and limited in mobility to go to meetings and if I have to go talk to other fat people about being fat, I won’t stick to it. The online thing is pretty great actually! They have all kinds of tools and information on their website and they have phone/iPod apps too! This tracking points stuff really appeals to the nerd in me and the measuring and weighing portions is very soothing to my OCD. I started last Thursday and I am happy so far! I don’t weigh in officially until Thursday but my doctor wants me weighing myself daily right now because I am having such a difficult time with edema. My weight is still fluctuation wildly from day to day and even time of the day but the top numbers are coming down. I am going to try really hard to replicate all of the factors possible each time I weigh myself for weekly weigh-ins so I will let you know how that goes.
My hope is to keep up with posting once a week to this blog (Mondays seem like as good a day as any) and I will keep a running tally of pounds and drama for you all. Like I said, this week has been great. I am really enjoying what I am doing and I feel good about doing something. I have been going on walks with my neighbor off and on and walked to the store with my son today. Exercise poses an extra challenge for me but I am determined to be in good health despite my disability issues and dammit I am going to do this shit!
Also, I bought a new sports bra… I have a few things to say to the makers of sports bras for the large busted but I am too tired right now. I am off to shower and put my ass in bed so I will see you next week, same bat time, same bat channel (I miss the old school bat man show… I wonder if I can Netflix that shit.)