Goodnight Moon. Goodnight CPAP.

My life has been kind of a hot mess lately and I’m not even completely sure way. I think it’s because I’m starting to make some big decisions and a lot of things are changing. I’m going to have a thyroid “procedure” done and I’m making a huge career change. I’ll talk more about those in another post. This post is about my CPAP.

I’ve known for awhile that I might have sleep apnea, I just didn’t do anything about it (stupid I know). I just didn’t want to have to go to a sleep center and I definitely didn’t want to have to use a machine. I’d starting having symptoms a few months ago.: the chronic fatigue, feeling like I’ve been holding my breath under water when I wake up in the morning, brain fog, trouble remembering things, etc. It also doesn’t help that both my dad and my mom’s mom have it. Double whammy. I finally decided to go to my doctor because I just couldn’t handle it anymore (especially not with all my other thyroid related problems). I told my doctor and he was like yeah you probably have it. My grandma and dad were both patients of his.

I was relieved when he told me I didn’t have to go to a sleep center (I hate not sleeping in my own bed). He said that a sleep study company would mail me a device that monitors my sleep and then I just mail it back. Super easy! That’s exactly what they did. I got it in the mail and had to use it for 3 nights in a row. There was a tube that went under my nose, a sensor on my finger, and a sensor that wrapped around my chest. All three plugged into a box that strapped to my wrist. When a sensor would move out of place, the box on my wrist would say “cannot detect chest sensor” and wake me up. The first night it did this several times. Like how are supposed to monitor my sleep if you won’t let me sleep? So rude.

After I was finished with the sleep test, I mailed it back and then had an appointment with my doctor. He confirmed that I had mild sleep apnea. Yay! Not. A week later a guy came to my house with my new CPAP and showed me how to use it. I have had such a horrible time trying to use this thing. First of all, I’m highly claustrophobic. I thought that getting the nose pillow wouldn’t be bad. Nope. I was wrong. With the nose pillow you have to also wear a chin strap (for the first few weeks) that keeps your mouth closed. Your mouth has to stay closed in order to create a seal. If your mouth is open then the air is getting out and defeating the whole purpose of the CPAP. I already sleep with ear plugs because I’m a light sleeper. I also have to sleep in complete darkness. Earplugs + complete darkness + chin strap + nose tube = I feel like I’m being buried alive. Then sets in the claustrophobia and anxiety.  I ended up having to sleep with a lamp on to ease some of the anxiety of feeling like I was being buried. I has helped and made it easier to sleep with the thing. Two other things that haven’t help: my nose is stuffy and the nostril pieces hurt my nose. I forgot that my nose gets stuffy with my sinus infections that I get quite often. That’s going to be a problem. I also noticed that because of that I alternate between mouth and nose breathing. I’ve been waking up feeling like I’m suffocating. I’m going to call them this week to see if I can switch to one that covers my nose and mouth. I don’t know how that will do with my claustrophobia, but it has to be better otherwise. In order to keep my machine covered by insurance, I have to use it consecutively for the first 30 days for at least 4 hours each day. I’ve been doing a lot of my time during the day while I’m watching TV so I don’t have to use it much at night. That’s bad, I know, but I’m going to have to do it until I get a different mask. I will keep you updated on how that goes.

Anyone else have to sleep with a CPAP?

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Weigh-in #2 & Health Update

I missed a weigh in. It’s been 23 days since the last one. Oops. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

Starting Weight (3/18/16): 238.2

Last Weigh-in (6/6/16): 225.4
This Weigh-in (6/26/16): 223.6

Pounds lost from last weigh-in:
1.8
Total pounds lost:
14.6

Total inches lost:
12″

I had been slacking on my Whole 30. I wasn’t doing terrible, but I wasn’t following it correctly. I’ve definitely learned my lesson. Anytime I had gluten, dairy, or sugar, I got an upset stomach and had a food hangover the next day. Rice and legumes made me incredibly sleepy.

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Another thing I noticed was when I was strictly following Whole 30, I had really bad insomnia. Like going to sleep at 4am every night insomnia. When I when off, i was able to go to sleep earlier because I was so tired. My mom said it was all the carbs I was eating. Now that I’m back on Whole 30, I’m of course having trouble sleeping again. I’m going to try and eat a bunch of carbs (potatoes) before bed to see how that works.

Because of my bad sleeping patterns, I’ve slacked on my exercising. I’m going to change that this week. I want to start walking again and add in weights. I will keep you updated on how that goes.

A letter to curvy women

Girl, don’t think that because you are over weight, you are unattractive.

Because you’re not. You don’t have to be thin to be attractive.

Only insecure people judge other people’s bodies. Don’t listen to those people that tell you you need to lose weight for whatever reason. Lose weight if you want, or don’t. Only do it because you want to not because someone tells you to. The only person that should be telling you to lose weight is your doctor and they usually have a good reason.

Don’t let other people’s opinions keep you down. Their opinions don’t pay the bills. Their opinions don’t determine your happiness, unless you let them. Their opinions don’t determine your success. Do you think that Melissa McCarthy let her weight hold her back? No. She’s a very beautiful, successful actress. What about Queen Latifah? No. She’s a very beautiful, successful actress too. Yes I’m sure they’ve struggled with not liking their body at some point, but they’re only human. Did they let their weight affect their success? NO. What about Oprah? She’s curvy and is one of the richest people in the world. There have been many successful curvy women: Adele, Missy Elliot, Gabourey Sidbe, Marylin Monroe, and the list goes on!

Just think about all these women the next time someone makes a comment about your weight. Then punch those haters in the face.

You are beautiful the way you are.

My Endo sucks

I had to go see my old Endocrinologist today because the new one I want to see doesn’t have an opening until December 12th. Of course I’m going to call every week until I can get a sooner one, but until then I have to see my crappy old one. They reason I went ahead and saw him was because I had a laundry list of symptoms that I wanted to ask him about. In addition to my symptoms I’ve been having, I had several questions about Graves’ that I wanted to ask him. The appointment did not go well. It only lasted about 20 minutes because he was trying to rush me out. There was someone else waiting in the lobby and I think he just wanted to hurry and get as many appointments in so he can just make money off of us. This is how I feel every time I go. He never really answers my questions and I’m only rushed. Today I only got about half of my questions answered (if you can even call them answers). When I told him my list of symptoms, he just said he wanted me to get some blood work done. He didn’t say what they were from or if they were even Graves’ related. He just made a blood work order and continued to write in my folder. I basically had to force answers out of him. Every appointment I go to, he spends the whole time writing in my folder, asking me only a few questions, and then not answering mine. Then I pay him $44 dollars. Must be nice. This is why I’m trying to in to see a different Endo. My sister is seeing a really good one (she has Graves’ as well). Her Endo is very thorough and actually talks with her and answers her questions. This is the one that isn’t available until December though. I’m so frustrated right now. I’m going to call the new Endo tomorrow about getting a closer appointment.

Health-New Year’s Goal #4

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Back in 2012, I became really sick. I was diagnosed with 2 auto-immune disorders and had a mass inside my chest. I ended up having to have surgery to remove the mass. The 9 months leading up to the surgery were brutal though. I was always sick and had to have several different tests done. The whole time they weren’t sure if it was cancerous or not. Luckily it was not. It was just an enlarged thymus. During this period of illness, I had to put my weight loss on hold. I didn’t have the energy to exercise, nor would my body let me. I could barely walk most days. My body was fighting against me. I lost my appetite. I did end up losing 30 pounds, but at an unhealthy rate of about 3 weeks. I was throwing up a lot and had about 2 migraines a day everyday for 2 months. After my surgery though, it started to recover. Most of my symptoms went away. I was able to go on medicine to control my auto-immune disorders. I was starting to get back to normal and started eating again. I did end up gaining the 30 pounds back, but I figured I would since I had lost it mostly from not being able to eat. I also gained an extra 30 pounds while I recovered due to inactivity. Not good. I also developed chronic back pain. This back pain has prevented me from starting working out again. It hurts when I try to work out. It hurts when I sit and it hurts when I lay down. I’ve been to the doctor and I’ve had x-rays, yet they don’t know what it is. My guess is from lack of activity and carrying around that extra 30 pounds. It’s been little over 2 years from my surgery and I’m still carrying it. My goal this year is to finally get rid of the weight, plus a little extra. I still have chronic back pain so I’m going to have to start slow. I want to focus mostly on changing my diet it for right now. Hopefully I can lose some weight just for that and it will help my back feel better. Once it does, I can slowly introduce exercise again. I do have some back stretches I can do to kind of alleviate then pain until then. I’ve tried to do yoga, but this extra weight has also put strain on my hips and knees, making it hard to do some of the poses. I won’t give up though. I’m going to look so some simple sitting exercises I can do on here for now. I’ve made some small goals to start with and slowly work my way up as I lose weight:

Month 1:

  • Cut fast food– I eat out way too much because I don’t feel like cooking.
  • Drink more water-I don’t enough as I should. My goal is eight glasses a day. I’m going to start drinking infused water again.
  • Back stretches-A physical therapist friend of mine gave me some back stretches to do for my lower back pain. I’m going to do these once a day to help minimize my pain.
  • Seated workouts-I’ve found some seated workouts on Pinterest and Sparkpeople that I think will work without hurting my back.
  • Develop a better sleep pattern-This one will be tricky because I work overnight on the weekend, but I want to work out a sleep schedule that will fit in with that. I’ll just shoot for 8-9 hours of sleep a day.

Month 2:

  • Cut all processed foods-My goal is to eat completely clean, which means no processed foods (canned, frozen, etc.)
  • Introduce yoga – Hopefully my back pain will have eased some by now and I can re-introduce yoga back into my workout regime.

Month 3:

  • Completely clean– My goal is to be eating completely clean by now, drinking lots of water, and getting well rested.
  • Start walking again-I used to love walking for exercise. I was able to walk between 3-5 miles a day. But that was when I was younger and before my surgery and extra weight. By month 3 though, I want to be able to start doing it again. Starting with at least 1 mile a day.

Year’s End:

  • Lose 30 pounds – I’m setting my goal low because in the past I have set it up way too high and have failed. Mostly because the goal was always too unrealistic. I think 30 pounds in 11 months is definitely doable though.

Well, these are the health goals that I have so far, I will make more as I go.

I have also have updated my Sparkpeople.com account, so if you have one to feel free to add me as a friend and we can go on this health journey together.