Today I am going to share my experience with the sleep study and nutrition counselor.
The sleep study was an odyssey. I have been three times to the sleep center. The first visit was a complete disaster. I read, I watched TV. I stayed in bed trying to be very still with my eyes closed. Here’s the one thing I did not do: sleep.
I was so frustrated. And the more I tried to sleep, the more stressed I became. It is very difficult though to relax in that setting. Granted, the center had a big comfy bed. Lots of fluffy, comfy pillows. A ceiling fan and they allowed me to set the room temperature to a comfortable level. The setting was perfect for promoting sleep. What could be the problem. Well, I will tell you.
Wires. They glued wires to every part of my body it seems. My legs, arms neck, nose, and scalp. So uncomfortable. And to top it off, I had an allergic reaction to the adhesive they used to stick the electrodes to my skin. I was itchy for days afterward.
They finally just sent me home around 5am. They cannot really measure how I sleep if I do not sleep. So, I had to reschedule and come back.
The second visit went much better. Same comfy bed and pillows. Nice cool room. I took a Benadryl to counter the effects of the allergic reaction to the adhesive. Not to mention the added benefit of knocking me out. I slept all night, thankfully. The results were horrific however.
It turns out, I stop breathing 44 times per night and my oxygen absorption level ranged from 62-89. Oxygen absorption is supposed to be over 90 at all times. This is very dangerous and puts a lot of strain on the heart. So, they immediately scheduled the next appointment, which was to have me sleep with a c-pap machine.
That actually went OK. I hate the c-pap machine, but it does help me sleep better. I had to be hooked up the the wires again, but I apparently slept all night and did not stop breathing once.
It is apparently important that I be able to breathe. I will have to use the machine in the hospital. Because of the anesthesia, if I stop breathing, it could be really bad. So, I will use the c-pap machine until further notice.
What is a c-pap machine you ask? It is a machine that blows air into you nose and/or mouth. The flow of air keeps your air passages open and clear so that you do not stop breathing. The machine is small and barely makes any noise. You can add water to it so that you do not get dehydrated during the night. The mask is a little uncomfortable. But I have learned to live with it. I am hoping it is a temporary thing as often sleep apnea is cleared up after the weight loss is achieved.
I was a bit apprehensive about the nutrition counseling, I have to admit. I do not know why. My nutritionist is the nicest person. She is very sweet. Nonetheless, I did not know this going in. I had to write down my eating habits, which is a source of stress for me. Obviously, I struggle with food. And I with my food allergies, I have really struggled. So, it is kind of a big step for me to talk to a nutrition counselor and I put it off as long as possible.
The truth is, this was a very liberating experience for me. I was nervous, but my nutritionist was super nice. She talked to me about my diet, steps I could take to improve what I eat. Most of which I already know. She encouraged me to keep a journal of my eating habits, which I still have yet to do. She also gave me some other options that are low in salt, heart-healthy, allergy-free ways to improve my diet. She was not so interested in restricting my diet as she was with giving me healthier options to choose from.
A major part of our nutrition conversation revolved around what eating will be like after the surgery. And she gave me steps I am going to have to take now to prepare. It is no simple task. I cannot drink 30 minutes prior to eating, during eating, nor 30 minutes after eating. I have to chew my food to the consistency of apple sauce. And worst of all. I have to ween myself off coffee! WTF? I mean seriously, I’m a writer. I’m not sure how I am going to function without my daily cup of joe. But somehow, I will learn to manage.
I have another appointment with the nutritionist this week. I guess my next tasks should be to create a food journal. And contact the psychiatrist.