Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Darth Vader Impression

Good news - I survived my second sleep study, and I actually slept!  (The exclamation point belongs to the Ambien that made sleep possible).  I came home with a new toy, a CPAP machine.  Toy, box of shame, whatever.

I am ashamed, but I'm ignoring it.  If this godawful mask and humiliating headgear are going to help me have more energy, I'm embracing it.  If anyone wants to judge me, I'm ignoring that, too.  I'm going to wear this mask, and I'm going to sleep, and I'm going to be better for it.

So there.

Obviously, pep talks are easing the anxiety here.

Speaking of pep talks, I read a book recently by one of my abs fav authors, Augusten Burroughs.  His most recent book, "This is How," is heartbreaking, uplifting and spectacularly arrogant at the same time.  His books draw graffiti and change my landscape.  After reading "This is How," I now walk around thinking "wipe that fucking smile off your face."

As a life-long nervous wreck, I use a smile to lie to myself and others about my health, happiness and capacity for listening to people whine.  I smile and laugh in my therapist's office.  At the end of the day, having used up all my smiles, my family gets to deal with the non-smiles (frowns? tears? yelling? going straight to bed?)

In the vein of "fake it 'til you make it," I smile to make myself feel happy.  When I actually am happy and having a good time, it's so easy for me to smile and laugh.  I don't have to fake it.  I suspect that when I fake it, people know.  Maybe not.  But I know.

I'm not going to smile under the CPAP mask, but I'm still going to wear it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

May cause sleepiness

When I read weigh loss stories, the recap version, there seem to be two paths people follow.  1) Something scary/tragic/life-altering happened and I new I had to change, or 2) I started walking and eventually started running.

I am damned fortunate that I have never had to travel road 1.  There have been times in my life when I've thought I really want to change and that losing weight would improve my quality of life, one of those times being now.  As for road 2, I have started walking over and over and over again and always encountered some obstacle, real or imagined, that forced/gave me an excuse to stop.

I mentioned last time that I'm slowly killing myself.  I know that's heavy dramz, but I was diagnosed with sleep apnea.  I stop breathing in my sleep.  Not Good.  It's possible that I've had this for a long time, becuase I always remember being able to fall asleep in seconds and I've always woken up feeling tired.  But I cannot deny the fact that I am vastly heavier and so much less healthy than ever before.

I am so fat I can't even sleep.

Tonight I go for my "titration" appointment, in which they fit me with a CPAP mask and figure out the settings so that my airway stays open when I sleep.

My doctor keeps telling me that getting good quality sleep is life changing.  When I hear the words life changing, I sit up and listen.   Unfortunately, those words are usually followed by results not typical or a list of potentially fatal side affects.  CPAP isn't.  It's not attractive, but there aren't any side affects besides breathing properly and getting restful sleep.

If I can sleep, and I have energy, then this is the life-altering event that starts my story.