Archive for the 'health' Category

Blessings

Posted in health on March 5th, 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We always knew that we were blessed with our 5 healthy babies, but the reality of how blessed we really were is beginning to sink in.  Our first 4 children were very easy, content, healthy babies, so our 5th child, Luke, has rocked our world a little bit.  He has always been an intense baby; very energetic, playful, sleepless, alert and specific about his wants and needs.  But during the past few months, he’s been sick as well, so the poor little guy is having  trouble being comforted.  We’ve taken him to the doctor a few times, and he’s been diagnosed with bronchitis and an ear infection.  As if these illnesses were not enough, his chest x-rays show he has an enlarged heart.  We are currently praying that this is not a symptom of something seriously wrong with little Luke’s health.  My husband made me promise not to google it since we’ve made a few medical scares in our family worse by scaring ourselves with random internet information.  We are currently waiting for our appointment with the pediatric cardiologist.  Scary stuff.

I will continue to update when I can.  In the meantime, prayers for Luke would be wonderful 🙂

So How’d It Go?

Posted in health, Kids on October 17th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Overall, so much better than my fears were telling me it would go.  I had my second cesarean section on Friday, October 7.  Boy was I nervous beforehand!  I figured I would write out the details, just in case we decide to do this again I can look back at it and know what to expect.  So I warn you, if you’re squeamish about medical procedures or just plain not interested, then skip the post.  But if I can make just one person feel more at ease about their impending cesarean, even if it’s future me, then it’s worth writing this all out and sharing the details.

The day of my scheduled cesarean, the hospital told me to arrive at 5:30 AM.  Hubby and I set the alarm for 4:30 and got there a little early so we could visit the hospital chapel and pray together.  Thankfully, Grandma had arrived in town the night before and had our 4 kids at her hotel.  The first nurse we asked did not know where the chapel was in the hospital, which I found strange, but then again, our local hospital is undergoing major expansion and renovation, so I guess that’s the excuse I’ll let them have for the fact that their chapel (when we finally found someone who knew where it was) was just an empty room.  No matter because God listens where ever you are, so we prayed together and went back to the maternity ward where they began to prep me for my surgery.  They put an IV in, which didn’t go very well.  Seems I have great veins in my arms for drawing blood (the  blood techs always ooh and ahh over me and my veins, which makes them weird in my book), but in my hands, not so much.  Getting IVs is always very painful for me, and it bruises up my whole hand.  This day was no exception.  It hurt a lot, and they had to give me 2 holes before they got it right.  Then the nurse comes and tells me that because of the combination of it being my 5th baby and the fact that I had to have a blood transfusion last time that they were going to have to give me a back-up port in my other hand just in case.  So they start doing that, and that one hurts even more.  Next thing I know, I have a golf ball sized lump in my hand – “The vein blew” the nurse told me.  I don’t ever want to hear anyone tell me that something carrying blood throughout my body “blew”, and I still haven’t googled that one to see what it is because it sounds so nasty.  And at this point, I’m near tears thinking that if things are going wrong already, what will happen when they cut me open?  But they finally got my second IV port in, and then after the insertion of the catheter (not a big deal and I will spare the details), I was ready to be wheeled off to the surgery room in a wheelchair.

Luckily I had taken the c-section class at the hospital, so the cold sterility of the operating room did not alarm me, and I also knew that my Hubby had to wait outside until certain preparations were made.  On our way into the operating room, I saw the backup doctor, and he was talking to himself in the hallway in kind of a strange way.  He is known for being a bit different, so it didn’t really worry me, especially since I knew my regular doctor would be there also.  Besides, Dr. Strange delivered my 3rd child, and she was the easiest delivery I had.  I will spare details for what happened next; it’s a bit personal – if you really need to know how they prep a patient for a c-section then take a class at your local hospital.  Then the anesthesiologist came in, and my heart sank when I realized it was the same lady who gave me my epidural during the birth of baby #4 – the epidural that never worked.  She gave me my spinal, and it pinched a little, but much less than an epidural, not really a big deal at all.  My legs started to get tingly, and I was really starting to panic big time.  I kept asking the anesthesiologist if everything I was feeling was normal, and she was so nice and reassuring.   They had a blood pressure cuff on my arm which kept going off every few minutes, and they also gave me oxygen in my nose – I felt very well cared for.  They let Hubby in, and he and the anesthesiologist (so tired of typing that word, think I’ll just call her Dr. Drug from now on) sat by my head the whole time.  Dr. Drug said that they would test me to make sure that I was numb before they did anything, but guess what – they didn’t.  I brought this up to someone after it was over, and they had a good point – they probably tested my numbness but didn’t even tell me about it.  Since it was working, I didn’t feel the test, so they proceeded.  Duh.  It’s just that I was so nervous about the numbing not working after what happened with my epidural; you can’t blame me for being concerned.

The next thing I remember is the tugging and pulling, which is also something for which the c-section class prepared me.  But it was actually much less unpleasant than I had panicked it would be.  It’s just that it seemed to take forever.  They said it would take about 1-2 minutes and according to Hubby, it took 4 minutes.  If you ask me, I would say it took 15 minutes.  The whole time I could hear the doctors talking and I kept asking Hubby what they were saying because I was panicking about the health of the baby and the fact that I was lying there sliced open on the table.  He said they were just discussing their techniques.  My Hubby kept looking down there, past the curtain, and I kept wondering how he could do that – if it were him lying on a table sliced open, I don’t know that I could look.  But then again, I don’t think it was like surgery looks on tv – I was picturing a completely open body cavity, but that’s a different kind of surgery.  I guess that’s why there was all that tugging and pulling.  So anyway, finally Hubby says that the baby is out, but I don’t hear crying, so I begin to panic even more (notice a trend here?  I am a worrywart, in case you haven’t noticed).  But both people seated at my head tell me everything is fine, and then I hear the baby (Luke James) cry.  I feel so relieved, and I can’t believe it’s over.  Except it’s not.  They clean up the baby, and they hold him up in front of my face for about a millisecond, and then they take him out of the room along with my husband and probably about half the staff that was on hand.  At some point, I don’t remember when, but I’m pretty sure it was after the baby was born, Dr. Drug held up a little vial and says, “I’m going to give you this.”  She puts it in my IV, and I find out later that it was Duramorph, a form of morphine.  I’m wondering now if this is something they give all their c-section patients (those who are not opposed to medications), or if I got the “panicking patient” special.  At any rate, after the morphine, my memory gets fuzzy, but I do remember lying there getting sewed up (still not feeling a thing below my chest).  My complaint was that it seemed to take FOREVER because I had nothing to do but lie there, and all I could think about was seeing my baby.  I even got envious of my poor husband, because here I had just gone through this surgery and now HE was getting to spend all this time with the baby and I hadn’t even barely gotten a look at him.  They should really think about putting a tv in there or something…  or would that distract the doctors?  Best not to think about it, I guess.  I had to keep talking myself out of looking at the ceiling because it was reflective, and I could see a little of me and a lot of red there – they ought to fix that too; I would bet that no one wants to see themselves getting surgery.  But finally they were finished, and a few of the staff people worked together to lift my helpless body onto the  gurney for the transport back to my room.

When I got there, there was Hubby with the baby, all excited to see me, and then I finally got to hold our new son.  And he was (is) so incredibly beautiful.  The rest of the day was wonderful.  Slowly my legs began to work again, and I could not believe it that I had absolutely no pain!  It did not resonate with me that I was on drugs.  I did feel kind of loopy, but I didn’t really think much of it and enjoyed the euphoria of having a new healthy baby and the relief that the worst part was over.  Weather-wise it ended up being a terrible weekend to be stuck in the hospital – it was 80 degrees out and sunny, and the grandmas took my kids to the zoo on Saturday, so I had to miss that, but at least they got to go.  When I was released from the hospital on Monday, it was still very nice out for a few days, but I didn’t feel up to going outside and by the time I did, Northern Ohio fall weather was in full swing and I’ve been cold ever since.  Oh well, such is life, and my Hubby had perfect advice when I was bummed about missing the beautiful fall colors (it was amazing how different our neighborhood looked with all the leaves on the ground after just 3 days!).  He said, “There will be plenty more color-changing seasons, but there are only so many baby seasons.”  What a wise, wonderful man!

Back to my recovery in the hospital, it went fairly smoothly, although I did have a lot of pain starting Saturday once the morphine wore off.  The baby was up all night on Friday, but I didn’t mind at all because I just wanted to be with him.  I haven’t watched tv in years, but over the weekend, I watched countless episodes of 3’s Company, Roseanne (forgot about the one where Becky gets into the liquor cabinet, haha!), and Everybody Loves Raymond – you know, shows from when tv was actually good.  I learned about the Prohibition era from PBS, and I also learned that there are conspiracy theorists who believe that there really isn’t gold in Fort Knox – hmm, that’s something to think about I guess.  Luke slept a full 5 hours on Saturday night from 1:30-6:30, and so did I since no one came for my blood until 6:30.  Last time I was in the hospital, I seem to remember them coming for blood every hour on the hour which made it really hard to sleep, but then again I had a lot of complications last time including the need for an emergency cesarean and a blood transfusion.  Sunday night, little Luke decided he wasn’t going to sleep again, and I woke up from my 45 minute nap that night feeling terrible – achy and lots of other pain, and chills because of a fever I was running.  Not only that, but there was a mean nurse who informed me in a not-so-nice way that I was over my limit of acetaminophen, which meant I was not allowed any pain medicine.  That really ticked me off; partly because of the way she said it, and partly because no one had given me any indication that this was a problem.  Had they warned me that I was getting near the limit, I would have declined some of the meds offered to me to avoid this.  Actually, all of the other nurses had been telling me that I should stay ahead of the pain.  They specifically said not to wait until the pain was really bad to take the meds otherwise they wouldn’t work.  The staff must have known I was upset because at 11pm Sunday night, my doctor called my bedside phone personally and reassured me.  And my doctor is the one I credit with my smooth delivery and quick recovery – she has been 1000% better than my previous doctors in every way throughout this process, and for that, I am so thankful.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been resting (probably not as much as I should have, but I have 5 kids now, who can rest with 5 kids in the house??).  Hubby has been amazing at taking care of me AND things around the house, but he also started a new job 2 days after the baby was born, which leaves him with 2 jobs, taking care of the 4 kids and me AND waking with the new baby at night as he likes to do.  My mother did a ton of laundry while she was here, and I’m just now starting to do laundry again a week and a half later, so that helped a lot too.  People from church have been wonderful about sending meals for our family, and that has been incredible.  Not only that, but we also have frozen meals that people sent and that my husband’s mother made while she was visiting for when our meal delivery runs out.  It’s been crazy, but we are managing, and a week and half later, I’ve been out and about and back in the real world.  I still have pain, but nothing extreme, and my 600mg ibuprofen works pretty well for that.  There are 2 complications I had that I was not expecting; one is worthy of a blog post all its own and I’ll get to it next time.  The other is the return of my backaches.  I’ve had a sore back since high school; I worked fast food and had to pop a Doan’s before every shift to make it through.  There are various things that I think caused it, but what does that matter now.  The strange thing is that during my pregnancy, my backaches disappeared.  Most women find new backaches during pregnancy, and mine disappeared.  I didn’t think much of it until I get home from the hospital and experience my back pain again.  This is discouraging because I know the incision pain will go away with time, but the backaches seem to be getting worse, and I have no guarantee that my back will ever feel better.  I guess it’s something to talk to my wonder doc about in my 6-week follow-up.  I already had my 1 week follow-up with the doctor, and she said my incision looks really great and my body is healing well – for that I am thankful.

Baby’s healthy, 4 big sisters and brother are healthy, I’m getting healthy, and Hubby is healthy (even if he needs much more sleep – praying for that to come soon) – what more can we ask for!  Life is good; God is great!

And oh yeah…  everywhere little Luke goes, he has a constant crowd of admirers.  If it wasn’t so sweet, it would be annoying because hey, when is it MY turn to hold the baby?!?  😉

4 Down…

Posted in health on July 27th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

My husband fell ill over the weekend, and he had to leave a show early that we went to see together on Sunday.  By Monday night, my two littlest kids were throwing up, and Hubby and I stayed up late cleaning them up and comforting them.  Monday night, I had a dream that we were on a trip, and we were scheduled to leave our vacation, but I was sick and worried about the 3-4 hour car ride.  When I awoke, I was really sick – so this thing has struck down 4 of us, and my 2 oldest daughters remain unaffected as of yet.

We are busy people!  I already rescheduled the dentist appointment we won’t make, but I don’t know what to do about our church’s Kidstuf play Hubby and I are directing – rehearsal is tonight.  I don’t see how I’ll be able to make it, but I also don’t understand how to summon the energy to stay home with sick little ones when I’m feeling so incredibly lousy.  Complicating things is the fact that my two oldest girls are also in Kidstuf, and they had to miss the first rehearsal because they were at their Grandma’s.  There is a waiting list for kids who want to be in Kidstuf, and so the kids who are chosen to be in it are not supposed to miss even one rehearsal.  If my kids get sick, they will have to miss another rehearsal, and I’m so worried for them that they won’t get to do the show!

So today, I have to find a way to navigate around the thumping in my head and the visits to the bathroom (sorry, but here we are) to care for my 4 kids so Hubby can work.  And I  have to do things in a way that won’t spread this super-contagious illness (it says something when I get an illness – I don’t usually get sick ever!) to the remaining healthy ones in my family.

Anyone want to babysit?  😉

God’s Strong Love For Fools

Posted in Current Events, health on April 14th, 2010 and tagged , , ,

I came across this article the other day by Janine Dorsey of the Tampa Tribune; it’s called “Don’t Laugh; It Could Happen To You: Common Reasons For Emergency Room Visits Are Common and Serious”

If that title alone doesn’t intrigue you, then go ahead and skip this post.  But I found the article to be both interesting and amusing, so I’ll share some highlights:

Federal regulators review a sample of those visits for signs a product might need to be recalled. Those records provide a view into the dramatic injuries of Americans who seem able to hurt themselves with almost any product made.

One woman fell from a galloping horse while texting.
Another woman’s bangs caught fire as she peered into a toaster.
More than 818 emergency room trips in the past four years involved “chicken” – dead and alive.

Boxes of cereal (cut fingers), cans of pork and beans (falling from a cupboard onto one’s head), wood chippers (yes, people stick their hands in) and trombones.  Hundreds of people suffer piercings gone wrong, thousands fall out of their mobile homes or have objects intractably lodged in orifices.

“Every day, people come in and you just think, ‘You gotta be kidding me,'” said Brian Peckler, an ER doctor for 15 years, now at Tampa General. “I mean, what makes a guy think using a fish hook to clean out ear wax is a good idea?”

Everyone knows by now that talking on the phone is distracting, and now that cell phones have become even cheaper than land lines in many cases, people are finding a variety of ways to hurt themselves while using the phone:

A 19-year-old male, on the phone while lifting weights, drops a barbell on himself.

A 21-year-old male, riding his bike and texting, crashes, scrapes his face.

A 37-year-old male cutting chicken while on the phone slices his hand.

A 25-year-old male, texting, walks into a telephone pole’s guide wire and tells emergency room workers “he might have gotten zapped.”

Hundreds of injuries are blamed on the phone in its capacity as a weapon: They’re used as missiles or as a bludgeon to beat people on the head.

And then there is something that’s become obvious to me ever since I had a son almost two years ago –  men are more apt to hurt themselves than women.  There are more women than men in this country, yet men account for 56% of the ER visits, according to federal data.

Men suffer injury in 80 percent of pressure washer cases. Nine in 10 injuries involving “mobile home” and “alcohol” were suffered by men. And 96 percent of “nail gun” cases were men.

“Guys are definitely dumber than women in this regard,” Peckler said.

One 37-year-old man tried cutting branches with a circular saw – on top of a running wood chipper. The saw cut off several fingers, which fell into the chipper.

Having a brother appears dangerous as well. Regardless of who was injured, ER records implicate the brother twice as often as the sister.

And my personal favorite part of the article:

“Demonstrate” appears in no small number of cases where less-than-skilled people tried to show off martial arts moves, wedding dances, pogo-stick skills and cheerleader routines.

Though many people consider themselves expert enough to demonstrate something, Robert Cano at University Community Hospital sees scores of cases that prove otherwise.

“Almost nothing good comes after someone says ‘Hey, watch this!'” Cano said.

Note the 52-year-old mother, demonstrating judo to her daughter by flipping her husband. Torn left knee.

Other cases: The 25-year-old man demonstrating to children how to climb on monkey bars when his shoulder “snapped.” Or the 16-year-old demonstrating a softball technique who stepped on a rake that smacked her in the forehead.

Or the 55-year-old woman showing her grandson how to use a pogo stick – she fell and smacked her head.

And finally, the ER doc’s favorite story:

Peckler at Tampa General marvels at accidents that should have been fatal but weren’t.

His favorite case: the man who was supposed to be watching his 3-year-old, but decided to change his car’s oil in the driveway.  Seeking a safe holding area, Dad put the child in the car and crawled underneath to drain the oil.

The child knocked the gear shift from park to neutral, and the car’s tire rolled over the man’s chest.

He suffered no major injuries, Peckler said. But how could anyone survive?

Peckler shrugged and said, “God’s strong love for fools.”

Indeed.  Just be careful next time you hear someone say, “Watch this.”  Maybe you should get the phone ready to dial 9-1-1.  Then again, after reading how inclined some folks are to hurt themselves while using the phone, perhaps a better response to “Watch this.” would be “No thanks.”

A BIG Scare, But Thankfully, Just a Scare

Posted in health on March 1st, 2010 and tagged , , , ,

Last week for date night, we saw Shutter Island – not much to say about that; it was disappointing.  We then went out to eat, and my husband mentioned that his fingers were tingling.  At the same time, I noticed that he was slurring his words – uh,oh.  Although he is only in his mid-30’s, I was sure that he had had a stroke; I know those are two of the warning signs.  He did not want to go to the hospital, so I agreed that we would drive home, pick up the kids, and I would look up these symptoms on the internet to see if he should indeed get to the hospital.  When I looked it up, the info was scarier than I originally thought.  It said yes, these are indeed symptoms of a stroke, and a person needs only to exhibit ONE of them, not all.  It also said that people who have strokes often refuse to get medical treatment, and their loved ones must INSIST that they seek medical treatment – so I made Hubby go to the ER while I put the kids to bed.  Well, before you panic, let me say that the stroke tests all came back negative.  Turns out that his arm had gone numb during the movie because it was a long movie and he was giving me backrubs (AWW!), and his “lazy tongue” was a result of his visit to the dentist in the morning – he doesn’t like novacaine, so when the dentist re-did one of his fillings, he sprayed some kind of numbing spray which got into my husband’s bloodstream and caused him to feel it 9 hours later.  PHEW!!!  It was a wasted night at the ER, but I’m so glad that he went because otherwise I would STILL be wondering and panicking that he had had a stroke.  And besides, it made for a really funny story to tell later…  people really seem to like the irony of the directions on the internet:  “Expect the person to protest — denial is common. Don’t take “no” for an answer.  Insist on taking prompt action.”  Well, insist I did, and as a result, poor Hubby spent the end of date night in the ER!

Double Doctor Duty

Posted in health on February 2nd, 2010 and tagged , , ,

This morning was our appointment with the pediatrician.  The “our” refers to my little 18-month-old boy and I.  It seems strange for a 31-year-old to have an appointment with the pediatrician, but as I’ve said before, he is also our resident sleep expert.  Since I never feel rested no matter how much sleep I get, I was trying to get to the bottom of it and even  got a sleep study done.

First and most importantly, my little boy is growing exactly in accordance with the growth chart at the pediatrician’s office!  There was an intern doctor he was training this morning, and he noted to her that it was very rare to have a baby grow so normally – so I will take that as a good thing.  My little guy hated being poked and prodded, but at least he got the A-ok!  He weighs 24 lb 2 oz and is 32 7/8″ long.

As for me…  nothing doing, really.  My heart was fine during the sleep study, so that’s a good thing.  But according to the doctor, I slept for 7 hours of the 7.6 hours I was being studied (could have fooled me).  My oxygen levels went a little bit low, but nothing that needs any fixing, I guess.  He said that because of my “structure” (I have one huge tonsil), I will have to get this sleep study done every few years to make sure that things don’t get worse, but I disagree – that is not going to happen.  All in all, it was a waste of time I would say.  I’m a little frustrated because the sleep study was kind of an unpleasant experience, especially to have nothing to show for it.  And for the past week, my sleepiness has gotten even worse – I feel like I’ve been bordering on narcoleptic!  I’ve stopped sleeping with the tv on, something I’ve done and loved doing since I was about 6 years old.  I’ve been going to bed earlier, as much as I hate missing out on ‘me and Hubby’ time – I even got a nap in on Sunday!  But even after making all these efforts, I’ve still fallen asleep at the movies, at home while watching movies; and (I hate to admit it), but I was struggling at church and I also dozed during a class we’re taking.  And it’s not like I’m bored – I love to learn, and I really like church and look forward to it!  I was really disappointed that I missed some of last week’s message!  Why can’t I stay awake?!?  Back to square one, I guess…  whatever that is.  Time to stock up on coffee and energy drinks, I suppose, there seems to be no other hope for me.

Lab Rat

Posted in health on January 26th, 2010 and tagged , , , , ,

Mostly, it was worse than I thought it was going to be, but I survived.  I spent the night at the hospital last night undergoing a sleep study.  These are becoming increasingly common, and many people experience anxiety beforehand, so perhaps I can help by describing it to someone who doesn’t know what to expect.  Then again, maybe you shouldn’t read this post if you’re looking to be reassured…

First, I got a prescription for a sleep study from my kids’ pediatrician, who is also the local sleep expert doctor – I had mentioned to him that I never feel rested.  So I arrived for my sleep study last night around 8 pm; usually they have you come earlier, but they wanted to mimic my bedtime schedule, and I rarely go  to bed before midnight.  That’s funny – mimic my bedtime schedule, yet the 4 rowdy kids who usually keep me up past midnight were no where in sight, hmmm, not much mimicry there.  So I waited in the lounge for a little bit for the nurse to do paperwork, which is more like a little living room that I luckily had to myself – didn’t really feel like being social.  Soon it was time to “hook me up” (which sounds better than it is, believe me) and we went into this little room off the lounge.  I would not be exaggerating to say it was reminiscent of a clinical torture chamber.  There was a simple chair bolted down in the middle of the small room, and various medical apparatuses and who-knows-what bolted to the walls, along with extra wires and electrical looking boxes and things – is this where they interrogated Saddam?

Not that I was nervous or anything because I really wasn’t.  I didn’t like being away from my family, but I made the best of it by telling myself that I was going to enjoy the few hours away from the chaos; I had brought piles of old newspapers to catch up on and 3 hardcover books to read.  And as far as the medical stuff goes, it didn’t really seem like a big deal after the 9 mos. of poking and prodding I’ve endured as a pregnant woman – times 4.

So I get all wired up, and after I sat in the lounge alternating between reading and watching tv (I had no idea what was even ON tv, which shows how little I watch it now), I decided that it was time for bed, and this is where things take a turn for the worse.  As if the millions of electrodes the nurse had glued to various parts of my body weren’t enough, she added two belts and also shoved something up my nose.  That’s right – they glue electrodes to you, disregarding your hair and everything.  My kids today had fun playing with my stiff “glue hair”, but I quickly took a shower and washed it out before anyone got any ideas that “glue hair” is cool – that is one mess I don’t need to clean up today or ever!

So I’m fully wired, and the nurse plugs me in, and then she leaves the room and comes over the intercom.  She makes me do a series of silly actions – she said she wanted to “test the sensors”, but I was starting to think that her having me roll my eyes around in my head and demonstrate fake snoring might have just been cheap entertainment for the hospital’s 3rd shift.  When we were finished “testing the sensors”, the nurse turned off my light and I was expected to fall asleep, but I had lots of trouble.  First of all, imagine trying to sleep while looking like this:

Not only that, but the bed was just awful, hard as a rock – I have a crick in my back today.  And don’t forget there is a camera and microphone on you at all times; it’s a bit daunting to relax in this situation.  And when they said that I could “bring my own pillow if I wish”, I thought that was implying I should bring my pillow if I have some sort of special attachment to it.  What they really meant was “You might wish to bring your own pillow because we only have little slabs of rubber we cover with pillowcases.”  Maybe they figured that if they put a pillowcase on it, they could call it a pillow, but after spending 8 hours with it, I strongly disagree.

So I had trouble falling asleep, big surprise.  Not only was I so wired I felt like I could help E.T. phone home, but the bed and pillow were awful, there was a camera and a microphone on me, and the room was dark and quiet (that NEVER happens at home!).  I was alone with my thoughts, and that’s never a good thing 😉  It didn’t help that I could occasionally hear the wind howling outside, and it reminded me of when the lights were on and the nurse was “checking” my fake snores – the lights had been flickering slightly.  What if the power goes out, and there is a sudden electrical surge?  Would I get shocked?  Would I burst into flame?  Would I disappear?  Might I come away with some sort of obscure superpower?  Hey, that might be kind of cool…  I guess I finally drifted off, because the next thing I know, I’m waking up, even though it felt like I hadn’t fallen asleep yet, and that’s how I knew I still had hours left in my sleep study.  Still uncomfortable, still cold, still not liking being both seen and heard while I’m asleep.  And then I wake up again.  Still uncomfortable, still cold… you get the picture.  I must have woken up about 5 times during the night, tossing and turning each time, hoping for comfort until I passed out for good all tangled up in wires like a fly caught in a spider’s web.  Then I had a nightmare, and I wonder how that appeared on the charts?  Finally, I hear a voice from above say “Lisa, the sleep study is over.”  Even though that was the best news I had heard in hours, it was a bit unsettling to be woken up by an intercom saying my name.

Overall, it wasn’t that bad, even though I was disappointed because I had been under the impression that I would be able to fall asleep easily, and that I would be in a comfy bed and stay asleep until the morning.  Instead, I returned to real life very poorly rested early this morning with 3 kids to look after all day.  But at least today, unlike yesterday, I can have all the coffee I can brew, and tonight I get to sleep in my own bed!  Well, providing the coffee doesn’t keep me up all night anyway!

Feeling Short And Old

Posted in health on December 10th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

I’ve been experiencing some sort of awful fatigue lately, so I begrudgingly went to the doctor to get it checked out.  My husband had noticed me stop breathing in my sleep last week, so we suspect sleep apnea, but I have to undergo a sleep study to find out for sure.  Good luck scheduling THAT during this Christmas season!

But the doctor also had a few interesting tidbits of advice, even though I felt extremely silly at the office since I actually saw my kids’ pediatrician – he is also the resident sleep specialist.  It didn’t help any when I got measured by a Sponge Bob ruler and found out that I must be shrinking – I’ve always considered myself to be on the tall side, but this time, I didn’t measure up – according to Sponge Bob, anyway.  So not only am I shrinking, but somewhere along the line I’ve become a year-round allergy sufferer who also has mild asthma.  And I just thought I was out of shape…

And to add insult to injury, I also got two new prescription medicines to add to my cabinet –  just like any other senior citizen would get at a doctor’s visit 😉

That’s IT!

Posted in health on December 4th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

I’ve had it with my sleep problems!  I don’t usually have trouble falling asleep, but that’s probably because I don’t even start trying until midnight or later.  Sometimes I do have trouble falling asleep, and even if I can fall asleep easily, I usually do not stay asleep all night.  Not that I remember any of the several or many times I wake up each night; I’m usually in a stupor where I’ll say things that don’t make sense or say not-so-nice things to the dog or anyone else who happens to be in my way.  The main problem is that I wake up in the morning feeling terribly under-rested, never ready to start the day, and the problem has been getting steadily worse in recent weeks.  I rarely get headaches, but because of the stress of my horrible week compounded by the not sleeping, my head has been throbbing all week (the extremely loud live band at youth group did NOT help!).  I’ve tried going to bed earlier, I’ve tried limiting my food and drink intake at night, I’ve tried taking naps when time allows (which is rare), and I’ve tried taking melatonin (an herb found naturally in the body that helps promote sleep), but nothing is helping.  I just can’t take it anymore; it’s impossible to make my long busy days of caring for 4 small children enjoyable when I feel so tired all the time.  My husband stayed awake for a little bit and listened to me sleep last night, and he said that there were times when I stopped breathing, which is a symptom of sleep apnea.  So, as much as I hate to  do it and don’t even really have the time for it, I’ve made an appointment with the local sleep specialist who just happens to be our childrens’ pediatrician.  We’ll see what he says next week, but chances are that I’ll get sent over to the sleep center for a sleep study – YUCK.  Just what I want to be: a lab rat; the subject of a study who has to find a way to fall asleep in a room with a bunch of people watching and while hooked up to all kinds of machines.  This is just about one of the last things I want to do, but it shows how incredibly desperate I am to finally get a good night’s rest.  If they can actually help me, feeling well-rested is going to be an amazing yet totally foreign feeling!  If it doesn’t help me, I’m back where I  started but with one less option AND having missed out on a fun night with my family 🙁