I'm also tired and fuzzy-headed, and the thought of doing anything other than slumping here in my office chair is just too darn exhausting.
Admittedly, I had a bad night last night, and the night before that, and the night before that. In fact, I can't remember the last time I slept through the night. I can't remember the last time I felt fully rested.
So that probably doesn't help.
Many months ago John discovered that I stopped breathing during my sleep a lot. It spooked him. I didn't think much of it, but then his sister - who has anxiety like me - told me how she learned she has sleep apnea even though she doesn't snore, and it was contributing to panic and insomnia and daytime fatigue. Once she got a CPAP machine, though, she felt amazing.
That convinced me to give it a try, so we spent the next several weeks arranging an at-home sleep test (which showed I *do* have apnea, yay), and then convincing doctors to prescribe a machine without a follow-up in the expensive overnight lab.
Meanwhile, my nighttime panic was getting worse, or maybe I just noticed it more. I'd wake up feeling like I was choking, heart racing, palms sweaty. This seemed to confirm that apnea was the culprit in my mid-sleep panic attacks. I'd had those happen off and on for a while, but then they started happening almost every night. Desperate, I began sleeping sitting up, just biding my time until we could get a machine.
Finally, a few weeks ago, after months of insurance run-arounds and 4 different machine providers playing Hot Potato with my prescription, I got an APAP machine.
It's a bit of a blow for any woman, I think, to contemplate wearing a clunky mask and air hoses to bed for the rest of her life. I made so many sarcastic comments while we were picking out the mask ("Ooooh, SEXY") that John got a bit frustrated with me. But he still laughed when I mocked the "For Her" line, whose only differentiating feature are pink headstraps.
Rats. No one told me I had to get matching pajamas.
Still, I'll admit I was excited. I couldn't wait to have the best sleep of my life, and to wake up feeling rested and calm. No more panic! Uninterrupted sleep! More energy!
But of course it didn't work that way.
No one told me it would take months to get used to the machine, and that at least half of people prescribed one never do. No one told me it would make the panic worse, and hurt, and feel like subtle torture in the wee hours of the morning, when your face itches and cracks and your breaths feel wrong and irregular and you just want to sleep, please let me sleep, but you can't.
Then, after 3 or 4 hours lying there, you do fall asleep... for about 40 minutes. And you wake up panicking, because something's on your face and you can't breathe and sweet Staypuft has your nose EVER itched this much in your entire life?? Plus now you have to pee.
Repeat that cycle two to four times a night, and that's been my life for the past 2 weeks. Except eventually it gets too much, and I rip the mask off, and sleep fitfully for a few hours before staggering out of bed like a zombie.
Lily is beside me on the desk right now, licking another raw, bloody patch on her back. She won't stop. So I put the inflatable collar on her:
Immediately she turns into The Most Pathetic Creature... In The World. She stares. At me. She tries - and fails - to rest her little head on my mouse hand.
She twitches down her back like she's in pain, and then slinks around with her tail on the ground. I can't stand it. So I take the collar off... and we're back to square one.
I'd hoped - perhaps irrationally - that fixing her hyperthyroidism with the radiation would also fix the rest of her occasional over-grooming, but it seems the stress of her clinic stay has brought it back full force.
And finally, after a long month of doing something I never thought I could do: going gluten *and* dairy free - I've had to conclude that the gluten makes no difference to my system. Another hope for better health, more energy, and even clearer skin, dashed.
I did feel better this past month, but it seems that was only from skipping dairy, because of my lactose intolerance. I've been back on gluten for almost a week, though, and have had no ill effects that I can detect. (I suspect some GF folks will tell me it's subtle, or cumulative, or who-knows-what, but I'm not sure I can continue without tangible evidence it actually helps.)
I have mixed feelings on this one: relief, I guess, because it's so much easier to eat this way, but also incredibly disappointed it didn't help. I always figured if I could just manage to try it, if I could ever muster that kind of willpower, then everything would be amazing. Then I did... and it wasn't.
So today I am sad, and discouraged. I'm tired, a little anxious, and not sure what to try next. My mom recommends sleeping pills and a chin strap. John's at the store buying me a couple bottles of Kombucha. The vet is going to give us some ointment for Lily.
Speaking of which, this is my view right now, looking down:
Lily has wedged herself between my belly and the keyboard. I've typed most of this with my arm on her back. I kind of hate to wake her.
At least one of us is getting some sleep.