Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sleepy

I'm not the world's best sleeper. Actually my whole family has had a history of poor sleep, including my sister's sleepwalking (which my nephew inherited) and Dad's snoring and apnea (which unfortunately *I* inherited). Between loud snoring, teeth grinding and apnea, I haven't gotten many good night's sleep in the last 30 years (and consequently JennySlash has had very few in the last 24). Things seem to have gotten worse for me over the last 3-4 years, to the point where I *never* wake up refreshed and it's affected my ability to concentrate for good chunks of the day. I figure that if I'm successful professionally now with as little good sleep as I get, I'll be taking over the world if I can actually get some rest.

Given the ever-increasing evidence that apnea can be a major contributor to high blood pressure, stroke and other life-shortening ailments, I finally decided to do something about it, starting with a visit to the Neurology Clinic at the UNC Hospitals. Took off mid-morning Thursday and let me tell you, if you don't spend a lot of time around the hospital down there on South Campus, it's a maze of construction tape, barrels, cranes, hard hats, construction vehicles and barricades. What's funny is that it's pretty much been like that as long as I can remember. It took quite awhile to find a parking space and I had barely starting filling out the ubiquitous form-on-the-clipboard when it was time to see the doctor. We spent a bit of time going over history and daily details and went ahead and made an appointment for a sleepover while waiting for the attending to be available. He was quite thorough with the physical part of the exam, keeping up a running commentary for the intern. He then used the paper on the examining bench to diagram out the likely physical causes of apnea and the possible treatments, the CPAP machine (or the Darth Vader mask as I usually call it) being the most likely. Of course you can't talk to a doctor without talking about lifestyle changes and it's no surprise that I'm going to have to resign myself to radically cutting back on how much beer I'm consuming. As I emailed Lex the other day, it wouldn't be so bad if beer sucked, but alas...

So Sunday I'll be off to the hospital to spend the evening watching TV and the night with them watching me. I'm not sure if I'll have internet access from the room, but I'll definitely have a laptop with me so I'll post updates if I can get on the 'nets.

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