Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I swear, it's like being attacked with things you don't wanna deal with...

After wasting three yards of fold-over elastic in yesterday’s disaster-a-thon and not having anything to show for it besides an overflowing scraps box, I decided to put it down and back away for a few days. I was too upset and frustrated to learn, and it’d be better for me and Chez Insanity to come back to it in a better frame of mind.

Besides, I had an 8am and a 10 am appointment at the VA Medical center – sleep apnea consult and pulmonary breathing evaluation. Whee. The apnea appointment turned out to be getting my very own CPAP device, which scares the heck out of me. You may remember my last sleep clinic appointment, which was an even bigger disaster than fold-over elastic. I got no sleep at all because the CRAP device blasted my face with cold air every time I moved the slightest amount. Even blinking set it off. By the end of the test, I was beyond cranky and annoyed and well into irrational, and vowed I’d rather die in my sleep than go through that again.

Well, here it was again. But now, the CPAP thing wasn’t so bad. It didn’t  make me feel like Darth Vader, for one thing, and in some ways, it was easier to tolerate than the cannula. It still forces air to keep the passages open, but now, it’s just my nose, and it’s not really bad at all. The consultant even ordered a smaller nose piece for me when I muttered that the one I was trying out seemed rather large.

Even better, the consultant understood. Her husband had similar issues, lots of people do. And it took him nearly a year to get used to his. All she was asking is that I try. Maybe while watching TV, or taking a nap. If it bothered me after an hour, take it off and see if I can do an hour the next day. Well, shoot. If I’d have known that, I would have given it more of a chance back then. I didn’t know I could adjust at my own pace, it was presented to me as ‘take it or leave it’, and because it was so awful, I left it. Plus, the long-ago device was a lot more unwieldy. The one three feet from my ankles will allow me to move, to sleep on my side, you name it. It still feels weird, but I think I can deal.

My pulmonary evaluation took place mostly in a clear box with a breathing tube and several other odd-looking wires, hoses, and diaphragms plugged into it. If it hadn’t been for all that equipment, I’d have thought I was backstage before going on a game show, in a sound-proof booth. My tech explained what I’d have to do – mostly breathe in unusual ways – before I had to do it, then coached and encouraged me through. May I say right now that both of them were superlative, understanding and professional, but not detached or impatient. While I can’t truly say I enjoyed my appointments, neither of them were the trials they could easily have been, and it was because of them.

Of course, once home, I took a two-hour nap. My medical anxiety messes up more sleep…plus, we got to eat at the VA cafeteria between appointments. My bacon biscuit was good, and so was the hash brown plank, but I ate waaay more than my usual allotment of grease and salt. And fats put me right on to sleep. It’s amazing I’m conscious as much as I am !

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