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The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
In general

I realize I haven't posted much at all for the past few months - aside from a scattering of memes and some bitching about my health. There have actually been a number of things I thought about posting, but then I just never got to it and by the time I did I felt it was past the point of being worth posting. And it occurs to me that I never posted about the general cause to a lot of this...

People who know me know I have never had much of a sleep schedule. I'd just sleep when I could, stay up for a couple of days, crash for a day, etc. But I was always a sound sleeper and when I made time to sleep I slept and got a good nights rest. I could sleep just about anywhere, any time. And if I got sleep deprived I could 'catch up' on sleep by power crashing for 12-14 hours. That's pretty much how I lived my life from my early teens until last year, at 34.

Starting late last year I started feeling fatigued more often. I'd sleep but I'd wake up feeling like I could really use more rest. Now, because of my sleep habits that wasn't too unusual before. So I wrote it off for a while and figured I'd 'catch up' on a weekend, etc. But over time I found myself increasingly tired, and I'd sleep all weekend and still feel dead on Monday. During the work week I'd drag my ass home at the end of the day and have no energy. By the end of the week I'd feel wrung out. At first I thought it was work. Last fall I took over as Director of IT Operations and that was more responsibility and more stress. Then John quit and that left just qedrakmar and I to handle all of IT for several months. I figured it was just the higher workload and higher stress wearing me out, so I didn't give it too much though. I figured I'd be hiring new people and the load would go down and I'd go back to 'normal', such as it was for me.

Well, we hired Matt and Tamara mid-year and it did reduce the load. I took some time off to just rest at the time and I thought things would level out again. But they didn't. Over the past several months I've been feeling just totally exhausted most of the time. It has been killing what little social life I had, and I keep making plans for myself only to cancel them in favor of sleeping or just staying home and being a lump. A few months ago the thought started bubbling into my brain that I might have a sleeping disorder. I used to sleep 8-9 hours and wake up rested, now I'd sleep 12-14 hours and wake up tired. z_gryphon has sleep apnea and I remember from living with him what some of his symptoms were. slarti and dsrtao have also posted about sleep apnea and what they described sounded similar to what I've been experiencing. So I started thinking that maybe it was something I should have checked out, but I never quite got around to it.

Then miashell told me, a couple of months ago, that I a) snored (which is something I didn't used to do, at least not regularly) and b) that I just stopped breathing in my sleep. I'd snore, then stop breathing completely for 30 seconds, then resume. Yeah, well, that sounds a lot like sleep apnea. So during my last checkup, a couple of months ago, I mentioned all of this to my doc, who agreed that it sounded like sleep apnea. So I got an appointment with the UMass Sleep Clinic. Apparently they're booked pretty solid, because the first appointment I could get was almost two months out - which happens to be this Thursday, November 2.

So, yeah, this Thursday I go for my first visit. I don't think they'll be doing any tests or anything this time, just my first Q&A and evaluation. We'll see what happens.

But this is why I've kind of dropped off the face of the net, compared to my old habits. I've stopped visiting a number of forums, fell back out of writing with z_gryphon, haven't been going out as much, etc - because I'm just tired. It tends to take me at least an hour to just get rolling in the morning, do it is a couple of hours between first waking up and making it into work. Then I work a full day, and by the time I go home I'm too tired to do anything. By the end of the week I usually crash so hard that Saturday is just gone. Sunday I catch up on things I need to do, then the week starts over.

I'm tired of being tired. It saps my motivation to do anything - go to movies, see people, write, read, etc. I tend to go home, sit on the couch and eat dinner while watching some TiVo, then crash. And I feel like it is impacting my work too, because my brain is just slow sometimes, and that frustrates me and pisses me off, because I'm usually pretty sharp. I've dropped a few balls here and there and that really upsets me because it just isn't like me. I know I've forgotten to do things I've promised to do, at work and in my personal life, or I've flaked because I was too tired to do something.

I'm sorry for anyone I've let down. Or anyone I've snapped at or been bitchy towards, because I know I've been a cranky bastard at times. I often have a low grade fatigue headache (like now) and just feel on edge and jumpy, so I know I've been snippy when it was really uncalled for.

So I'm hoping I can sort this out and I can get my life back and learn how to rest again.

Tags: ,
Current Location: 42.33821N 71.59212W
I am: awake awake
Current Media: The Sisters Of Mercy: Some Girls Wander By Mistake - Floorshow

z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: November 1st, 2006 02:42 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 1st, 2006 02:47 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
We'll see, it may well be what I end up with. Or maybe I've had mono for a year. :-)
ardaniel From: ardaniel Date: November 1st, 2006 02:48 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
*snork* Last I checked, people with mono don't randomly stop breathing.

Are you sure you're not just *really* bored, though? ;)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 1st, 2006 02:50 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Maybe I'm just crushed beneath the weight of my ennui.
miashell From: miashell Date: November 1st, 2006 03:03 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
"I'm so emo, I can't breathe"... :P
slarti From: slarti Date: November 1st, 2006 02:51 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
donnerjack From: donnerjack Date: November 1st, 2006 04:16 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
slarti From: slarti Date: November 1st, 2006 04:24 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Aw, man. This reminds me that I have no Dalek icon. I'll have to remedy that at some point.
ardaniel From: ardaniel Date: November 1st, 2006 02:43 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
It's not so much "learning how to rest?"

It's "Gee, having oxygen FORCED INTO MY RESPIRATORY SYSTEM via a pressurized mask sure cured that low-grade anoxia I was having! Shit!"

From: ninjarat Date: November 1st, 2006 03:10 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
What's your blood pressure like? Because fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, headaches, anxiety and nervousness are often associated with hypertension.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 1st, 2006 03:16 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I have hypertension, I've been on meds for it for a couple of years now. I don't recall the numbers, but with the meds I'm in the 'OK' range. I used to be in the 'HOLY SHIT' range - enough that my doc put me on meds and told me to start taking them that very day.

I've had high blood pressure for as long as I can remember, even in my teens when I was in decent shape. Part of it is just my build - the human body doesn't scale well, so my heart works a lot to push blood through my hulking frame. And then I went and got fat and got a high stress career, and it added up. My cholestoral (sp?) levels are borderline - my 'bad' levels are a smidge high and my 'good' levels a smidge low, but they've been coming into alignment as I've been taking fish oil and flax oil suppliments and watching my fats more.
From: ninjarat Date: November 1st, 2006 03:45 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Awesome! Not that you have hypertension but that you're taking care of it.

What about exercise? I've been feeling run-down much like you have been. I've been sedentary for most of a year. I just started walking again, just around the neighborhood for 20-30 minutes a day. It helps.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 1st, 2006 04:01 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Exercise is something I don't do nearly enough - mostly mowing my lawn and shit like that. I feel so tired most of the time that just going up and down stairs I feel it in my legs. I'm hoping if the sleep crap is sorted out I'll have more energy to be more active. And I know that once you can get active it helps your energy levels.
theshinster From: theshinster Date: November 1st, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Hey man, beentheredonethat and I can share
many gross hospital tales but, listen, have
your blood glucose and protein checked out
w/ fasting. Early detection/treatment for anything
helps. I wasn't lucky that I kept going and made to
go beyond my limits at my old job (youknowwhere)
which put me not in the HOLYSHIT range, but
That really screwed up my body and I'm paying
for it now (literally), but really, you gotta take care of
your body. BTW, for hypertension I tried about 2 dozen
meds but right now Diovan HCT is working great, and
for cholesterol, Caduet. Also I'm a T1 diabetic so
I have to be extra careful with BP and all. Such a
royal PITA. :p
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 1st, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
You know it was really all the hard partying that you're paying for. ;-)

I have been screened for diabetes - just a week or so ago when I went in for my heel they did another blood test for it. (I'd coincidentally not eaten anything for long enough that they could do a fasting test that day.) Foot pain is a classic sign of diabetes, so they wanted to make sure.

I'm on Metoprolol (no-name Lopressor) and Hydrochlorothiazide for my blood pressure and they seem to be working. I'm also taking fish oil and flax oil suppliments which are supposed to help cholesterol levels, so the doc said.
osmium_ocelot From: osmium_ocelot Date: November 2nd, 2006 02:13 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I have two friends (brothers) who suffered from sleep apnea. They are both pretty big guys (6' and 6' 4" respectively) one is a bit overweight, the other is very overweight. I'm not sure what the nose machine comments earlier in the thread were about, but one of the brothers had a small operation to correct the apnea. His wife was freaked out because he stopped snoring _completely_ and for a while she'd keep waking up to make sure he was still in the bed. Since then he has slept very well. I'm not sure what has happened to the other brother's apnea situation.

But my point is, if it's sleep apnea, and it's cause is the same as my friend's; then it ought to be easily corrected and you'll feel like a new man afterward.

Good luck.