Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Appointment with the Sandman

Well the sleep issues are still around, different causes. Lately I've been able to fall asleep ok w/o the insomnia and thinking about things too much. But my sinus/nasal tissue has been swelling up and around 3-4am I wake up totally stuffed up unable to breathe.

Was up this morning at 4am taking some sudafed, which made me light headed, and restless the rest of the morning.

So again, I've been going on chronic lack of sleep.

Thankfully I made an apointment several weeks ago with a local Sleep specialist who is also an allergy doctor.

I did a test to see how much air I was able to take in through my nose. I first scored 70 then retried it and got 120 because I had a better seal on the thing. Nurse says they like to see 200+. And this was with having taken some Sudafed earlier this morning.

After patient history and talking, he came to the conclusion that I probably don't need a sleep study and that I probably don't have sleep apnea, and that we should treat the insomnia first. My dad has chronic snoring and I really worry that he has apnea but he won't do anything about it. The doctor said today that apnea is a major issue in that it has a 1/3 mortality or stroke rate!!

The doc said that OXYMETAZOLINE (Afrin) taken before I go to bed will help with the sinus/nasal congestion. Just as long as I don't take it during the day because then its effectiveness is reduced. You've always heard people talk about this getting addicted to the OTC nasal sprays.

He said that the tissues in my nose swell up because when you go to sleep the fluid from your feet/legs moves towards your head.

He also prescribed Ambien 5 or 10mg a night to be taken with Melatonin (3mg). First try 5mg Ambien with 3mg Melatonin and see how that goes. His feeling is that Ambien is not addictive and can be used long term. And that is is a very important medication because it allows you to sleep and also get deep REM sleep which is where growth hormone is released. Which is what you need to recover from exercise.

I've had problems taking 10mg two days in a row. So hopefully the 5mg with the melatonin will help.

Surgery could be pursued to cut the turbinites that would help limit the congestion but he suggested not to do that unless I absolutely can't stand it anymore.

We talked a little about the allergies. Basically every year for the next 20 years it is going to get worse because the pollen counts are going to go up until there is no more land for them to grow on. He also saw my allergy test from a few years ago. Basically I am allergice to god and country. It was one of the worst tests he has seen.

Regardless it is nice to have a longerterm prescription for the ambien. Before when I just had the 1 month I was hoarding it and only using it when absolutely necessary.

I'll keep posting how it goes.


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