Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mid-Life Transitions, Snoring, and the Sleep Study

Uh, Hi All!

I am a little bit disoriented coming back like this.

I feel like I owe an explanation for my absence this past year. Demands of the school year and the unpredictable, time-consuming ways of an old computer combined to interfere with my blogging routine. Despite being disgruntled about not having time to blog, nor the desire once my computer started misbehaving, I was able to turn my attentions to other things, other thoughts. Long reaching thoughts.

Mid-Life Transitions... the new bridge that was built down the road from my neighborhood (less than a mile away) this year has become a metaphor of life for me and my neighbors, in more ways than we can count. I started blogging about the same time workers began tearing down the old bridge (in August 2008). We were all looking forward to the completion of the new bridge because it was going to take nine months for them to complete it, and that's a lot of extra driving to and from work each day. With gas prices rising dramatically during this time, we were not very happy. The bridge was finished on schedule in May. We've rejoiced at having our trips to town shortened, as well as having a shiny new (albeit costly) bridge to drive over. I still haven't gotten a picture to post. I don't know why I haven't walked down there to take the photo. I'll set the goal for tomorrow.

I can't ignore it any longer, I am definitely experiencing mid-life changes. On the outside it looks like I'm cleaning house. I started cleaning out my attic three months ago. If I'd been bloggin every day I would never have tackled that job. It was my goal to clear out the attic of anything we have no use for, anything we haven't used in the past three years, and anything we didn't think our son would care to inherit. We've been married 34 years. Accumulate has been our middle names. Well, more mine than his.

Motivation for tackling this major work came from the thought that one day my husband and I would either be dead or incapable of climbing the ladder that leads into the attic. I just couldn't bear thinking of who would have to climb up there and take all of our (mostly) junk down to either sell it or burn it or give it away. Rather than burden our friends and family with that chore, I decided to do it myself. I'm healthy now. I can walk, run, climb ladders. I'm the one who put the stuff up there, I should be the one to take it down again. Clothes, shoes, books (the ones I really don't need), dishes, tapes, old record player, etc went into boxes. Over a period of several weeks, I was able to donate mucho, mucho things in great condition to the Good Samaritan Thrift Shop, things that someone else might need more than I. I didn't want to bother with a yard sale... that would have been more work on a weekend than I'd care to do.

I hadn't realized how liberating cleaning out the attic would be! The cleaning and clearing-out frenzy continued for several months, while that new bridge was being built, and soon I was cleaning out the basement level of our home. Then the garage. By the time the school year was over, I was ready to do some 'clearing and cleaning' in the attic of my body: the mind/brain. I told my doctor I was having trouble sleeping at night, feeling tired all day, yawning excessively (embarrassing) at meetings. But the one symptom that perked her ears was when I said "I snore."

There, I'm out. I'm a snorer. Haven't always been. It's a new development over the past ten years. My husband (of 34 years) didn't tell me about if for the longest time. He let me complain and joke about his snoring all these years, but never made a big deal that I snored. He said it didn't bother him. But lately it has gotten louder. And now it's interfering with his sleep. Ironically, he doesn't snore anymore... after he lost 30 pounds several years ago, he stopped snoring. Now I'm the snorer in the family. It's embarassing. But more importantly, it's interfering with both of our sleeping needs. That's when I decided to tell my doctor.

She said I may have sleep apnea. I thought that was only for people who held their breath in their sleep. She said (here's how I understand what she said) that I wake up because I hear myself snore, and when I wake up with a start, with a "snort" of sorts, that's when I'm taking a breath. She said I'm possibly not getting enough oxygen at night, that my brain is waking me up to breathe. The only way she can know for sure is if I come in for a sleep study.

That's where I'll be tonight. Just like Regis did on TV. All those wires taped to my head and face, my chest wrapped in wires, my legs... how does anyone sleep with all those taped on wires? I guess I'll find out tonight.

But I am curious to see how much REM I get at night, and I'll ask them if they can show me what my dreams look like on paper. So though I'm a bit anxious about my comfort tonight, I am excited that I'll get some information about my sleeping patterns, at least for one night.

If you have been part of a sleep study, and you have a CPAP machine, I would like to know what you think of it. Either leave a comment, or send me an email. I want to know if it's worth it, do you use it every night? Is it loud? Did you stop snoring? Please let me know!!


  1. Hope they find the smoking gun and you get back to a normal routine. Glad to see you back Bea :o)

  2. Hi Bea. I was diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea. I have the CPAP and it does work, when I use it. Ergo, my problem like with everything else that is healthy for me - I am not doing it. I am encouraged to do so because if I sleep, then I will feel more rested. If I am more rested, then maybe I will feel more like exercising. If I exercise, I will lose weight. Hopefully, if I lose weight, the sleep apnea will correct itself. Your husband probably had it too, and the loss of weight is what helped. I'm not sure why now you are experiencing it, but I hope you will work with your doctors towards fixing it. Best,

  3. I'm glad you're having that study done. I think I have sleep apnea, too. I started snoring about 10 years ago and it is getting worse. Sounds like you are doing well, though, and that "clearing-out" of your house AND of you is doing you some good. Good to hear from you!

  4. It's good to have you back Bea! Glad you have been able to get so much accomplished and I hope the sleep apnea test went well. Don't forget the photo of the bridge! :-)

  5. So glad to see you back Bea...missed you lots.. Hope the test went well on Saturday night and that you can get back into a more normal sleep routine. I expect you are on summer holiday now so you can take it a bit easier. You sure seem to have done an awful lot these last few months...Usually when Mary goes up to Scotland for her three week holiday it is my time to get things tidied, thrown etc. She can't go up this wonder if I will even get it done !!
    Much Love Sybil xx

  6. Welcome back Bea!And thank you so much for your awesome comments! I hope you sleep better soon..
    but how great that all of these transforming life experiences are happening! how alive you are my dear friend!
    love and hugs, natalie

  7. Hi Bea - Welcome back. I'm with you on all counts...As usual, my blogging and reading blogs is up and down, supposed to be cleaning the office right now and really need to declutter the rest of the house. You give me hope that I can get it all done! hugs, ~ Lori

  8. Lovely to see you back blogging again Bea!
    It seems as soon as I declutter I find something else to take its place. I am such a hoarder!
    Bryan has been de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff behind my back. lol! He has always said if it's in the attic for as long as two years then there is no need for it to be around. I guess he is right.
    I see your point in getting rid of it all instead of leaving it for others to do in the future. I have an elderly neighbour who lives on her own and she has begun to tackle her accumulations too. Bless her! It is such a task for her frail body.
    As for snoring? I do that too and Bryan has already commented on how loud it is. NO wonder I am always tired! I must look into it.
    I hope all goes well with your tests.
    Welcome back!
    Much love
    Jeanie xxx