Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back from the Brink, Part 6...and thankfully, the final installment

As entertained as I'm sure you've been, hearing me talk about how I was sick for a couple of months, it's time to wrap up this series. I know, I know, you just can't get enough of me whining about how the doctor's did all these test that didn't show anything, and how the nurses were mean, and how I'm soooo much smarter than the doctors. You may not be tired of it, but I sure am. So today, we wrap it up.

When last we spoke, I had gotten a surprisingly good night's sleep at my sleep study. I still say that I was somehow drugged, but my lawyers have advised me that since I have no proof, my continuing to claim that I was drugged is starting to sound somewhat pathetic, if not actually a cause of action for the good folk at the sleep center to sue me. Always being careful to avoid getting sued, I do hearby recant those accusation. (Please don't sue me.)

About a week after I had completed my sleep study, I went back to the sleep center to go over the results with a doctor. It has been said of me, that I am not a patient man. That, combined with my 3 year old's attention, makes for a very volatile combination. By that I mean, I do not like to be kept waiting, and there just aren't enough different activities in a doctor's waiting room to keep me occupied.

So, as I sat in the waiting room for my 10:00am appointment, I couldn't help but notice that the current time was 10:45am. I believe I shouted out something to the effect that "it's a good thing there aren't any sick people waiting here! Someone might actually drop dead before a doctor can tell them what killed them!" I thought that that was a fine example of comedic sarcasm, but Trish didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did.

A full 50 minutes after my scheduled appointment, I get to see a doctor and we proceed to review the results of my sleep study. As I had predicted, I was told that I DO NOT have sleep apnea. So much for the fancy medical degrees.

Technically, Sleep Apnea is when you actually stop breathing while asleep, and you then wake up, due to the lack of oxygen. This happens over and over again, all night long. The doctor told me that I didn't stop breathing at all that night. That was the good news. The bad news was that my sleep chart, which shows when you're awake and when you're asleep, showed that during the 6 hours that they monitored me, I woke up 42 times.

Is it just me, or does that seem like a lot? That seems like a lot to me. Unfortunately, it seemed like a lot to the doctor as well. Especially for someone who doesn't have Sleep Apnea. My next question seemed kind of obvious.

"Why was I waking up 42 times a night?" The doctor's response was disappointing, to say the least. She just kind of shrugged her shoulders, and said "I don't know?

"Come on doc. At least my neurologist seemed to be genuinely disappointed when he couldn't find a brain tumor. How about a little effort here."

Let's add these test up. So far, I've had:

1 Chest Xray. Result - showed nothing.
1 Resting Echo-Cardiogram. Result - showed nothing.
1 Stressed Echo-Cardiogram. Result - several sever razor burns on my chest, but the test showed nothing.
1 Brain MRI. Result - showed nothing. (By nothing, I mean it showed nothing wrong. It did show a brain.)
1 Sleep Study. Result - did show that while I didn't have Sleep Apnea, I was waking up about every 8 minutes, all night long. As to why I was waking up - No idea.

Isn't modern medicine just a miracle. Here we have, what I assume to be several thousand of dollars worth of state-of-the-art medical test, and all they show is that I wake up a lot. My wife could have told me that for free.

All of these stunning test results were sent to my neurologist. After literally seconds of analysis, he determined that I should take a sleeping pill. Wow. How many years of medical school does one need, to learn to prescribe sleeping pills to someone who is having trouble sleeping?

All of this wouldn't be nearly as frustrating, if it hadn't worked. After experimenting with two or three different sleeping pills, we finally found one that put me to sleep pretty quickly, but didn't leave me feeling like the walking dead the next day. So now, I take a little blue pill before bed every night.

(No, not THAT little blue pill. I don't know what you might have heard, but let me assure you, it's not true.)

I'm almost disappointed to say that ever since I started taking my little blue pill, I've slept like a baby every night. The headaches have stopped, and I feel great the next day.

So that's the story. Maybe next post, I can actually talk about cycling.

Peace out.....Nearly Famous Fred

No comments: