Monday, January 5, 2009

Back from the brink.....

For those of you who noticed that I haven't posted for a while, (both of you), you'll be glad to know that I am once again posting to the Nearly Famous Fred blog, or the Fred Blog, or "the Flog" for short. After being nearly swept away by the tidal wave of apathy, I felt I owed it to my readers to start posting again.

The reason for my extended absence is two fold.

First off, I've been sick. For the better part of the last two months, I've been waking up with a headache, every day. I'm not exaggerating. I woke up with a headache everyday, for two months. Not a skull splitting migraine or anything, but just an annoying headache.

At least I don't think they were migraines. Having never been diagnosed with migraines, I really don't know what a migraines feels like. I can tell you this, if these were migraines, my wife and I are going to have a serious talk. She's been complaining about migraines for years, and if this is it, she's got a great big "suck it up and get over it" coming.

On the headache scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being one too many beers the night before, and 10 being the pound your head against the wall until you lose consciousness type of headache, these were probably a 4 or 5. Nothing too severe, but bad enough, that after the first 5 or 6 days in a row, they really start to lose their charm, type of headache.

In addition to the headaches, I was also just amazingly tired all the time. Didn't feel like doing anything.

(Please insert your own "how is that different than any other day" joke here).

Didn't feel like getting out of bed, much less go ride my bike. Couldn't muster enough energy to even post to my blog. (God forgive me). I basically had an I.V. drip of coffee going all day to keep me awake long enough to get through a day of work.

Along with all of that, I was incredibly short of breath all the time. We had a house full of company over for Thanksgiving weekend, and we were trying to get the Christmas decorations up before everyone got here. What should have been a weekends worth of work, turned out to be a week long ordeal. I would help put up decorations for about 10 minutes, then had to sit down and rest for 45 minutes to catch my breath. After a few of the "you're just being lazy" objections from my wife, (given my history, who could blame her), she started to realize that there might be something seriously wrong with me.

(Again, insert your own "we all knew a long time ago that there was something seriously wrong with you" joke here).

This all started around the end of October, so by the end of November, we decided that I might want to go see a doctor. Denial is a wonderful thing.

As soon as I explained my symptoms to my doctor, he immediately asked if I snore. When you think about it, that actually is a pretty dumb thing to ask someone, as they are typically asleep when they would usually be snoring. I told him that I can't speak to if I snore or not when I'm asleep, but I could verify that I don't ever recall snoring while I was awake. He said that headaches in the morning, general tiredness, and shortness of breath are all classic signs of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea, for those who don't know, is when a person is asleep, they actually stop breathing. Sometimes for 30 seconds or more. This usually wakes them up, and then they start breathing again. You're usually not actually aware that you're awake, but you do wake up. It can be a potentially deadly illness. This continuous waking up all night long deprives the person of the deep, restful sleep that they need, causing, among other things; headaches, sleepiness, and shortness of breath.

So my doctor scheduled me for a sleep study. We'll get into that in a little more detail in my next post, but for now, lets just say they wire you up, and watch you sleep. But before the sleep study, the doctor wanted to eliminate other possibilities. By other possibilities, he meant a brain tumor, or some sort of heart problem.

It was at this point in the doctor's visit, that I made a significant discovery about the human language. There are certain words, that no matter how bored and tuned out you are, will just snap you back to reality. I have the attention span of a sleepy three year old. By this point, we had been at the doctor's office for about 45 minutes, not counting the time we spent in the waiting room. So I basically had a glazed over, thousand yard stare going on. Somewhere in the back ground, the doctor was droning on, sounding remarkably similar to Charlie Brown's teacher.

"Blah blah blah, blah bla bla bla. Ba blah. Blah ba bla."

It was right about here were, somewhere through the fog, I heard;

"Blah bla bla. Bla ba blah BRAIN TUMOR, blah bla bla ba."

Whatever dream world I had drifted off to, immediately vanished. I was quickly and violently slapped back into reality.

"I'm sorry doc, I didn't quite catch that last thing you said there. What was that again."

He then repeated that he didn't think there was anything to be found, but he wanted to eliminate the possibility of anything funny going on inside my head, like a BRAIN TUMOR. I immediately explained to my doctor that he and I have very different opinions of what is "funny".

In tomorrow's post, we'll review the good times that were had during the multitude of test that followed this trip to the doctor's office. We'll also delve into the unique experience of a "sleep study". After that, we'll look into the other reason why I haven't posted in a while.

And just in case your were worried, I do NOT have a brain tumor.

Peace out.....Nearly Famous Fred

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

Welcome back, Fred! Glad to hear you don't have a brain tumor! We've missed you at the Tues/Thurs spin classes! .... Rhonda