Monday, March 3, 2014

Sleep doctor


I saw a doctor this morning - one at the university as that was easiest to fit into my schedule, so I hadn't seen her before - and we talked about my sleep problems. She didn't know what was wrong but we are investigating a couple of possibilities. Firstly she's given me a referral to have a sleep study done. Apparently there is guy at the university who organises for you to do the sleep study at home (more likely to get a proper reading under more normal conditions than you would get in a sleep lab), he gives you the equipment and then the readings are sent off the to the labs to interpret. I have no idea what it involves - a few of those suction things on various places maybe? I suppose the two things they want to know are how often I wake during the night and whether is because I've stopped breathing.

The other thing is to get my thyroid checked, which involves a blood test so I have a referral for that too. It will also check various other things I'm not sure of. I had a blood test less than a year ago for my pre-diabetes and it covered a few things but I don't think thyroid was one of them. And anyway, the sleep problems have started recently so I need a new blood test.

A third possibility is some kind of allergy, although I haven't had hayfever or anything, so I could try a steroid nasal spray at night to see if that helps.

I had my blood pressure taken, standard procedure with a GP, but she used a new-fangled type of machine with a really thick heavy cuff. She turned it on and it squeezed and squeezed. I always find having my blood pressure taken quite uncomfortable (I don't think anyone else has ever said so, maybe it's my flabby arms) but this was downright painful. It just kept squeezing. Finally my gasps and winces of pain clued her into something wrong (I would have said something eventually. Maybe) but it was finally on its downward cycle by that stage. The doctor worked out that it had squeezed way too hard from its pressure output reading. My arm was still hurting three hours later, and I now have what look like purple stretch marks on the white underbelly of my arm that aren't on my other arm. I think it over-pressured my veins.

The doctor said my blood pressure reading was high. I've never had high blood pressure in my life, not even when I was pregnant. If anything, it's often a bit low. So she tried again, with the more old fashioned type of machine on my other arm. Still high. 150 over something, I don't really know what that means or what is normal. But anything above normal is a new thing for me. And now we don't know if it is another symptom or a pain response to the first machine.

I didn't have a good night's sleep last night (and Tim says I was snoring) and I actually dozed off in a lecture this afternoon. It's a dark lecture hall without any windows or natural light, and I just couldn't keep my eyes open. Head nods forward, jerk awake. Head nods forward, jerk awake. Embarrassing. I hope the lecturer, who is also my tutor, didn't notice. So rude of me.

Monday is official weigh in. 82.7 kg, down 300g. I think normal daily fluctuation rather than actual weight loss, I certainly didn't have a virtuous weekend in terms of eating and exercise. But if I can get this sleep thing fixed I think that will be a great help.

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