I saw my doctor and the sleep clinic today and got a lot of results back, good and bad. I'm going to list them all here, mainly for my own records.
Firstly I saw the technician at the sleep clinic. I'd had the borrowed CPAP brain for two weeks to get some more readings on how I'm sleeping. The result is that my tiredness doesn't seem to have anything to do with my sleep apnoea. The machine is working well, I'm using it correctly, I'm having a sleep apnoea "event" on average 0.1 times per hour (that is about once every second night), which is negligible. They have now increased the air pressure to eliminate even that occasional event, but it's not really going to make any difference. So, that was not the problem.
Then I saw my GP (general practitioner, my family doctor) to get the results of my glucose tolerance (diabetes) test and all the other blood readings. That was interesting and a bit scary.
Four years ago, when I was first flagged as having pre-diabetes / glucose intolerance, my blood glucose was 10.0 mmol/L. Normal is 7.7, diabetes is 11.0. So it wasn't good. I worked on it. Two years ago it was down to 8.2, nearly normal. Great work Natalie. Today it was up to 10.8 mmol/L. That is not good at all. It's 0.2 from a diagnosis of diabetes. Doubly bad, with my father recently dying of (probably) diabetes complications. I have gained weight back over the past couple of years, I was down to 78 kg for a while, I desperately need to lose it again, and more. This morning I was at my highest for a long time: 84.8 kg. That is a couple of kilograms (5 pounds) in less than two weeks. I was hoping the weight gain was partly a monthly fluctuation, but apparently not.
Obviously it's time, way past time, to get really really serious about my health.
That wasn't the only result. The next most important was my level of B12, which are very low. It seems I'm not absorbing B12 from food. And guess what, low levels of B12 make you very tired. We may well have a solution to my constant fatigue. I'm now on Vitamin B12 supplements for 2 or 3 months, then will be retested. If I still can't absorb the vitamin from the tablets, as is quite likely, I will need regular injections of it. This was completely unexpected news! Lucky I'm not scared of needles. In a way I am excited about this result, because it means I might finally get a resolution to my constant tiredness. An injection every month or so in return for normal levels of energy? Bring it on! Or maybe the pills will help, which is even better.
My cholesterol is too high. I've always had high cholesterol, but last test it was down to almost normal. This time is was up again, to 6.2. Should be 3.5--5.5. Probably tied to my obesity, and another reason to lose weight.
My blood platelets are up a little bit. High enough for my doctor to point it out, but not high enough to worry, she said. They can go up due to an infection, so if I had a cold or something (and I have had a sore throat) that can cause the reading. When I got home I looked it up and the other thing that causes increased blood platelets is cancer. Ah, the internet, so comforting. I'm trying not to worry about that at this stage. I was only a little above normal. But another thing to keep an eye on.
And finally my Vitamin D levels are low. I was put on tablets for this before, but stopped taking them (without consulting my doctor) when I started walking regularly and was getting plenty of sunlight. That fizzed out a while ago. So now I'm back on the pills.
I'll be tracking food, counting calories and carbohydrates. And exercising every day.