Friday, May 16, 2008
Sleep disorders can be serious...really
Doctors have a tendency to chastise me…and I deserve it. However, I doubt I’m the only mom who forgets to make personal health-care appointments. Taking a leap of faith, I bet many moms put their families before themselves—we all need to remedy that… If any of the following scenarios fit your profile, please see your doctor!
The last time I visited my doctor, he held me hostage until I had a physical, pap smear, mammogram and copious blood work. I wanted to go home and watch my children grow up, so I complied. The stirrups were cold, my breasts were flattened, and my heart suffered undue stress. The only real problem was my cholesterol—genetics stink.
My last dental appointment led to more chastising and a referral to a TMD clinic. I fiercely clench my jaw at night…and during the day. I have every permanent tooth except one, even my wisdom teeth—what more do these doctors want??
I found out yesterday, when a TMD specialist grilled me about every aspect of my life. I left his office with a mouth guard on order and referrals to physical therapists and a sleep clinic. I’ve been tired for more years than I can remember--I've always blamed parenthood :) But, as hard as this is to admit, I snore and sometimes stop breathing at night. Did you know that’s not normal? I suspected but hoped it would go away…talk about denial…
The doctor zeroed in on that behavior—he told me death was a possibility with undiagnosed sleep apnea. He was pleased by my visible fear—I’d be annoyed if he wasn’t so superiorly right. The reason for lurking death? Heart stress…combine that with genetic tendency toward arteriosclerosis and I’m forked (I’ve developed a real fondness for that phrase!).
So, one night soon, I’ll be sleeping under observation, in a bed that’s definitely not my own. I’m a little nervous, but hope my chronic exhaustion has a solution. It would be kind of cool to have energy and a reliable memory again…plus, I’d really like to avoid the death thing :)
On a positive note, did I mention my eyebrow is growing back?!