Thursday, May 9, 2013
My Battle with Insomnia
Lately I've been having trouble sleeping. I've had issues with sleep before off and on but this time it REALLY bothered me. I had no problems falling asleep but just couldn't stay sleep all night long. I would wake up around the same time every night. 3 am. I've talked to people about it and some would say you need to pray. God is trying to tell you something. Pray and meditate on him and he will tell you what he has to say but somehow it didn't feel like that to me. I didn't know what it was but I knew what it wasn't. Everytime I would wake up I would have to pee. Now I do drink before I go to bed usually a full glass of some type of liquid whether it be water or juice but I didn't see how this would always make me have to wake up in the middle of the night to pee. The problem here wasn't just that I woke up but that I had real serious problems going back to sleep. My alarm clock is set for 5:39 so waking up at 3 am and not being able to get back to sleep when you have to officially get up at 5:39 is nothing nice. I suffered and dragged myself in to work day after day on not enough sleep. I don't go to bed early generally so I would get about 4 hours in before I wake up at 3 am and maybe another 30 mins to a hour, if i'm lucky after that.
With the recent addition to my life (Candy Crush) when I wake up most nights this is what I do with my time. Play Candy Crush. I'm now on Level 77 and can't get off but anyway....This last night I woke up at what I think was about 2 am and I laid in bed trying hard to fall back asleep but couldn't. When I finally gave up, it was a little after 3 am, so I got out the bed, went to the bathroom and just started doing random things because I was not sleepy at all. Never went back to sleep. Just woke my son up and started getting ready for work. On this day, I went to work on less than 4 hours sleep. I don't know how I made it through the day but I struggled like hell to make it at work and not fall asleep. I didn't succeed cause I recall my eyes closing up completely several times. SMH! Anyway, I said to myself...something has to stop. I can't keep doing this, walking around like a damn zombie cause I can't sleep. Prior to this, I had issues sleeping in the weeks prior and had to travel. Needless to say, I fell asleep SEVERAL times while driving. Yes, you read it correctly. I fell asleep while driving. I know nothing but the Lord was with me and guided that wheel because I could have gotten into a serious car accident and most likely would have died.
This not sleeping issue had gotten real serious. I tried and tired to get rest over and over again but couldn't. At one point, I was so tired and couldn't sleep that i literally stayed in bed one Saturday all day, waiting for sleep to come and she never arrived. I asked people for advice on what to do and some suggested sleeping aids like Unisom, others said to meditate before bed. Some suggested Benadryl because I had allergies too so that would kill two birds with one stone. My allergies and my sleep deprivation. Well I did. I purchased me some Benadryl and I slept. I slept hard. Problem solved? No. I can't just take Benadryl every night of my life to sleep. I needed to figure out how to fix this Insomnia issue permanently. After having to live on minimal sleep for I'll say the past month, I finally figured it out.
My best friend Barbara suggested that I use my c-pap machine that I've had for well over a year and stopped using almost immediately after receiving it from my ENT Doctor. So I did. I said well hell let me try it. Now in times past when I tried to use my c-pap machine that damn thing got on my last nerve because you have to sleep with this intrusive thing on your face but on this night, I filled it up with water, put it on my face and went to sleep and to my surprise I slept all damn night long. Woke up the next morning in shock that I had actually slept all night long for one night in what seemed like a eternity. It then clicked, what was causing me to have Insomina was my Sleep Apnea.
Yes I have Sleep Apnea. Was diagnosed by my ENT Doctor over a year ago I believe and she ordered me a c-pap machine that I never used because the mask was too awkward to sleep in. A friend of mine, Vera who had been checking on me recently in regards to my not sleeping called me and she said Raycal, do you know you could have died? She was like do you know why you couldn't stay sleep? Because you couldn't breathe and your bodies reaction to you not being able to breathe was to wake up. She was like you not using that C-pap machine is very dangerous because you need it in order to not lose your breath while you are sleeping. Now granted I had heard somethings about sleep apnea but never really paid any of it any attention but when she called me and was talking to me about it, all of a sudden it hit home for me.
I was stopping breathing in my sleep and my body reacted by waking me up so that I wouldn't die. After me and my friend got off the phone I googled it and lo and behold, I found what has been causing 90% of my problems. Sleep Apnea. My memory loss, my issues with concentration, Depression, My Morning Headaches, My inability to stay focused, My not being able to sleep, Being Tired all the Time, Frequent urination at night, My falling asleep behind the wheel, you name it and it was a symptom on the Sleep Apnea chart.
All I can say is I know there is a God because my being hard headed could have cost me my life. What would my husband do if I had died in bed beside him? My Family? My Friends? My kids? They would have been devastated. And to know that it could have been prevented by this little machine that gives me air when I sleep. I never really paid attention to how serious Sleep Apnea is until now. But now that I know, you better believe that I will sleep with that damn machine on and that mask on my face every single night. The first night I slept with it and I woke up the next morning, I felt like a new person. Focused, Rejuvenated, Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed. I've always been more of a morning person so waking up groggy wasn't my thing but it had become that way after not being able to remain sleep at night.
I can really feel a difference in my state of mind in the morning now. My doctor told me not using it can cause me to have a heart attack or a stroke because my brain wasn't getting enough oxygen. If any of you snore and/or have problems sleeping. PLEASE GO GET A SLEEP STUDY TEST DONE to see if you have Sleep Apnea and if you do, get you a machine or a device or whatever it is you can get to help you fix it. It is not a joke. They have different methods to aid you for this condition. Surgery is also an option, one which I hear is not a guaranteed fix though so choose wisely. I think lots of people have it and don't know. I'm only 42 years old, I'm not ready to leave this place. I know I haven't done what God has put me here to do. I at least wanna accomplish that. I just want to say Thank you Jesus for keeping me. I know it was the protection of my Lord & Savior that has kept me here through all of my trials and tribulations. I also want to Thank my Best Friend Barbara for suggesting I use my c-pap machine. Who knows what could have happened had I not fixed this sooner than later. Thank you Vera for calling me and helping me realize the severity of my condition. I Love you Both for caring enough. Friends, I have some of the best.
Found out also that taking Sleep Aids while having Sleep Apnea is very dangerous because it can prohibit your body from waking up when it can't breathe. Taking that Bendryl and not using my c-pap machine could have been fatal. All I can do is Thank the Lord for his mercy.