I finally got to talk to a sleep specialist and he basically confirmed what I suspected. There is no quick way to figure out what is wrong with me. Now, this is not the first sleep specialist I talked to. I was speaking to one when I was working for TSA, that doctor didn’t want to go forward until I had gotten my Bi-pap, which at the time I could not afford the nine hundred dollars out of pocket expense of. (Long story short, I ultimately quit TSA because I was not fit for duty, and got my Bi-pap on Medicaid.)
I got the impression then that there were just too many causes for daytime sleepiness and that its a process of elimination.
I’m kinda feeling like sleep science is a more primitive discipline. Maybe not a drill-a-hole-in-your-head-an-let-the-demons-out primitive, but definitely not an efficient as other medical disciplines. I recently went to see a physical therapist and with a brief description of my symptoms, and a quick examination she nailed the problem before the results of the MRI had come in. I know it’s apples and oranges the brain is a complex and not easily understood mechanism. But I still wish we had more precise diagnostics here a quick test for insomnia here, a test for narcolepsy there and walla! You have sleep cancer… or whatever I just want a clear answer as to what is wrong with me.
My current doctor is looking at my bi-pap too. He’s altered my settings and we’re doing a two-month trial, so far nothing but I just started and I’m trying not to be negative. (You don’t get better if you poo-poo solutions without giving them an honest chance.)
The Doctor is of the mindset that my problem is related to insomnia, and I do have a lot of insomnia related issues. Essentially I’m the overweight person in the sleep world. I go to the doctor complaining about my heart, but there is no test to differentiate between a heart murmur and normal weight-related heart problems. So the doctor asks if I’m eating right. The answer is no. It’s much more likely this is the source of my problem. So before they even consider a heart murmur; I must completely change my diet and adhere to it for some time.
Basically, I don’t sleep well. I go to bed late, I use blue light emitting devices shortly before bed. (phone, tablet, etc.) My wake-up time varies a lot day to day. I spend a great deal of time awake in bed thinking. At least once a month I get insomnia and miss a whole sleep cycle. I often drink caffeinated beverages before bed. I don’t always go to bed when I’m tired.
Here in lies the rub. It may come down to correcting my sleep diet to move forward. I don’t see myself being able to do that. And while I’m willing to cooperate with treatment to a point, I’m pretty against sleep medications. Specifically Ambien. But, I’m against sleep drugs in general.
Worse case scenario one: The doctor is right. My problem is because of my poor sleep habits. I’m kinda stuck because I can’t be perfect, and I just have to live with this problem now.
Worse case Scenario two: The doctor is wrong. My problem is not because of my sleep habits. But I can’t move forward because I’m a square peg and I can’t conform to my sleep diet. Same result.
Fortunately, the doctor did give me a list of things that could also be at fault. I’m hoping one of them could be the answer. I’m working on getting a list of stuff to my primary care Doctor.
I’m just frustrated in general, it feels like my life can’t move forward untill I know what this is. But I remain optimistic and will continue to post when I can.