What’s gone wrong in your system?

I got the results of my sleep study test yesterday. I spend about 15% of my night in deep and REM sleep and these should be around 20%. Also, I have a form of sleep apnea. There are three different kinds (I can’t remember the names): the most severe kind is when you stop breathing for a full ten seconds or more ~ I don’t have this. The second kind is when your throat relaxes to the point that you are not getting enough air, but it is a partial restriction ~ not full apnea. And the last kind is when this throat closing causes your brain to wake up to rectify the situation. I have the latter two. He said my brain is waking up an average of 49 times an hour. This has me in an aroused, wake state a lot, obviously, and it also causes my sleep cycles to be interrupted, so, even if 15% of my sleep is deep, it’s broken up throughout the night, which isn’t as restorative. So, I get to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine! Seriously, I’m going to sleep with the Zeo headband, a mouth guard and a face mask? Wtf? That’s a pretty sight. But, please god, let it help me feel marginally better.

He also said, “Have you had your ferritin level checked?” “Yes, two months ago. It’s in your computer.” He looked it up: “Oh, it’s low. You should be on a supplement ~ that’ll help you feel less fatigued.”

Now, let me tell you how much this pisses me off. The crappy chronic fatigue clinic ordered this test along with zinc (which is also low). The results came back two months ago and nobody called to tell me what it meant. My regular GP saw the result of the ferritin, also, and didn’t tell me to do anything about it. Mine is low and I don’t have a period. If I had a period, it would be far lower, the sleep doctor said. So, I could have had TWO MONTHS OF SUPPLEMENTS UNDER MY BELT BY NOW IF SOMEONE HAD JUST REVIEWED THE RESULTS AND CALLED ME. I am raging mad! This has happened at every single step along the way this year. Nobody communicates with the patient. Actually, the front desk people do ~ schedulers etc. ~ they’ve been pretty good. And maybe one or two nurses. But is there a doctor out there that says, “I am testing you for X, Y, Z and, when I get the results, I will call you and explain them. I don’t think you have A, B, C and this is why:…”?? How dare they! I don’t know why the ferritin has me all riled up. It’s just that he put me on a heavy-duty supplement (ferrous gluconate 648mg/day), so obviously I need it and it might make a difference. Actually, the reason I’m so annoyed is this has happened so often and can have more serious consequences. I won’t get into the details, but my husband had a test that the doctor said was negative, but we have access to our results online, so, I looked at the results and googled the test and did the math and said, “uuummm, I think this is positive, not negative.” He emailed the doctor and, sure enough: “Oh, yes, sorry, it is positive. We need to treat you for that.” Say what?! I know they’re only human and I know they’re very busy and I know the whole healthcare system is a mess and maybe the doctors are just as frustrated as we are, but what if we didn’t have access to our records? I never would have found the mistake. And that’s just one of countless mistakes. Please, everyone, be your own best advocates. Call for your test results, request copies of every test you get done, review them yourself and point out anything that looks odd. And, pay attention to any result that is in the low or high range of “normal”! Normal has never been normal for me. My TSH was in the low range of normal for years as two giant goiters grew and strangled my thyroid until it wasn’t working anymore. My ferritin was technically in the “normal” range, but the doctor said it was too low. Et cetera, et cetera, blah blah blah.

Ok, on to other stuff. WordPress shows me what internet searches led people to my blog. Yesterday, 6 out of 14 searches were for MRI info, so it makes me really happy that I expended the energy to write my tips. I hope it helped someone out there.

My wash-out period ended on Tuesday, but I haven’t added anything back in because I felt like such shite, I didn’t think I’d be able to distinguish my disease symptoms from any symptoms new foods caused. Maybe I will add rice today. The Good Doctor says we are looking for “stark sensitivities, so worsening of mood, fatigue, energy, pain.” This is really hard. I was feeling pretty good last week and then, without warning, I was a mess. If I had added rice in that day, would I think rice had caused it?

I’m back to using the light box and I’m starting acupuncture again next week. I’m going to try all the supplements again, as well as melatonin, Lyrica, and the Chinese herbs. I just don’t know in what order… I guess I have to add all the eliminated foods back in before I start anything else to gauge my reactions… This is so tedious and time-consuming. I used to love Thanksgiving and Christmas and now I don’t get to celebrate at all. I can’t eat most of the food, I have no energy to do special preparations and, even if I did, there’s no point in planning something when the activity and/or socialising will just cause me to crash. Wow, this life sucks.

On a lighter note, have I mentioned how grateful I am for my husband? He drives me to my appointments, takes the dogs to the park, fixes our roof, landscapes the garden, hoovers, cooks dinner, sprays IcyHot on my back and, above all, keeps a positive attitude.

Good times gone, and you missed them
What’s gone wrong in your system?
Things they bounce like a Spalding
What’d you think, did you miss your calling?

It’s so free, this kind of feeling
It’s like life, it’s so appealing
When you’ve got so much to say
It’s called gratitude, and that’s right

Good times gone, but you feed it
Hate’s grown strong, you feel you need it
Just one thing, do you know you?
What you think that the world owes you?

What’s gonna set you free?
Look inside and you’ll see:
When you’ve got so much to say
It’s called gratitude, and that’s right