Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sleep Study Results

Today I went to see the specialist to get the results of my 3 day sleep study that I had a month or so ago. I had my appointment late in the day so that Keith would be able to go to it with me. I hate it when I get a bunch of new info and I have to try and remember it all for when I get home to let Keith know. If he is there then it is one less step.. method to my madness hehehe. Well needless to say I was not so happy when I left there :(

Some things I already knew , some I didn't already know and others I did not want to know. Some things were the same as the last time I was tested about 5 years ago, some were different and others new. So here is the scoop...

-It took me an average of 3 hours to fall asleep once I was in bed with lights off.. knew that
-My legs twitch repeatedly at night although not hard enough to wake me up - knew that already although Keith asked did it count if it woke him up?
-I skipped all the stages of sleep and went straight into REM - did not know that and that is new from last time I was tested
-I was asleep 51% of the night the 1st night and 55% the 2nd night - well that sounds about right
-I did not have sleep apnea - I already knew that
-my medication I had been on did not work anymore - DUH
-I did not fall asleep easily during the day when I was supposed to - well kind of hard to force oneself to fall asleep when one trains oneself to NOT nap during the day otherwise even harder to fall asleep at night.- knew that
-once asleep I stayed asleep for at least 30 minutes at a time- knew that and this is new from last testing where I fell asleep easily but woke up repeatedly..now it takes me a long time to go to sleep but stay asleep for longer periods of time
-she said I did not have any brain tumours or diseases like Narcolepsy (where you fall asleep at the drop of a hat.
-she said the average time frame for a person with sleep problems to fall asleep during the day is 7.8 minutes..mine was 17.1..Keith comments "that's because her brain never stops talking enough to go to sleep".. she never replied to that comment either

She showed me the actual report with all the graphs etc that showed to the minute when I fell asleep, when I woke up and what I did in between.. it was kind of cool.. till I asked her.. ok so now what is the end result...her diagnosis?

"Quote" Depression
.. what?
Depression.
. are you kidding me? I'm not depressed.
This report shows you are.
The report is wrong. I have been depressed in the past.. twice in fact .. I know depression and this is not it. What does that 25 page questionnaire that I filled out in my first visit show?
Well that was inconclusive which was why we did the sleep study
I'm telling you there is something else because I am not depressed (This said as I try to not look at Keith who is making funny faces at me behind her back cause he knows I am about to bust a nerve and trying to calm me down)
Did you not tell me you were diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago and had to have a bilateral mastectomy
Yes
Did you not tell me you lost your only sister and other family members recently to caner?
Yes
Did you not tell me you left your job since the last time you were tested due to your illness?
Yes
Did you not tell me you were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia since the last time you were tested?
yes
Did you not tell me you live with chronic pain?
Yes
Sally any 2 of any of those things would be enough to put most people into depression let alone that many
Maybe most people but not me. I\m telling you I am not depressed
(Few moments of silent staring contest going on )
So what do you suggest?
I will send a copy of this report to your family doctor with my recommendation of you going on any of the antidepressants that I will include.. (Keith at this point is staring at the ceiling and refusing to look at me)
So what are the chances that it is something else that needs more investigation?
Pretty slim
But possible
The report is pretty clear..it shows you are depressed.
I am not depressed. I live a very full very active life.
Not all depressions are characterized by laying in bed all day and night with no human contact.
But they are all characterized by treating with anti-depressants?
That is my experience
So what are the side effects of these anti-depressants?
Oh slim to none.. very little
What are they?
Nothing to even none
Hmm well the two times I was on them in previous years, one I gained over 100 pounds in less then one year and the second time, my blood pressure lowered to dangerous levels as did internal bleeding. Both times I walked around like a zombie. Two different drugs.
Drugs have changed over the years, they are much easier to take with little or no side effects.
I take 6 medications right now and each comes with a long list of side effects.
Oh they all have to come with "possible" side effects just so the patients are aware but doesn't mean people will actually get them
But more then just a couple do get them correct?
Well yes
So then there are side effects to them
Big sigh.. well why don't you wait till you see your family doctor when she gets this report and you can decide then what you want to do but my diagnosis is still the same - depression with anti-depressants as suggested treatment.
Thank you I will do that thank you for your time

We walk out and as soon as we are in the hallway little granddaughter asks Papa why Nana is walking to the elevator so fast and that he has to hurry up so they can catch up and Papa tells her it's better that Nana has a time out right now.

Now let me set something very straight here... I do believe depression is a VERY REAL thing. I do believe that at times medication is needed to help get people that have depression over a rough time whether the reason they are going through it in the first place is medical, physical, social or any reason. I do truly believe that. And my denying I was/am depressed at this time of my life with the doctor does in no way minimize that others are going through a very real thing. I just know my body and my head and I know 100% that this is not the problem with me at this time of my life.

I think part of the problem is I have the BEST doctor on the face of the earth.. absolutely the best. I have mentioned that on here many times over the years and will continue to say the same thing. Because of her, I judge all doctors the same way and hold them all under the same category. So when others don't treat me the same way, or have the bedside manner of an ice cube or are unwilling to entertain the option of a 2nd or 3rd choice it rubs me the wrong way.

I know I have a sleeping problem. I did not have to spend 3 days hooked up to all these wires to know that. But going on antidepressants isn't going to fix the problem. It is just a bandaid solution. So when we got home, Keith and I talked about it and I finally asked him if he thought I was depressed and he said yes.. WHAT?? Why? his reply was "Look at your reaction" So because I am stating my case that means it's true? He said Sally you know most people that are depressed deny they are depressed. Most people Keith. I am not most people. No you are not Sally.

Needless to say I am not feeling very charitable right now

5 comments:

Carmen said...

I find her diagnosis very interesting... I am fascinated how each individual aspect of life affects one other. Now, knowing you, you can bring this info to your family doctor and then discuss other possibilities and other solutions. Not all health care providers are equal. We recently had Ethan tested because last Christmas he started not being able to fall asleep and then started getting up and then started staying up later. It was awful. I remember one night Ethan being awake at 1 am and coming into our room and I freaked on him. I was exhausted and my poor kid could not sleep. Diagnosis - anxiety and growth spurts. So he was given exercises to do and new rules to follow - one being NO eating anything past 7pm. And it is better now. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the diagnosis and no matter what you tell yourself Sally, you will need to just relax a little and quit trying to live your life in the fast mode so that you can get everything done just in case one day you will get the dreaded diagnosis that your cancer is back. I am not saying this to be mean nor am I saying that the cancer will return, but I do believe in my heart whether you want to believe it or not, that could be a very real reason for you not sleeping in case you miss one second of your life. I have lived my whole life around people who have depression in one form or another and praying for it to go away or thinking that if you deny it will go away and yes you were depressed before and most likely never really recovered from it, cuz in most cases depression really never leaves a person. Do you think it might be SAD that you suffer from? Like you say it is a very real condition and as long as you keep denying that it's a possiblity that you are depressed you just will not sleep. End of story and of course like anything else. It's your choice

Sally said...

so I decided to check out the side effects (of which she said there were none or at least none that were serious enough to mention) and here is some of the list:
"Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself."... oh yes I am pretty sure I need anymore trouble sleeping....

"To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor."
...blood checked for what exactly????

"Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:feeling light-headed, fainting;fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; or problems with urination."

...or I could pretend I have H1N1....

" dizziness or drowsiness;headache; sleep problems (insomnia);dry mouth, stuffy nose;nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;diarrhea or constipation;muscle pain;loss of coordination; or blurred vision."

...headache...as opposed to the migraines I already have? There is that insomnia again... side effect of the cure for insomnia is insomnia? Why didn't I think of that? Muscle pain? Is that different then the muscle pain I already get from FM? Loss of coordination? On top of the Sally traps?

Oh sure.. yup I am all over this drug.. getting right on it first thing tonight!! Good thing there were no side effects....

Sally said...

Anonymous... I don't live my liufe in the fast lane in case the cancer comes back and trying to get everything done... you didn't know me before... I am the same as I have always been.. the only difference was I used to have at least one full time job on top of what I already do. So I have slowed down considerably. When we lived in Regina, I worked full time as a nurse, part time as a councilor at a sexual assault centre and a nurse at a medical clinic. Not to mention raising 5 kids and all that entails. I used to sew all our clothes, plant huge gardens and spend my summers and falls canning, pickling and freezing fruits and vegetables for the winters. Even when we moved out here and I started working at the hotel, as you know I put LONG long hours there on top of family things and my every day running around that I still do. So in all actuality I have slowed down. A lot. The sleeping problem began long before I was diagnosed with cancer which was why I had been there for a sleep study 5 or 6 years ago. It has actually been an ongoing problem for many many years. Most of the time I just deal with it, but at times it just gets to be too much.

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