It’s not the kind of vindication I wanted.
Some of us go through life deluding ourselves that our experiences are wholly unique. We experience an accident or fall victim to illness and we believe we are alone. We are not alone, but we don’t know it. Maybe it’s because we’re unique among our peers, where our physical and mental injuries are concerned. The internet makes the world a little smaller but it doesn’t necessarily change the way we feel about ourselves, or how others feel about us.
Cheryl is often tired. I don’t deny it. She has a hard job and she doesn’t stop when she gets home. Still, as much as I love her, I don’t think she really understood how tired I am. All the time. A persistent state of exhaustion.
I knew from a sleep study I did several years ago that I suffered from abnormally frequent limb movements in my sleep, but the quality of my sleep got progressively worse. I’ve danced around the issue for a couple years, taking half measures with this doctor or that, but earlier this year I reached my breaking point. My doctor referred me to a wonderful pulmonologist specializing in sleep medicine. The first thing she wanted to do was go over the data from my last sleep test. She said she didn’t trust the folks who often interpret the data – she likes to draw her own conclusions. Then she wanted me to have another sleep test.
That was last night.
I’m normally tired, but a short, bad night of sleep with more wires than a late 80s sedan and tubes up my nose is not a recipe for a good mood. However, even with all those distractions, I felt like I slept a little better than usual. It would have been great if it lasted more than four hours.
I was surprised when my doctor called me this afternoon with the results. The tech said it would be a week or two. The good news is I don’t have sleep apnea, so I don’t have to wear one of those God awful looking masks plugged in to a cpap machine. The not so good news is my limbs still move around a lot, though that’s not exactly news. I also snore a lot – as in all night. That’s not exactly news either. My wife sleeps MUCH better when I retreat to the other room to sleep on my g-g-grandfather’s bed. The bad news is the quality of my sleep has gotten worse. According to my doctor, a guy my age should spend somewhere in the ballpark of half the night in deep sleep or REM sleep. I spend a whopping 2-3 percent.
And here’s the best part: it’s probably all in my head – or the drugs I put there. The drugs that help quell the dark beast of depression can also be responsible for a decrease in deep sleep and REM sleep. Then again poor sleep can lead to depression.
Chicken, meet your egg.
Wether it can result in such a stunning drop is another question, but it’s a conversation I’m about to have with another doctor – next week in fact.
In the mean time, I really freaking tired. Napping half the day didn’t do the trick, so it’s time to go back to bed and get my 2-3 percent. It feels like it’s better than nothing – if only marginally.