Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sleep Study Results: the continuing saga "in search of restorative sleep"

About a year and a half ago I had a sleep study done.  It was a grueling and painful experience that I never wanted to repeat.  The results of that study:  completely normal.  I was told there was nothing wrong with my sleep so my question was "Why isn't that my experience?"  What I have learned is that not all sleep studies are equal.  I recently had another sleep study done and the experience wasn't nearly as bad or as painful.  The electrodes on my head were more comfortable and the staff were warm, friendly and professional.  What a difference from one sleep lab to another.  My health insurance didn't want to approve my second sleep study so I filed a grievance and spoke with representatives at the insurance company several times.  When I'm not getting anywhere with staff I always ask to speak to their manager.  I presented compelling facts that convinced the insurance company that further delay was only going to add to the cost of my healthcare for them and me too.  The sleep study was approved, but their reluctance did result in a delay in my care.

In follow up after the sleep study and a pulmonary function test for my complaint of shortness of breath, I learned that I do have sleep apnea and I also have asthma.  I know when the asthma started . . . it was 11 years ago and I'm just being diagnosed.  I know that I have had sleep apnea for years, especially since there are subtle changes in my heart due to the physiological
stress from untreated sleep apnea.  This is an important point for everyone with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia has so many associated symptoms that patient complaints are ignored resulting in a lack of care.  If a doctor ignores your symptoms, go see another doctor.  I was fortunate to have seen a very good neurologist that referred me to a pulmonologist.  This pulmonologist is an astute healthcare professional that relies on his own intuitive sense.  My move to Arizona has been a good one, because I have found compassionate, competent healthcare professionals.  Without this move I would continue to have untreated health issues.

My next step is a stress echocardiogram and Cpap titration for my sleep apnea.  Just maybe I am going to finally get a good night's sleep.  I'll let you all know how this works out.  Meanwhile, nighty night and sleep tight.  Good night.  Don't ever give up . . .
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