To sleep, perchance to dream, part deux

I received my sleep test results today. I can’t say that I’m particularly happy with them, but they were as I expected. I’d been playing phone tag with the nurse for a few days now and I must say that the neurology group that I was interacting with has a very poor methodology for delivering this information. I was told in about a minute by a nurse that the first part of the night, I had severe sleep apnea to the tune of stopping breathing 41 times an hour, the CPAP test for the latter half was successful in stopping the apnea, and that I needed to do an 8 week trial of CPAP after which I’ll need to talk to the doctor to see how I’m doing. Is it an idealized fantasy that I might be able to talk to a doctor before readjusting my life? Am I expected to be able to process this news effectively in a minute’s time? Not even a, “do you have any questions?” Very disappointing customer service. I managed to gather my wits enough to call back and get an appointment in early September with the neurologist and the end of the week for the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist that referred me to him.

Clear immediate questions for the doctors:

  • Will losing weight make a substantial difference in my diagnosis? I’m about 20-30 lbs away from the weight my primary care physician suggested, but not so much so that I think it really factors into the diagnosis, but maybe I’m wrong.
  • Is this a chronic issue or can it be mitigated to the point that CPAP isn’t as necessary?
  • Are there factors in the sleep study that could artificially inflate the problem? I’m guessing not as the metric isn’t how long I was in REM sleep, but how often I stopped breathing.
  • Is this a hereditary condition and how concerned should relatives be about having the same problems? Several members of my family are heavy snorers and are older than I am. They may be at even more risk of adverse effects.
  • What are the best ways to adjust to the CPAP machine?
  • What are likely side-effects or improvements that I can expect to see to validate that it is working?

We’ll see what comes of this….


~ by shaunkime on August 19, 2008.

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