Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Sleepy time gal

The sleep apnea test was conducted last night.  Talk about being wired, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more like Medusa with all the wires coming out of my hair and head…all through my scalp, behind my ears, on my forehead, my chin (3), my chest, my legs. 

 The glue smelled like a cross between crazy glue and spirit gum (it has a little ether in it). Once everything was stuck in place, the tech went back through and kind of scratched each connection site with a blunt needle to assure good contact. It took nearly 45 minutes just to set everything in place, then the wires were attached and plugged into a board (it looked kind of like a small electric dart board) that was hung around my neck.

It was about 10 p.m., pretty much my normal bedtime, so I went into the little room.  I was tired and yawning, but it took me quite awhile to fall asleep.  No where to turn was the thought of the day because it felt as if there was no comfortable position.  Add to that discomfort the restless leg thing and sleep didn’t come until exhaustion was close.  I finally had them turn the thermostat down to about 66, too, because I was sweating in bed.  I tend to do that at night.

They woke me at about 3:30 to place a CPAP (Constant Positive Air Pressure) device in my nose and then a bit later to replace it with a nose mask because I was leaking too much air through my mouth. Yeah, I’m pretty much of a mouth breather at night…ain’t it sexy???

The test was complete at 6 a.m. when they woke me and removed all the wires and connections.  They rubbed the sites with acetone (fingernail polish remover) but little bits of glue were still embedded in my scalp and on my face, so I wanted to take a shower but luck wasn’t with me: No hand-held attachment on the shower.  I can’t take a regular shower with my perma-cath so I did the old spit and polish with a washcloth, got dressed, went to the cafeteria for breakfast and to wait until 9 a.m. for my appointment with the doctor to go over the results.

The good news: My obstructive apnea is about 75% better than when it was tested in 2004.  The doctor attributes that to my being over 20 pounds lighter now.  The not-so-good news: The restless legs interrupted my sleep nearly as often as the apnea.

The doctor recommends I try CPAP on a nightly basis again and since the pressure would be reduced from 13 to 7, I think I might be better able to handle it now. Part of the reason he suggested a return to CPAP was because my oxygen levels tend to dip during the night and CPAP should help that.

I was going to fill the script for a machine here in Rochester, but hearing a nurse talking with another patient saying they recommended getting the machines in a patient’s hometown because it makes it easier to get adjustments or repairs done made great sense so I’ll fill the script in C.R.

My appointment with the obesity specialist went about as I thought it would: She recommends I start on a weight loss regimin of 1200 to 1400 calories a day now and think about whether I want to do bariatric surgery or not. Either way, it should take about a year to get the weight off (55-77 pounds).

The best way to boost the weight loss will be activity and she suggests I try to work up to 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, not necessarily at one time. Weight Watchers would be a viable option, she said, because it is a proven program and having a support group can be very good.

She also will recommend to the committee that they put me on the transplant list as temporary inactive so I can accrue time while I’m working on the weight issue.

Weight loss should also help the sleep apnea, the arthritis, the diabetes, etc.  I’ve successfully lost weight before, but my downfall is keeping it off.  Of course, there’s no guarantee that bariatric surgery would make that any easier.

She wants me to keep a food jounal, too, so that may become an addendum to this blog.

It’s nearing noon here in Rochester and I have “miles to go before I sleep” in Cedar Rapids tonight, so I’ll sign off for today.

Oh, by the way, I checked my INR with the thrombophilia nurse the last thing this morning and it’s now within the correct range so we’re going to keep the coumadin level at 12.5 at least until I can get a protime done at home.

It’s off I go to hit the road.


November 26, 2007 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, kidney, transplant


  1. […] iowakitkat put an intriguing blog post on Sleepy time galHere’s a quick excerptMy appointment with the obesity specialist went about as I thought it would: She recommends I start on a weight loss regimin of 1200 to 1400 calories a day now and think about whether I want to do bariatric surgery or not. … […]

    Pingback by Weightloss » Blog Archive » Sleepy time gal | November 26, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hello readers.. My name is Dr. Jonathan Greenburg DDS, and I treat sleep apnea, CPAP intolerance and other and sleep disorders in my clinic near Los Angeles in Valencia California.

    I want to commend you Kathy for taking the steps to not only get treatment, but to share your journey with us.. I treat people every day, however there are so many more that don’t even know they have a problem!

    For anyone who is reading my comment: If you or a loved one suffers from a sleep disorder, please do not hesitate to get it treated. It could save your life.

    I’d like to invite you to download a free recording (mP3) of a one hour interview that I recently did that answers a ton of questions about treating Sleep Apnea or Snoring.

    Just go here:


    Dr. Jonathan Greenburg DDS

    P.S. Great job Kathy, and I wish you the best of health for the future…thanks for fighting the fight, we appreciate it!

    Comment by Dr. Jonathan Greenburg | November 26, 2007 | Reply

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