SAM60SUMTHINK's Recent Blog Entries

2nd sleep study tonight

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Tonight is my second sleep study.

Sleep studies focus on sleep apnea. While they said there is a 'slight' bit of that, I do not think anyone addressed the true issue the first time: pain that interrupts sleep. Since tonight they'll have me on oxygen to see whether it helps me sleep more, I am entering this with some negative thoughts.

Yes, I want more sleep. However, discomfort awakens me and being hooked up to things (be they the wires or oxygen thingee on my face) only further complicates the issue at base of sleep problems. I feel this in my bones.

What in my humble (?! yuhhhhh.... !!?) opinion should have been done first was checking into neurochemical and hormonal numbers to see whether imbalances are present. My guess: oh yeah, f'r shurrrre.

I liked this article about sleep and fibromyalgia, which notes the area where I think my sleep issues is rooted:

Have seen more complex abstracts about this issue, so to me the imbalance 'theories' warrant further investigation.

My weight, energy levels, memory issues, slow-response time and more cycle with lack of sleep, inability to think through pain. Am hoping tonight's sleep study is not a waste of my time that sends doctors off onto irrelevant diagnoses and recommendations.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 3/8/2013 9:44PM

    I hope it went well last night.
You must stick up for yourself.
Your opinion/insight and the knowledge you have gained from your research are important and valuable pieces of the puzzle!
We sound like we have a lot of the same issues (with pain disrupting our sleep and the resulting fatigue and lack of wt loss) but mine is bursitis in both hips- a deep pain, which flares up and then dies down for months at a time- for almost 3 years now.

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L*I*T*A* 3/7/2013 8:17PM

    all the best with your results.....
tske care...
blessings and hugs.....lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOANNA2 3/7/2013 6:27PM

    I hope that everything works out for you and you
get some answers. emoticon

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MEXGAL1 3/7/2013 4:49PM

    I too hope you get the answers you need that will help you with a better quality of life.
best of everything.

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JUMPINJULIE 3/7/2013 4:20PM

    I hope you get the answer's you need.

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LKWQUILTER 3/7/2013 2:53PM

    Sure hope and pray they find the problem or will finally listen to you Sam. ((HUGS))

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A tool for 'powering up the positivity'

Saturday, March 02, 2013

"Power up the Positivity!"

That's one of my little 'mantras'. Periodically, I post it as a huddle comment. But it's more than a quick comment to me. It is serious stuff.

Life can be pretty much a downer at times. At least that's been my adult experience. And those morale-crushing events have to be combatted with a little effort; they don't always just melt away. So. I have an arsenal of 'tools' that I use when needed.

One of those tools is a journal of pleasant THOUGHTS.
Not a journal of current feelings or plans or goals or diaried current events.
A simple little journal book that is loaded with... happy words and phrases.

Buy a tiny journal book... or just use a small, but bound!, notepad.
You can do it anytime, but especially when the going is rough;
commit to writing at LEAST one positive-image/feeling-evoking WORD or word combination in that book each day.
Commit to reading what's been written previously.
Choose words that just bring back memories or images or thoughts that are pleasant.

It worked for me, may help you when you need to ... y'know: power up your positivity!

(same words? sunset, crocus, first daffodil!, peaceful, gentle, bunny, [name], The Pond,....)

The same thing can be done with a scrapbook of happy thoughts or memories;
just tape in magazine clippings, greeting cards, old photos, handwritten words, notes from friends, visual images of attainable goals (vision collage!), a phrase about an accomplishment (like "today I reached Onederland!" or "down a dress size!"), ... anything.

To have a positive-thought resource book is good for lifting spirits.

Whether this idea is helpful to you or you devise some other means of having a personalized power-up-the-positivity tool, taking the time to make a 'resource' of this nature can be a real bonus. Yes, for many of life's harsher moments. But also for those times when in the journey a hurdle just seems too high. Sometimes looking at what we have accomplished makes the hurdles we face seem less difficult with the help of positive thoughts strengthening our perspectives.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 3/3/2013 6:48PM

    Great idea i have a jar full of postive thoughts. I think maybe a journal would be easier to look at. Thanks for the idea.

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NESARIAN 3/3/2013 12:59PM

    Thank you for sharing your hard earned wisdom. A positives journal works well and is so easy to build daily. Then, the personalized resource is available for those challenging times. emoticon

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MEXGAL1 3/3/2013 10:04AM

    great idea if you have trouble seeing the glass half full.
Even when I am going through difficult times, I try to be positive.
thank you for sharing a great idea.
Have a terrific Sunday!

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MEADSBAY 3/2/2013 10:27PM

    I don't have a real need to do this-
my dd (25 yrs old, specail needs, still lives with me) tends to focus on the negative so I have her do it periodically and it is life altering for her!

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GOANNA2 3/2/2013 7:33PM

    Thank you for giving me inspiration and good ideas.
Have a great March Sam. emoticon

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Journeys don't occur in vacuums

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One reason many people 'fail' at 'diet' attempts or exercise plans is that they see so many changes that they want to make and/or need to make...and dive in too suddenly with to attempt to make too many changes at one time. Well, that would be just dandy if we all lived in those self-contained vacuums, not affected by Real Life's external disruptions. But we do not. And frankly, some people believe they have 'failed' when in fact they've merely 'slipped'. Turning a temporary setback into total defeat. This does not have to happen if we plan coping strategies, progress at a reasonal rate through short-, medium-, and long-term goals that reach toward the ultimate ones.

Weight and other huge lifestyle 'issues' don't exist in a vaccuum.
Change of old habits, therefore, will at times feel like forces from all sides are against the change. Remembering this fact.... ACKNOWLEDGING IT!.... is important.
Acknowledge while setting and striving toward goals that temptation, frustration... LIFE... exists and keeps on happening regardless of what we WANT.

Disruptions and negative events are part of life. They pop up when least expected, which is in part why coping with them can be complex. We can't sit around planning for them, but do need to be flexible enough to handle them without completely unwinding ourselves (ie falling apart). When the disruption is a major life event or tragedy, all our energies and attention are needed to deal with it. If our plan for change is modest, we can eventually get back on track with the plan with more ease than if we'd taken on too much all at once. Being too aggressive in pursuing the ultimate goal can for many people be the perfect set-up for failure. Being realistic about goal-setting is crucial. That's why SP has so many wonderful articles about that topic, too! Do a SP site search using the words " goal set article " and see what I mean!

Few people in need of major lifestyle changes do well by taking on too many changes at once. I'm a firm believer that we need to break down big problems into smaller parts and handle those parts one at a time - slowly, thoroughly...and forgivingly. Forgivingly? You betcha! Accepting who we are, what we want, what we CAN accomplish are factors incorporated into any journey whose goal is personal change. And honestly looking into that proverbial mirror means facing facts about ourselves that just plain hurt. We can be angry with ourselves for 'stupidity' or any other name we put to some failing habit, but the fact is that we need to forgive our past behaviors and move onward. Most of us are harder on ourselves than necessary; our self-talk is nastier than anything we'd ever convey to anyone else. I know I've looked in the mirror and thought things about myself that I'd NEVER say to anyone else! How about you?? (Example? Last night! I looked in the mirror and thought, "My face is a %#! plaid mine-field of wrinkles! GROSS!" Then, I put the magnifying mirror down, looked in the bathroom mirror over the sink and felt a lot better. (Or should I have thought it was just a messy graph-paper image with lines drawn by a blind four-year-old? Hey, it is what it is!) Okay, so I'm aging. I accept that. And realize that the era of using such magnification of my image may have passed! And. I know I'd never tell anyone her wrinkles were a bizarre pattern of plaid.

Unless you live in a vaccum, lasting change of ingrained habits takes time and patience. I choose to not think that such and such an event 'destroyed' my nutrition or exercise plan. But know that events can and will in the future slow down my progress. And that sometimes one current plan will have to be amended because of this or that life event. Just as I want to make changes in my own habits, in my weight, etc: the world keeps on spinning and changes around me will continue to infringe on my predetermined plans.

Being flexible keeps a journey going.
And sometimes changing the path taken is enlightening, so maybe the seemingly negative events just make us stronger, better... and more capable. In the long run.

No, lifestyle changes do not occur in a stagnent, controlled environment. We are strong enough to bend like the willow tree to let the winds pass through and by us while we remain deeply rooted in our commitments.

When Life gets in the way, it's time to go back to basics. Start afresh; revitalize the journey. Slowly. Every small change is worth celebration. Because we overcome more than just that target goal when we reach it; we do it despite the swirling mass of Life that can't be control by a vacuumed existence. And that's pretty kewl, isn't it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CYALE76 2/28/2013 8:32AM

    Great blog and so fitting for me right now. I also get knocked off track by "life" and unfortunately we just had another death in the family, this time however I took 2 days spent with the family ate the best I could with what was offered, I took 2 days off from my exercise and then this morning now that things are getting back to "normal" I MADE myself get up and exercise, before I would have just gave up at this point because the past 2 days were not good, but this time I got right back on track and will keep going.

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GOANNA2 2/27/2013 11:54AM

    Fantastic blog Sam. Once you admit what is wrong
ten you then take action to fix it. It has to be ready
'upstairs' and all else follows. Thanks for sharing.

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MEXGAL1 2/27/2013 10:32AM

    Great blog. I personally believe that once one accepts the fact that there will be good days and not so good days and that that is part of will succeed. I finally get this and it's so comforting knowing that I can go out and have a meal with friends and I know the scale will go up but now I know that I can get right back on plan. I actually look forward to getting back on plan after a cheat!
Thanks for taking the time to post this.

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BETH49 2/26/2013 8:56PM


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JUMPINJULIE 2/26/2013 5:39PM

    Great blog. Just what i need to hear today i have been feeling like i have stalled and this just proves that it will just take longer than i thought but i'll get their. Thank you for sharing.

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ASTRA58 2/26/2013 1:39PM

    I couldn't agree more with you. I know whenever I've "fallen off the wagon" in the past, it's because I had an all-or-nothing attitude. And of course, because it wasn't "perfect", I didn't bother climbing back on and time went by before I attempted the journey again. I wasn't at all kind to myself. You are right; I'd never say to a friend or family member what I say to myself! Why should we unkinder to ourselves than we are to others?

We need to unlearn the nastiness pointed at ourselves, forgive ourselves for transgressions against ourselves and learn to roll with what life chooses to give us.

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No such thing as defeat!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sometimes we feel defeated. Lots of levels to that feeling, but I'm talking about the gut-level feeling of defeat. Not because of some imagined problem but because life can be one hard test of what makes us... or breaks us. I've learned to adjust each time something blocked my goals. We're talking LIFE goals, not lifestyle or weight issues here. Stand in my way, and I'll still keep going even though by a different route or altered methods. I'm a survivor. A quiet survivor who does no flashy moves but just keeps on moving. To the best of my ability. My approach to lifestyle goals is akin to my approach to my life goals. Do the best I can... and keep trying to improve upon the ever-expanding possibilities. Growth of this dimension is an experience that appears external but is most profoundly felt at one's core - the soul, if you will.

None of us KNOWS what it is like to live inside another person's skin and set of internal/external issues.
Part of this journey should be understanding that we are each individuals, that what is easy for me may be your impossibility, and that we can and indeed should cheer others onward in those personalized quests and accomplishments. "Let no externals deter me from my goal" makes sense to me. That includes comparing our progress, abilities or goals to those of others, because doing so is unfair to all in predictably lop-sided non-equations.

Music is a wonderful boost, and linked below is a song (Cher knows how to go to the gut in a song!) which speaks to me on so many levels .... Sums up a lot about who I am!

Who am I?
emoticon I am a survivor. My obstacles are like yours: unique. And frustrating. But I will still find a way around them... or over them... or right through them!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEXGAL1 2/25/2013 9:26AM

    Thank you Sam!

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GOANNA2 2/25/2013 12:10AM

    Awesome blog. Thank you Sam. emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 2/24/2013 8:27PM

    Thank you for sharing it is just what i needed to hear. No body can stop us. emoticon

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NESARIAN 2/24/2013 3:58PM

    Most awesome! There is no stopping you!

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NMSUSTUDENT 2/24/2013 3:03PM

    Quote: "Only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road."─Dag Hammarskjold

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LEANIE64 2/24/2013 2:47PM

    Thanks for sharing the song..insightful blog....thanks for that too..!! emoticon

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Results of sleep study? I don't sleep much!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Today the sleep center called to give me results of the sleep study from a few weeks ago. So. Now I have to have a second sleep study (scheduled for March 7)....

Though the sleep study results do indicate that I have 'some very mild sleep apnea', that didn't account for the average of 20.6 "arousals" per hour (30x/hour during REM according to the readings.) Hmm.. If this had been a sex study, that would have been wild, but 'arousal' in this case apparently is like semi-awakening when not fully awakened.

The technician at the sleep center read the report to me; the doc concluded that the constant awakenings are pain-related, not apnea issues. Duh. Um, I've known this since first diagnosed with sleep disorder due to pain in 1994, so this was no news to ME.

But a 'slight' apnea is there mainly because I have a very small throat. If they find that using a mask helps me sleep, they think I may break this cycle of tiredness, weight-retention-pain. Worth a shot? Ok, I have no problem with dying in my sleep from sleep apnea (let's face it, it would end the pain, right?), but if sleep can help with the pain, I'm for trying.

Not sure what this study proved except to finally have documentation of what I've told people all along: I do not sleep well. Not big news to me. For 20 years and 2 months I've not slept well...since the day of the accident that started this. Until I can get more sleep, weight loss and reduction of pain are unlikely. I truly miss having quality of life in my life... so... Here's hoping. Though I expect nothing. Face it, I'm used to this so change would be nice, but I won't count on it!

I don't get enough. Do you?
Some articles on the importance of sleep:

"Sleeping Better for a Healthier Heart - A Good Night's Rest Can Boost Heart Health"
.... By Jennipher Walters, SparkPeople Contributor

"Insomnia Can Hinder Your Weight Loss - Sleepless Nights Stop Progress"
.... By Laura Bofinger, Staff Writer

Of course, what bugs me is that my current doctors had to have all this testing done to prove what I've told them for years, what doctors at the physical rehab hospital had already diagnosed: I have a pain-caused sleep disorder. How long will it take for them to realize what I was told years ago: that if I were to continue sleeping instead of waking up and changing position, my pain would be worse when I'm awake!

If I could get enough sleep, my metabolism would improve, I might actually lose weight, and my heart and anti-cancer would be healthier, too. So while I think sleep studies are silly for MY needs, I'll see where this can go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUTHIEBEAR 2/13/2013 10:38AM

    Boy can I relate!!!! I live with back pain and I have sleep apnea. I have been using my sleep machine faithfully for 5 years and I still do not sleep well. I wake up 12-20 times per night and never get into deep sleep - ever. I never sleep more than about 30 minutes straight. I get around 4 hours of sleep even though I am in bed for 9+ hours. Result - I cannot lose weight. No matter what I do, and I tend to gain weight.
If you get any answers, please let me know, I'd be very interested.

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JUMPINJULIE 2/11/2013 7:01PM

    i'm so sorry. I hope now they can help you to get sleep. And people don't listen ever. What else is new.

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MEXGAL1 2/9/2013 9:41AM

    wow, so sorry to hear this. yep, sleep is so important. I am made fun of as I have a routine that really works for me. I have a Kindle and go to bed around 8:30 and read for a couple of hours and that clears my mind of other "stuff" and makes me sleepy. My DH doesn't like my routine but I don't care. I also sleep in my own bedroom as he snores and I don't care for me it's better to get a good night's sleep.
I hope you can find some solution.
Peace be with you!

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NESARIAN 2/8/2013 11:40PM

    Sam, I so feel for you. I think we have talked about this before but sleep is KEY to our wellness so while these tests will only confirm what you already know, it may inform your docs in how better to help you. It does become annoying when we clearly share our expertise and no one listens! I hope the next test provides all the answers for you.
Hang in there!

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GOANNA2 2/8/2013 9:20PM

    I was lucky that Medicare covered these sleep tests
I had (3). It was because I was snoring, but that was
because I had congestion and a cold that went forever.
I was told to get a mask, but I can't afford the $2,300.
Just losing the five kg since I had the sleep apnea tests
has seen my snoring stop, so I make sure I get 8 hours sleep.

Sam, I feel for you as your 'arousals' are pain related and
I'm not sure how the pain will go away when you are asleep.
It must be very hard for you to do normal things and I really
admire your courage. My wish for you is to be able to sleep.
Thinking of you. emoticon

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MEADSBAY 2/8/2013 8:17PM

    Do you know how much those sleep studies cost?
My doc wanted me to have one -
based on my report of my bad sleep-
which I already knew-
from my fitbit.
My crappy health insurance doesn't cover it (well, it would be under my deducible) so I said no, thank you.
I know my inability to lose wt is because I don't sleep well.
There is no other possible reason.
I compensate by being in bed for 10 or more hours so I can get 7-8 hours sleep (but with 20-25 arousals).
Oh- and I already do all of that 'good sleep hygiene' stuff!

Comment edited on: 2/8/2013 8:18:13 PM

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