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Old 04-04-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
bethsheba bethsheba is offline
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Re: Please help, I am EXHAUSTED and I NEVER feel rested.

Yes, my sleeping is better now. I have reason to believe I had sleep apnea as a child...but multiple doctors and I missed the symptoms for years. It wasn't until a houseguest said I stopped breathing when I slept that I did some research, put my "case" together, and asked my obgyn for a referral to a sleep specialist. I highly recommend "putting together a case" for your primary...IF docs get training on sleep disorders, it consists of about 20 minutes of info...so many, many docs that I've read about on these boards are passing on information that is either out of date or simply not true...so do your homework as you'll need to know more than your primary doc if you approach him/her about a referral (I think the classic myth out there is that you have to snore in order to have sleep apnea--not so!!).

Before I could see my sleep specialist, I had to fill out a comprehensive questionare...it was 9-13 pages, I think...can't quite remember as my study was done about 5years ago now. The questionare asked about my health history, my meds, my sleep habits, and other stuff....AND (I give credit to my docs for this although it may be a standard question), it asked me what I thought the problem was.

When I went in for my consult, my specialist reviewed the answers on the questionare with me, listened to my heart and lungs, and did a visual examination of my ears and throat. He then told me he would schedule a sleep study to be done (just because you see a sleep specialist doesn't mean you get to have a study done---certain criteria must be met first). My doc told me that he suspected a sleep disorder before seeing my questionare or me, based on the history that my obgyn sent over...he simply confirmed his suspicions with the questionare and the physical exam. Seems if you get up to pee more than once during the night (and the urinary/bladder system is fine), it's a little red flag that you've got sleep problems...the other "flags" were feeling fatigued despite normal thyroid levels, chronic yawning, and falling asleep within 5 minutes of laying down.

My sleep study was a very pleasant experience...and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and with about 500 periodic limb movements in the course of the night. I was fitted with a cpap machine which helped immensely (as it has dropped my blood pressure if nothing else)...but my sleep problems continued.

I had a great sleep doc...not a pill pusher like some. He tried conservative approaches at first, but they didn't help. He recommended iron supplementation...it didn't work. Then he suggested rx meds, and they didn't work and my condition got worse. He was honest enough to say he couldn't help me...and I thank him for that...a sign of a good and smart doctor being able to admit they're "stumped".

Despite this, I am cured of the periodic limb movements that interfered with my sleep. I no longer sleep 16-20 hour days and wake up exhausted...I found my own answers and the answers should have been obvious to my obgyn and to my sleep specialists (I actually saw more than 1).

My sleep returned to normal when I stopped taking medication for blood pressure....

As for Lyme disease, we don't have reliable tests for it (many, many, many people diagnosed with lyme have tested negative yet still respond to treatment)..and chances are your doctor doesn't have the knowledge or the training to diagnose you...best do alot of homework. I thought there were a lot of myths surrounding sleep medicine...there are tons more surrounding Lyme.

Pleasant dreams!

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 04-04-2009 at 06:15 PM.