Friday, July 28, 2017

Why Am I So Tired? (Friday Five Edition)

So I know it's been awhile since I posted.  I have been really busy at work and just too tired when I'm home.  I've also haven't been running.  Though I have been biking, I haven't in the past week and a half because my IT band has been acting up.  Too much too quickly.  I just was having so much fun that I kept riding and I should have given myself an extra rest day.  But anyway I have been wanting to write this post for awhile and this would help explain when I say I'm tired and have no energy to even blog, this would help explain it.

Ever since I can remember in my adult life, I have always been tired.  This is more tired then the average person usually is.  I mentioned it many time to many different doctors and all they say is get more sleep or get more exercise or reduce the stress.  No matter what I do, I'm just tired all day.  And to explain what I mean by tired is that I could wake up at 8 on a Saturday after getting 7-9 hours of sleep and I'll get up, have some breakfast.  I'm so tired that I would take a nap at 10.  Yes, I would be able to fall asleep for another hour or two after only being awake for a couple of hours.  And then there are even times that I could take a second nap in the afternoon.  And I am this tired every day.  An example I read was if a normal person went 3-4 days with only getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night, that is how tired I am.  And I get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Last summer I saw a new doctor and she actually took me seriously and referred me to a sleep clinic. I talked to the sleep doctor and he asked me all these questions on if I lose muscle control if I laugh too much.  He wanted me to do a sleep study.  Not only overnight, but also a day sleep study.  Here are five things that have happened with this study.

1. I showed up about 8 PM with my pillow, blanket, and a bunch of stuff to entertain me the next day.  I brought my own pillow and blanket not because they didn't have them, but I wanted to be as comfortable as possible.  I have a hard time sleeping when I'm not in my own bed.  They attached all of these wires to my face and body.  All to measure brain waves, breathing, snoring, and muscle movements.  Even though it was very uncomfortable I did eventually fall asleep.  I woke up a few times through the night and they knew through the monitoring.  They came in and helped me get to the bathroom (I was plugged into the wall) and reattach the wires that came lose.

2. The moment I woke up in the morning, they knew and came in to unattached some of the wires.  I still had to wear some of the wires throughout the day for my day study, but at least I was able to freely move around.  They had a TV and a comfy chair to relax in.  I was not allowed to sit or lay in bed.  So the day study was to have a 20 minute nap every two hours and see if I fell asleep and if I did, how quickly.  They ordered breakfast for me and I was off to my first two hours awake.  Before I knew it it was time to take my first nap.  I didn't feel like I fell asleep at all and just laid there for the 20 minutes.  I was very tired though the day and had 3 more naps.  The last nap I did feel like I fell asleep and the nurse said that I had and she let me sleep a little longer then the 20 minutes since it was the last nap.

I had to carry this around with me all day

3.  So what did the study tell me?  I don't have sleep Apnea or Restless Leg Syndrome.  I was so relieved that I didn't have sleep Apnea as I so didn't want to have a machine attached to me while I slept.  He said that I got 6 hours of good deep sleep, so he was satisfied that I can sleep well through the night.  But my day study told a different story.  Out of the 4 naps, I fell asleep within 5 minutes for 3 of them.  He said that was not normal, that I shouldn't be falling asleep that quickly after the amount of sleep the night before.  Even though I fell asleep quickly for those naps, I did not go into REM sleep right away.  This is a tell tail sign of Narcolepsy.

4.  So if I didn't have any of the sleep disorders, what was wrong with me.  Basically I have Idiopathic Hyper-insomnia.  So what's that?  It's basically a name they give to anyone with sleep issues where they cannot put into any other category.  So they know there is something wrong with me, but they are not sure what.  I explain it as Narcolepsy-light.  I have most of the symptoms of Narcolepsy but not enough to be categorized with it.  And no, I have never fallen asleep without knowing it, though I am so tired a lot that if I had a chance to lie down, I would fall asleep.

5. So how is it treated if they don't know exactly what is wrong with me?  They are treating me the same way they would treat someone with Narcolepsy.  So I'm given stimulants to help me not be tired and to have the energy of a normal person.  The common stimulants that are given for this are the same drugs used for ADD, Ritalin and Adderall.  For the last 9 months I have been trying to figure out the right drug and right dose.  There is also extended release and quick release.  I haven't quite found the right combination of things yet, but I have found that I am not as tired through the day when I am on the medication.  Even though there are days on the medicine that I still feel tired, it is so much better then the days I don't take the medicine.  I have also found that some of these combinations don't work for me after several months.  Right now I'm on a new combination that I'm not sure is working as well.  Hence why after work I have no energy to write a post.  And since I'm busy at work, I don't have the breaks I normally would to get a post written during the day.

Have you ever had a sleep study?  What have you done to help you stay awake?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Weekely Update (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

I know I haven't posted in ages.  I have been really busy and honestly I don't feel like I have anything interesting to post.  I probably still don't have anything interesting to post, so I'll just ramble a little.

Let's see.  I did a triathlon a couple weekends ago.  I know that's interesting, but I haven't been able to focus long enough to finish the post.  I didn't train very well for it and I knew that going in.  But I know I put every ounce of energy into the race.  I am very proud of that.  I love the course and I know if one year I put in the effort I would do more then have fun, but also have a great time.

There is a place here that puts on two Shakespeare plays in an outdoor theater each summer.  We try to go to them every year.  We went to both this year.  First was Love's Labor's Lost and the other was Macbeth.  I had never seen either one and really enjoyed both.

I haven't run since the triathlon two weeks ago, but I have been doing a lot of bike riding.  I really do love my new bike and have really enjoying getting out on the bike.  I have mostly been doing sunrise rides, where we take off before the sunrise and watch it as we ride.  It's cooler, there is less traffic, you get the ride done and still have a lot of the day, and it is beautiful.

For the Forth the local bike group organized a ride to Duck Donuts.  There were a lot of people that showed up and we had a great time.

A couple of weeks ago one of the guys that I used to do these sunrise rides with two summers ago passed away.  Apparently he was going to have a knee replacement and they found out that he had lung cancer.  It apparently was very quick from diagnosis to when he passed.  While I haven't seen him in a couple of years, I've thought about him on each of my rides since.
The moment he hit 1000 miles in one month in 2015.
This week I will have shades installed on the skylights in my bedroom.  It gets so bright and hot in there throughout the day.  There are days when I get home and it's 85 degrees upstairs.  I can't wait.

That is about it.  I hope it wasn't too boring. :)

Have you seen Love's Labor's Lost or Macbeth?  Have you done anything exciting this week?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.