Tuesday, April 20, 2010


My sleep apnea has been bad lately. I should say it's been less frequent but more severe. I can almost count on triggering it by falling asleep on my back, so I've been sleeping on my side for the last few months. But even then it happens sometimes. Since this started -- I guess a few years ago? I don't remember exactly -- it's been pretty much the same: I wake up with the feeling that I'm choking, I sit up, take a huge breath, and I'm a little freaked out but fine. But when I was in Mexico I had an episode that sent me flying out of bed. I couldn't catch my breath by sitting up, I had to be standing, or at least it felt that way. I had another bad one the other night. I woke up and took a deep breath, but it felt like my throat collapsed again, I took another deep breath, same thing again, another deep breath, and finally I was able to keep breathing normally.

I've also noticed the last few days that throughout the day I frequently feel short of breath and have to take a few deep breaths to "catch up," similar to the feeling I have at high altitudes. I wonder if this worsening is connected to the emotional stress I've been under recently or if my throat is actually collapsing. What is it, MS?, where one of the first symptoms is difficulty swallowing? But that's not really what this feels like.

Should I be alarmed? I mean, I am alarmed, but should I be? I can't go see a doctor. I can't imagine going to the emergency room with sleep apnea.

And then this in the Times this morning. Lovely.

After my food stamp meltdown yesterday, I took a 3-hour nap. (To add insult to injury, I had to return the Barbara Kingsolver book, which I'd been enjoying so much, to the library. It was 3 days overdue, and I can't check it out again because there's a hold on it. I went to Half Price Books to see if I could get a copy cheap, but they didn't have it.) When I woke up I had a message from M asking me over for leftovers and a movie. I could hardly keep from crying when I got there and he asked me how I was. I wanted so badly not to fall apart in front of him, but I couldn't help it. We went for a long walk and he listened to my sad tale, gave me advice and encouragement. I felt a bit better. I spent a few hours today researching grants.


Aly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aly said...

Do you smoke? The swallowing issue I also had..turned out to be my thyroid being over active.

Steven said...

No, I don't smoke. It's not a problem with swallowing, as far as I can tell.

Aly said...

That's good. I only ask because it was the root for similar issues I once had.