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I haven’t slept in 7 years {and other crazy sh!t I learned}

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I havent slept in 7 years

So, I’ve dubbed 2017 the year of the healthy Crystal {OK, maybe just healthy-ER Crystal}. I started the year off by going back to the doctor, getting back on some of the meds that I should have been on all along, focusing on the diet and exercise…just generally doing the things I should have always been doing but after Madelyn I basically gave up on… {Stay with me, there is a point to this story, promise}

Thanks to gentle ‘prompting’ from the hubby {read: at least once a week or more he would tell me I sound like I’m trying to drown myself in my sleep} I asked my doctor about my sleeping habits and was directed to see a specialist. You see ever since Madelyn died I’ve slept very poorly – but I’d always just assumed it was because of the nightmares, depression and acid reflux. Then we I gained a bunch of weight {because I ate my emotions} and I started to toss and turn all night and have insomnia.  It seemed like a vicious cycle: fat > sad > tired > fat > sad > tired…on and on. I mean depression=sleepy and lethargic doesn’t it?

So this specialist sends me home with, basically, a heart rate monitor to track my sleeping for a night and instructions to come back the next day to see what it said.

Come to find out, I’m suffocating myself in my sleep. I mean like, literally suffocating myself in my sleep.  I stop breathing about 35 times an hour, which causing my body to wake itself up about every 45-100 seconds so I start breathing again. They call it SEVERE {they capitalized the word not me} obstructive sleep apnea associated with hypoxia. A lot of the symptoms I previously associated with losing Maddie could be caused {at least partially} because I’m not sleeping at night.

See, my body KNOWS I try to suffocate it when I’m asleep so it does everything it can to stay away (insomnia), since I never truly go to sleep my stomach keeps working like its awake and makes all that gunk that causes me to pop Tums like candy (acid reflux), and also since I’m never really asleep my brain doesn’t get the opportunity to do a ‘hard reset’ and reboot (nightmares, increased depression, and weight retention because of hormones).

Oh, and I also learned that sleep apnea is not just for fat people {although losing a few lbs can help} it all relates back to what’s going on in your mouth and throat.  If you have a small windpipe, big tongue, and long uvula {get your mind outta the gutter – it’s the hangy down thing in the back of your throat} you have a good chance you have some sort of apnea. And, if you still have your tonsils and adenoids you’re at an even higher risk – all the things I have.

So the fix? Maybe surgery, probably a CPAP machine. Do I like those solutions? Not really, but if it means I can sleep again and get some stuff done I’ll give it a try.

I thought all of this related back to my depression {maybe it still does a bit} and I thought I was epically failing because I couldn’t get my ‘laziness’ under control. No matter how hard I tried I wasn’t able to force myself to be less tired, lethargic, or “meh” and because of that I thought I was slowly spiraling into a dark place. It turns out there were ‘outside’ factors that were helping to cause the symptoms I was trying to ‘happy’ away.

I’m going to challenge you to rethink something you’re struggling with. Maybe you’re like me and it’s your sleep. Maybe it’s a relationship or a memory. Come at your issue from another angle, get more information, talk to someone that knows more than you, what you might think is 100% true may be a side effect of something else. And you might be closer to resolving your issue then you think 🙂

I’m doing the best I can…until I know better. Then I’m doing better. I hope you’ll do the same.


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