21 Nov WAKE-UP CALL… SLEEP APNEA
Dear Oxygen Lover Readers,
Do you know if you get enough oxygen? For some reason, I didn’t think I was. Call it my guidance system. My intuition. But I didn’t expect this!
I went to the dentist for my teeth cleaning. A sign was posted “Sleep. Dream. Thrive.” I inquired about the posting. They mentioned it is for sleep apnea.
The hygienist said, “You don’t fall in this category. The criteria is usually overweight patients who have thick necks. You are thin and don’t have a thick neck.” I said, “My grandparents had sleep apnea.” The hygienist asked, “Do I snore?” I replied, “Occasionally when I drink alcohol, but no I don’t.” End of story.
Well, the test was offered to patients for free. And I thought that I can’t pass this bargain up. Free is good. The dentist shared, “Sleep apnea is hereditary; so lets’ check it out.”
I wore the vice around my forehead for two nights in the privacy of my own home. I turned in the machine and thought nothing of it. Then, the receptionist called to request an appointment to go over the results. I said, “Just give them to me over the phone.” Save me an appointment. Legally, she couldn’t. Go figure. I made the appointment.
And blindsided I was!
The hygienist suggested, “Now you came in for an apparatus?!” Astonished, I interjected, “Just here to get my results.” She sat down and explained SLEEP APNEA (a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing is called an apnea, and each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea. It is classified as a dyssomnia, meaning abnormal behavior or psychological events occur during sleep.)
But the kicker, “Jennifer, you have SLEEP APNEA.” WHAT? Not me. There must be an error. She asked, “Did you know? Why did you do the test?” I implied, “Free. My grandparents had it. But I always felt like I wasn’t getting enough oxygen to my brain.” She replied, “You are brilliant, and you are saving your life!” Call it my intuition.
Now, I DO NOT have the criteria for sleep apnea. I’m not overweight. I don’t have a thick neck. I do not snore. I’ve been on girl’s trips, and no one has said I snored. I’ve shared a bed with my husband for 19 years, and he never said I snored consistently. Alcohol intake, occasionally a yes.
So how did I get here? Bicuspid removal when I was 14 years old. An orthodontist doing a substandard job and unnecessary procedure. I paid the price, needing braces again as an adult. And I discovered… I’m still paying the price for his error.
The hygienist shared… what has saved my life is being thin. And I eat constantly! Weight has not been my issue. Thankfully because I have other issues. But she shared since I’m not getting enough oxygen to my brain, I’m on pure adrenaline the next day. Living in a fight or flight state. I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. My nervous system has been shot, and now I’m getting it in sync with a new body… a new reality!
Now, you are probably wondering if I’m going to wear the CPAP machine. Thankfully, they made a tiny, nondescript apparatus that looks like a retainer. I admitted, “I could do that.”
The hygienist shared, “You are saving yourself from Alzheimer’s, premature aging, and menopausal weight gain since you are getting oxygen to your brain.” I thought to myself well all that is good.
But I left in a pity party.
Questioning why I did do that stupid test. I’m too young for this. I don’t fit the criteria. My parents did a shitty job. Why weren’t they more involved? Why wasn’t I protected? Orthodontist should be sued. Archaic procedure. Okay. I had to get it out. The pity party and the blame game.
Then, I had to SHIFT to everyone was doing the best job that they could. Compassion Jennifer. Compassion.
Last night, I researched sleep apnea and discovered decrease in gray matter of the brain causes problems with memory, breathing, cardiovascular function, autonomic function, executive function, short-term memory, depression, frontal areas and hippocampus.
Then, I THANKED the universe for the discovery of sleep apnea. And smiled.
I have on my visualization board well-being. My bull’s eye of mastery is clarity of mind, energized body, a life giving environment, and fulfilled relationships.
So now I have knowledge. But it’s the potential of what I do with that knowledge that matters.
Yes, to an energized body, no menopausal symptoms (when that happens in the future), no menopausal weight gain, increase brain mass, better memory and breathing, sharper focus, and improved executive function. It’s not that bad. In fact, it is exciting because I’m only getting better. This or better. The universe is moving me into better. May come in unexpected packages but truly they are gifts from the universe delivered at the right time.
I’m sharing this and being truly vulnerable with this new heath discovery to see it as an opportunity for growth. And you may want to consider getting tested for sleep apnea. And if you don’t, that is okay too. You may have other health concerns. But truthfully, it’s a mindset on how you handle it. Blessing or curse. Challenge or opportunity. Embrace it as Kris Carr has embraced her cancer diagnosis and “Crazy Sexy Wellness Revolution.”
Shine brightly with all the gifts that the universe wants to give you.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ~ Marie Curie
You are truly amazing!