Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fat & Sleep

I can identify with Bonnie.  She and I are kindred souls when is comes to food.

Over indulgence has ruined our waistline

In Bonnie's case, it is my fault.   In my case... awww heck...It is my fault too. 

Since I control the food, and the amount they eat, the tubby Bonnie issue lies squarely in my court.

All the care I put into feeding them a raw diet, I have been paranoid over getting enough calories into them & balancing the vitamins, protein sources, veggies, fats, oils.  Then the kitchen scale broke, again.  So I started eyeballing their portions.  And forgot to reduce them on the days they did not get exercise.  The result?

Tubby Bonnie.

When you look down on your dog from above, you should see a waist.  A nipped in area behind the rib cage before their hips.  You should also be able to feel their ribs.  The ribs should not be buried under a thick layer of fat.

  When they run across the field, the vibrations should not set off seismic sensors throughout the river valley.

 The pitter patter of paws should not echo a stampede of mammoth moose.

That reminds me of last week when my teenage son watched me work Brynn.  He was amazed when he saw me run.  He told me later when we got home "Wow, when you run., you made the ground shake."

Gee, thanks son.  I love you too. 

Teenagers, why were they ever invented?

Like Bonnie, I am tubby.  As my son says "Mom, you are GINORMOUS!".  Is that even a word? 

However, the meaning is not lost on me.

I will share a bit personal information - something I have been hesitant to share.  As many of you know, I have been battling my weight for years.  I could blame having babies, raising children, depression, my husband, unemployment, or anything else that comes to mind.  What it really boils down to is the amount of calories I stuff in my mouth are disproportionate to the amount of calories I burn off.

I had quite an 'awakening' in December. For years, I have been exhausted.  I wake up in the morning exhausted.  I go to bed at night exhausted.  I have a headache that never goes away.  I have been bone crunching weary for 20 years.  My doctor finally suggested a sleep study.  I relented.

What I found out is there was a valid reason for my unending exhaustion.  I have severe central apnea.

Apnea (literally, "without breath") is a pause in breathing that typically last between 20- 40 seconds and cause a drop in the blood oxygen level (saturation).  There are two types of sleep apnea:  Obstructive and Central.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by an obstruction of the upper airway, such as your soft palate relaxing during sleep & blocking your airway.  

In Central Sleep Apnea, the basic neurological controls for breathing rate malfunction and fail to give the signal to inhale, causing the individual to miss one or more cycles of breathing. 

To put is simply, I just don't breathe.  There is nothing obstructing my airway - my brain doesn't tell my body to breathe - so I don't.   There are many different causes and explanations for why this happens, which I do not need to get into here. 

During the sleep study they found that I wasn't breathing for periods of 1.5 to 3 minutes at a time.  My oxygen saturation was dropping into the 60's several times a hour.   To put this in perspective,  patient whose oxygen saturation drops into the 80's would be in the ICU.   A normal oxygen saturation should be in the 90's - all the time. 

The only thing that can help me right now is a machine.  Since my apnea is so severe a plain old C-PAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine is not sufficient.  I have a special machine and beside oxygen. 

Once I got past the feeling of being an invalid (which I am not) and got used to using the machine, the difference in the way I feel is dramatic.  The biggest thing?  I do not wake up exhausted.  I am actually feeling better in the morning than I did at night when I went to sleep.  I do not yet feel refreshed, but over time it may come.

The biggest thing?  I do not feel like stuffing my face all day long with carbs & sugar in an effort to keep my eyes open.  I have been losing weight without really trying.   So far I have lost 13 lbs.  A mere drop in the bucket for the 100 more lbs I need to lose, but at least it is a step in the right direction.

Why am I sharing this with you?  If you have any issues with sleep, or feeling tired all the time, please request a sleep study.  I cannot emphasize enough the impact sleep deprivation can have on your health.  It is dramatic and frightening if it goes untreated.  It has been  linked to depression, high blood pressure and to increased chances of heart failure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, poor quality of life, stress...not to mention feeling cruddy all the time.

So, Bonnie and I are on a weight loss journey. 

Who knows where it may take us. 

Hopefully, to better health and happiness.


Diana said...

Wow, Ive never heard of centeral apnea. Thanks. A friend of mines husband was dx with obstructive sleep apena. One morning he was found dead with the CPAP machine on. I wonder if he had Central apnea and thats why the CPAP didnt work. Very interesting. thanks

I hope you feel better!

Karen said...

Well it's a win, win, win, situation. You sleep better, feel better, and lose weight:) Hope it all continues to improve!
I'm always checking the padding, or lack of on the dogs' ribs, and so far seem to be able to keep them at a decent weight. They are on raw too, and I just eyeball their food portions.

Country Girl said...

Thanks for sharing! That's good information for everyone! Glad you got it sorted out and congratulations on loosing the weight!

RYKER said...

It is so great that you are treating this problem. I am sure that you will see improvement in all areas of your life and will have more energy to help Bonnie on her journey as well. Congratulations!
Ryker also eats raw now and I also check his rib cage at least weekly. I just eyeball his food as well. Have learned to scrape most of the marrow out of the marrow bones since the marrow is so calorie packed and trim off all the fat I can from the meat bones.

Hillbilly Betty said...

Wow, I had never heard of Central Sleep Apnea either. My dad had to sleep with a CPAP for his last few years, and I know that sleeping with those machines takes some adjustment but really pays off!

And a big congrats on the beginning of your weight loss journey! I'm here to root you on, because I know what it's like to be a "heavy handler"! This time last year I was 110 overweight. I've lost 70 pounds last year and I'm now on my "Final Forty" countdown! Only 33 more to go! Keep it up - it really makes it easy to run after the dogs on the field!

forensicfarmgirl said...

You may well save many lives by sharing that story! Thank you!

Emma Rose said...

We checked into the testing because the Duke stops breathing often during the night. The cost estimates we got just for the testing were huge. Way more than we can come up with. I'm glad you found out and can now begin to live normally. It's amazing.

BCxFour said...

Emma Rose - we were lucky because our insurance covers the testing. Did the Duke check to see if his insurance will pay for part of it? Most insurance companies will pay for most if not all...

Emma Rose said...

We did check and they will not cover it. Still, we will do it someday. My husband does not think it's important enough - well, you and I know it IS. He is one of those stubborn types. Drives me crazy. So for now I don't sleep well because I am listening to his breathing, and when he stops I wake him up!
Can't win :)

Tink said...

Wonderful you're feelling better already cara, good to know you made the right choice. It will really pay off in the future. You are going to be sprinting over that trial field in no time!

But Carolynn, there is nothing wrong with being an invalid. I am one and still human, I think.