23
Oct

Sleep Study #2

I have a sleep disorder. Actually, it's more or a respiratory issue - my airway collapses when I sleep, so between 13 & 14x per hour, my brain wakes up out of it's sleepy state to remind my airway to stay open so I can breathe. It's great (because I don't stop breathing) but also awful (because I never, at all, ever, can reach REM sleep because my brain is interrupted before it gets to that stage). I've seen a sleep doctor/respirologist, who was having me sleep in a sleep lab while electrodes stuck to my scalp/face/legs/body measure muscle movement and brain waves while I (try to) sleep.

I was sitting in a waiting room at the sleep lab last Thursday night, feeling jealous of the people who already have wires attached to their faces so they can go to sleep. I was also so very tired, and somewhat frustrated. My respirologist had ordered another sleep study to test my airway resistance problems when treated with a cpap machine, so for the second time in a few months I found myself at the sleep lab, late at night, waiting to have electrodes stuck to my scalp with sticky goop so I can go to sleep while the lab techs watch my brain.

I should point out that my frustration felt entirely justified;  I was told to arrive by 10 pm and arrived early so I might complete the mandatory medical questionnaire and be ready to start being covered with electrodes and tubes at precisely 10. As I sat there, it approached 10:40 before they finally took me to my room and started sticking wires all over me.

So I sat and waited, & was a man in the waiting room with me. He finished his medical questionnaire a few minutes after I had finished mine, and when he was done he brought it up to the counter just as I had done. He stopped, though, and detoured past the big tub of jelly beans to scoop up a handful on his way back. It makes me wonder what kind of magical lifestyle these normal people lead, the people who can  not only eat jelly beans without having to consider how their bodies convert carbs to blood glucose and how insulin helps to pull that glucose out of the blood stream, and how much insulin they need for the snacks they just had, but even more than that! It's the people who can EAT BEFORE BED! I can't do that!  Any food past maybe 9pm will send me on an overnight blood-sugar rollercoaster. It took me a while, and I still slip up occasionally somewhat frequently, but I'm sort of at a place in my life where I realize the value in not eating late for the sake of good, stable overnight sugars. I always sort of wonder if other Type 1s out there feel sort of the same way: understanding that they're sacrificing lifestyle choices (like bedtime jellybeans) for tighter glucose control, and also worrying about the long-term implications of these decisions on their mental and emotional health. (am I overreacting? probably. It's not that big a deal to not eat candy before bed...usually. It might be nice to have the option though).

It's a small thing, I know - they're just jellybeans. Life with diabetes is a lot of small things though, and small things can start to feel pretty heavy when you add them all up.

I don't even like jelly beans...

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