in which Kitteh shrinks away oodles of fluff

Ha! It’s a Blog!

At the urging/griping of several of my nearest and dearest [salutes Wildflowerz and Wimbetts] , I am going to blog here to track my efforts at getting healthy.

So here’s me: I am going to be 40 on September 13, 2010. I am determined to be the best ME I can be on that day – not because it is any sort of magic day but because it seems like a good and reachable target date.

I am mom to two gorgeous and perfect and astoundingly time consuming children (one of each gender). I am wife to a wonderful husband with a full time job and a grad school program at night. I am a full time professional with a more than full time job that I believe in and love and that somehow I manage to keep going, but which involves lots of hush-hush government work and so which I will not be discussing at all on this blog.

My poor body has been through a lot. After my first baby, I had post partum anxiety disorder and post-partum preeclampsia. I didn’t gain pregnancy weight, I gained post partum weight, and I did it with style and aplomb. By the time my girl was 3 I had gained about 40 lbs. Then came the two years of pneumonia. Then came the surprise pregnancy with my son, the placental abruption that put me on bedrest from week 15 to week 35, and the second bout with preeclampsia that put me back on bedrest from week 37 or so until well after the little guy joined us.

I am off the blood pressure meds. I am able to finally do something about the state of my body. I am VERY. VERY. MOTIVATED!

One month ago today, in the midst of thrashing around and trying to find my way to weight loss (and mostly going backward), I bowed to pressure from my Darling Husband (DH) and went to see the sleep doctors. This turns out to be a case of DH being brilliant and me being stupid to resist him. (I do not want to discuss how often this happens. It’s irrelevant.) He had had experience with an employee of his who had gone to a sleep clinic, found out his septum was deviated from martial arts or something, had corrective surgery, and lost about 100 lbs over the following few months. DH’s theory was, as much as I worked and struggled to lose weight, maybe I had a sleep problem. Because I have lots of experience with medical persons, I fully expected to walk in and have them suggest I might consider losing weight, and then I was expecting to kill them with whatever common object was in easy reach. Fortunately, that is not what happened! Instead, the wonderful doctor noted that I had something like 18 of the 24 physical characteristics that are linked to apnea (not counting being overweight), like (for instance) I am not precisely tall (OK, I’m not precisely 5 feet) and I still have my tonsils. Accordingly, she predicted I was probably more than a little apnaeic. (Is that a word?)

She suggested that if I had a sleep disorder that could be fixed, then every time I had a sleep apnea episode (basically where I quit breathing because my airway, which is short, collapses) my brain “wakes up” (even though I don’t really), shrieks that we aren’t breathing and that ain’t good, and then sends gobs of cortisol and raises blood sugar by squirting out stored glucose from my liver, all in preparation to “fight or flight” from whatever is stopping my breath. Since nothing is, all that blood sugar makes my pancreas send out insulin to restore balance. But does it put that back in the liver? Of course not. It stores it as… BODY FAT.

Yeah. So I am basically gaining weight while I sleep. And with all that stress hormone cortisol around, I am even storing it as BELLY fat, something I NEVER had until relatively recently.

This was both GOOD news and BAD news. The bad part is obvious, yes? The GOOD part was that they could help me.

So my next post will be all about my foray into the world of sleep medicine and how I managed to get the APAP machine that I just picked up today. 🙂


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