Friday, September 09, 2005

Ok, So I Suck at Blogging

I freely and cheerfully admit it. I update my blog about as often as W. has a clear and cogent thought (which mostly seem to involve bodily functions). I knew it when I started, and yet I continue to try and keep a blog. Ah well, all I can do is try. :)

Well, lets see here. To update from my last post: turns out, I didn't have any kind of infection whatsoever. Nope. What I have is something called sleep apnea. Basically, when I go to sleep, the soft tissues in my throat collapse, blocking my airways. Hoo-fucking-ray.

This lovely little fact causes me to "wake up" - while I don't really come to full consciousness, I do essentially move to that state just before you are conscious. As a result, I can never enter full, deep, restful sleep. I wake up 96 times an hour, and even have micro-seizures. Wheee.

So, the reason I was feeling so freaking tired was that I had not had a decent night's sleep in something like 2 years.

Just to warn you: I'm gonna get a little blue here.

What cocksucking, idiotic, fucked up and pathetic fucking doctor fails to identify this condition in me for TWO CUNTING YEARS??? I had been to the doctor numerous times to complain of feelings of tiredness. I had blood work, X-rays, and numerous physical examinations. The genius's fucking diagnosis? "Probably a chest infection" - despite the fact that my bloodwork showed no such infection.

Unfortunately, my regular doctor (Dr. Bernard Wolos, a truely wonderful gem of a doctor whom I have had most of my life and love dearly) has been battling cancer for a few years. Several other doctors are assisting with his practice, and these jackasses couldn't diagnose an axe wound to the head if the handle was still sticking out.

So, eventually I was staying in Chicago with some friends for the Chicago Improv Festival (which rocked), and one of them (thanks Pat) heard me snoring while I slept (oh, did I mention that I snored like a freaking tractor trailer with the muffler broken?), and said "Dude, you have sleep apnea".

Think about that. Two highly trained medical men, with like a combined 20 years of schooling and another combined 35 years of practicing, failed to diagnose my problem. Then, in one night, an ex-wrestler turned DJ acurately diagnosed my condition.

So, I went to my idiot doctor, and told him that I had sleep apnea. He suggested I leave the diagnosis to the professionals. I suggested he keep his moronic opinions to himself and book me an appointment with a professional. Bitch.

He did, and 2 months later, I went to the sleep clinic. Had a preliminary exam, and told the doctor what had been happening. He felt I had sleep apnea, and booked me an overnight stay so that I could be studied. This doctor (Dr. Gottschalk) was awesome, a great man, compasionate listener, and a true healer. He reminded me once again of what a doctor could be.

I had the sleep-over study. They taped me up with more wires than I thought were possible. If you don't happen to be a person with body hair, let me tell you, when that tape comes off, it takes the hair with it. A lot of hair. I couldn't wear shorts for 2 months because I looked like a miniature gardener had started to mow my legs then went off on strike.

So, a few weeks later I came back for my results. I had sleep apnea. Sure, it took them an extra 3 months to tell me after I knew, but at least it was official. Now something could be done.

I cannot express the depths of depression I was feeling up until then. My energy levels were so low, it was slowly killing me. I wasn't suicidal or anything, but death wasn't at all frightening to me. I once fell asleep at the wheel (at a stoplight late at night), and when I woke up, I wasn't even slightly frightened, as the idea of death didn't hold much fear for me. But I digress.

I had to wait another 2 weeks to get a prescription. But finally I had it. Dr. Gottschalk told me that all I had to do was go next door (to a company that, to prevent lawsuits, I will call "Twatigas") to Twatigas to get my breathing machine - a device called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure or some such).

The sense of relief was enormous, like a flood. I went next door and spoke to Jerkoff (not his real name), a disco lothario dressed in a silk shirt (for really), gold chains, gold rings, and a gold bracelet. The top 4 buttons of the shirt were undone so you could see the necklace and his chest hair. For really.

The first thing I thought was "wow, what an oily rip off artist". But I wanted my CPAP. I told him what the doctor had said, and he told me that it would take about another 2 months to get the machine.

I was stunned, and devastated. I left, went back to the sleep clinic, into the bathroom, sat in a stall, and cried for 15 minutes. I'm not normally given to tears, but the crushing depression and defeat was overwhelming. I had thought relief was at hand, and that after more than 2 years I was actually going to get a good night's sleep. When Jerkoff snatched that away from me, it was more than I could take.

After I calmed down and washed up, I went back to see my doctor and explained the situation. He was literally livid, and I saw his face turn red. He asked me to wait outside, and was dialing the phone as I left his office. After a few minutes, he came outside and told me to go back over.

I did, and immediatley Jerkoff was there, groveling and apologizing. He took me into a room and we discussed getting me a machine. They told me seeing since I was covered at work (thank God), I wouldn't have to pay the $700-800 bucks for my machine (which is only about 25% of the price, the government pays the rest).

As a side rant - how come a guy can get a vasectomy (which, no matter how you slice it, is elective surgery) for free on the government's dime, but someone who is suffering from apnea has to kick out $700 for a good night's sleep? I'm no doctor, but I think sleeping is a little more important than plugging up the old sperm shoot.

Anyway, Jerkoff told me he could give me a loaner CPAP until mine came in, and I would only have to pay $100 a month to rent it. Lucky me. Angry now, I told him that he had competitors, and I was going to see them.

He immediatley backtracked. Fucker. "Oh, we can waive that fee, of course". What a freaking prick. I'd call him a cunt, but I don't want to offend anyone. Anyway, I told him that I wasn't terribly happy with Twatigas at the moment, and if anything else happened there that made me unhappy, I'd be leaving. For some odd reason, since then they've been fine.

So, I got my loaner. I've had it for about 2 months now, and I have noticed a HUGE difference. I'm not back to 100% yet, but I think I've hit 50. I can sit on a couch now without falling asleep. I can drive without falling asleep. I can sleep without waking up. Its pretty fucking sweet.

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