Yesterday went a long way into overall life improvement.
First, I was fitted for my bite guards - I will have to wear these at night (yes, anonymous, very sexy, I know). They should have a significant impact on the clenching and grinding that is causing discomfort in my jaw - extreme discomfort. I was a little concerned about the trip to the dentist yesterday. I have had several impressions in my life - they jam those trays into your jaws, and it is any one's guess how much pain I will or will not be in come morning. I was sure to load up on Ibuprofen the night before and the morning of. It also appears my jaw is structurally out of alignment as well, based on this "bite registration" I had done. They put this paste on my teeth and I had to bite, and you could see a difference in my front 2 teeth on the right vs the left.
On to the sinus doctor - whatever sinus infection I had is gone. Scan nice and clear. However, the scan also showed my nasal airway is close to 100% blocked. I forget what they are called, but they are for sure blocked. As we were talking, he went back to 2 questions I had answered about sleep in my history - whether I snored and whether I woke up at night, and I answered both of those yes. Apparently, those symptoms, along with the clenching/grinding are symptoms of sleep apnea. SLEEP APNEA? Um, isn't that for people who have a little different health traits than I do????
Based on everything so far, he feels the main issue is sleep apnea caused by the fact I can't breathe through my nose. Sleep apnea is essentially when you can't get enough oxygen while you sleep, essentially forcing you to wake up so you can breathe. This can be very debilitating and very dangerous - my doctor said in extreme cases he has had people fall asleep while he is talking to them. Guess what? These are the same people that get in their cars and drive away...endangering themselves and others on the road. I am nowhere near that extreme, thankfully.
Based on how I slept last night, I can't reasonably argue. (I needed Candace's spanking spoon for myself to try and get to sleep) So, on May 15th, I will have a minor procedure done to open up my airways and we will see if that helps my sleeping. If not, he wants me to have a sleep study - which I am completely open to at this point. I told him I knew my sleeping habits needed to improve - I too am a "miserable sleeper", not because I want to be, that is for sure. I have been trying to improve my sleeping habits for some time now...it in very frustrating to be exhausted and wake up 2-3 times a night - which is what has been happening for longer than I care to remember. However, I never would have thought that sleep apnea was the issue, but based on what I have learned about it in the last day, it seems reasonable based on what has been happening. I have also learned that no detail is too big or small to share with your medical provider when trying to get to the bottom of your issue. While I am not "sick" in physical sense, sleep apnea is very dangerous - had I not answered the questions honestly and truthfully, I probably would not be headed down the path of feeling better. I also feel very fortunate to have found this doctor - after seeing him once, I felt confident he committed to finding out what the problem was, and that feeling was reinforced again yesterday. Same for my dentist, who was baffled and concerned as well. It is also important to be persitent and your own advocate in your health care - you know when something is not right and it is important to keep going until you have gotten an answer you are comfortable with. I almost did not go the sinus doctor....
Overall, I am comfortable with the plan, and am relieved to know that sometime in the not too distant future, I will be getting better sleep. I never would have thought that when all of this started it was related to sleep, but I have to think that better sleep = better life. So I am on the road to recovery, thankfully. Still have another week before I get my mouthguards, so I will probably have to continue the ibuprofen. It has helped the sensitivity in my teeth, and while they are still sensitive, I don't get tears in my eyes when something cold hits the left side of my mouth. I was freed from the antibiotics, so my little tummy should be happier as well.
We have a busy weekend...softball stadium dedication and Easter...Happy Easter to everyone and I hope to see all you yocal locals tomorrow!!