I haven’t posted here for a while because of my struggle witih all of the problems caused by my Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder — including not being able to find any Sleep Clinics in my area that know how to deal with this problem.
Finally, I did a search for someone, anywhere, who is an expert in cicrcadian rhtythm disorders. I found one a Harvard and emailed him. Not only did he respond quickly, but he immediately referred me to his colleague at the Sleep Clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, and also gave me some advice about when I should be taking my medications — which depends on my specific circadian rhythm.
A telehealth visit with the Clinic was quicky scheduled, and, during that appointment, I found out that there are saliva tests I can take that provide data about my specific circadian rhythm. I was also told to get a test for my iron level, because I might need to go and get an iron infusion. I never knew that iron levels can affect sleep.
I received the test kit in the mail the other day. The process of gathering up the saliva is complex, and the results need to be immediately frozen and shipped out with an ice pack. The cost could be as much as $350 because Medicare does not like to cover it, but if I can fix this debilitating disorder it will be worth it.
I might have to go to the Boston hospital at some point, but my daughter said she will drive me.
Meanwhile, I went to my Primary Care to get my blood pressure checked, because the wrist blood pressure machine that I have was giving very high readings. At one point, the machine told me that my blood pressure was too high to even register. When the nurse took my blood pressure, it was higher than it should be, but he suggested that I try a few things before I am presdribed any meds. I admitted that salt is a big thing with me, and I had been binging on bags of Cheetos, which are even saltier that potato chips. So I am investigating other ways to flavor food, and I have severely curtailed my use of salt. But the readings I am getting on my home machine are still high. Blood pressure affects sleep, so I have to take this seriously.
I am still tired all of the time, despite sometimes sleeping for 10 hours. I am not a happy camper, but I will follow through with the Clinic’s suggestions and see where I wind up.
Because my daughter is strugglng with A-Fib and asthma, I limit my excursions out into the pandemicked world to avoid bringing anything home. When I do go out, masked and careful, it’s to run errands, and I come home exhaused. Mental? Physical? All of the above.