Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 79706

Shown: posts 1 to 4 of 4. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Is this strange or what?

Posted by sgtbob on September 27, 2001, at 5:28:49

I just got back from a sleep consult at the Veterans hospital. Some things struck me as strange but if they can help me great. First, the doctor was telling me that they would need a blood test, but instead of taking a fresh one in the office, the guy accesses the computer and takes the results from one that is 6 months old. Second, he explains that my brain is being deprived of oxygen and they will be able to help me with a mask and such. The funny thing is that this doc was writing on the computer that I have symptoms of narcolepsy, yet he didn't say anything to me about it. I didn't know exactly what narcolepsy was untill looking on the net. Is this strange, or what? I'm cursious as to what is causing me to sleep so much. I so tired, I just want to be able to stay awake. the doc didn't even ask me if I have depression, which I do. When I told him of the depressents I take and the concerta, which I recently tried, don't help he just nodded his head. My pnurse gave me the conerta. I hope this guy isn't playing with me. Any body deal with the VA before and have a doctor like this?


 

Re: Is this strange or what?

Posted by paxvox on September 27, 2001, at 13:11:14

In reply to Is this strange or what?, posted by sgtbob on September 27, 2001, at 5:28:49

Indeed a conundrum there Sgtbob. There are clear links between brain chemisrty and events such as epilepsy, narcolepsy and depressive illness. SalArmy4me could hook you up with some links, I'm sure. However, I would not allow yourself to be treated like chattle, even by the government docs. Any chance you can get to a private Pdoc?

PAX

 

Re: Is this strange or what? sgtbob

Posted by Marie1 on September 28, 2001, at 7:27:40

In reply to Is this strange or what?, posted by sgtbob on September 27, 2001, at 5:28:49

Could your doc have been referring to sleep apnea? You basically stop breathing in your sleep which causes oxygen deprivation. Two main symptoms are depression and excessive daytime sleepiness. It's treated with a mask you wear over your face (in bed) that releases oxygen while you are sleeping. Do you ever wake up with headaches?
Marie


> I just got back from a sleep consult at the Veterans hospital. Some things struck me as strange but if they can help me great. First, the doctor was telling me that they would need a blood test, but instead of taking a fresh one in the office, the guy accesses the computer and takes the results from one that is 6 months old. Second, he explains that my brain is being deprived of oxygen and they will be able to help me with a mask and such. The funny thing is that this doc was writing on the computer that I have symptoms of narcolepsy, yet he didn't say anything to me about it. I didn't know exactly what narcolepsy was untill looking on the net. Is this strange, or what? I'm cursious as to what is causing me to sleep so much. I so tired, I just want to be able to stay awake. the doc didn't even ask me if I have depression, which I do. When I told him of the depressents I take and the concerta, which I recently tried, don't help he just nodded his head. My pnurse gave me the conerta. I hope this guy isn't playing with me. Any body deal with the VA before and have a doctor like this?

 

Re: Is this strange or what?

Posted by Mark H. on September 28, 2001, at 22:10:42

In reply to Is this strange or what?, posted by sgtbob on September 27, 2001, at 5:28:49

I concur with Marie that your doctor was likely describing sleep apnea, which is when the body stops breathing properly during sleep, depriving the brain of oxygen and causing potentially serious damage to other organs, especially the heart, which overworks while trying to deliver enough oxygen to the brain.

There are two general types of sleep apnea, which are not necessarily exclusive of each other: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by soft tissue blockage of the airway. The result is loud snoring. Someone listening or watching will notice that a person stops snoring -- stops breathing, actually -- for several seconds up to half a minute or so, until the level of CO2 in the bloodstream builds up to the point that the sleeping brain kicks in with an emergency message and awakes the sleeper enough to gasp for his next breath. While OSA is more common in men who are overweight (more soft tissue in the throat), it is not limited to them.

Central sleep apnea is a bit more mysterious. Apparently, the body just gives up breathing until the same "wake up and gasp" message is sent from the brain.

In either case, the apnea sufferer is unaware of perhaps 90% or more of his "wakings." But a person with severe apnea never really gets a good nights sleep because of it. This leads to almost constant tiredness and crankiness during the day. Besides creating stress on the heart, it also causes very real danger for the apnea sufferer when driving (and for everyone around him on the road).

As for your over-the-shoulder diagnosis, I'd give your doctor the benefit of the doubt, at least until you can question him about it. Some doctors do not distinguish between true narcolepsy and what is sometimes called "idiopathic hypersomnia," which is just a fancy term for being unexplainably sleepy all the time. Also, perhaps within the VA system, a diagnosis of narcolepsy allows him to provide you with services, tests, support and medications that may not be covered for the more vague determination of hypersomnia -- I don't know this to be true, I'm just suggesting that he may be using the system to help you, and that instead of becoming alarmed, you may wish to ask him to clarify it for you.

Likewise, a sleep test can cost a couple of thousand dollars or more, but if he can get you a CPAP machine to try through the VA and it helps you -- well then, the success of the treatment will provide the diagnosis. I'm not claiming that this is the ideal way to do medicine, but we live in times when good doctors are often hampered from taking the best steps for the patient in the right order due to financial constraints and procedural restrictions.

If you're interested, do a Google or other search engine search on CPAP, and you'll learn a lot about the machines, their features and costs in a few minutes.

Best wishes,

Mark H.


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Medication | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.