This week I have found out that I have a lack of blood flow in an area of both eyes so I have some blurriness but no loss of vision. I have some micro-aneurysms in the retinas of both eyes which could, but haven’t yet, leaked or at least are not currently leaking. The past retinal tears which were lasered, are still holding. I have slight retinal swelling in my right eye but for someone that’s had diabetes their entire life, my doctor says that I’m a miracle because by now, most diabetics would be in stage 4 of 4 of retinopathy. I am somewhere between the 1st and 2nd stage. I feel very blessed because I haven’t always been the best when it comes to taking care of my diabetes. Over the last 13 years, I’ve done much much better thanks to my wonderful PCP, Dr. Bryan Wasson. I am currently, based on my blood work, just about perfect. Everything is well under control. So, again, I really do feel blessed for the fact that I haven’t done any more damage to my eyes than I have. Then there was the sleep study. Turns out, I do have slight sleep apnea even with my oral appliance but the PA that called to let me know that said that Dr. Raroque, my neurologist and sleep expert, hadn’t decided what direction we should take. The more disturbing thing was that not once during the sleep study did I ever achieve REM sleep. That explains so much. You can’t be rested without REM sleep. I have been dragging myself through the day for months now with no clue as to why it was happening. So, being my own best medical advocate, I jumped online and started researching medications that can prevent you from achieving REM sleep. The very 1st drug, Trazodone, kind of slapped me in the face. I began taking Trazodone last year when I once again developed severe insomnia. I take the maximum dosage of 200mg. So the only medication that Dr. Raroque has found to treat my insomnia is putting me to sleep but I’m not getting quality sleep. How f’d up is that? Actually, there was 1 other that worked super well for my insomnia but it cost $2,500/month and when my company switched insurance companies, the new company said, nope. Xyrem, which is basically medical grade GHB…the date rape drug…worked incredibly well. You would take it right before you went to bed, while you were in bed because it knocked you out very quickly. Then you generally wake up about 4 hours later and take a second dose. I will share a truly embarrassing thing that happened to me while on it. I woke up, took my 2nd dose and decided to quickly run to use the restroom but, as fate would have it, it hit while I was sitting on the commode. I fought so valiantly to stay awake but that didn’t happen. I fell asleep and fell forehead 1st into the outer edge of the metal bathtub. That woke me up enough to get me back to bed. It just so happened that I had a neurologist appointment the next morning and I had a huge black and blue goose egg on my forehead. Dr. Raroque, upon hearing the story of my stupidity, checked me for a concussion but I guess that my head was hard enough to take being slammed into a metal bathtub because I did not have 1. I made sure that from that point on, I only took the Xyrem while in bed. So, now I guess the search will be back on for an insomnia treatment to go along with my delayed sleep phase syndrome treatment and narcolepsy treatment. Not sleeping as well as not getting any REM sleep will make you crazy. I know because I’ve been there. It affects your memory, balance, mental, emotional and physical state, your ability to concentrate, and your alertness just to name a few. It can basically destroy your life in a very short time if you don’t have a doctor that cares enough to find the correct treatment for you. I am extremely fortunate to be blessed with 1 such neurologist. He has literally saved my life in the past. So, once again, I am blessed. I am also blessed to have a wonderful husband who loves me and treats me better than I sometimes deserve, an amazing tribe of friends and fellow creative beings who are sources of strength and inspiration, and to also have things in my life about which I am passionate. Now, to the atonement portion of the post. It’s nothing dramatic but it’s time to pay the piper…aka, the Irving Police Department…for my ticket by taking my defensive driving class online today. It’s only 6 hours so I think I’ll do at least 1/2 of it today. I might do more but I’ll aim for 1/2. I really want to do some Succulent Wild World work today too in preparation for our next call on the 13th. And I need some Inner Wise Self time too. I need to listen to what she has to say. Plus, I’m a SARK angel and I need to do some angel work in the 2 groups. I’ve mostly been doing fly-bys in the groups because I have felt so awful so I need to make up for that. I didn’t take my Trazodone the last 2 nights and I’m feeling pretty okay. I passed out on Thursday night but it took me longer to fall asleep last night and the anxiety set in about not being able to sleep at all and I thought about taking it but didn’t. And I’m glad that I didn’t. So those are my tales of blessings and atonement. I am going to go eat and then serve my penance in defensive driving. I am so excited. And in case you’re wondering, yes that was sarcasm!