Friday, August 28, 2009

Probably Shouldn't Write This

I'm sure by posting this update, I'm going to curse any progress I've made. While I can't offer that "Great, and I feel rested" post, I can say that the past few nights have been "better." Although I'm only sleeping 5-6 hours a night, I have felt better during the day. The headache's gone, I'm not as tired, and I'm gaining some weight :-(

As for the rest of the healing process, here's where things stand today:
  1. Chin, lower lip, upper gums, and palette still numb, and improving
  2. Occasional jaw popping when yawning
  3. Eating many more foods, but nothing that requires serious chewing. Bread crusts still require a fair amount of effort, and usually are too hard form me.
  4. Sensation returning to the teeth, but they still have that wooden feeling
  5. Speech has pretty much returned to normal.
  6. Jaw mobility pretty good laterally and about 30 mm vertically (I didn't measure what it was pre-MMA)
  7. Strength - Slowly returning. I'm riding 2-4 times a week, and it's getting a bit easier. Prior to the surgery, I could do 7 pull-ups. Now, I'm down to 3. I'll need to start weight training.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Double Sleep

This experience was just too bizarre...

In a dream last night, I took a nap. I dreamt that I was traveling, and while on the bus I fell asleep. Not only did I fall asleep, but I overslept by two hours and missed my stop. It's enough of a challenge being tired when awake, but being tired while already sleeping is even worse!

So here I am sleeping, and in my sleep, I go to sleep. And, I got to wake up twice in the same sleep stage. First, I woke up from the nap in the dream, then, I woke up from the dream itself.

Could this double sleep be a way to to cut my sleep hours in half? Or, could it be a way to sleep the same amount and feel like I slept twice as much? Or like most dreams, mean nothing at all.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"The Usual"

I'm back to my regular lunch at the office deli - I named it "The Usual" - roasted turkey with avocado & pepperoncinis. The only unusual part about "the usual" is the bread. Wheat bread is much softer than the preferred ciabatta a roll. Some say the whole wheat bread may even be healthier.

In the past week, my diet has expanded quite a bit. I can eat most foods that don't require extensive chomping and chewing. The teeth feel stronger, and as sensation returns, I'm more comfortable trying new foods.

Last week, I checked in with the doctor as well. The good news is that he expects the surgery recovery to be 100% (pain free, numbness will go away, jaw mobility will return, etc.) The unknown remains the quality of my sleep.

Over the past week, I've read up on sleep hygiene. The basics are pretty simple:
  1. Regular bedtime and wake-up time
  2. Don't nap
  3. Avoid alcohol
  4. Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bed
  5. Limit activities in bed to avoid reading and watching TV
  6. Exercise at least 4-6 hours before bed
  7. Don't worry, be happy

Most of the things on the list are pretty easy. However, the last one can be a bit tricky.

Last night, I slept for almost 7.5 hours. While I didn't feel "rested", I felt good enough to work out. I rode my bike about 45 miles at a moderate pace with some good hill intervals. When I returned from my morning workout, I felt fine. As the afternoon wore on, I became exhausted, and fell asleep for a few minutes while watching TV. The question I can't answer is was I exhausted from the workout, or from not sleep enough.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hosehead, For a Night

Since I haven't been sleeping so well, I tried my BiPAP last night - just for fun. The results were not much different than before the MMA:
  • 6 hours sleep with the help of little round blue friend
  • Did not feel more (or less rested) than without the machine
  • AHI of 2.5
  • Major discomfort due to swallowing air, even on Auto mode with the pressure starting at 7/5
  • 90% pressure was 10.5/7.5 (lower than in the past - a sign of a bigger airway)

Last week, NPR ran a segment on napping. They featured who advocates daily short naps. These short naps seem to go against what I thought were the best practices for good sleep hygiene. However, when I do take a short nap (usually 5-10 minutes - and almost never), they definitely help.