After a few failed attempts, a leave of absence, and many medical tests, I am ready to continue my journey at Walden University – Master’s program – Instructional Technology, Online Teaching. I have learned so much about myself over the last few months. I have a whole list of “invisible” chronic illnesses. If anyone saw me on the street, you would never think I was sick — out of shape, but not sick. Over the last year, I have had overwhelming exhaustion, like I have never felt before. I would label everything before this as “tired;” I now know true exhaustion. I could barely function through my day, only to come home miserable, irritated, and head straight to bed.
The doctors have given me three answers to my exhaustion: my thyroid, my adrenal system, and my ability to have a good night’s sleep. My thyroid levels were off but they are keeping watch over them. My adrenal system is gone; I no longer will produce adrenaline in any form and must take steroids daily (i.e., looking out of shape). The last was the hardest to diagnose. I had three different sleep studies, and I have discovered there are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea is what you hear about most of the time. People who have this use a CPAP machine to give them oxygen at night while they sleep. They are simply blocked in some way from receiving oxygen. The other, central sleep apnea, is a little more scary. As the doctors put it, there is a “disconnect” between your brain and the nerves for your lungs. You actually stop breathing, and your brain does not tell your lungs to start up again. This is the one I have, and I need to use a BiPAP machine, which breathes with me all night long.
I am getting my energy back, looking forward to school being out for the summer (yes, I teach high school Business Education), and hoping that the rest of my energy will return during this “rest” period.
I hope, as I journey the rest of the way through this Master’s program, I learn as much from my teachers and fellow students as they can, hopefully, learn from me.