I booked in for my home sleep test in three weeks time. It’s a bit of a strange one; they want you to wear a small device of some kind over night and wear something on your finger as well. I can already tell that will bug the living daylights out of me.
You know, I kind of don’t want the results. I think I have a bug or something (or I just need a break) that has caused my extreme fatigue over the last few weeks but a small part of me is overly worried that I do have sleep apnoea. I don’t want to have it. I don’t want to have some stupid machine stuck to my face every night to sleep. That sounds like the world’s biggest pain the ass, especially in summer.
The company I’m doing the tests through has really badly gendered writing on their website. They talk about sleep apnoea, then about women. Not separate sections for men and women, but a section on it, then how women are “different”. They also have a standard range of machines and masks, then a “her” range of machine and masks. You know the difference? The “her” ones are pink. For fucks sake.
In an attempt to do something I feel less negative about…sort of…I did something else yesterday. The benefit of working at a uni is student medical care, discounted further for staff. I’ve booked myself into the nutrition and dietetics clinic because it’s dirt cheap. $20 for an initial appointment and $10 for follow ups. I don’t think my diet is bad but I’m sure it could be improved. And in my highly qualified medical opinion I suspect it is possible that fatness impacts snoring levels and any possible sleep apnoea. I am a bit shit at eating fruit though. I just don’t like it and go off of it easily. I’ll eat half an apple and be sick of it.
I actually had a really negative experience many years ago when I was at a random GP clinic. I had gone to see any old GP for a quick prescription repeat when he called me fat and said I could see a dietitian or nutritionist (I can never remember which is which, no matter how many times I look them up) for free. I said ok, why not. (It later turns out this was an ECP, before I knew what they were or that you can only get them once per year. I felt very uninformed and a bit annoyed that the doctor didn’t really explain how it works beyond “it’s free”.)
Well, why not turned out to be “because the woman was a horrible person”. I tried to list everything I ate regularly and everything I ate occasionally and I don’t think she listened to a word I said – it felt very accusatory every time she spoke. She scribbled an eating plan on a scrap of paper, threw it at me and told me to type it up and stick it on the fridge. She also very patronisingly described what push ups were and told me to do a few.
I tried her eating plan and it was horrible. I had headaches, felt hungry all the time and gave up nearly straight away. If it was a positive experience I could have gone back and talked to her about how I was feeling, but probably needless to say, it got put in the “fuck it” basket.
I do know a fair bit about nutrition (for someone unqualified in it) because of when Ben was misdiagnosed as a T1 diabetic – we both went to weekly appointments for three months on a huge list of allied health providers covering nearly every aspect of diabetes, nutrition, podiatry,and health care management for chronic disease in general. There’s no such thing as a diabetic diet, it’s just a normal healthy diet, so the principles are generally applicable for healthy and/or non diabetic people too.
In hindsight, given what I know now, the advice I was given by that dietitian years ago was a bit crap. But don’t get me started on how much I hate cereal.
So yeah…while I would like to believe I can have a positive experience in this field, my only experience so far has been pretty negative. I’m happy to be seen by clinical students in this area because they’re supervised and have the latest knowledge. I’m also hoping that because they’re students, they’re less jaded and cynical and miserable about dietetics than the one I saw years ago.
Have you ever seen a dietitian? Or a nutritionist? Can you ever remember the difference?!