Something miraculous happened in my life recently. Not an Old Testament kind of miracle – no parting of the Red Sea or a burning bush. Nor have I received the modern-day version of a miracle where after one visit to one doctor I walked away cured. No, my miracles all arose after slow and steady progress. My miracles are of the incremental variety, but no less astounding.
For the past seven years almost to the day, I’ve struggled with sleep. Every day I woke up with brain fog, feeling like a zombie. I tried all of the things – diet, exercise, acupuncture, EFT, reiki, shamanic healing, ozone therapy, sleeping pills. Nothing made a huge difference. I still woke up every morning with what felt like cotton in my brain. I went through many, many cycles of hope and despair. I spent thousands of dollars searching for a cure. The sleep deprivation became so unbearable I took time off from work and slept in every day for weeks. It made no difference.
In July I did a sleep study, not expecting much. It felt like grasping at straws, another chance to try one more thing and at the very least see what was happening with my sleep. At first glance, the sleep study didn’t reveal much. In fact, the sleep clinic sent me a form letter advising I cut out alcohol, which is laughable because I don’t drink, ever. The sleep clinic professionals shrugged their shoulders and sent me on my merry way. I couldn’t accept that answer. Didn’t accept that answer. Even though the sleep study revealed I have mild sleep apnea, not enough for a CPAP machine, obviously something wasn’t right. How could it be if I couldn’t remember the last time I slept well?
I called a few sleep specialists and booked an appointment. I want to be clear here no intuitive voice urged me to call a certain doctor. I didn’t receive a nudge from the universe about any of this. I struck out in desperation. The sleep specialist diagnosed me with upper airway resistance syndrome, which is a close cousin of sleep apnea. Whereas in apnea breathing stops, with upper airway resistance syndrome, breathing is impaired. I’ve been wearing the device pictured below for more than two weeks and for the first time in seven years, when I wake up, I don’t feel like I have cotton in the brain.
I want to be clear here that I’m still tired. I still take a nap every day. I didn’t wake up after one night of using the device full of energy. It will be a slow build but I’m feeling different and that’s a miracle. Why am I telling you all this? For a couple of reasons. The first is if you or someone you know is tired all the time and has trouble sleeping, get a sleep study. The second reason I’m sharing all this is to say keep slogging away. You never know when change will happen.
Lastly, I share this story because it doesn’t fit in with any sort of mythology. I didn’t find what I was looking for when I stopped looking. Change didn’t happen when I accepted my situation. I didn’t hear any intuitive guidance steering me in a certain direction. Surrender didn’t help me with my diagnosis. What helped me, what brought me peace of mind, is thinking perhaps everything has a lifecycle. That my health condition had to play itself out and there was no amount of wishing, praying, fighting, or accepting that was going to change the situation. Like I wrote about in June, regarding my poppies, we can water flowers and give them sunshine, but when they bloom is not up to us. Maybe a lot of things in life are like that. Maybe there’s no formula to follow and instead we have to wait for whatever it is to play out.
I know it can be disheartening for some to contemplate how little control we have over certain situations, but I’m also writing to demonstrate change can happen and does happen. That a miracle can come at anytime. It could be seven years, or it could be seven minutes, but please, please keep going. I’m starting to cry because I struggled for so long, I honestly gave up hope that I would ever be able to feel well-rested ever again and now here we are. Well-rested is something quite likely in my future and that is a miracle.
I dream of a world where we realize miracles can happen at any time. A world where we keep going and then stop and then keep going again. A world where we recognize sometimes we just have to wait for things to change and not beat ourselves up about it. A world where we celebrate miracles, even when they’re small.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.