Sniffing Out a Cure

For almost thirty years I struggled with not getting enough sleep at night. Oddly enough the duration of this ailment coincides with the number of years I’ve been married. Be that as it may, doctors have, over the years, attributed my condition to a variety of sources such as insomnia (duh!), depression, restless leg syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder, Melatonin deficiency, arthritis pain, poor sleeping environment, and sleep apnea.

As it turns out, my nose was waking me just enough to interrupt my sleep cycle throughout the night. It seems that inside our nasal passages are turbinates (Google “nasal turbinates” if you want more info) that can swell and block off our nasal airway. When this happened at night, it partially woke me up by making me gasp for air. Since the condition didn’t wake me all the way up, I had no idea I was waking up until my malevolent wife got around to mentioning that she had noticed that I partially awaken at night while gasping for breath. (Yeah, some days I do wonder: what’s the point of marriage?) One of the symptoms of this problem is this: when you lay on your right side at night, your right nasal passage gets blocked, and when you roll onto your left side, your left nasal passage eventually gets blocked while the right nasal passage opens up. Only a doctor can tell if your turbinates are large enough to warrant surgery.

To make a long story short, three weeks ago I had minor surgery to whittle down the size of the turbinates in my nose. It has helped improve the quality of my sleep significantly. In the years leading up to the surgery, I was aware of my constantly stuffed-up nasal passages during the day and upon waking in the morning. I used a variety of over-the-counter and prescription remedies. They helped some but were not a complete solution. Still, I thought my sleep problem must be due to something more serious than a chronically stuffy nose. By the way, my doctor did not catch this problem with my nose. I discovered it while doing research on sleep problems. My doctor confirmed that I had the problem when I brought it to his attention.

Sometimes the solution to our problem is right under our nose (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!). Occasionally, almost on a subconscious level, we know what the problem is. It feels like something in a shadow waiting to be fully illuminated. We glance at the problem and the solution from time to time, but we keep looking elsewhere for a different solution. I recently told a friend about my nasal symptoms and the solution that helped me sleep better. He has the same symptoms. He heard my words but I am skeptical that they registered in such a way that he will take action. He continues to suffer quite a bit with sleep issues. Perhaps he has to find his own way to the right solution.

This is often how it is with our spiritual life. We try this and we try that in our efforts to fix something wrong with our soul, or with our way of life, or with some drama in our life. But nothing seems to work. Then one day we stumble upon the right solution. (Either that or God gets fed-up with us and puts the solution directly in our path so we can’t ignore it.)The funny thing about some solutions is that they were there all along; we just didn’t think they were significant enough to heal what ailed us.


Posted on February 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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