Dear Dr. Schubiner,
First, I want to sincerely thank you for your incredible dedication and compassion to people, most of whom you've never met. This is remarkable, and so rare in today's medical maelstrom. May I say that your love and kindness to people reminds me of Christ, who did nothing for personal gain, only to help and heal others.
Second, I wrote a few years' back and you provided helpful guidance around the lack of utility of PET-scans as performed by the Amen Clinic (I spent a lot of money there with no real results, only increase of fear around "possible" diagnoses). I have struggled with sleep disturbances for many years. Where it is still confusing to me is that, I have had 4 hospital sleep studies done, all showing some form of apnea (but not severe), was told that a sleep endoscopy showed blockage of the upper airway, and then had both a major sinus surgery and - after that - went so far as to obtain a tracheostomy as the surgeon suggested that a complete bypass of the upper airway would solve the problem.
Unfortunately, it hasn't. Neither has CPAP, nor a custom-fitted mouthguard, or other gadgets.
My question would be, at this point, should I assume that this sleep challenge (I can fall asleep, but usually awake 3 hrs later, then have trouble getting back to sleep, then struggle to get to work while feeling filled with anxiety and at times, like a zombie), is a form of TMS/MBS? I experienced several traumatic events back in 2012-2013 and have noticed that while my sleep was a mixed bag before then, it has gotten much worse since about that time. I've heard explanations about dental crowding, airway blockage, recessed chin, football player's neck (though when I lost 30 lbs it did not improve my sleep at all), even done the trach, but this did not "fix" the problem.
Have you had experience helping people heal from chronically poor sleep that has led to anxiety, weight gain, and overall cognitive and emotional decline? I feel as though the "structural" or "physical" explanations may be delaying my healing.
I have tried everything, including now, better medication which seems to help somewhat (I take 100mg of Trazadone at night and 300 mg of Wellbutrin during the day, as my doctor is concerned about very low dopamine activity), and am experiencing a lot of frustration around this, as I feel like, when I do sleep well, I am simply a different person. Of course, there are significant stressors in my life, such as a marriage that has basically ended, and my having to go on disability last year for 8 months (I am now back at work and miraculously, am somehow able to be productive in the midst of this).
Thank you again!