I have been disabled since 2003. An AVM ruptured in the back of my brain. I was 32 at the time and I'm 51 now. Long ago, I accepted what happened to me and everything I have to deal with for the rest of my life. It's not fun, but I can joke about my disabilities at this point in my life and I have learned how to incorporate them into my life. I found new interests and things I enjoy to keep my mental health positive.

Aging creates new challenges on top of what I already deal with. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea couple years ago, I had skin cancer, memory issues, and all the preventative medical exams someone my age needs.

I went and saw an ENT doctor because there is now an implant available to use instead of the machine and mask I have to wear every night. The doctor implied that I am borderline sleep apnea so he gave me some equipment to do a home sleep apnea test. I had to wear the rig in the picture. I was told that the best results come from sleeping on my back. This is extremely difficult for me, I sleep on my stomach to avoid having my head spin from laying in this position.

I took the doctor's advice and tried sleeping on my back. That didn't work out to well for me. I woke up 3 or 4 times during the night. I believe I stopped breathing because I woke up catching my breath and inhaling a lot of air. That doesn't happen when I sleep on my stomach. It scared the crap out of me and I finished the 3 night test on my stomach.

It really affirmed why I sleep on my stomach. My brain does not regulate some of the autonomic functions like breathing correctly.

I can't say what things I will have to deal with as I get older and I can't say that I will enjoy them, especially with the things I already deal with in my disability.

I will deal with any challenge as I always do. I accept the challenge and conquer it.

#avm #Disability #challenge #MentalHealth #Trauma #Aging #autonomicfunctions