To start off with I was having challenges with falling asleep at work. Then my wife told me one night that in the midst of my snoring (I snore like a buzz saw) I stopped breathing for nearly a minute. That scared her and me both, so, I went and a sleep study done. Through the study they found out I have a mild case of sleep apnea. I stopped breathing about 8 or 9 times through the night but only when I turned over on my back. On a scale of 1 to 100, I'm at about a 7 or 8. In the process of that diagnosis they did some blood work and found out that I also have high cholesterol. I was told I would need to lose weight and that I would need to get a CPAP machine to wear at night so I could breath properly.
To get the CPAP I had to go through another sleep study. I need to explain a little here. When you go in for a sleep study, they wire you up to a machine in a couple of dozen places on your chest, legs, arms, and head. Then they give you a sleeping pill to help you sleep with all that wiring and they monitor you all night. Needless to say, being a stomach sleeper, which I have been all my life, it was not super comfortable. When I woke up in the morning I had wires wrapped around my neck and just about freaked out.
Now imagine all that and a mask stuck on your face. The mask has air blowing through it to keep your throat open so you can breath better. I was given a special slotted pillow--meaning that on either side there was a half circle missing so that you could supposedly sleep on your stomach even with the mask on. However, even with the pillow, there is really no way to sleep on your stomack with a mask. Every time I moved the mask would slip to one side or the other and air would be blowing in my face. I then tried sleeping on my side but couldn't get comfortable. Finally I decided to turn on my back but when I did, I stopped breathing. When that happened the guy who was monitoring me turned up the air pressure trying to force air down my throat. I woke up feeling like I was drowning in a wind tunnel. As you might imagine, I only lasted an hour before I called the monitor and asked hm to unwire me as I was going home. I told him "There is no way in hades I'm going to wear that mask. I've been sleeping on my stomach for 40 years and that isn't going to change."
So I came home. A couple of days later I went to see my doctor and we discussed the situation and determined that the only option for me is to lose weight and get in good physical shape.
It was not too long after that when I read the verse in 2 Nephi 9:51 which I quoted yesterday:
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.When I read that, the idea for this blog came in to my head. I made the logo for it and created the blog, but then let it sit for a little while.
Then this week I ended up in the hospital because I started feeling pressure and tightness in my chest. It turns our my heart is fine, but I have really bad acid reflux which can cause symptoms that appear to be similar to a heart attack. Yet another reason to loose weight because when you have a large stomach, as I have, it can cause your esophagus to move upward and outward, making it so the valve at the end doesn't close properly, which in turn allows stomach acid to flow into your esophagus--hence the acid reflux.
In addition to affecting me physically, I know that all these conditions have affected me spiritually. When I'm tired, it is harder to feel the promptings of the spirit. I also tend to be irritable and cranky with myself, my family, and my co-workers which also drives the spirit away and can lead to contention and stress--not only stress at home but in the work place. The added stress leads to more fatigue. It becomes a vicious cycle. Without the closeness to the spirit that I need to be a good father, companion, friend, co-worker, etc., I cannot function properly.
So here I am. The only options I have are to lose weight and do everything in my power to be "spiritually fat" so I can be the man I know God wants me to be, and my family needs me to be. I'm a holder of the Melchizadec Priesthood. I have to be worthy at all times to use that priesthood. I cannot afford to not have the spirit with me. As Elder Packer pointed out in his talk in the April General Conference:
Hence this blog. Hence the exercise and diet I'm going to follow--one I've used successfully before which I'll share next week. Hence the scriptural and hopefully spiritual feast I intend to have. Anyone interested in joining me, feel free to contact me at psfsrmac at gmail dot com.The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.Now, fathers, I would remind you of the sacred nature of your calling. You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home. There will be times when all that stands as a shield between your family and the adversary’s mischief will be that power. You will receive direction from the Lord by way of the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Power of the Priesthood, Ensign, May 2010, p. 9)