Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sleep Apnea

I suffer from a severe case of sleep apnea. I have taken part in several sleep studies and it was found out about 6 years ago that while sleeping, I stopped breathing 87 times an hour. The good news was that I started breathing 88 times an hour. I also snore like a buzzsaw.

I first found out about my sleep apnea about 10 years ago. I would get very tired while sitting still, especially while driving. I figured it was due to working 10-12 hours a day, an hour's drive each way to work, and not getting enough sleep at night. One evening while driving home from work, I went onto I-76/US-224 from Ohio-21. Only I don't remember getting off the ramp. I do remember driving towards the speed limit signs, through one of the breakaway(thank God) posts, the car on it's side for a couple of seconds, then resting against a seedling. I fell asleep at the wheel. I wrecked the car. I was, thankfully, only shaken up.

My doctor at the time, sent me for a sleep study, which indicated that I had a mild case of sleep apnea. I was told to sleep on my side and try to lose some weight.

A few years later, after a change of health care providers and primary care physicians, I was being treated for hypertension and sent for another sleep study. That was the one which determined I had stopped breathing 87 times an hour. I was then prescribed a CPAP(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. The use of this machine would force me to breathe through my nose instead of my mouth by sending a prescribed amount of air via a mask attached to the machine. My health insurance has paid for this as part of my benefits. I got my first CPAP in June of 2003. A couple of weeks ago the readout was showing some error codes, which meant that it was starting to malfunction. My doctor prescribed and my insurance paid for a new one. My new machine is about a third of the size of the previous one. I had the same model pictured in the Wikipedia link posted above. I also don't snore while using the machine.

Sleep Apnea is a very serious condition. It was this that claimed the life of pro football star Reggie White.

22 comments:

RiverPoet said...

I also have sleep apnea. Mine is a mixture of obstructive and central sleep apnea. CSA is harder to treat and results from my chiari malformation, which causes increased pressure at the base of my brain. I HATE wearing my BiPAP and rarely do. I know that I should, but I have a very hard time going to sleep with it on. It stinks having to wear something like this. My husband is supposed to wear one, too, but if he does, his nose starts running uncontrollably. I hope they someday come up with a better way.

Peace - D

74WIXYgrad said...

I have gotten used to my CPAP and so has my family. I have been given the impression that the airport complains about the noise when I'm snoring.

I'm sure my wife will weigh in on this if she reads the post.

Shellmo said...

While on a family vacation and sharing a place w/ my in-laws- I discovered that my mother-in-law snored louder than any human being should on this earth! The sound was unhuman! I heard her stop breathing several times. She finally went to the doctors and got the machine. I know apnea can be dangerous. glad you are taking care of yours!

Busy Bee Suz said...

My FIL has the same condition. After much study and debate he also started using the same machine a few years ago. He is like night and day now. Much better rested and not nearly so grumpy.
Glad you were able to get a new one and no hassle w/ your insurance...you are very lucky.

Pigeon said...

The picture in wikipedia is a lot smaller than the one my father-in-law used a couple years ago. They really have come down in size. I know it helped him quite a bit.

Kathy Feightner said...

Cliff Either wears his machine or the government will arrest him for disturbing the piece.

Tim Lones said...

My wife Linda was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea a few years ago..Through a combination of my losing her insurance at my work and her just not wanting to deal with the machine every night, she doesnt bother with it anymore..She seems ok for now but other health issues (diabetes, knee problems) have taken center stage..

clean and crazy said...

Wow sweetie, you need to use that machine, Tim you need to talk to your wife about re-evaluating the idea of not using one. A dear friend of mine recently died because he forgot to put it on that fateful night he went to sleep for the last time. It is so scary to hear someone sleep who has this affliction, you hear them stop breathing, for a long time! Then right when you are ready to wake them up they suddenly gasp for air. I know a lot of women who's newborn babies are afflicted with this and it is very sad to see a little one have to use this machine. Please take care of yourselves and don't try to self medicate this one. It is better to be safe then sorry.

Pat Jenkins said...

maybe this explains it all!! loss of oxyegen to the brain equals dead brain cells. equaling a loss of smarts!! now i understand your problem.. ok enough of my insensitve behavior... i had a deviated septum wixy that need operated on that had caused me breathing problems. i know after all these years something like that would have surely been diagnosised, but maybe you have some nasal blockages causing some of these problems?

Pat Jenkins said...

exscuse me that should be oxygen instead of my butchered oxyegen!!.. procede!!

74WIXYgrad said...

Pat, I think you proved your first comment as true.

Karen said...

Hey Wixy, what a coinkydink, I work for a medical oxygen company and that is one of the things that we supply. You have probably head of us in your area, Med-Ox Home Medical. We have a branch in Elyria. And just to make a point, yes Pat had the surgery, however, he can still wake the neighborhood any any given night. He could benefit immensely from a CPAP but he refuses to go to the doctor. Male pride - Ha!

coltfan said...

I have heard of sleep apnea that can be a dangerous thing , glad you have something to help you. I have heard alot of sids cases in babies are contributed to that.

Mike Golch said...

I had a cpap as well and had problems with it so the Docs swithced me to a bi-pap.but the seizures prevent me from useing it.and Yes I was told to lose weight as well.my doctor at the time told me he wanted down to 215lbs. I have not weight that since I was in the 11th grade.If I can get down to 250that would be a great leap for me.

Jessica said...

I have several friends who use the CPAP machine. They say it is a life saver... literally! I'm glad that you use your and that it helps you.

Awake In Rochester said...

Wow, I'm glad you survived that crash!

I've seen C-PAPs at places I've worked. I guess they are difficult to get use to. Some patients complain about them in the beginning, but it helps once they get use to it.

Ashutosh said...

Nice informative post and all subsequent discussion points.More than 25 million people across the world are suffering with sleep apnea and millions others even do not about it.It is required that we all discuss and contribute in increasing awareness about this disorder.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Cliff, that is SO scary!
One of the women in my small group has this (not quite as severe as yours, however) and the CPAP has done her a world of good. She now has much more energy and seems much happier.

I'm glad you were able to find the source of the problem... think of all the people, over time, who have struggled with this, having no idea what was wrong....

respiratory system diseases said...

I really believe that this disease is a bit alarming to stop breathing many times per minute was not any Effect secondary disease is awesome I will go to the doctor in for a review as much grunt

Ashok said...

A good Sleep keeps the mind and body fresh. The beginning for all the problems in the body is lack of sleep. If a person does not have proper sleep, then throughout the day the person feels sleepy and tired. Sleep apnea is basically a condition that affects most people causing them to stop breathing for around 10-20 seconds as they sleep. The sleep apnea cannot be identified by the same person since it occurs during sleep. So if someone complaints about you for snoring, inform your partner or your family member who sleeps along with you to notice your sleeping condition during sleep. If you had sleep apnea, there are lots of medical procedures and devices to cure sleep apnea in a natural way.

Sleepy Man said...

Every night I found myself have a difficulty to fall asleep, even if I have sleep apnea. So, I should feel very tired in the evening, which is true.
However, when I'm in bed and turn off the light, a lot of things come to my mind and I cannot fall asleep. I found this particularly strange in a person who has a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

ambien use said...

This disorder is big problem for young people.