Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Are you sleeping?

Recently I've been having trouble getting to sleep. Once I do, it's fitful until about 2 a.m. After that, I'm a rock until 7:30. It hasn't always been this way. I attributed it to an older bladder that kept me waking up.

I shared a motel room with my sister on a trip back in May. One morning I woke up and she said, "Man, did you snore! And I was watching you. I think you have sleep apnea."

I was surprised, because no one had ever told me that. I figured she was being ultra sensitive since she's a first-year nursing student. Besides, my husband has sleep apnea and I was nothing like him! Art fell asleep at friends' houses after dinner, at intersections waiting for the light to change, in meetings, and his snoring kept me awake many nights. Three years ago I badgered him into being tested for sleep apnea. He did it only at my insistence, and not very gracefully. Sure enough, he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and fitted with a CPAP machine. He now sleeps like a rock, with no snoring.

When I got home from my trip I sent an email to my doc asking whether I could be referred to the sleep center. The first reader of my email in the doc's office sent a referral to the sleep center. The second reader was my doc, who directed me to take the Epworth test for daytime sleepiness. I scored a six; sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a score of ten. Doc said he couldn't make a strong case for referring me to the sleep center.

The next week, I got a call from the sleep center. I told them what the doc had said and they said I could come in anyway, for an evaluation. I did.

Based on several factors (weight, circumference of neck, configuration of open-mouthed throat), I was set up for a home test. I took it the night before last. I took the machine back yesterday morning. By 2:00 the results were in: I have moderate sleep apnea. I'll be fitted in the next couple of weeks with an APAP machine - it's the generation after CPAP and it delivers air at a varying pressure depending on what's needed, rather than Continuously.

As I look back, I shouldn't have been surprised. My sleep habits had changed, but it happened so gradually I hadn't noticed. I'm looking forward to my sleep aid. I expect I'll have much improved sleep.

Are you sleeping?


16 comments:

Bonnie said...

Sorry to hear that, are there other things you can do to correct it?

June said...

I Googled the Epworth test, and took it, and scored a 7. I've thought, for a while, that I had sleep apnea . . . God knows Husband has complained enough about my snoring! . . . but apparently if I do have it, it isn't making me miserable yet.

Olga said...

I have been diagnosed with mild sleep anea but have not gone for one of those machines because I cannot imagine being able to sleep with somethinag attached like that. How would I roll around? I should check out the new technology once in a while though.

rosaria williams said...

Interesting! I guess there is a way to get a great night's sleep after all!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

My husband and I both had sleep studies this past February and he was found to have severe sleep apnea (major snoring) and I had moderate (I stopped breathing numerous times) and we were both given C-PAP machines. Once you get used to using them, they're not bad at all. I feel much better and so does Bob -- not nearly as much daytime sleepiness. I have been planning to do a blog post on sleep apnea with a picture of the two of us with our masks and hoses, but haven't had anyone here that I've felt comfortable asking to take a picture of us in bed with our contraptions. One of these days when my sister or brother visit.... But sleep apnea often goes on for a long time undiagnosed. Using a C-PAP or one of those dental devices can make a real difference.

Retired English Teacher said...

Welcome to the club. I'm so glad you found out that you have moderate sleep apnea. I think you will be feeling and sleeping so much better in no time. I'm glad you were able to get someone to do the test for you. I think doctors are too dismissive about this problem at times.

I don't think I could function without my c-pap machine. I started using it in March. Stick with it, and don't be afraid to try several different masks until you have the one that works for you.

Ms Sparrow said...

I've had my CPAP since 2000 and wouldn't be without it. I'm convinced that my mother would have lived much longer if she would have used one back in the 90's. She had all the symptoms of apnea and sleep deprivation. Neither her doctor or any of us kids were aware of the condition or how easily it could be treated. What a crying shame!

#1Nana said...

I'm staying in denial. The only one who complains about my snoring is my 5 year old granddaughter when I share her room when I visit. Her older sister doesn't complain so I usually share with her!

Murr Brewster said...

I'm told I snore but who are you going to trust--me or those whiny people? I do occasionally wake up with an echo reverberating in the room and no moisture in my mouth and the shades rolling up and down--which is why I'm pretty sure we have a poltergeist.

Tom Sightings said...

I'm just impressed that you can email your doctor with a question. I've never heard of that around here. I should ask about it at my next physical.

B is the one with sleep problems in our family, not b/c of apnea but due to worries of family and work -- not that there's a lot to be concerned about, but she's a worrier.

Sandi said...

Oh boy is this story familiar! I had a sleep study done (twice) in May and was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea and prescribed a cpap machine. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get used to. I don't necessarily love it, but I like sleeping better a lot!

After about two weeks of nightly use, I went on a camping trip and the machine wouldn't work with an extension cord. I was without for 9 days. I was very much aware of how poorly I slept without the machine during that time. While I can't say I have an abundance of energy yet, I can honestly say that I sleep much better with the machine, and it really isn't so bad as I expected!

Good luck on your new sleep experience!

Rob-bear said...

Sorry to hear of your condition. I've suffered from Sleep Apnea for decades. But it was diagnosed only about 10 years ago. So, even with my cpap, I sleep a lot — til noon, even, some days. (Not a problem — I'm retired.) I have this huge sleep deficit from years of not being retreated. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I do hope you are feeling much better, and very soon.

Rian said...

Interesting blog and comments. I have often wondered if the reason I occasionally wake up during the night with my heart beating rapidly or with a headache had to do with my breathing? And like others, can't imagine sleeping with a machine connected, but... if it meant no headaches?

Deb Shucka said...

I love how you don't mess around when something needs to be done. I hope you find all sorts of amazing things to do with all the extra energy you'll find yourself with. :-)

Galen Pearl said...

I know several people who swear by this apparatus. Good luck with yours!

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