Sunday, April 25, 2010

What sleep apnea ???

OK so here is the deal, last March I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I had snored loudly for years, I always just thought it was because I was sooooo tired. Last January I was working in Ohio on a project, I woke up one morning and was sick as a dog so I went to the local urgent care. Doctor said I had bronchitis and that he would prescribe some meds, then he asked if I snored at night. I was like I have been told that I do snore. Then he asked if I felt tired during the day, and I told him that I am always exhausted during the day time no matter how much I sleep. He told me he thinks I might have sleep apnea and that I should get a sleep study done. Now other than my weight I have no idea what would lead him to believe that I suffered from sleep apnea, for some reason he kept looking at my ankles! Anybody know what he was looking for??

Anyways I contacted a sleep center and scheduled the sleep study. The day came and I went in for my appointment in the early evening. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!! First of all they wired me up with a million wires!!!! They were connected everywhere! Honestly it was kind of scary! After the tech got me all wired up he said I could watch TV in the lounge room until I was ready for bed. So I watched TV for a bit and then felt kind of sleepy so I headed to my room. The tech hooked all the wires up to the machine and said good night!

So here I am laying in this strange bed with thin pillows. Oh and by the way the tech is watching me on a camera and can hear everything that goes on in the room, which also kinda felt weird. So I lay there and try to sleep, because of the wires I cant really get that comfy. I eventually fall asleep. About four hours later I woke up only to find somebody trying to force a mask on my face! I instantly jump up and push him off of me! Turns out it was just the tech, he was trying to get a cpap mask on me because he said I definitely have sleep apnea. Basically sleep apnea is when you stop breathing during your sleep. When this happens you never actually reach deep sleep because your brain keeps telling your body to wake up and breath without you knowing it. This happens all night and when you wake up in the morning you are extremely tired because you actually didn't get any solid sleep! Not to mention that you might stop breathing and not start back up! Scary stuff right???

So the tech put the cpap mask on me and left the room. I laid back down and tried to sleep. After about a minute I felt like the walls were closing in on me and ripped the mask off! Tech came running back into the room and was like whats wrong! I told him I cant wear this thing, I feel claustrophobic. He put another less evasive mask on me and left again. I laid back down but still felt extremely anxious. Honestly I was very scared. I laid there and tried to imagine that I was at home in my bed without anything on my face. I eventually fell asleep. Four hours later they woke me up and told me the test was done and I could go home.

Three days later I went back in for a follow up with the sleep study Doctor to go over my results. He told me I had an extreme case of apnea due to my weight and that I would have to get on a CPAP machine ASAP. I was so upset about the news. I did not want to use that evil machine! Two days later I picked up the machine and mask and took them home with me. 11 pm came around, bed time. I set the machine up, put the mask on and laid down. I laid there with this awful feeling of anxiety on my chest. Five minutes later I ripped the mask off and went to sleep without it. This continued for 2 weeks and eventually I just stopped trying.

May 9th comes around and I got laid off from my job. No job = No Insurance. Cpap machine people start calling for their money since insurance was no longer paying for it. I told them I don't use it and I am not paying for it. They said they would take it back since I didn't use it so I returned it back to them. ON MY OWN NOW!

Long story short, well this story as a whole has been long but its OK LOL May 9th was the day I decided to get my health back. Didn't actually get serious about that decision until September. I lost roughly around 70 pounds since September( HAVE A HUGE WEIGH IN ON MONDAY) and I am fairly certain I no longer have sleep apnea. I don't snore anymore, I don't wake up tired, I don't feel tired during the day, I don't feel like I am gonna pass out when I am driving. I feel none of those things. I have alot of energy during the day and I feel great. Now I cant say for certain say that I don't have it anymore because I am not a Doctor, but deep down inside I know its gone.

And thats just one step closer to getting my health back!!!!


Tishia said...

Wow that would be scary. Congrats on the 70 lbs lost that's huge! But an even bigger congrats for taking the step to take control of your health!

River said...

I really really really! hope you don't have sleep apnea anymore! It is very scary stuff but it's a good thing we get scared sometimes because we take steps to change things when we get scared! My father has sleep apnea and boy was it scary when he brought that mask home the first time. He felt horrible. We felt horrible. Seeing him with the mask on was a nightmare. But he got used to it. We got used to it. Everything is cool now. I don't hear the scary sounds of him snoring (like a truck) then stop all of a sudden cos he can't breath at the time. (he goes to bed the earliest)

All is well now. But I'm not telling you to go get the machine or anything like that. Recently I lost my insurance so I'm the last person to tell someone "yeah go spend the money it'll be better" I just hope you're free of this sleep apnea and won't ever have it again.

Congrats on taking your life back and good luck on your journey!

Sharon B. said...

Congrats on your lifestyle change and progress to date!

{ALL} for a Better Life said...

That is amazing and congrats to you for taking control over your life!