Saturday, September 13, 2008


Sleep Apnea can be very detrimental to your health. I was diagnosed with it 6 years ago. I believe that many people have it and are not aware. I am sure everyone knows someone that snores so loud that it rattles the windows. I don't know that everyone that snores has sleep apnea but in my case it was true.

I had sleep apnea for probably 10+ years before I was diagnosed with it. I had always had sleep issues. As a teenager I rarely slept. This really didn't seem to bother me. I know a lot of that was being young and full of energy and I am sure that all the cola's I drank didn't help. I wasn't aware that cola's had caffeine and would keep you awake.

My ex told me he was concerned about me because I would snore loud and then nothing....silence for a many seconds and then I would start breathing again. I went to a doctor and he acted as if this was nothing. He suggested I sew a tennis ball into the back of my pj's or I could have surgery. The way he said it was so flippant and who wants surgery. I thought it sounded silly and vain to have surgery just because you snored.

Flash forward to almost 10 years later and a new husband...... I remember waking up all the time. I really didn't think anything of it. I never slept in and I was always up late. I remember twice actually sleeping hard and my husband woke me up because he was worried about me since I never slept late. Talk about fury.... how dare he wake me up.

I started slowly gaining weight even though I was very active and ate healthy. It was very frustrating. In 2001 I remember being at work on the computer and dozing off. I was also zoning out when people talked to me. Watching a movie was almost impossible. I would fall asleep and start snoring and the kids would shake me and complain. Basically, if I wasn't going a hundred miles an hour I was passed out. Still I didn't really click that something was wrong.

In 2002 we moved to Florida and my hubby thought I should just stay home for a few months and get things really organized before starting a job search. I was thinking it was going to be wonderful. I would work out and walk and swim ( I had demanded a home with a pool since it was Florida) and get really fit. That didn't happen. I felt worse than I ever had my entire life. I didn't understand it. I would wake up and feel like crap. I was so tired I couldn't really function. I tried taking naps and just ended up feeling even worse.

Finally my husband said you have to go get something done. I went to a doctor and he said I am very certain you have sleep apnea and setup sleep studies. Sure enough I had it. I would stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time. Then I had to sleep with a cpap to force air down my nasal passages to keep my passage way from closing up and stopping my breathing.

This really didn't seem to help. I was miserable. Then my husband saw a report on the news about a surgery. I called the TV station and found out where to call. I got the teaching hospital in Tampa. The doctor I saw was great. He said that the cpap wouldn't do any good if the air couldn't get through my tiny nasal passages. I needed RF treatment and surgery.

RF is like a radio frequency that kind of microwaves from the inside out. What it does is tighten the areas which makes passages smaller. I also had my tonsils removed. They shrunk my nasal passages and the back of my tongue. This seemed to help for awhile. Once we moved back to Georgia it rained almost every day. This kept the air cleaner and I actually slept for 6 hours straight without a cpap. I felt better.

Unfortunately, this does not last. You must have these repeated. I also have allergies which makes it hard to breath. I know that I need more RF and perhaps a stronger air flow. I now have another cpap and I can't survive without it. If I make the mistake of not using it when I sleep I feel even worse than I already do.

Check out these links to see if you may suffer from sleep apnea.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea please know that there are options to buying your equipment. I purchased mine from the sleep study group. I later found a site that is at least half the price for your equipment. They have many types of models available.


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