transguy @ 05:04 pm: The obligatory intro...
Hey, I'm 29 year old Australian guy, suffering from Sleep Apnea... I wake up around 33 times an hour, and it triggers Migraine headaches for me. I've just lost my job because of it... can't really complain though, they held my job open for over a year without any complaint. Unfortunately I can't offer any sort of idea as to when I'll be able to work again, so there goes one brilliant job. :/ I can't use CPAP... can't tolerate it, I'm allergic to the mask, and towards the end of my trial started developing panic attacks whilst wearing the mask. My current specialist has refused to offer me any other sort of treatment... I don't have Health Isurance, so he won't refer me to a surgeon, even to see if that would be an option for me... if it is, I'm sure we could come up with the money somehow!!! I'm not too sure about the other options available... there isn't any information available here... so I'm curious as to what works for others... and if anyone's heard of successful alternative treatments to CPAP (or anything else using a mask). :)
We have been married for 1+1/2 yrs. - dating for over a year previous to our marriage. Basically I have been familiar with his sleeping habits for almost 3 years.
Just for some background - he currently takes no medications (not even the occasional Tylenol or vitamin). No recreational drugs. He even cut out anything with caffeine in his diet - soda/coffee/excess sugar.
When we met, I knew he snored, but I figured I'd get used to it... I never did - hence this message.
In just the past year or so, we have changed beds, mattresses, rooms, snore sprays, work schedules, diets, etc., and his snoring has just become louder and scarier! His attention span and temper has become shorter and shorter until it is - I have come to believe at this point - NON EXISTENT! eek! He remembers NOTHING. I feel like I am living with and amnesia patient or someone with Alzheimer's! SERIOUSLY!
He does this whole "stop-breathing for 10 seconds" thing, and then jerks himself awake - which, in turn, wakes me up. I knew right away that he had sleep apnea, and it was getting worse! He didn't even believe he snored until I video taped it and showed it to him. Even though he was pissed, it got him to go to the doctor.
I finally convinced my husband to visit a sleep doctor guy - aka Pulmonary/Sleep Disorder Doctor. Now you have to understand, my husband absolutely DESPISES anything to do with any type of doctor, so to actually get him to attend not just one, but TWO sleep studies overnight was just a hair short of miraculous.
The first sleep study proved that he had sleep apnea and that he woke himself up at an average of 59 times per hour - that's like waking yourself up once per minute! Poor guy! I really feel for him! So the Doc said he has probably had this condition for WELL over a decade and that it has NOTHING to do with weight, mattress type, schedule, wife, etc.
So then the Doc suggested returning for another sleep study using the CPAP machine over his nose but told him it only had about a 30% chance of working on him. Discouraging already? How did he come up with 30%? Who knows? So after lots of persuasion, my hubby goes back again to the sleep study overnight with the CPAP machine over his nose, only to discover that it makes him terribly congested and choke on his own breathing. yuck. He sounded like he had pneumonia for two days after that! :(
So now the same Doc says that no surgery, medications, CPAP machine, or anything else will help him. He is not overweight either (which is often the case with Sleep Apnea supposedly). He is also only 36, and the Doc we went to told him he usually deals with men much older than him. I also know that multitudes of my husband's relatives also suffer from sleep apnea and know it, but do not seek any medical help, whereas my hubby is willing to do just about anything to beat this.
This is driving us both crazy because we can't even spend an entire night together in the same room - the snoring and tossing and turning keep me up all night. He is also ALWAYS tired. As soon as we come home from work, or have a day off together, he will just pass out. Renting a movie or watching TV together is totally out of the question - in ten minutes, no matter how fascinating the plot is, he is snoring away. I am also always scared if he is driving long distances that he may fall asleep at the wheel!
So what do we do? Does anyone have ANY suggestions? I know this explanation is soooooo long, but I am totally desperate, and my husband is completely depressed! I keep reading about CPAP machines, but clearly the one that just goes over his nose will not work. Did we just go to a crappy discouraging doctor, or is that the absolute truth after all of these tests? Are there any new drugs or studies out there that he could be a part of that could help? What surgery options are out there?
We have read so many articles, and I know he is so "tired" that he is ready to just give up and he just says he'll "never dream again". We have heard that sleep apnea can lead to all kinds of other health and heart problems, so if there is something we can do about it now, we are is willing to give it a shot.
The article discusses how many people who are being treated for depression actually have sleep apnea, and how the symptoms of sleep apnea versus depression overlap. Um, yeah, I could have told them that. The difference in lord_keeper between before the CPAP and afterward is like night and day. He was so withdrawn, surly, and depressed before hand. Before, he didn't care if he lived or died and even told me that he thought I'd be better off if he were dead. And, it was ruining our marriage as well. After his night in the sleep lab, he said he felt like a kid again, and that was just after one night! And once he started on his own CPAP, we were able to mend our marriage as his mood shifted.
The proof of a false Dx of depression is when the depression lifts after being treated for the sleep apnea, whether by surgery or CPAP, according to the article. Again, another "Duh!" for me, as I stated above. Not to say one Dx precludes the other, you can certainly have both sleep apnea and depression, but it would behoove many physicians to at least screen for symptoms of OSA and perhaps a trip to the sleep lab before prescribing antidepressants.
girlblue_77 @ 09:22 am:
So, my boyfriend went for a sleep study for his sleep apnea (if you remember my previous post where he woke up and hadn't been breathing, and still couldn't breathe for several minutes and we were both terrified), and the nurse called and said they DIDN'T DETECT ANY PROBLEMS!! So, now I don't know what the f**k to do. He stops breathing in his sleep. I hear him do it all the time. And when the doctor examined him she said his nose/throat was so obstructed she couldn't even see through it.
So, what do I do, seriously? I'm so tired of worrying that he's going to die in his sleep. Everytime I wake up I look over to make sure he's not sleeping on his back. He has almost all the symptoms, and we were so looking forward to him experiencing a good night's sleep for the first time in God-only-knows how long, and all the associated benefits (less irritability, increased libido, more energy, etc.).
I'm so devastated. I just want to call this doctor and yell. He'd go to a different doctor, but our insurance only covers that one sleep clinic.
Is it possible he just didn't stop breathing that night? Has anyone else been given a wrong diagnosis?
Anyone have a CPAP machine they want to sell?? Or know where I could get a used one? Ugh.
girlblue_77 @ 03:36 pm:
my boyfriend has sleep apnea. he snores, stops breathing at night, is ALWAYS tired, has relied on stimulants (coffee, Mountain Dew, ephedrine) to get him through the day, and takes naps in the afternoon a lot. he also has a low libido, and what i think is most telling, he NEVER dreams. i always ask him (i have frequent, vivid dreams), and he says he can't remember the last time he dreamed.
so, it used to be that he would snore, and sometimes, if i was awake, i'd hear him stop breathing and gasp. i would always nudge him and make him roll over onto his side, and i always made sure he was never sleeping on his back. and it seemed that, with those precautions, everything was going to be fine. but, last night something happened that scared the h*ll out of both of us. it's a little graphic, so i'll put it under a cut...
i have some questions i wonder if anyone can help me with:
does insurance *ever* cover the cost of CPAP machines? can you buy one, or do you need a prescription? what kind of doctor do you go to for something like this?
has anybody ever experienced this before (with a spouse)? he told me if it happens again to smack him on the back HARD. somehow i wonder if that would help. any ideas? heimlich maneuver??
i've read that alcohol and smoking can make it worse. i told him this and he said that when he was in college, and was a smoker and heavy drinker, he never had this problem. he quit smoking, but lately he's been getting drunk about one night a week, and smoking a pack of cigarettes while he drinks. all i can think is that it gets worse with age, so maybe he had the sleep apnea then, but it was much more mild and didn't wake him up? are quitting smoking and drinking necessary (my boy doesn't like hearing this from me...since i'm always trying to get him to stop drinking and smoking anyway!)
any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. i'm really scared and upset about this!! thanks!
krazykimura @ 10:22 am: I have it.
I had a sleep study done about a month ago and found that I have a mild case of sleep apnea. Dr said that mild cases can cause you to be even more tired than people with extreme sleep apnea due to the fact that people with extreme sleep apnea still get more R.E.M. sleep, I'll be it while they aren't breathing.
So I got a CPAP for a two week benchamark trial. problem is I could fall asleep with it for the life of me. I got it on a Monday, tried it that night and finally around 3am I gave up and took it off. I was late to work on Tuesday due to this. Same thing happened Tuesday night. So I decided to wait until Friday night to try it again that way I wouldn't be late to work and I could just keep it on until I fall asleep. Friday night came and around 7 or 8am Saturday morning I gave up on trying to fall asleep with it on. After the $700 Dr bill, the only thing I got out of this was a lot of frustration and the knowledge that I have sleep apnea. Great, just Great. Now I can't afford to go back to the sleep Dr. for other treatments for a while.
singlemomga @ 01:23 pm: help, im a chicken but i know i have this
Ok, I seriously think I have sleep apnea. I wake up tons of times at night, to me it seems like I am coughing but I have been told by people who witness my sleep that I am gasping for air. I fall asleep whenever I get still, bored, when ppl are around, just the minute "I" stop doing something I will fall asleep. I even fall asleep at work, in meetings, driving..I mean I can feel it coming on, like all of a sudden I am "so" tired. I snore like a bear which is not very attractive for a 26 yr old single mom. I am obese and as I have put on more and more weight I think what used to just be a bad snoring problem has developed into sleep apnea. I am scared to get help though. I dont have a real support system at home. My mother and I fight constantly and after reading a few of the posts here, I wonder is it because of my lack of sleep. My mother lives with me in my house but she is very little to no support for me. In fact she makes fun of my sleeping condition. I know I should go and do a sleep lab and get diagnosed but who will watch my daughter for me to do this? Will my insurance pay for it? How much will be out of pocket for me? I am severely limited financially and with xmas coming up it scares me to spend any money. But can i afford NOT to get help? If I am diagnosed what will happen to me? will i be chained to some oxygen mask forever? I know something is wrong with me and I need help. I am afraid I am going to wreck one day after just passing out. Also I dont even remember that I fall asleep sometimes. Like ppl will be talking to me and they will be like, Mia, wake up and I will tell that that I am awake and they will say no you were snoring.. And I wont even remember it. Please offer advice if you have any..Thanks.
My ex-fiancee left me in March. I was a very different person then than I was when we met 18 months earlier. I had also gained a bit of weight. I would get in arguments all the time, say mean things and put her down, resort to cynicism, and neglect other friendships because I didn't feel I had the energy for them.
Now I'm trying to put my life back together. It's extremely difficult, when I look back to the last few months of our relationship, to see a person who couldn't have been me, and yet, was me. What went wrong? Can apnea really change your personality like that, lead you to make decisions that you look back upon and wonder how it could have been you? Or is there something else going on?
My ex-fiancee knows very little of how the apnea affected my life, because I didn't understand what it was doing to me at the time, and I wish there was some way I could explain it to her...
Anyone who has feedback to offer on this, or who has experienced something similar, I'd love to hear it.
elfwench @ 04:29 am: Hubby had a bad night
I worry about him when he has a rough night. This morning he fell asleep right after I woke him up. Woke him up again 10 minutes later. I asked him if he'd be okay, and he said, "Yeah, I have to be." (He's already on probabation for having 4 absences in 5 months - not due to the sleep apnea except for I think one many months ago.) I can't help but worry about him, though, driving to work and then driving a fork lift.