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apnea_spouses

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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...


we went to bed at 10:30, and at midnight i woke up to hear him retching and gasping frantically. i thought he was sick, so i ran to get a garbage can for him to throw up into, and when i came back he got up and ran into the bathroom, still gasping. when he finally came out (in the meantime i changed the sheets, he HAD thrown up) he crawled back in bed. i asked him if he was alright, and what had happened and he said he woke up and he couldn't breathe, like he had "swallowed his tongue" or something. he couldn't get air, and he "made" himself throw up because he thought that would force his tongue out of the way, but he said it didn't work. finally he did end up regaining the ability to breathe, but he said that's never happened before. he avoids doctors like the plague, but he promised me he will go to one, and already he's been looking online at CPAP machine info and prices.

i'm REALLY scared about this, because i don't want it to happen again!



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!

Comments

From:nardiaone
Date:July 13th, 2005 01:59 am (UTC)

cpap

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my insurance is shitty and it still covered over 80% of my machine and sleep study.

He really needs a sleep study...I am on no meds
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From:flankleft
Date:July 30th, 2005 05:00 pm (UTC)

To get a sleep study...

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You usually get referred by a normal doctor.
They make an appointment at a sleep clinic. You show up at the clinic, sign some forms and then get hooked up like a cosmonaut with all these wires and patches. Then you try to get to sleep. In my case I had apnea bad enough that they woke me up at 1am and hooked me up to a cpap. I had the best sleep in years that night. Then the agony of waiting for the machine to be prescribed and delivered.

So far my insurance has covered much of it and it's so much better sleeping with a cpap. I've got a remstar pro with cflex and I likes it alot.
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