Sleep apnea is the suxxors

It’s official: I have sleep apnea. For those you don’t know what that is, it means I don’t get enough oxygen when I sleep so my body wakes me up several times each night. That leads to lots of issues, starting with me being sleepy and grumpy all the time (Stefanie would agree with that) and potentially ending with heart disease, diabetes, stroke and, if the sleep apnea doctors can find a way to prove it, anything else that possibly could go wrong with a body.

If I sound bitter, I am. You see, I have moderate sleep apnea, which means that if I can lose some weight — something I have been trying and failing at for a while but which I know I could do if I weren’t so damn tired all the time — I might be able to “cure myself” of sleep apnea. Meantime, I have to “treat” it.

Treatment is simple: Every time I sleep, I have to strap a mask to my face. The mask is connected to a long plastic tube, which in turn connects to a machine that pumps air into my nose and mouth to force my airway open while I sleep. Basically, I look like a fighter pilot and sound like Darth Vader. And the machine has to be cleaned daily and sanitized weekly — can’t have mold growing in a device that pumps air past my already weak-ass sinuses — so it’s a pain in the ass to care for, too.

Oh, and did I mention that it forces air into my nose and down my throat? That doesn’t feel good. In fact, every time I wake up during the night — something that still occurs often because Alex has decided that sleeping through the night gets in the way of his nursing — I have to keep myself from ripping it off because, well, it’s freaky waking up with a mask over your face that makes breathing difficult if you fight it. So, it’s fun. Whee.

I’m really trying to be upbeat about all of this, but it’s difficult. I stomped around the house all weekend because I slept even worse with that contraption strapped to my face. But I don’t really have any alternatives. I can either get used to Darth Vader and accept that I may have to wear that thing the rest of my life, or I could end up dying young and not seeing my baby boy grow up. Not much of a choice, is it?

~ by amarvin on Sunday, June 8, 2008.

One Response to “Sleep apnea is the suxxors”

  1. I’ve been hearing of more and more deaths attributed directly* to sleep apnea; most recently, it’s suspected in local man Bryan Johnston’s death in his sleep at age 59. Sigh. I know it can’t be fun to wear that mask, but the alternatives make me shudder. I hope the mask-wearing improves for you, for everyone’s sakes.

    *indirect sleep apnea related deaths include work accidents, stroke, heart attack, car accidents.

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