September 16, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

CAN SLEEPING BE BAD FOR YOU?

I knew something was not right. I would go to sleep at 11:00p and wake up at 6:00p. I thought 7 straight hours of sleep was plenty.

But for the past few years, just after I had surgery for a gallstone (they ended up taking my gallbladder), I woke up every morning exhausted.

By 3:00p, I was forced to take a nap; I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Two hours later, I felt refreshed. But then, when 11:00p rolled around, the whole cycle repeated itself.

A few years ago, I begrudgingly went to have a sleep study to determine what was going on. The test results revealed that I had sleep apnea. And it wasn’t the beginning stages; it was moderate sleep apnea.

In my 40s, my husband and friends often teased me about how such a small being could snore so loud, and take over the whole area of a King mattress. It was funny then. Not so funny now. I was in major denial. I never snored before; why now? And did I really have sleep apnea? Yeah right.

Turns out that snoring was only part of the issue. When one is diagnosed with sleep apnea, the person completely stops breathing for a short time and doesn’t know it. Ok, so what’s the big deal? I was still in denial. Until my doctor had a stern talk with me. My symptoms were textbook:

Loud snoring – check.
Gasping for air during sleep – check.
Waking with a dry mouth – check.
Morning headache – check.
Difficulty staying asleep – check.
Excessive sleepiness during the day – check.
Do I have sleep apnea? Shit. Yeah.
So embarrassing – check.

He also ticked off things that increase the risk of sleep apnea. Several had my name on them.

Neck circumference – people with thicker necks have narrower airways. My thick neck started to appear when I started training with a professional football player! NIce.

Being older. How old is “being older?” Such bullshit.

Family history. I don’t know if my Granny Annie actually had sleep apnea, but boy, she snored so damn loud!

My doc went on to scare the bejesus out of me, telling me about the complications that could occur should I not treat my symptoms.

High blood pressure – I don’t have that.
Type 2 diabetes – I don’t have that, but my A1C numbers are rising.
Liver problems – More likely to have fatty liver disease. – Thank god, I don’t have that!
Obesity – OK so I put on a few Covid pounds, but not that much!

I was now eager to talk about treatment options. My enthusiasm instantly deflated when he told me I need to sleep with a CPAP machine. WTF is a CPAP machine? It is NOT sexy.

When you go to sleep, you wear this monster mask and tubing that runs from your mouth and nose to the back of your head and is connected to an air machine.

When I first put it on, my precious pup Zoey was sitting next to me. When that thing attached itself to my head, she had this look of utter terror and tore ass out of my room. How sad. I started to cry.

When the air started to blow into my nose, I felt a little like I was scuba diving. (I hate scuba diving.) But, after a few hours of getting used to it, I actually started to like it. And if it can help stave off obesity, liver problems, diabetes, and other nasty, unsexy stuff, I guess it’s OK looking like a freak for 8 hours.

I knew something was not right. I would go to sleep at 11:00p and wake up at 6:00p. I thought 7 straight hours of sleep was plenty.

But for the past few years, just after I had surgery for a gallstone (they ended up taking my gallbladder), I woke up every morning exhausted.

By 3:00p, I was forced to take a nap; I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Two hours later, I felt refreshed. But then, when 11:00p rolled around, the whole cycle repeated itself.

A few years ago, I begrudgingly went to have a sleep study to determine what was going on. The test results revealed that I had sleep apnea. And it wasn’t the beginning stages; it was moderate sleep apnea.

In my 40s, my husband and friends often teased me about how such a small being could snore so loud, and take over the whole area of a King mattress. It was funny then. Not so funny now. I was in major denial. I never snored before; why now? And did I really have sleep apnea? Yeah right.

Turns out that snoring was only part of the issue. When one is diagnosed with sleep apnea, the person completely stops breathing for a short time and doesn’t know it. Ok, so what’s the big deal? I was still in denial. Until my doctor had a stern talk with me. My symptoms were textbook:

Loud snoring – check.
Gasping for air during sleep – check.
Waking with a dry mouth – check.
Morning headache – check.
Difficulty staying asleep – check.
Excessive sleepiness during the day – check.
Do I have sleep apnea? Shit. Yeah.
So embarrassing – check.

He also ticked off things that increase the risk of sleep apnea. Several had my name on them.

Neck circumference – people with thicker necks have narrower airways. My thick neck started to appear when I started training with a professional football player! NIce.

Being older. How old is “being older?” Such bullshit.

Family history. I don’t know if my Granny Annie actually had sleep apnea, but boy, she snored so damn loud!

My doc went on to scare the bejesus out of me, telling me about the complications that could occur should I not treat my symptoms.

High blood pressure – I don’t have that.
Type 2 diabetes – I don’t have that, but my A1C numbers are rising.
Liver problems – More likely to have fatty liver disease. – Thank god, I don’t have that!
Obesity – OK so I put on a few Covid pounds, but not that much!

I was now eager to talk about treatment options. My enthusiasm instantly deflated when he told me I need to sleep with a CPAP machine. WTF is a CPAP machine? It is NOT sexy.

When you go to sleep, you wear this monster mask and tubing that runs from your mouth and nose to the back of your head and is connected to an air machine.

When I first put it on, my precious pup Zoey was sitting next to me. When that thing attached itself to my head, she had this look of utter terror and tore ass out of my room. How sad. I started to cry.

When the air started to blow into my nose, I felt a little like I was scuba diving. (I hate scuba diving.) But, after a few hours of getting used to it, I actually started to like it. And if it can help stave off obesity, liver problems, diabetes, and other nasty, unsexy stuff, I guess it’s OK looking like a freak for 8 hours.

Besides, my new BF has one too. I look better in my CPAP than he does!

Besides, my new BF has one too. I look better in my CPAP than he does!

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