The Reality of Living With Sleep Apnea
“You need to get out,” she said. I could tell she was serious.
I always had a bit of a snoring problem, but in the five years we had been married, my wife had come to a breaking point. It was just too much. Not only was I snoring loudly enough to keep her awake, (she’s convinced the volume could have attracted extra-terrestrial intelligence), but I was – apparently – periodically gasping for air. Loudly. Desperately.
That isn’t normal.
She lovingly kicked me out. Our son was only two months old, so having a gasping creature in the bed alongside a regularly waking infant doesn’t help. I was banished to my office, where the trundle bed slowly dug its crooked and jagged supports into my back. Truthfully, as I lay there alone, I knew there was a problem. A pretty serious one.
I had been falling asleep at work. During an important meeting with several key leaders, I drifted off for what only seemed like a second or two. How long had I been asleep? Did anyone notice? Oh god, did I snore during a meeting? I’ve always been one of those “tired” people. But I chalked it up to lifestyle. Hey, I work 50 hour weeks. I do a lot of extra stuff outside work. I have a baby!
But this was different. I couldn’t make it to 2pm without having to actively fight off sleep. I was making small, stupid mistakes that could have been avoided. Mistakes that surprised me. So I lay there, in the trundle bed, in the dark, my feet hanging over the edge. And I decided to get something done.
Sleep Apnea Is A Big Deal
It’s a really big f**king deal.
This isn’t just about getting enough sleep. Or waking up a frustrated wife. Sleep apnea, when left untreated, is life threatening. High blood pressure, heart irregularities, headaches and memory problems are the lightest of the consequences. Higher risk of heart attacks and strokes come after that. It gets worse.
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