Sleep Apnoea Pt 2- the results are in

CPAP machine in use
CPAP machine in use

Sleep Apnoea Pt.2- The results are in

By Tony DeLorger © 2011

For those who read my previous hub on sleep apnoea, here is the continuation and results of my sleep test and diagnosis.

I was a little apprehensive about the test, not knowing much about it but knowing that it had to be done. The more I read about the subject the more I realised that I had this disorder and that perhaps treating it would make a difference to my life.

I wondered why I had to be at the clinic at 7.30 pm to sleep, not being nine years old any more. But I soon discovered that setting up for the test took some hours. I sat there being scrubbed and glued to a plethora of wires that would monitor my every physiological process during sleep. At the end of it I was lying flat on the bed connected and ready to go. I felt like Frankenstein’s monster waiting for the lightning strike and someone shouting ‘He’s Alive!’

I had a recent collarbone break and muscle tear in my right shoulder, so I couldn’t sleep on that side, the side where all my connections were. That left me with sleeping on my left side or on my back, each turn a travesty of free movement, dragging a mass of wires and tubes with me. In the end I just gave up and closed my eyes and hoped for the best.

It was a long night, and of course I just had to go to the toilet around 3am, a manoeuvre I wouldn’t recommend, with all the wires, tubes and connection box. Come 6am, I’d had enough and I was disconnected and given back my freedom.

Some weeks later I was sitting in the specialist’s office; the results were in. I was not surprised that I had this affliction, but I was by the severity. I was suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea caused by the soft pallet collapsing and obstructing the airway. My case was severe. I stopped breathing 49 times and hour. In other words, every minute I would stop breathing for 10 – 20 seconds, wake up and then sleep and do it again. My sleep efficiency was rated as 27.9%. The oxygen in my blood was 20% below requirement and I was getting the grand total of half an hour of deep sleep per night. I now have an excuse for the circles under my eyes.

No wonder I feel like crap. I’ve been surviving on such poor levels of sleep and have still managed to function. My treatment is a CPAP machine that I must use each night to sleep. By night I shall be Darth Vader, and by day someone who looks like he had a sleep.

I’m being fitted for all this machinery next week and my life will I hope change for the better. It’s not cheap, costing some $3,000 but when it’s your health, its of little consequence. So if you have any symptoms of sleep dysfunction don’t hesitate to see your doctor. Sometimes we accept ill-health because we don’t know any better. This could change my life dramatically and as strange as it sounds, I’m looking forward to being Darth.


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