What are Sleep Apnea and Fibromyalgia? (A Poem and Information)
My Own Experience
My wife found out about five years ago that she had the conditions of both sleep apnea and fibromyalgia. (chronic fatigue).They can occur separately or one as a symptom or sleep apnea as one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
These conditions make life rather challenging to say the least but they can be managed and sleep apnea, especially, controlled with proper diagnosis and the use of a CPAP machine.
Managing your diet can often also relieve the severity as it is often related to obesity, which can cause the airways to be blocked when lying down at night, resulting in loss of airflow and causing the sufferer to stop breathing.Tests found that my wife stops breathing almost every minute (about 60 times per hour). Snoring is usually one of the first signs that you may have sleep apnea.
Fibromyalgia is a much more complicated condition and leads to constant tiredness, lack of energy, sore joints and back pain, weight gain etc etc. Many fibromyalgia sufferers therefore have sleep apnea as one of the many symptoms.
Please see a list of all possible symptoms of both conditions later in this article.
Sleep is My Nemesis
smothering the day.
My breath comes in gasps,
the thin night air
Forces my lungs to contract.
A raspy dry cough
escapes my lips,
racking my chest
I try to relax,
slow my breathing.
Stay calm, don't stress.
I await sleep fearfully,
relieving but dangerous.
Without my mask
I am haunted by nightmares,
my breath stops often,
I may not wake.
Sleep apnea afflicts me.
Sleep is my nemesis.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) involves repeated episodes of airway obstruction during sleep, due to relaxation of the tongue and airway-muscles. It is commonly associated with snoring
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of OSA are wide and varied. Most sufferers do not exhibit all of the symptoms, however they will usually experience one or more of the following:
- Episodes of gasping, snorting or choking during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue or lethargy
- Lack of energy and endurance
- Falling asleep or needing to have a nap during the day
- Disturbed or restless sleep (sometimes resulting in insomnia)
- Irritability, depression, anxiety, mood and behaviour changes (including ADHD in children)
- Increased frequency of urination during the night
- Rapid weight gain or difficulty in losing weight
- Poor memory and concentration
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
My wife has to use a CPAP machine every night in order to sleep soundly. They are essential for anyone suffering sleep apnea.
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes widespread pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints as well as sleep problems and chronic daytime fatigue.
Sygns and Symptoms:
Fibromyalgia usually includes a broad range of symptoms including some combination of the following:
- widespread pain
- sleep disturbances
- chronic daytime fatigue
- morning stiffness in the joints and muscles
- migraine headaches
- temperature sensitivity
- dizziness and balance problems
- cognitive and memory problems
- mood disturbance such as depression and anxiety
- irritable bowel syndrome
- painful menstrual periods
- hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
- numbness or tingling of the extremities
- restless legs syndrome
(sources: Better Health Channel; SNORE Australia)
More by this Author
Members of my family suffer from, or have suffered from depression. It can be a debilitating mental illness and although not a popular topic I decided to write a poem about it.
It is often said that with all the improved communications like the Internet and social media, fast news services etc, that the world is getting smaller. If so, why are we getting lonelier?
I wrote this poem with no message in mind. It is just a little bit of randomness and the need to write something.. anything!