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Sleep Apnea: One Mans Battle to Stay Awake

Updated on January 26, 2016

One mans battle

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Approximately 12 million people in the United States have sleep apnea and are not diagnosed, at the present time approximately 2 million have been diagnosed.

It has been my experience that sleep apnea affects everyone differently. Or maybe others with the condition are at a different stage than I am, or maybe because I am looking at it from a different perspective. Others may manage it better than I do, or they may not manage it at all. No matter how you look at it or manage it sleep apnea is deadly. I do know that when I do not stay on a sleep and eating schedule my blood sugar goes astray, I gain weight, depression sets in and I get to the point I don't care about anything. I have seen this in many people in all kinds of occupations. They become rude and all too often, downright abusive. I have learned to do to them, what my friends and relatives do to me when I get this way, just quietly walk away and not say anything. They have been doing this to me for longer than I would like to admit, maybe as long as 20 to 30 years.

When I was diagnosed and received my CPAP machine I thought that was all there was to it, sleep with this thing on my face and everything would be great. I think that this is what most everyone thinks about this condition, I have found out that this is not how it works. I got my machine and used it every night for a few weeks, got to feeling better than I have felt in years. Things being what they are, I got a wild hair to go trucking again. Nine months, and another point on top of the two and a half points I already had plus a chargeable accident, fuel prices out of sight my business disappeared. My sleep apnea was set on fire and I had gained 40 pounds above the already excess 30 pounds I started out with, according to the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale. I was not someone anyone wanted to be around. Broke, out of work no one wanted to hire me for any type of work, if they had any work.

I finally landed a part time job in retail, minimum wage plus commission. I was not allowed to work more than 30 hours per week. What an education, not only was I actually making more dollars per hour doing this than any driving job I ever had, I got on a eating and sleeping schedule and in three months I lost over 20 pounds. I have had time to search the net for information on sleep apnea and learned how deadly it is and some of the related problems.

I know it will take at least a year, but I will get down to the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale ideal weight for a male my age, my blood sugar will maintain a normal level, with out any drugs. My triglycerides will be back to where they belong. My cholesterol levels will be down to a safe level, and my risk of heart disease will be at the lowest point in decades. I now realize how important and accurate the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale is to good health. I also know how important it is not to abuse alcohol or use tobacco. I have done both, I haven't had a hard drink since Thanksgiving 1970, and totally quit smoking 12 years ago. I have no real idea of how these things really affect a person with sleep apnea, but am old enough to know they are very high hurdles to jump by themselves and I am down right fortunate not to have to remove them from my life at this point.

I think I should explain my diet and eating schedule I have mentioned above. I am not on one of those diets you hear or read about. I simply eat breakfast around 7:30 am, lunch at 11:30 am and dinner is best at 5:00 pm. If for some reason I cannot eat until after 7:00pm I am better off not eating at all.

My diet consists of portions rather than a list of what to eat and what not to eat. I simply cut the portions, I help myself to half of what I did before I got serious about myself and how bad I look and feel. I sometimes use a saucer instead of a dinner plate. I can fill the saucer over flowing and still eat less than what I would eat with a typical dinner plate. I drink lots of water, at meal times and in between meals. When my wife and I eat dinner out we usually split the dinner, if the restaurant has a problem splitting the dinner, we simply walk out. I cut out the daily trips into the donut shop, all of the flavored creamer additives in my coffee and the weight is coming off. No diet saying eat only onion soup, or no carbohydrates, or if it isn't green and tastes terrible you aren't losing weight garbage from some self appointed wannabe trying desperately to sell their latest book or CD.

The next part of my new way of living is walking, I walk at work, I walk to work and the wife and I walk down by the river or around the mall. No, I don't belong to a gym with a large monthly payment because that is what a gym is all about is the monthly payment. Get the point?

Sleep apnea not only kills a person, it will kill a portion of a person's life before it kills them. I am talking about sex drive, sexual desires etc. One of the most obvious tests is to stand in front of a very large mirror without anything on and ask yourself a very simple question. "How sexy is that?" or better yet ask "if I was my sex partner and my sex partner was me would I turn them on?" Sleep apnea kills your sex life, long before it kills you. It is a lot like smoking or drinking, it is a long slow death. Most sleep apnea suffers are usually asleep on the couch or in their favorite chair or being irritated at their loved ones...torturing them in a subliminal way.

I find it hard to believe that I have written so much about this subject, as in the past I have had a hard time staying awake long enough to simply read something this long. Yes I have driven my 10 hours or done my job, but to stay awake before or after dinner, or simply sit down and read something was almost a thing of the very distant past, like back in my twenties or early thirties. I attribute my awakening on the fact that I was tested and have done something with the results, besides sitting back and crying "poor me"!



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      Richard Murphy 7 years ago

      Hi, funny you should be talking about this. I reciently started doing a direct sale of a relaxation aid that helps you get a good nights sleep. Over 60% of the people in the U.S. do not get a good nights sleep because they are all wound up and stressed out from work or whatever. This is an all natural substance, citrus flaver dietary supplement that give you the deep restorative sleep you need for optimal recovery. Its in a small packet, a bit larger than a bag of suger. You mix it with 2oz. of water about 30min. to 1hr before you want to go to bed and it relaxes you body so you can get a good restfull nights sleep.Let me tell you it works.