My Sleep Apnea

Me and My Sleep Apnea

I have lived with my sleep apnea for over 30 years now and only just starting to manage it properly.


My Sleep Apnea Journey

When I was in my early 20's I was always tired and didn't know why. I would get home from work so exhausted, I would have to take a nap before I could cook dinner and then have an early night so I could get through the next day.

When I moved in with my boyfriend, who is now my husband, he said my snoring was so bad he had to sleep in another room because he couldn't sleep because of the noise I made.

I went to see my GP who referred me to a sleep disorder clinic. A doctor examined my throat by putting a camera up my nose and into my throat. He told me I needed to have my uvula removed and that would stop me from snoring. He said 'don't worry we'll stop your snoring by the time you get married'.

Uvulectomy

I had my uvula removed, a uvulectomy, which was a very slow and painful recovery. Well I still snored even after the operation! What a waste of time. At this stage I still didn't know that I had sleep apnea, I thought I had a problem with being a loud snorer!

I must point out that I wasn't warned about the side affects of this operation. Since I had my uvula removed I choke very easily. The uvula filters food and drink into the esophagus and keeps it out of the windpipe, but without a uvula this filtering process doesn't happen. I have to be extremely careful in the shower or if I go swimming because if water goes up my nose, it goes straight down my wind pipe and I nearly drown.

I wish I had never had the operation because it hasn't helped my sleep apnea in the slightest and it causes me more problems. Please do your research before having any surgery - I wish I had researched this rather than listen to the doctor.

Sleep Study

I was referred to a sleep clinic, the Bostonia in Boston, where I underwent a sleep study. I had a pipe inserted in my nose that went down into my throat and then a camera put down the same way to make sure the pipe was in the correct position.

I was then wired up to lots of machinery and computers and expected to sleep like this. Well not at all surprisingly, I didn't sleep a wink and the data from the machine was inconclusive.

Bostonia Sleep Clinic

As the sleep study was such a failure I had another study done. This time I had to go to the hospital to get wired up but without any pipes down my throat this time. I then went home to sleep in my own bed.

In the morning I went back to the hospital to have the machine removed where they could download the data. This study was successful. It showed that I stopped breathing during the night due to apneas. Please visit my page to find out more about sleep apnea studies.

My Light Bulb Moment!

At this point I realised why I was always so tired. Because I stopped breathing so many times in a night I never went into a deep sleep to rest and feel revitilised. My body was so busy during a nights sleep that I never felt as if I'd had a good night sleep.

This was my sleep apnea journey, I was told that I had sleep apnea and it was the reason behind the constant tiredness and the snoring. I felt relieved to know that there was a reason for the terrible tiredness and fatigue and it wasn't all in my mind or being lazy. I was genuinely tired.

CPAP Machine

I was given a CPAP machine to use to stop my airways from collapsing while I was asleep. I was hoping the CPAP would be the answer to my prayers and my sleep apnea - sadly that wasn't the case. My husband said I sounded like Darth Vada. But the machine only worked if the mask stayed in place over my mouth and my nose, which it didn't.

Some nights I'd wake up and it would be blowing air into my ear. I have very sensitive skin and the mask bought me out in a horrible rash and left unsightly red marks on my face.

I did try to persevere with the CPAP for a year but I didn't feel that it made any difference to my quality of sleep and it didn't stop the chronic fatigue. Needless to say I sent the machine back.

Another Sleep Study - Another Device!

I had another sleep study, at the Johnson Hospital in Spalding and this time I had a dental device recommended which would hold my mouth closed but bring my lower jaw forward slightly and this would stop my throat from collapsing while asleep. But it gave me terrible headaches and jaw ache. For more information about the MAD device and the CPAP machine visit my page Sleep Apnea Devices which gives more information.

When I sit in the waiting room at the sleep clinic, I'm not the typical sleep apnea person, I'm slim and my sleep apnea started when I was very young.

I'm often asking by the nurses "are you in the right waiting room?".

This indicates that anyone can be afflicted by sleep apnea and it is not stereotypical of overweight, middle aged people.

Sleep ApneaI look healthy enough!

Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia

After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I set about looking for ways to increase the quality of my sleep. My fibromyalgia was bought on by sleep deprivation from the sleep apnea and a personal tragedy. This was when I started to take my sleep apnea seriously as I hadn't realised just how much it could affect your health.

Sleep Apnea Cured!

I am now free from sleep apnea after training myself to breathe through my nose rather than my mouth and I also use Reiki and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). For more information about this you can visit sleep apnea cure. The methods I used and still use, won't be suited to everyone.


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