I was not sleeping well. I suppose it went on for 10 long years. Feeling tired at lunchtime trying to get a nap to recover and complete a days work. Everyone was complaining about my snoring. Even the nap was not really a nap.
This article is not meant to offer medical advice nor to diagnose any condition.
I had never heard of sleep apnea until I met someone who was camping next to us whilst on holiday in Croatia. He had his caravan pitch next to us.
I noticed that the left side of his face was lamed, well we got talking and he told me why it had happened.
He had a stroke whilst sleeping, he was diagnose with sleep apnea, which caused the stroke. I was shocked, he looked healthy, not overweight or any other problems.
As we got deeper into the conversation he explained what had happened over the years. Not dreaming, waking up suddenly gasping for air, feeling tired all day and of course the snoring.
The problems he had seemed to be exactly those which I was experiencing, day in day out. One of the things he mentioned was having a nap on the couch. He would wake up in between feeling like he was having a heart attack.
It was like a mirror of myself, the symptoms are the same as I had. He then went on to talk about how he went to the Dr. and ended up with a CPAP next to his bed.
Oh dear, I thought to myself, I need to see a Dr. and find out if I have sleep apnea. I can assure you that I was not in a rush but my wife made an appointment with the Dr. for me.
It did take a few months to get such an appointment, on the day I was quite nervous. But I went. Do I have sleep apnea? Will I have to live with a CPAP? Can I sleep with a mask on?
Questions that only the Dr. could answer. Thankfully I found a great Dr. who explained it really well.
The first appointment, weight, size, do you smoke, do you drink? Once these were answered he went onto the snoring and feeling tired all day. He fitted me out with a device for that night which I had to wear at home whilst sleeping.
The device was small with tubes that went up my nose, it recorded how often I lay on my back, left side, right side but the most important point was how often I stop breathing and how long I stooped breathing during one sleep session.
I went back the next day and got the shock of my life. I laid on my back 25 times turned to the left 18 and to the right 19 times. I thought OK, then I got up twice to go to the toilet.
Then he hit me with the hammer, 300 times in that one night I had breathing stoppages, some of them up to 60 seconds long. I did nearly fall off the chair. But read on it does have a happy end.
Well that was the first of my travels, the Dr. made an appointment for his sleeping hotel which is more or less a floor in the hospital that he has rented for his therapy.
The appointment in the sleep apnea diagnostics hotel was 4 weeks later. I had to be there a few hours earlier to get my mask sorted out. At first the nurse gave me a nose mask until I told her that I sleep with my mouth open.
So I ended up with a mask that fitted over both nose and mouth, done. I must admit it did not feel good wearing the mask even just getting one fitted, it was very uncomfortable.
At around 8.00pm I was taken up to the sleep apnea ward, well it also said on the sign sleepless legs, which I also knew nothing about but I am glad that that was not my problem. Imagine having sleepless legs must be pretty awful.
The nurse was really nice, the room was big and only one bed with a TV. She explained everything very well, I supposed she noticed that I was nervous. I had time too watch football on the TV, then came the wiring up.
About 10.00pm the nurse came in and started sticking the wires on to me, they were everywhere, arms legs, head just around 25 I think. There was also a video camera facing down on my bed. I was sure that I would get to sleep at all being wired up like this. It was nearly panic stations as she gave me the mask.
She calmed me down and I did fall a sleep, being monitored with wires and video. I woke up at 5.00am, she came in and took the wires off, gave me my CPAP and said that is it your setup.
During the night I did have a few breathing stoppages but she adjusted the CPAP accordingly. So off I went home with my new toy under my arm.
That was 6 years ago and I am so happy that I went to see that Dr. Sometimes the mask does annoy me but it is a thing you get used to when you feel the benefits.
Yes I dream again, I do not need a nap in the afternoon and the snoring has stooped, needing too go to the toilet has almost stopped maybe once if at all. It has changed my life, my wife has put her ear plugs in the drawer, so she was happy as well.
By the way my wife as she noticed that I did not really want to go and see the Dr. made a very short video of me when I was sleeping. After seeing the video of me gasping for air I changed my mind.
If you can see yourself having the same or similar problems, go and see a Doctor, get it sorted out one way or the other. It will change your life for the better. Do not push it away, either you have sleep apnea or you don’t.
Since having the CPAP I have been speaking to people that use it as well. We do have a forum, of liked minded people giving tips. I also bought an adapter for the 12V in the caravan, so it is always with me.
Now I also know people that just snore and don’t have sleep apnea, just because you snore does not mean that you have it.
The rest of this page is only for people that just snore, people that do not have the sleep apnea. People that have bruised ribs if you know what I mean. A friend of mine that had snoring problems told me about what he uses to keep the ribs safe.
Snoring is an issue that not only affects the snorer but also their partner who has to listen to them snore all night!
AirSnore is a 2 part system comprised of herbal drops and a plastic mouthpiece. The device works to position the mouth in a way to combat snoring, and the drops clear the airways for longer and more restful sleep.
The system is suitable for people who suffer from occasional snoring during cold and flu season, but it’s also perfect for people who snore all the time.
He is very happy with his Airsnore system, he has his peace and quiet, and no more digs in the ribs.
Thanks for staying until the end. I hope you find the solution that helps you the best.
Have a nice day from me the CPAP man.