It's a strange feeling when the air blows into my nostrils and at first I didn't like it at all. However, the specialist said that it take time to get used to it. I'm to use it for an hour each day for three days (sit and watch TV or read or something) before I start to use it at night. I have to go back next Friday to get the monitor checked and get another device to check my oxygen levels overnight. I had that done already and that showed that I stop breathing on average 25 times an hour - severe sleep apnea. Hopefully, the next test will show that the CPAP is working as it should.
So why bother with all this? Well, I first inquired about my snoring because it was keeping my sweetie awake all night. I thought maybe something could be done about that. Now I find out that sleep apnea can actually kill you! I found the following on the internet:
What's the proof that Sleep Apnea can kill? The study published by Terry Young, Ph.D. and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin at Madison is particularly convincing and ominous. Back in 1988, Dr. Young rounded up a large group of randomly selected Wisconsinites (about 1,500 people) who agreed to be tested for Sleep Apnea. Dr. Young recorded not only whether they had Sleep Apnea, but also if they did, the level of Sleep Apnea severity. Dr. Young asked this group, known as her "Wisconsin Cohort" group, to agree to be tracked over the years, and they agreed. Fast forward to 2006, when Dr. Young checked in on them. After 18 years, some had passed away, some were still as healthy as they were back in 1988. The key for our purposes is that, controlling for all other factors, the folks who were identified as having severe Sleep Apnea and who did not get treatment for it were three to four times as likely as the others to die from something . . . anything, and five times more likely to die from stroke or cardiovascular disease.
Basically, sleep apnea is like a person choking you very slowly. Instead of someone choking you fully and killing you in 5 minutes, it kills you softly in a number of months or years. Most people don't bother treating it or giving it their full attention. Also, lack of sleep causes your mind to lose its ability to focus, which makes it more likely that you could have a motor vehicle accident, stroke, cardiac arrest, or death let alone the high blood pressure, weight gain, and serious diseases like diabetes and cancer.
So my question is, "To CPAP or not to CPAP?"
I don't believe there is any other answer but a resounding YES! Not only do I want my sweetie to be able to sleep with me, I also want us to wake up together for many, many years to come. I'm hoping that within a few months I'll have much more energy and be able to go walking, swimming, cycling and read a book for more than 5 minutes without drifting off.
If you or someone you love snores a lot and/or seems to stop breathing during sleep, please share this information with them and get them to a specialist.