Can many anatomical issues combined create a perfect storm for sleep apnea?
by Cyndee Gallegos
(Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
When I was in about 21, I got hit in the face with a baseball, hard. Hard enough to break my jaw, the orbital bone in my cheek and my nose.
They immediately wired my jaw shut for weeks. Then when the swelling went down they re-set the nose and I had a splint for a few weeks.
Flash forward a couple of years and my jaw catches and won't open and I brux like mad.
I then have jaw surgery. Fixes the catching but does nothing for the bruxing or alignment.
A few years later I break my nose but it just requires some tape, ice and aspirin.
All this time, I am a runner. 5k's, 10k's, a few 1/2 marathons. Love to run. And to mix things up, I ride a bike.
A few years later, I suffer a horrible fall and sprain the back and tear the shoulder muscles and rotator cuff. Can't exercise better part of a year.
Fell better start to run again. Things are good for about 5 years, then while running in the dark on a dirt road, I step in a hole and tear up my knee.
A quick scope and off and running for about 7 years. then the knee starts to bother me, and I can't run as long.
Then I fall in love and for a few years we are living together.
I wake up tired and can't focus and get sleepy driving. I think, I have an erratic shift so my sleep is not constant.
I have a girlfriend who likes to stay up. She complains that I snore, loud. So I make an appointment with a ENT, I am diagnosed with sleep apnea.
I am at that time about 41-43 years old. I get a c-pap machine and hate it. Opt for septoplasy surgery which does not help, and still use the c-pap machine.
Because I was in the Army, I traveled from base to base, going from a humid moldy place like South Caroline, Georgia and Virginia to humid and dusty Texas, to Utah and Idaho. And I suffered from chronic sinusitis and rhinositis.
After my second knee surgery, my running days were over. My work schedule was still crazy, now that I retired from the military, I had a desk job and worked long hours.
I gained weight at an alarming rate. Going from 130 -190 in 3 years.
I have been retired from the Army for 12 years, and would like to know if it would be consistent with medical knowledge that a broken jaw that has alignment issues, a deviated septum, chronic sinusitis and rhinositis could be what contributed to me having sleep apnea.
The weight gain didn't happen until after the diagnosis.
Now that I am getting older, post menopausal, and sleep is just harder to both fall and stay asleep, the apnea just makes it that much worse. I am tired all the time.
But I need to find a doctor in Utah, who just won't say lose weight. Duh, yes I would love to, but I was diagnosed before I gained weight and a bad knee, shoulder and tired makes it really hard to find an exercise that I can fit in my schedule.