Here is my story with sleep apnea!
Hi everyone! I have been lurking for a little while since I decided to schedule my first ever sleep study. Now that I've gotten the ball rolling, I wanted to get on here and share my story!!!
I got a new PCP about 5 weeks ago, and on my initial visit, I decided to ask for a sleep study. I've suspected I needed one for a while now, as my husband has stopped sleeping with me over the past year or so because of my snoring. He also said I stop breathing a lot while I'm sleeping, it'll be quiet, then all of a sudden I'll start breathing/snoring again. Couple that with the fact that I am EXCEEDINGLY tired during the day.
I'm just realizing how much this is probably affecting me -- I can't sit down to watch TV (even a good show!) for more than a half hour without falling into a snoring sleep! I also notice that I have gradually started *scheduling* down days for myself - like if I'm doing anything on Saturday (movies, going to a museum, going to a family function, etc, etc, etc), then my Sunday is off limits. Even if I don't sleep all day, I need that day to just "rest". How sad is that?
Okay, so I went the night before last for my first sleep study. It was AWFUL! I just could not get comfortable, I felt like I laid there awake for over half the night. Of course I had to wake up multiple times to turn over, go to the bathroom, whatever, like usual, none of which was comfortable to do with all those leads and stuff! The tech took my blood pressure in the morning, and it was -- get this -- 170/120!!!!!! I was about to stroke out!!!! My BP has been creeping up in the past couple years, and when I had seen my PCP 5 weeks earlier, it was 152/88.
She decided that instead of starting me on meds right away that we'd see how the whole sleep study thing panned out. OKAY, after the tech took my BP, she went to the other room for a few, then came back and asked me if there's any way I could come back and get my CPAP study that night instead of waiting till next week when my 2nd night was already scheduled. She said I had a "lot of disturbances" and thought with my BP that high, getting started on treatment sooner than later was a better idea. I called and tweaked my work schedule, and accepted the offer to come back last night.
So, last night was my CPAP study. I was dreading it, first off because of the horrendous night I had the night before, another night in a row not at home, dreading the CPAP, feeling like there's no way I'll be able to fall asleep with something on my face, etc, etc, etc. She had me pick from several masks, had me try each of them on and lay down, turn over, see which one felt the best. I picked one that seemed fairly comfy. Then they got me all hooked up, I surfed the web for a while, then it was bedtime. Of course she had me start off on my back, which, let me tell you, was TORTURE the night before, because I have never been able to even just lay comfortably on my back, let alone sleep that way. But I was all in and gave it a try.
I read my book with my little book light for awhile, and it did take me about 45 minutes to turn off my mind. I thought, "hmm, I'm feeling tired now, let me put my book down for a second and see what happens". THE NEXT THING I KNEW, I HEAR THE INTERCOM SAY, "OKAY, SHANNON, TIME TO WAKE UP". Whaaaaaaa????? I opened my eyes, I was still on my back, my book was still laying open on my chest, and my book light (still on) was up by my shoulder.
I had slept the entire night without even turning over, let alone getting up to the bathroom, fidgeting, getting a drink, ANYTHING! hahahahahhahaha Most people won't understand the significance of this, but I suspect some people on this site will understand that it was a small miracle for me. The tech said she gradually increased the pressure, and by about 1am she had me wide open, not snoring, and in "deep sleep", which apparently I spent a lot of time in last night!!! She said of course the Dr. is the one who will go over the results with me and will be the one to prescribe my pressure, but she said 14 seemed to be where I did very well.
The most interesting thing about all of this, besides finally feeling what it's like to close my eyes and then wake up when it's time (and not a second before!), was what that one night of good sleep did to my blood pressure. When she took it the night before, it was 162/120!!!!! When I woke up and she re-took it, it was 128/78!!!!! Can you even believe that??? I'm really in shock about the whole experience. Apparently I really need CPAP -- ya think??
Now I just need to wait for someone to contact me about getting my own stuff for home, which the tech said will happen sooner than later because of my results. So I probably have at least a few more nights of my usual "sleep" (if you can call it that Wink ). I'm sure I'm going to have challenges and there will be a learning curve. But I never in my wildest dreams expected what I have gotten out of this already, and I am very hopeful for the future.
Well, thanks for listening! I just couldn't hold in this story!!! Sorry so long!
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide