Husband with severe sleep apnea
My husband has severe sleep apnea diagnosed by a sleep study.
He stopped breathing an astronomical amount of times during the study. He has a CPAP but only wears it occasionally. He gets angry when I say anything about his non-compliance.
We do not sleep together as I cannot stand the snoring, choking, waking-up, jumping, etc. We have tried sleeping together when he wears the mask and it's a disaster as well.
He still has apnea episodes with the mask as somewhere during the course of the night the mask slips and starts sounding like a swarm of angry bees.
My husband has a VERY bad habit of reading at night. The trouble is that the minute he sits down to read he falls asleep and therefore doesn't put the mask on. I have tried to encourage him to stop this, but it's futile.
He is a very heavy mouth-breather but I think that lately he sounds like he is quite often short of breath. He is always tired. He says that driving isn't a problem, but we went on a weekend getaway and he fell asleep while driving and was heading for a ditch on the side of the road. I hollered his name to wake him up and then he got mad at me!
He falls asleep at work, church, the movies, etc. It's miserable for me to attend anything like this with him as he starts to snore loudly as soon as he falls asleep. We have a small church and it's hard to hide the sound of his snoring from the rest of the congregation! It's funny how people in the movie theater do not like the snoring during the film either.
The other night he went to use the bathroom before going to bed. He had been without the CPAP for several days and is like a walking corpse. I was laying in my bed and thinking what in the world is taking him so long. After about 5 minutes I heard snoring coming out of the bathroom. He was standing up trying to urinate. I waited another couple of minutes and then I heard a VERY load crash. I ran to the bathroom to find him picking himself out of the bathtub. He had fallen asleep standing up and fell over backwards into the tub. He re-injured a rotator cuff in his shoulder. You would think this would be enough to convince him to wear the mask. Not. He has gone 2 nights now without it.
The straw that has broken the camels back for me is that his libido (which used to be quite high) has all but disappeared. I'm a fairly "energetic" person in that area and to go for long periods of time in between "sessions" is not acceptable for me. I can't imagine why this hasn't been a wake-up call (no pun intended) for him.
I don't know how much more of this I can take. I feel like I'm married to a corpse. He has no energy to do anything. He falls asleep constantly. I think he is a danger to himself and others around him. He is a nurse by trade. Frankly, I wouldn't want to be his patient. He has told me that he has fallen asleep while standing up at work. He misses a GREAT deal of time from work. He's always calling in sick. If he didn't work for the government he would have lost his job a long time ago. He has many other health problems which I believe are either stemming from the sleep apnea or aggravated by it.
Are there any other solutions out there for a mouth breather with severe apnea besides the full face mask? I feel like I have lost the person I married to this disease. I fear being a widow long before my time because of it also.
Thanks so much for letting me rant. I hope someone has some suggestions that might help.
I really do understand your frustration, Bobbie. It's a shame your husband can't feel the benefits of a good night's sleep. He only needs one night of quality sleep to realize what he's missing, not to mention the health risks associated with sleep apnea.
I would ask your husband what he doesn't like about it and try to work through the issues rather than badger him about wearing it. He could have been improperly fit by the techician and be using the wrong mask or even need a BIPAP instead of a CPAP.
From talking to other suffers with sleep apnea, what appears to be the biggest obstacle to wearing the mask is the wrong mask or an improper fit. If wearing a face mask covering either the nose and mouth or just the nose, an improper fit allows air in many instances to leak toward the eyes.
He may also have other respiratory conditions, possibly brought on by untreated apnea, which can bring on weight gain. From what you have posted, I believe that he has probably suffered from OSA for a number of years and it has slowly deteriorated.
There is no doubt that he is on the road to an early death, whether it's a stroke, road traffic accident or accident at home or at work. He is obviously not the same person that you married, but with proper treatment therapy he might well get to being close to it.
A few suggestions:
Toughen your attitude with him. You have your life to lead and he is acting unfairly. He has been diagnosed, he has been prescribed a treatment therapy that works...he must become compliant. Many millions in the world are compliant with cpap...it's not easy, but perseverence is the key to success. It's a lot easier than recovering from a stroke, heart surgery, stents, daily injections for diabetes etc. In fact it is merely a slight inconvenience. The positive benefits far outweigh any minor inconvenience.
If he refuses, you must protect yourself as you will have to live on after he goes. Substantial life cover and ensure that you are his pension beneficiary and that all payments are up to date. Let him know that you require this because he refuses to accept his treatment.
Is there anyone (close friend) in either your church or at his work who can talk to him?
I am truly sorry to see your predicament. Unfortunately it is fairly typical of a lot of OSA sufferers in the early stages..........he must move on to the next level.
I will ask other visitors to post from their own experience, maybe they have better helpful tips than me.
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide