Near death experience from sleep apnea

by Susan
(Newcastle, Australia)

Thinking back I believe I had OSA from the time I was a small child. I experienced what I now understand to be Sleep Paralysis as a child and deliriums for no reason. I still experience sleep paralysis if I fall asleep without my CPAP on, and it's terrifying. I have a 'mechanical' fault with my epiglottis and other than risky and often unhelpful surgery, I am stuck with this for the rest of my life.

I recently fell asleep after a night shift. My husband was watching television and I rolled over, enjoying listening to the droning of the TV in my exhausted state, just happy to be beside the man I have adored for 35 years. As a Registered Nurse, I recognize that at some point I became hypoxic and although my brain was trying to wake me up, I was too oxygen-deprived to do so. My husband began shaking me as he could hear me making awful sounds and thrashing about in my sleep. Luckily he was able to wake me but didn't realize what had really happened and I immediately fell back into my oxygen deprived state. He again woke me and I was able to grasp that I was hypoxic and needed my CPAP on. He helped me put my mask on and I fell asleep and experienced no further events.

This however; terrified me and alerted me to the catastrophic risks associated to OSA. I still fear to fall asleep without my mask on. I have issues with my nasal mask leaking air in the mornings, often because I'm on my back. This noise wakes my husband up, but until he can catch it for long enough to record it on his iPhone, I have no idea exactly where the leak is coming from.

As an ICU Nurse I educate and advocate for OSA suffers to use a machine. It changed my life.

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May 09, 2018
I'm happy to hear you survived that episode!
by: Remy

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your story with us! I'm glad your husband was next to you when it happened. OSA is no joke. And you made it clear to me.

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