Saturday, December 18, 2010

Zzzzzzzzzzzs Please

Originally posted on August 14, 2010

I had a post written for today but I decided to preempt it. As most of you know, I have sleep apnea. Another lovely side effect of morbid obesity. I use a CPAP machine (almost) every night when I sleep. Albeit the fact that it helps me sleep and that I wake up rested and with energy, I hate that friggin machine. I have strap marks when I wake up in the morning. I have skin irritation on my forehead, nose and above my mouth. It royally bites and I can't wait until the day I do not need it anymore.

While I was on the cruise I did not use it. I had it with me but shampoo splooged in my suitcase and got all over it. Then when I got home I washed all the parts but then lost the nose piece. Well last night Dave said that although I did not snore, he heard me gasping for breath and was concerned. Sleep Apnea is very serious and can be fatal. Well in the interim, I ordered another nose piece and I got it today. Whew! I am tired and can feel the effects of not using it the last 10 days.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

Male gender
Being overweight
Being over the age of forty
Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
Having a family history of sleep apnea
Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems including:

High blood pressure
Heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks
Worsening of ADHD

In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, as well as academic underachievement in children and adolescents.

Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

Waking up with a very sore and/or dry throat
Loud snoring
Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
Sleepiness while driving
Morning headaches
Restless sleep
Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
Recurrent awakenings or insomnia

If you have any of these symptoms, it would be worthwhile to have it checked. The polysomnigram is an easy test they use to determine your oxygen levels while you sleep. I even did mine at home.

Now we return to our regularly scheduled programming...


  1. If you KNOW that this is caused by being obese than I so hope you continue to do everything in your power to fix it. So many diseases and problems we have no power to fix but you can FIX this! Stick with it!

  2. Thanks for following my blog, Katie!

    Sleep apnea can be very serious and I can't wait to celebrate with you the day you don't need the CPAP anymore! :D Good luck!

  3. Great information, Katie. I have sleep apnea too, which is one of the many reasons I'm fighting so hard to get this weight off.

  4. Thanks for the great post. I've been thinking I have sleep apnea for the last year. Even though I lost a bunch of weight, I still wake up not breathing several times a night, where I'm gasping for breath. My husband says I don't snore, but still, I know something is wrong. Plus, I'm freaking exhausted all the time (and I have allergies and giant tonsils...the kind where doctors go oh my God, your tonsils are HUGE!). Yeah, I probably have it.

    The CPAP machine sounds horrid to me. My niece has one and even though she swears it saved her life, watching her put that thing on doesn't appeal to me.

    Maybe if I can lose another 40 pounds... :)


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