About three years ago, I was diagnosed with Obstructed Sleep Apnea (OSA). Basically what happens is that when I fall asleep, my airway closes and I suffocate until I wake up enough that may airway open back up. This happens over and over again all night.
A year ago, I went in for a sleep study where they measured everything from how much I snored, how many apnea episodes I had and how often and the oxygen saturation of my blood, among a ton of other things. I was surprised to find that it only took 15 seconds after I initially fell asleep until I stopped breathing for the first time. I then averaged about one episode per minute.
The test was done in two parts. The first part measured how I did naturally. If it were possible to fail a breathing test, I got pretty close. I averaged about 55 apneas per hour. During the first three hours of the test, I was able to get only 15 minutes of solid sleep.
For the second half, the lab technician came in and hooked me up to a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine and mask. The machine and mask work together to pressurize your airway, preventing it from closing. The second half of the test was the remaining four hours of the study. In that time, I slept about three solid hours.
The rest of that day was amazing! I stayed awake on the train, not only on my way to work, but on the way home at the end of the day (9pm) as well. Usually by 2 in the afternoon, I'm falling asleep. I couldn't believe that I didn't need coffee to stay awake in the afternoon. I never felt like I needed a nap. I wasn't tired.
Unfortunately, shortly after my test, I lost my job (and therefore health insurance) and my chance to get my CPAP machine.
This week, after again loosing my job and my insurance, my mom informed me that she and my dad had been talking about it and had decided that they would purchase the machine, mask and everything for me.
Aside from being married to Beth and having Nick, this has got to be the biggest blessing that I've ever received. Thanks Mom and Dad!
We should be able to place the order on Monday. I'll try to keep up on my status here and bring you along on my journey to the land of wakefulness. In the mean time, I'm going to go take a nap.