I'm going to a sleep doctor in an hour...

I have had horrible snoring for years now. Unusual for a woman, so I’ve heard. And I have sleep apnea, from what everyone who has heard me sleeping says.

I have a read a bit on this problem, and it’s pretty scary! So I have finally made an appointment with a doctor at a sleep clinic at Memorial Hermann Hospital. I’m hoping the mask thing I’ve heard about will help, and that he doesn’t recommend surgery… :eek:

Wish me luck!

If it’s any consolation to you, I have a friend who had the surgery and is very pleased with the outcome. His overnight stay at the sleep clinic showed that he was waking up more than 20 times in a night due to sleep apnea. He sleeps like a baby now and is no longer fatigued and sleep deprived.

Whatever the outcome, good luck and sweet dreams.

Good Luck! My family is lousy for sleep apnea. My brother’s on the breathing machine and my aunt had the surgery. Both are doing fine. The hardest part for my aunt was having to fall asleep with other people around!

I probably have apnea, but I have a habit of sleeping on my stomach with my forehead resting on a bunched up pillow. Strange, but effective.

You probably already have this but here’s a map. Don’t worry, it’s a good hospital and you’ll be fine. You’re gonna purr like a kitten

Me, too!

Hey, it’s comfortable, it helps keep my sinuses open and cuts down the snoring-like-a-buzz-saw that so endears me to others.

And people looking at you think you’re dead!!

(Yeah, i’m weird.)

So, Dolores, what did the doc say? And who did you see? Some of the sleep clinic docs are also surgeons, and they’re more apt to push surgery. The C-PAP machine just doesn’t pay off for them like surgery…

Good for you! Don’t fret.

My dad had a sleep study done (twice, the 1st time he tossed and turned all night).

He was diagnosed with severe apnea, and has suffered for years! He now sleeps with a breathing apparatus (cannot remember what it’s called- breathing tubes in his nose-thingy) and cannot believe he did not do this sooner!

(Dad did not like the mask thingy-- this thing looks like small breathing tubes you place in the lower part of your nostrils-- so there are more devices out there-not just the mask).

He wakes up well rested and not groggy…doesn’t need naps every day anymore :slight_smile:

Good luck!!

Good luck! DogDad has SEVERE sleep apnea - more than 60 stoppages per hour.
His doc said it was so severe that even surgery wouldn’t help it completely, so he uses the mask. it works PERFECTLY. If you don’t like the mask, they’ve got other options, such as “nose pillows” (I think that’s what Siemsi was referring to). You’ll feel a LOT better once you’ve started sleeping better.

Let us know how it goes.

Ok guys, an update:

Went in, and parked at the opposite side of the huge Hermann hospital complex. I walked what seemed to be a half mile and finally found the doctor’s office. My appointment was at 3:30–they called me in at 4:00. The nurse weighed me and took my blood pressure. Then a “doctor in training” - they called him a “fellow” came in and talked to me a long time. Asked many many questions, like do I get sleepy during the day, have I ever fallen asleep at inappropriate times - like while driving, in a meeting, after lunch at my desk… I actually haven’t ever fallen
asleep while driving—but I’ve had some rough times!

Anyway, they are getting approval from my insurance company, and will call to set me up a time to spend the night. It will actually be two nights in a row, unless I am VERY severe. Very severe is defined as 50 apneas in two hours. The normal routine is to observe the first night, then treat on the second night. I have to be at the hospital at 7:00 pm, and they will wake me up whenever I tell them. I can bring my stuff and go to work from there. Sucky. I’m gonna miss Tom!

The real doctor came in and examined me a little-- looked down my throat and listened to my heart and breathing. He said my “palate was elongated” - which usually means not a good candidate for surgery. Whew! They are planning to put me on the CPAP machine, which I still don’t know how it works exactly. Then the doc asked me if I smoked, and I said yes. Then he asked to see my cigarettes. Then he said you don’t smoke anymore. He kept them! I of course had more. LOL!

But— I am making the decision to quit the night I go into the
hospital. I will have two nights of enforced isolation, with one day in between of me deciding to quit. I’m halfway there when I get out the second morning. I’m really going to try.
AAAGGGHHHH!!! (I’m skeered of quitting!)

I need to wear my glasses more - I thought she was going to a SHEEP doctor!

I’m so Baaaaaaaaaaad!

I got a CPAP machine in March. You would be suprised what a difference it will make in your life and the life of anyone who has to sleep near you.

The sleep study is kind of interesting. I felt like I was floating in a pool of wires. My MD says that sugery is not always effective and some people go through the sugery and there is no change. The CPAP takes a little getting used to but it is so worth getting a good nights sleep. That is something you haven’t done in years and have probably forgotten what it was like.
My CPAP mask looks like something a cheap superhero would wear to breath underwater or in some sort of toxic fumes environment. There is a metal band like a on a set of headphones but the goes from teh back of my head up to just past the top. There a plastic bit attaches and runs down the front of my face. This holds a flexible tube that is hooked up to what is basically a large aquarium air pump machine. The hose ends at a nose peice the is adjustable and has two little cone-shaped rubber bits that go up my nostriles. There are some elasitc straps that go from front to back that help hold the whole thing on my head. When the thing is on my head I lick my lips and close my mouth. (to have a good seal) and then I hit the button that starts the machine. This starts the machine pumping air through the tube. I breath through my nose. When I breath out there is a little hole on the nose piece that lets the air out. This also acts as a release for ‘extra’ air so you will not feel like a cartoon character that has been hooked up to a bicycle air pump and blow up like a balloon. It is kind of weird to talk with the air turned on but not impossible. I sleep mostly on my back, which took some getting used to as I was normally turned over by Mrs. Z several times a night. She loves the machine more than I do btw.

Now if I can get the cats to stop trying to bite the hose I would be all set.

Oh and one other benifit is that I now dream again. I used to not dream very often and the dreams were short and hard to remember. That was because I was waking up about 35 times an hour. Now that I wake up less then once an hour my dreams have returned and they are long and vivid and I can remember them when I wake up.

The machine sounds very bizarre! But the dreaming…I hardly ever dream. That will be very cool. I am so looking forward to feeling good again. Thanks for everyone’s input.

My boyfriend is going to move in with me, once we have decided he can sleep with me! Either he or I usually end up on the couch in the other room… :frowning:

Look here.

Not the dreamseal which looks like a dentist’s nitros mask but go down one. That is what I wear to bed.

Many people report that the dreamseal type gives them acne. YMMV.

Oh and wear baggy shorts to the sleep study. They put wires on my legs and then ran them up under my shrorts and over my shoulders.

I have used a CPAP machine since last October. I had a bad attitude about it going into the sleep study. A guy I used to share an office with slept with one and he always had marks across his face from all the straps the mask used. He also had a big dent in his “third eye” area because he wore the mask so tight. I did some research on the Web and found the nasal pillow device that Zebra linked to. I thought that was the one for me if I had to use one.

After learning that I stopped breathing many times during the study, with the longest duration being 50 seconds, I thought that maybe I should be more receptive to the treatment. I do sleep better now and like others described, I dream more. I had some trouble with nostril irritation at first but not much now.

When friends who use CPAP saw my head gear, they decided it looked much better than the masks they used. If I had all those straps across my face the other masks use, I don’t think I would use my machine.

My only complaint about the SleepGear is that I’ve broken two of the “hose guides” so far. That’s the part that comes down the front between the head “harness” and the nasal interface. The first one was broken within a month of having the unit and I emailed the manufacturer about it. They sent me a free redesigned one as a replacement. The second hose guide broke a couple of months ago. I ordered another over the Web for $30. I think that one was more my fault as I would lift the front off of my nose to scratch when I itched. I am now more careful on how I don and doff the mask.

As for the sleep tests themselves, the wires didn’t bother me as much as that bright light they put over your index finger to read the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. I had to sleep with my hand behind my back. If I ever do another study, I think I’ll bring eyeshades along.

A friend of mine is really overweight and only sleeps a few hours a night. He went to a study right after I did and they put him on CPAP the first night. He decided not to go for the machine as he does a lot of flying. He want’s to try one of the experimental mouth plates that dentists are developing. But I understand that the CPAP machine is the most effective treatment for apnea.

I’ve used nmy machine every night since I got it except for one. That night I had a “Perfect Martini” making class and had poured myself into bed afterwards. I have taken short naps without it and always awaken with a sore throat. Though the machine is kind of cumbersome and is an inconvience to travel with, I think it’s worth it in my case.

I must ask. Are you like the woman in the movie, “Dolores Claiborne?” I think Kathy Bates played the role.

I used to be, but then my husband died!

No, seriously. I am a big Stephen King fan, and I was trying to pick out a woman’s name from a Stephen King story, and Dolores Claiborne came to mind. It sort of fit, since my husband was a bit of a bastard. He developed heart problems 6 years ago and passed away last year. I might sound sort of cavalier about it, but he was really verbally abusive, and sometimes physically, and I have no small amount of relief that he is gone. I would have divorced him if he didn’t have a terminal disease.

So maybe I need to start a new thread and have people vote on a new name for me!

Thanks to everyone for your stories, and the picture of the sleep gear.

About the light on the finger.
Don’t sit and wave it around the dark and make ET voices. Not unless you want to give the sleep lab guys a good laugh.