For quite a while, the Queen has really been on my case about my snoring problem. And when I say my snoring problem, I am really saying that it’s her that has the problem with the fact that I snore like a buzz-saw.
For a moment, let’s set aside the fact that she’s a borderline insomniac anyway and focus on her observation that, besides my snoring, I’ve also exhibited signs of sleep apnea. The main sign is that I often would stop breathing completely for a short period while asleep. Other signs included some real nasty leg twitching and chronic exhaustion.
So, after much urging and persuasion (read: nagging) by the Queen, I talked to my doctor about it who hooked me up with an appointment with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) who makes a ton of money shooting lasers into people’s throats at $1,500 a pop.
I originally thought that it would be pretty easy to diagnose the problem, he’d set me up with an appointment and bim-bam-boom… I’d be on the wrong end of a laser that would scar the back of my throat and suck my bank account dry at the same time.
Of course, I was foolish to think that it could be this easy. He examined my nose and throat before recommending that I take a sleep test as he thought that zapping me wouldn’t be the fix-all that I hoped it might be. I guess I should be grateful that he isn’t a trigger-happy doctor.
Eventually, I got a call from the respiratory health services folks who hooked me up with a sleep test machine. I took it home and, that night, I hooked it all up right before bed. Given that I had all kinds of tubes and wires running to me, I actually slept pretty well that night. The following Monday, I took the machine back to their office for analysis of the data.
About a month later, the results came back telling me that I have ‘Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea’. No shit, Sherlock. The report that came back from the test said that I had a Respiratory Distress Index (RDI) of 20; which meant that I had 20 events per hour where I would stop breathing. Over 40 events is considered severe.
What they recommended was that I take home a C-PAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) on a trial basis to see if it would make much of a difference in the quality of my sleep. The problem with this machine that it’s actually a total bitch to even be able to fall asleep with the mask and tube apparatus on. I’ve switched from the nasal mask to a different mask that covers my nose and mouth which I’m hoping will help with the problem. Of course, when I’m laying in bed trying to drop off… I can’t help but feel somewhat like the über-nerd version of Darth Vader with this ventilator pumping air to the mask that I have to wear.
Anyway, the machine costs in the range of $1,800 to $3,000 if I were to buy one. So I don’t want to go into this all whilly-nilly, if I have to fork over that kind of cash… I’d like to know it’s actually going to work.