By: Magdalena K
My days typically start out the same. Waking up every morning groggy and agitated. My head is pounding and I can barely open my mouth from how dry it is. My partner wakes up a few minutes after me complaining about the amount of times I woke him up during the night either to go to the bathroom or because of my loud snoring. Most of this I cannot remember and pass it off as him over exaggerating per usual. I laugh it off and start my day.
As the day goes on I can barely keep my eyes open. Even though I feel like I had a great nights sleep, I am always tired during the day. One time, I almost fell asleep at the wheel! I have been very moody lately and I thought ‘hey maybe it is just that time of the month’, but even after that time, the agitation and moodiness did not subside.
One night I had my partner record us sleeping, I could not believe how bad I snored! Boy was he telling the truth. Except, it was not a normal kind of snoring, that I was used to growing up with my dad snoring like a grizzly bear. This was ironic. Sleeping on my back made it the worst, it was like extremely loud snoring and then all of a sudden I would pause and it was like I wasn’t breathing at all and then went right back to it.
After watching this tape I finally decided to Google it. And yes, I know every time I go to Google any symptoms I am having, I either get diagnosed with some rare disease that only 0.1% of the population has, or I magically develop cancer and have about a month to live. So even though I knew this was not the smartest option I went for it either way.
It was noon and I was sitting on my computer having a cup of coffee almost falling asleep in my chair. I opened up the Internet and typed all my symptoms into Google. Here I was expecting to see my death sentence right in front of me, except instead, the results came up for sleep apnea. Throughout my twenty years of living, I have never heard of such thing. So of course I did my research and I could not be more amazed at how everything they were describing was my life.
That week I decided to visit my doctor. I sat in the waiting room and listened to children crying and screaming because even though I am twenty years old, I still see a pediatrician. It was finally my turn to go in, and I was so glad because I don’t think I could of handled another minute in that waiting room. So I hoped up on the examination bed and waiting for my doctor to come in. I described what was happening, even showed her some clips from my video and told her about the research I’ve done.
She began with a series of questions about family history and any medical issues I may have. She asked about my sleeping schedule, how loud I snore, what kinds of sounds I make while I sleep and how I function after a good nights rest. At first I looked at her like she was a little crazy expecting me to know how loud I snore.
I had a physical test done after that and found out I had an enlarged uvula. I think I stared at my throat with my mouth open for a good five minutes. The next part was exciting. I was going to do a polysomnogram, which records brain activity, eye movements, heart rate and blood pressure as I sleep among with other things. I slept overnight at a facility with wires connected to pretty much every part of my body.
A few weeks later my doctor called me and I indeed had sleep apnea. She said it was nothing to worry about. I would most likely just need a mouth piece of a breathing device to help me. Because medicines typically aren’t used to treat the condition, I would just have to make some lifestyle changes. It doesn’t bother me too much, I just feel bad for my future husband!