Support for people with sleep apnea

Support for people with sleep apnea

by Americare Respiratory Services

Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects millions of Americans for a wide range of reasons.  Sleep apnea is underdiagnosed because many primary care physicians are not qualified to recognize the symptoms.  It is often a friend, spouse, or co-worker that expresses concern and suggests seeing a sleep specialist. 

We’ve selected some stories to share with you from real people who have struggled with sleep apnea, just like you.  No two stories are alike, but everyone seems to agree that CPAP therapy can be life-saving! 

 “The first time she used a CPAP machine at the sleep center, she woke up headache-free. But once she got home it took two weeks to adjust to therapy. During the first week, Mary Jo kept ripping the mask off as soon as she fell asleep. Gradually, she was able to keep the mask on for longer periods of time. Soon, Mary Jo was headache-free and found she didn't need to sleep the minute she came home.” Read Mary Jo’s story.

 “The result of using the CPAP machine was nothing short of astonishing! The next day, I had tremendous energy! I also noticed that I actually slept throughout the night. The position that I lay down in bed was the same position I was in when I rose from sleep. I noticed immediately that I had no more headaches, no more fatigue, no more snoring, no more nightmares, no more sleepless nights and no more heart episodes! The proper treatment corrected all of the horrific symptoms that plagued my life for many years. From the day of my delivery from this ill-health bondage, I have been telling people I know, especially those who have similar symptoms that I had, to get tested. I know that for me, the proper diagnosis of my medical condition literally saved my life.” Read Harley’s story.

“Before I was diagnosed, I would fight to stay up at night, exhausted as I was. After the first couple of nights with my CPAP, I distinctly felt that I wanted to go sleep. The techs in the sleep lab told me that this is a very common anxiety. Even though I was never aware of it, my body would undergo a life and death struggle to survive more than 90 times an hour. It was as if someone was putting a pillow over my face each apneic episode. No wonder my subconscious didn't want me to sleep!” Read Vicki’s story.

If you are struggling with sleep apnea, reach out for support. 

The American Sleep Apnea Association has support groups for sleep apnea called AWAKE.  These are people who can relate to what you are experiencing, whether you are newly diagnosed or have been using a CPAP machine to sleep for years.  Find a support group near you!  http://sleepapnea.org/support/a.w.a.k.e.-network-map.html