16/5/2010

Sleep Apnea 1

Filed under: — Bravus @ 1:30 am

I’ve been waking up with headaches, and walking around with them all day, and taking more panadiene than is strictly good for my liver, for a while now. Wasn’t sure what the problem was, thought it might be allergies, or eye strain, or caffeine withdrawal… then I thought ‘I wonder if it’s sleep apnea?’ Did a little digging, and that’s certainly one of the symptoms.

Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing for a while during the night. It can be associated with snoring but is different. It tends to make one feel tired and a bit vague during the day, not really rested, and headachey… and all those things describe me pretty well lately: just not the usual vim.

I thought of it because I know Dad suffers from it. He’s a bit heavier than me, and it can be associated with weight as well, but I’m a lot like him in all sorts of other ways, so it wouldn’t surprise me if I’ve inherited this.

Fortunately, while not really curable, it’s eminently treatable. When we get back from the Malaysia trip (see above) I’ll get tested (which involves wearing a monitor for a night or a couple of nights to find out whether it’s happening). If it is I’ll need to get a mask and pump ‘constant pressure’ apparatus, and wear a mask over my nose while I sleep that supplies air to keep the airway open and stop the apnea.

It’s expensive, and probably a bit uncomfortable and hard to get used to… but having my energy, mental acuity and headache-freeness back would be very nice indeed.

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