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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

A decade of exhaustion.

If you have a story of success (or failure), then post it here for others to read.
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Mountain

A decade of exhaustion.

Post by Mountain » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Hi, I'm new here. I thought I'd give a brief overview and introduce myself!

So, for the last 10-15 years or so I have been exhausted with no apparent reason. I wake up more tired than when I went to bed, often with a headache and rely on strong coffee to get me going. By mid afternoon I'm almost falling asleep. I often fall asleep for a while in the evenings.

I'm reasonably fit and active- I'm a martial artist.....but hardly have the energy these days. I'm a big guy and built like a proverbial brick outhouse. I have a 19inch neck. I have a terribly deviated septum too.

I have high blood pressure and I'm plagued with depression, often inexplicably. My doctors have always blamed my complaints of tiredness on my depression.

However, my wife recently noted that she though I stopped breathing in my sleep! Then she filmed me when I fallen asleep. I did indeed stop breathing several times followed by a gasp.

Then the penny dropped. I'd never linked all of the problems together before but it clicked. Sleep apnea- maybe?

My latest GP agrees and I'm waiting(up to 3 months) for a sleep clinic study.

So, I've stumbled across this site and it seems I'm not alone. I'm expecting CPAP will be the outcome but to be honest I'd do anything for a decent night's sleep. Although I expect it will be far from easy to begin with at least.

Thanks for 'listening'.

Mountain

Re: A decade of exhaustion.

Post by Mountain » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:25 am

Hi,

Thanks for the welcome & kind words:)

I think sleep apnea perhaps isn't very 'prominent' in healthcare. Over the years I've had blood tests for things like pernicious anemia, thyroid problems etc. but all came back normal & healthy. I've also had years of people commenting on my yawning, not paying attention, drifting off, and being accused of being lazy!!! I'm sure some of my colleagues think I'm up partying all night too :lol:

It was only when my wife was having trouble sleeping herself due to stress, and mentioned the stopping breathing followed by gasps that it dawned on me. She is normally out like a light and practically un-wakeable. I've always been jealous!

A very strange turn of fate then happened. I decided that I had to try again with a GP due to my tiredness. Most appointments so I ended up seeing a GP I'd never been to before. As soon I reeled off my symptoms she said, 'it sounds like sleep apnea, I'll get you booked into a sleep lab straight away'. She then went on to explain that her husband has it and is on CPAP, and explained all the ups and downs of them both getting used to it!!! So, I was very lucky that those appointments were booked up.

As you say, things can only get better...I simply cannot remember not feeling tired, or waking up feeling refreshed. Roll on the sleep lab.

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Sleep2Snore
General Snorer
Posts: 2868
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:20 pm
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Re: A decade of exhaustion.

Post by Sleep2Snore » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:52 pm

Hi mountain,

I agree with the GP.
Thankfully there is some GPs put there in the know.
All the best and let us know how you get on.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Mountain

Re: A decade of exhaustion.

Post by Mountain » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:55 pm

Got appointment today to pick up the equipment for a home sleep study in three weeks!

They interpret the results and discuss the outcome the next morning.

Mountain

Re: A decade of exhaustion.

Post by Mountain » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:02 pm

So....

Sleep apnea yes, but mild. 10 apneas per hour.
I'm slightly concerned as last night was one of my better nights :?

They did note that the severity of sleep apnea does not directly correlate with the symptoms. e.g someone with mild apnea may still have severe exhaustion.

Lose weight and come back in a year was the outcome!

So, what I'm going to do is give it a while, try to eat even more salad (I have salad every lunch and a cooked meal after work). If things stay the same I'll ask my GP to re-refer me for another study as I think things will be worse on a bad night!

A couple of issues....even a decade ago when I was extremely fit due to very intense martial arts training I had an 18 inch neck. Now it's 19 inches!

I have gained some weight which is mainly due to other neck problems restricting my training ability. Just been diagnosed with some cervical neck issues...worn vertebrae and herniated discs.

So, realistically I'm probably not going to lose a great deal of weight until those issues are resolved.....which will be a long time if I need neck surgery & disc fusion.

Oh, well at least I know why I'm knackered at last.

And as an NHS worker I'm acutely aware that NICE guidelines are imposed with a fascistic zeal!

Less than 15 apneas per hour no cPAP.

Mountain

Re: A decade of exhaustion.

Post by Mountain » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:02 pm

Yep, I was a bit p'd off!!

The Dr. didn't even bother seeing me and I ended up with a nurse practitioner. As ever they are fixated with BMI. As I'm a rugby player build my BMI is misleading.....my bodyfat is within the healthy range for a man of my age and like most of the males in my family I'm built like a tank! I had to buy 17 1/2 inch collared shirts for work when I was 17 without an ounce of fat on me, so there is no way my neck is going to shrink further than that no matter how much I starve myself.

Anyway, I think on a bad night I'd have hit the magic 15 per hour.
Don't get me started on NICE......you cannot 'standardise' any illness as you cannot standardise people.

One year on could mean a heart attack or a car crash...worst case scenario I know, but a possibility!

I will nudge things along by either telling my GP I'm not satisfied with the outcome, or I'll push things via Occy health at work....they'll soon pull their finger out if I say I'm going to ask my GP to sign me off with exhaustion due to OSA. As I am now technically 'disabled' they are duty bound to offer me any support that is 'practicable'!

Yes, I did think about buying cPAP myself but I have paid a lifetimes worth of taxes and I'm struggling to raise a family on one NHS wage that has been frozen for a few years.

The main thing is I now have a diagnosis and know why I am so knackered.

However, I do feel somewhat discriminated against due to my size and getting a diagnosis followed by 'tough luck you have to shrink your neck' was at best disappointing. I was hoping to get some sleep one way or another.

I now face knowing I'm going to be exhausted for another year :(

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: A decade of exhaustion.

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:10 pm

If and when you go for another study, asked to be refered to a hospital that does it in the hospital or get your GP to insist on it.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

pearlofpr
Private Snorer
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:12 am

A decade of exhaustion

Post by pearlofpr » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:00 pm

Congrats for the decade LDR You have definitely treated us fans to the finest of rally.

have some big time fun Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

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