Very sad reading posts. These posts make it quite evident to all that sleep apnea not only causes the patient but the surrounding and supporting family and friends to cause suffering in some way also. Sometimes all of the support and encouragement in the world just lands on hard headed deaf ears. Sleep apnea, drug abuse, mental illnesses, just to name a few, are some of the more common maladies that people with those disorders will put their heads in the sand over.
Legibleink.. From your entry, I would hope that you will shortly place more of an emphasis on your own health, especially your BP. Having had extremely elevated BP off and on for 8 years without BP meds is pushing your luck. You appear to have a resistance for whatever reason, to taking BP drugs. The right BP medication has no vertical side-effects. Perhaps some counselling (singley, couples or group) may help.
Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
I went on Bp meds yesterday. Bp dropped right down to where my "normal" used to be : 110/70 ballpark. One less thing to stress over. Yes, there's lots of stress in my life, but everyone should be able to have a "safe" place - at least one place where you're not feeling under attack. And everyone deserves a chance at a good night's sleep.
Yes, there are other stress factors in our marriage other than just not being able to sleep. Heart attack, stroke, high Bp aren't the only health concerns of SA. Loss of libido and sexual performance are two more. My husband doesn't bond to people very well (thank you abusive stepfather and mother in denial). However we were doing great in the bonding/bedroom side of life. Enter loss of performance without the decrease in testosterone and you get a man in denial. Little blue pills are cost prohibitive because they aren't covered by insurance, and he's too embarrassed to buy them. Then the loss of libido sets in, and he's all good. There's no libido, so why have sex and risk a loss of performance. He was never comfortable with hugging or snuggling. Kissing was foreplay. Why kiss if you're not going to have sex. No amount of begging, pleading, threatening, crying, etc on my part was doing any good. He was okay deciding that we would be celibate without my approval. No touching, anything, anytime, anywhere. Just NO.
So...... 10 years of little or no sex life, and 1.5 of NO physical contact. Yeah, that's stressful. Don't forget that I'm still not sleeping. And then add the normal stress that people deal with over the past five years: Bad job (his. Ugh) loss of job (me) start my own business (yea!) new job (his. Yea!) moving, selling a house, selling my business, putting mom in assisted living, selling her house, moving mom to a new facility, managing her finances, moving mom AGAIN, child in college, financial issues, you know - the normal stuff.
I understand that we need therapy, been there done that. But what good is therapy if you're not correcting the problem? Correcting the problem is him putting on the mask. He sleeps, I sleep. And in the morning we're both happy! (yes, there's a double meaning there) You fix the sleep issue and you fix the libido/performance issue. Just the physical act of sex lowers Bp.
So guys - when your wife is bugging you about adhering to your therapy, please consider all the factors. It's like a ripple in the pond. One thing leads to another, to another, to another, and all of a sudden you're taking three different meds to treat symptoms of stress and lack of sleep. Lack of sleep causes weight gain (think belly fat and cortisol) and stress. Stress and weight gain cause high Bp and acid reflux. Acid reflux affects sleep and causes a myriad of damage to the body. Fighting health issues is stressful. When I climb into bed every night, I might be a little pissy. Not only am I denied the benefits of the marital bed, but I have to put up with the dying wart hog next to me. We're back at the beginning. And I'm on all the meds to correct problems that stem from his SA. There's a pill for that!
On a positive note: I recorded his snoring! He was amazed! And he apologized. And he has an appointment with a DME provider to see if there are any changes in masks over the past 8 years that might make this easier.
Wish us luck. We've been married for 23 yrs. I haven't given up yet. Of course I may kill him with my nagging....... "the face of an angel with the tongue of an adder"
Good for you to think of recording his snores, and good for him that he was willing to take action after hearing it.
I hope that both of you will soon find some peace, forgiveness, blissful sleep and all the other benefits of life that you deserve.
Let us know how things go, and thanks for sharing your experience, as it will probably help many others who read this forum.
I think people fighting an OSA diagnosis and their partners will find this study regarding mortality rates for sleep apnea patients persuasive. The big take away is CPAP corrects for the risk of pre-mature death:
[Mortality in treated sleep apnea syndrome].
[Article in French]
1Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital de Hautepierre, CHU Strasbourg. email@example.com
Obstructive sleep apnea is common and considered to be a risk factor for hypertension, stroke and coronary disease. Accordingly, the presence of sleep apnea is probably a predictor of premature death. Continuous positive airway pressure is an effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. It has been demonstrated that such treatment improves daytime sleepiness and quality-of-life. To determine mortality in obstructive sleep apnea patients treated with nasal continuous positive airway pressure, we followed 296 patients given continuous positive airway pressure for 11 years 6 months. At the end of the study 26 of the 296 patients had died, mainly from cardiovascular disease. Mortality was 7% (95% confidence interval: 3%-9%) at 5 years. Three independent factors of death identified by forward stepwise selection were included in a Cox analysis. These factors were 1) smoking as a categorical covariate (>30 pack-years), 2) age and 3) forced expiratory volume in 1 s. When the 52 patients with an associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (forced expiratory volume in 1 s/vital capacity<0.65) with obstructive sleep apnea were excluded form analysis, mortality of the 244 remailing patients was 2% at 5 years, a rate observed in the general population. Subsequently, it appears that nasal continuous positive airway pressure corrects for the risk of premature death suspected in obstructive sleep apnea patients. Mortality in obstructive sleep apnea patients treated with continuous positive airway pressure is near to that of the general population, particularly when patients with an associated chronic respiratory disease are excluded.
PMID: 14646808 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]