Patient Blogs | Sleep Disorders
Coming to Terms with My Sleep Apnea
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You may not know who to turn to or might feel afraid once you get your sleep apnea diagnosis. Understand that you're not alone with your struggles. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 22 million Americans suffer from this condition. Here's what you can do to come to terms with it and how I’ve come to live and survive with it daily.

It's Not Your Fault

It's not your fault that you have sleep apnea. It can impact you no matter what your physical weight or health condition. There are several types of sleep apnea, and you may have a mild to severe case of it, so everyone is different. Don't concern yourself that you did something wrong in your life to get sleep apnea. It's important to recognize the condition you have and then go about minimizing its impact on your health.

I was initially scared of having sleep apnea, but over the years, I have come to terms with it. I try to look after myself to the best of my ability and use my prescribed CPAP mask every night as it helps me sleep, and I feel much better as a result of using the device on a consistent basis.

Talk to Your Family

Sleep apnea can be problematic for your family and relationships. Talk to your spouse or significant other about your condition. Sleep apnea can cause disturbances at night, including loud snoring, which can keep people from getting the rest they need. You have no idea that you're snoring so loudly.

Before I started using my CPAP mask, I often slept on the couch. It wasn't because my wife and I had a fight. It was because of my sleep apnea. Neither of us even knew I had the problem at the time. Once you're diagnosed with the condition, talk to your family about it. This will help everyone recognize that you have a medical problem that is causing your snoring.

Gain Knowledge About Sleep Apnea

One of the best things you can do is to read up on sleep apnea and understand the condition that you have. The more knowledge that you obtain, the better you can understand sleep apnea, which will make it easier for you to live with it.

I learned a lot by going to medical sites and reading as much as I could about my sleep apnea. There's a wealth of information about sleep apnea on the Internet, so make use of these resources as much as possible.

Speak to a Health Care Professional

Most people with sleep apnea will have a doctor or specifically a sleep therapist assigned to them. This professional is there to answer all your questions. Don't be afraid to ask them anything that's on your mind.

For example, I was concerned about how my mask would make me feel while sleeping. I spoke to my sleep therapist and learned more about how the mask worked. You can do this no matter what treatment you're currently undergoing for the condition. Never be afraid to ask questions.

Get Involved in the Community

In addition to talking with your family, join a community support group or forum. This can be an excellent therapeutic way to talk to others about sleep apnea. You may feel more comfortable asking others certain questions than you otherwise might feel asking your doctor or therapist.

When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, I found forums to be a great place to visit. I found the community in these places to be wonderful help as I worked through my emotions in dealing with sleep apnea.

Key Points

  • It's not your fault.
  • Speak to your family.
  • Gain knowledge about the condition.
  • Talk to your doctor or sleep therapist.
  • Get community involvement.

Sleep apnea doesn't have to ruin your life. You can lead a normal life even if you have the condition. Coming to terms with your problem may take time, but sleep apnea is not the end of your world. I live a healthy and happy life, even though I have it, and you can too.

 

 

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Brian Lamacraft

Brian Lamacraft

Diagnosed since 2017

Brian Lamacraft has lived with sleep apnea for over 4 years. He is a full-time writer and guitar player. He spends his spare time writing music, going to the Royal Canadian Legion, and having fun camping trips with close friends. He lives in Powell River, Canada, with his lovely wife. Reach him at his website Lamacraft Writing Services or LinkedIn.

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