Look, guys, I gotta be honest with ya. I was gonna come in here earlier today and write up an amusing blog about how my sleep test went last night and I was gonna take a real "No Shit, Sherlock!" approach to finding out that I have sleep apnea.
And then Bradley died.
Bradley was a cousin of mine from my Uncle Greg's first marriage. I didn't really know the cat all that well, but, the few times I met him, like any Jenkins boy, he was an amicable, good-natured, and all-around nice guy. I think he gave me a mini-disco ball one year. Anyway, I digress. Brad and I were about the same age, with him maybe being a year or two older than me. While never an overly "Fat Guy." he, like most Jenkins boys, was not a small person. I guess it runs in the family.
Well, when I checked my Facebook this morning, I was hit with the news that Brad had passed away in the night. Sleep apnea was the culprit.
From The Wikipedia entry on sleep apnea: Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea in British English) is a sleep disorder characterized by having one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.
That is some scary shit. Scary, scary shit. Scary to the point that I've taken to sleeping strictly on my side because it's worse if you sleep on your back. And, as if the risk of dying wasn't enough, sleep apnea affects nearly every facet of your well-being from your energy levels to your metabolism.
Long story short, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea after TWO HOURS of my sleep study. TWO HOURS. My oxygen levels had dropped so low that the attendant stepped in and put me on the CPAP machine. Let me put this into perspective. In the three weeks or so I've been making strides to change the way I eat, my girlfriend, Summer, told me I've been sounding a lot better while I sleep. This blows my mind because how much worse had it been?
So I'm gonna get a CPAP machine and I'm gonna use it. I will not let it take me the way it took Brad. I will not let something as fixable as sleep apnea take over my life, let alone take my life.
So, in closing, if you even have an inkling that you may have sleep apnea, I implore you to see a Doctor and take the steps to get it fixed. Your life could depend on it.