For the med techies there's a summary here:
Basically when I sleep and hit N3 (stages 3 & 4, the deep healing sleep) I choke and am brought up to at least N1, if not awakeness so that my muscles can open the airway. 43 Times and hour. Add to that, the average duration is around 17 seconds, that's pretty much every minute.
I'm married, with 3 wonderful kids. The oldest is 13 and the youngest is coming up to 5 in August.
I exhibit disconcerting parasomnias (actions whilst asleep), to which I believe the main cause is the lack of REM Atonia (inhibited motor function during REM sleep to prevent one from 'acting out' what's being dreamed). Oddly however, the parasomnias are often violent and directed towards my wife with both physcial and verbal abuse that few would stand for. I have also awoken from sleep realising that I've just punched my wife, strangled (but thankfully not enough to cause an physcial *or* mental/emptional damage) my middle daughter (kids like to climb into bed with Mum and Dad in the early hours sometimes) and also headbutted my 5 year old boy.
I find I resist going to bed with every fibre of my being, to the point of insomnia, however being an apnoea sufferer its near impossible to hold it back for long without the body just packing in and sleeping anyway.
I do not know how long I've been suffering from Apnoea, I have college friends that recall my sleeping a lot in the college library (when I was 17, I'm 37 now). I've had headaches daily for as long as I can remember, and always been a loner even though I always had a few reliable close friends.
In 2006 I finally fell apart and went to the GP (General Practioner, Local Doctor) and said that I believed I was suffering from Depression. I knew that I was suffering from Apnoea 7 years prior but coudn't get a GP to bother to follow it up and they just said I needed more sleep!
Fortunately I had private health insurance through my employer and saw both a Psychiartrist and CBT Psychologist. I also went through Fluoxetine, Citalopram and another I think that I've forgotten, and eventually was put onto 300mgs of Venlafaxine (Effexor).
26 sessions later with the CBT Psych I was finally able to produce something that got my GP to refer me to a neurological centre to investigate my parasomnias. I was wired up with enough electronics gear to look like I was about to walk into an embassy and explode (apologies if I offend anyone there). The very next morning I was told immediately that I was suffering from severe OSA and that was likely the cause of the parasomnias. I was awash with hope and excitment - my problems had a name, and that meant they could be treated.
4 months later, still awaiting a CPAP machine to treat my apnoea I finally caved into my depression whilst driving home from work (20 miles commute) and didn't care if I fell asleep. About 5 seconds later I noticed I was on the wrong carriageway - luckily it was empty in the opposite direction. I couldn't wait for the healthcare in the UK and aquired my own CPAP unit, and about a month later the UK health system finally gave me one.
Sadly the CPAP unit does little for me. Instead of giving me refreshing, wonderful sleep, I wake up with painful cramps in my stomache (from the air leaking into my tummy), terrible issues with unpleasant and frequent wind, eyes that frequently water (leakages around the eye area) and on top of the physical issues I have to deal with putting on a mask every night that stops me facing my wife as I sleep unless I place something between her and I to block the expelled air from the mask. I frequently suffer from Sinusitis due to the air drying out my sinuses, if I put the humidifier up too high I wake upo frequently in the night to find water running out of the mask.
As for the parasomnias, my wife tells me that I'll pull the mask off my face, hurl abuse at her and then put it back on again. (I never know anything about the parasomnias or apnoea events unless my wife informs me).
All in all the CPAP fails to revitalise me, and as the years have passed I've less frequently used it. I still use it though, in the hope that one day it'll fix me.
That's my sleep!
I'm on 5mg or Ramipril for Hypertension (they say hereditory, but the Apnoea could just as well be causing it)
80mg of Simvastatin for inherited LDL issues.
2mg x3 per day of Diazepam for my headaches (to be reviewed shortly)
And I have a ton of Codeine based meds from various sources (not prescribed to me) as well as some Tramadol.
And ofc the Venlafaxine, although a prescribed 300mg from the Psych, I'm taking only 150 as the half-life withdrawl symptoms are horrible for me.
My Children love me, my son can't get enough of me, my wife has to fight to sit next to me with my eldest daughter and my middle daughter is just 'understanding'. I can't explain it, you either understand children and how they behave towards their parents, or you don't.
I'm a perfectionst, less than I used to be but still enough to obssess over things. I have some OCDs that I'm aware of, usual stuff.
I have a Black Belt in Tae Kwon-Do, was a software developer for a company that dealt with the UK Ministry of Defence, European Space Agency, Metropolitan Police, Houses of Parliment and various energy and environmental sectors of the UK. I'm 5'11 and my weight fluctuates a lot between 13 and 15 stone.
From early 2007 until 2009 (I think) I tried everything to get back to work and become the valuable employee I once was. Eventually I was threatened with using MSN Messenger at work (it was a pitiful attempt to soften me up for ..) and a second later offered a "Comprimise Agreement". Basically they had given up, and rather than ask politely they were afraid of UK Employment Law stinging them and so drove me to agree to the comprimise (an under the table deal that would remove the threat of action and pay me off to leave the company basically).
There's a story to that but not for this post really.
Still reading? Blimey, you must be bored!
Now I'm at a point where my most recent thoughts have been that if *something* should happen to me, I wouldn't want my children to discover me first. I've given up. I've no way to write the following down in a nice paragraphed way
I had a mild accident with a hedge in the snow with my car, I felt nothing (I wasn't hurt, I just didn't care what had happened)
I have no memory anymore. Either the apnoea or the depression could be the cause, but I fail to remember things, and have trouble recalling the past (besides my recent medical history, I've filled out enough forms and seen enough 'professionals' to last a lifetime).
I feel nothing, except anger and sadness.
I want to hurt people I don't believe are behaving in a way I feel they should. (Being rude, unpleasant, not caring about others etc - not complying to my life-rules).
I don't just want to hurt them, I often have to strain to prevent myself, whether driving or walking around.
I can't look in the mirror, I don't like my reflection.
I can't spend time in silence with myself.
I have no energy to do anything, I just sit in the same chair all the time, mostly staring at my laptop wishing it would do something interesting - there was a time I was always playing games on it - I don't find any pleasure in that anymore.
I don't find pleasure in life, I don't know if I ever did, I don't know what it feels like.
Nothing I do is enjoyable.
My libido is gone (I know the drugs have a lot to blame for that too).
I haven't drunk alcohol since 2006, I stopped smoking in 2005, I don't take drugs (except medicinal ones).
I was a model citizen, nice to people, polite, held doors for people I didn't know, let people out of busy road junctions when driving, picked up litter etc.
Now I just feel betrayed by nature.
My wife is sinking into a depression because of my condition.
My eldest daughter asks me to smile.
I can't concentrate (although I've done well to type this). I can't cope with the forum list for this site, or the interface - and I was an interface developer once. I just can't focus on anything.
I can't run numbers like I used to, often when I'd play a game I'd work the stats out for various things, I can't even add 2 and 2 without losing focus now.
I hear a ringing in my head.
My ears throb to noise.
I hate loud noises, I get angry and shout a lot, or run away and sleep.
I don't cry much, I want to, but I can't most of the time.
I sit in the shower and lose myself in the 'rain'.
I can't listen to people for more than a few minutes before I find myself not listening or understanding what's being said to me.
People don't understand me, makes me angry. I have to repeat myself a lot.
This forum posting mechanism is likely timed out and when I post and it loses everything I'm just not going to bother and switch it off (copies to clipboard right now!)
I hurt. I stopped exercising, I stopped doing anything. I don't see a point in anything any more.
I don't eat much. I eat at rare times when I know if I don't I'm going to fall over. Sometimes I binge, but I rarely eat anything other than bread, cheese or cereal, and my Wife's a lovely cook.
I exist only to serve others. I have to wake to drive people to places, I have to wake to perform tasks, I do not wake and get up because I want to.
And now I'm at the crux of my post. I'm pretty sure I've enough medical produce to do the job I'm consdering daily. Until now I considered blowing my airbags and crashing my car. Jumping from a height and landing head first (I don't want to suffer, I want it to be quick), stepping in front of traffic (although I don't want to ruin anyone else's life), drowning, drinking myself to death, emptying my arteries, wishing my apnoea would do the job and other such thoughts. But now I realise I've had the means right before me, my medications and various strong painkillers.
I'm an athiest and a scientist. I don't believe there's anything after, I don't believe there was anything for me before. I'm a combination of electrical signals and organic matter that's a result of years of stimuli to create responses and reactions. Nothing is unpredictable if all the facts are known, life is a sequence. Death is black, there's nothing after, the lights go out and the brain stops. Life ceases to exist. Surely it's better to just stop the torture that is my life instead of endure it? I'd not know it was over, I wouldn't care - I'd cease to be, but at least I wouldn't be in pain.
I'm not asking for answers, I'm just lost and something inside me tells me that if I don't say something somewhere to someone its not going to matter much longer, just as long as the kids don't discover me before anyone else if I pass.
Thank you, whoever you might be, for listening, I've no-one else who understands what it is to be me.
Edited by lindahurt, 08 August 2011 - 07:06 PM.
Graphic/ Per TOS