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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Further Adventures of Apnea Boy

Posted by on July 6 at 11:05 AM


Last night I was covered in electrodes, sensor bands, and more wires than I could count, then a plasic tube pumping air was strapped to my face and I was wished a good night’s sleep. Is there a better way to relax before bed?

For 8 hours there were cameras observing my movement, sensors monitering my breathing and rapid eye movement, while the 7 or so elecrodes on my cranium were recording my mental activity. All this to better understand my diagnosis of Hypersomnia/Sleep Apnea.

This was my second study (I brought celebrity photographer John Hollingsworth this time). My first diagnosis revealed that I stop breathing 45 times per hour. This visit included a breathing machine called a CPAP, and took place at the Swedish Sleep Medicine Institute's Providence Campus.

The reason this is such a problem, is that on each occasion of airway obstruction, my brain realizes that I'm suffocating, then kicks by body into survival mode, gasing for air. It's enough trauma to keep me from ever actually sleeping, but not enough to wake me up completely. So I don't even know I'm doing it. All I know is I'm tired a lot.

Hot, right?

Who wants to sleep with me?

(Read more about sleep apnea.)

CommentsRSS icon

drop dead sexy

drop dead sexy

The word electrode was coined by the scientist Michael Faraday from the Greek word elektron meaning amber.

They don't come much kinkier than this, folks...

Jesus Christ, Cori! What the hell?

Can we call you Twitchy from now on?

Is that you? You're kind of fucking hot, dude. Except for that shit in your nose.

Oh geez... I've never felt sexier!

Fun Fact: that shit in my nose tels the nurse whether I am breathing through my mouth or nose. POW!

I felt like Elliot in E.T.

I was going to say something about how you could force yourself to breathe through your nose by putting something big in your mouth, completely blocking your airway, but then I realized that would probably blow my reputation for moderate, tasteful and just downright CLASSY commentary, so I decided against it.

Oh, it's going to be a long day. Get well, Twitch, OK?

Someone needs to do a study on why furry guys seem more prone to sleep apnea. On a Lazy Bear-related blog posting I read elsewhere today, someone wrote "I can hear the battery operated apnea machines already."

ps. cute pjs!

All kidding (and your actual, seriously good looks) aside, sleep apnea totally sucks. My dad had to use one of those crazy machines when he slept back in the day. I'm glad you're getting treatment for it and I hope you're sleeping better soon!

And I would still sleep with you, machine or no.

Yeah - I have Apnea and sucks. Surgery only gives you a 25% chance that it will actually cure it (but you can relapse back into your same old sleeping patterns). CPAP is a livable compromise, but try explaining it to people you're sleeping with (I usually don't).

What's even worse about Apnea is that it has impacts on your heart condition later in life. One of my doc's told me that it's theorized that "natural selection response" created Apnea to accelerate heart conditions and weed out the population over 40.

I will say this though - the Sleep Tests at Swedish feel right out of a bad sci-fi movie from the early 80's (namely - this one ...)

Explorer: the condition is more common among heavy dudes. Heavy dudes are well represented by the 'Bear' scene. Thus (if my mental Venn diagram is accurate) Bear-types are more likely to have 'the Ap.'

Schmoo: Thank you kindly. My dad has one too, so it's one more demonstration of my transition into becoming him.

C-Pappy: Dude! I know.. I had the most fucked up dream while I was there.. totally Dreamscape!

I love you Cori. Are you wearing stylish blue striped manjamas?

aw, I'd sleep with you dude, but between the hot sex and the two of us sleep apneaing ever 90 seconds I doubt it would be very restful.

dude !..
i'm scared rilly RILLY scared..
i don't think i'm nearly as cute as you ( although MY man would prolly differ..ANYways ) do you figger these things out ? do i hafta go in for one of those apparati.. my man sleeps with earplugs because of the snoring noises.. should he be monitoring me for this..
DAG !..hope this works for you
lov - or something very much like it

Couple of suggestions from a recent C-Papper?
1] try out the Fleet mask(I call it the nose flute). It still involves headgear, but doesn't go all the way over your nose(read: face)
2] it took at least three months for me to get used to the stupid machine. it helped when I named him. I call him Pappy, the C-PAP machine. No, you cannot use that.
3] it also took me three months to realise I wasn't the only one who had to get used to Pappy. The boyfriend came around about the time I did.

Out of curiosity...did whoever hooked you up to the machines give you the hard-sell on using Swedish for your sleep therapy supplies, even though they said they weren't trying to sell you on it?

Nope, no hard-sell.. they were super cool.

Riz - Have the fella listen for significant pauses in your breathing. Airway blockage probably means you have the Apnea, which means serious risks to your health, not just your relationship. Every time your throat tissues interfere with your breathing, your heart and brain kick into survival mode, and you're basically fighting asphyxiation all night (in my case, about 360 times each night). Write me for more encouragement, there are a few different options...

Chambers - Thanks for the advice. They gave me that 'nose flute' thing, which I fucking hated. Haven't tried the Vader mask yet. I'd love to ask you more questions... got a minute to write me?


..."natural selection response" created Apnea to accelerate heart conditions and weed out the population over 40...

how can natural selection be involved in people with heart conditions over 40? They most likely have already reproduced. That docs a quack.

You could totally be a bear now, or at least a cub, as you have the beard and you have the "bear affliction". It's ok, all the cool guys have CPAPs these days.


A very simple early screening
device for sleep apnea- get
a cheap sound activated tape recorder, put it by your
head board (tape it if necessary), go to sleep, in
the morning review it. If
you have apnea chances are
very good that you will hear
periodic gasping for air-
often very loud. I don't
know why doctors don't
recommend this--too cheap I
guess. Your bedmate, if you
have one, has probably told
you what a noisy sleeper you
are but you need to hear it

Good for you, Cori. God, you are cute! Sleep apnea nearly killed me. When I was diagnosed 10 years ago my heart had doubled in size from apnea induced heart failure. A CPAP and drugs have my heart functioning normally. Don't fuck with apnea, it will kill you if you don't get it treated. I told one of my sleepover bear buds that he had apnea. He got treated and is a lot more fun in bed. Sleeps a lot less and both of us wearing CPAPs is a hoot!

Yeah it blows, its bad enough for a dude, but for a 100 pound 24 year old chick, its even less sexy.

I just had my second sleep study, and they don't get easier, though surgery did cut my sleep disturbances by 60%.

Someone should start a support group for us young people who have to go through the promiscuous part of our lives trying to explain why we stop breathing once every minute at night...

I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. I had been fatigued for some time but recently began having to take naps on my 30 minute commute to work. I'm a physician and was starting to fall asleep while seeing patients. I had even found myself driving in the wrong lane. I was getting up to the bathroom as many as six times a night. I thought since I am getting older, that it might be prostate problems. It became very frightening.

I use the face mask and have quickly become comfortable with it, probably because I feel SO much better. Of course it is inconvenient and uncomfortable, and my partner doesn't find it particularly sexy, but I am horrified when I think of what might have happened without the treatment.

I am sleeping through the night, have no problems with frequent urination, and my associates tell me how much more rested I look. I concentrate better and have more energy. I no longer have to nap during the daytime.

Even without concern for the long term implications for the disorder, the short term consequences can be profound.

I recently was diagnosed with apnea (in seattle too), and the CPAP mask is not that attractive. however, the machines are quiet, and since you don't snore anymore, it's a big improvement. And I've found lots of guys who are perfectly fine with it. If they're not, then I don't want to be with them anyway. I the only straight guy on the planet with apnea?

Still sexy ? Hell yes. I too was diagnosed with sleep apnea after complaining for years about chronic tiredness. The docs had been treating me with antidepressants and had pooh-poohed even doing a sleep test because I wasn't obese and was too young. First sleep test showed over 80 sleep interruptions per hour. Did the CPAP thing for about 2 years before going for the surgical options. Couldn't stand being tied to a machine all night and it freaked out partners. First surgical option called a UPPP didn't help. Second surgery to move my jaw forward did the trick. I now sleep like a baby plus (as an added bonus) it tightened up the skin under my chin to give me sorta a mini-face lift. Hard to believe YOU being any sexier, but I'll try to imagine it. Good luck Cori !

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