The Challenges of Life Before a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Prior to meeting my wife, I had no idea I had sleep apnea. Either people didn’t tell me I was pretending to be a chainsaw in my sleep, or it hadn’t developed yet.

I’m going to assume with my symptoms, I was not told by others I was snoring.

Life before diagnosis

This is a problem because I could have been getting treatment long before I did. I would have had a chance to get better sleep and have a healthier body as a result. Life before a diagnosis had its own set of challenges. These challenges were compounded with not knowing why I was having issues.

The last thing you think about is sleep apnea. When sleeping, you don’t hear yourself snoring. All you know is you wake up tired and have no idea why.

Challenge 1: snoring

One of the biggest challenges I had was not annoying people when I slept. When you have an issue with sleep apnea, and in turn, snoring, you are bound to annoy someone. Snoring isn’t a normal part of sleeping. Most people aren’t used to sleeping next to someone who is snoring. You may get lucky – if you can call it that – and have someone who had a parent who snored and was used to it.

I would say this is also unlucky because they may think it is normal and won’t tell you that you have a sleeping issue. It can be very frustrating when someone tells you your snoring is keeping them up or bothering them. For some reason, people may think you can control it, or their bugging you is going to fix it. That is not the case. I wish it was, but it isn’t.

Challenge 2: finding the source of exhaustion

Another challenge is the world we live in. This isn’t the world it was 40 years ago. There are no more 9 to 5 jobs with weekends off. So many jobs have different hours or companies that work around the clock or are open on weekends. There are also many more expenses than 40 years ago, like internet, cell phones, and cable TV that the average person didn’t have to pay for.

This can cause us to work overtime or a second job. When you have undiagnosed sleep apnea, this plays into the ability for the condition to go unnoticed and undiagnosed for a long time, if not forever. We think we are just working ourselves to the breaking point. Our days off are spent sleeping and not doing much of anything.

We think of this as our day to catch up on sleep. It doesn’t ever seem like enough, but it doesn’t matter because we can write it off as the amount of time we work or our hours.

Recognizing the signs of sleep apnea

These are just a few challenges a person with undiagnosed sleep apnea can endure. There are so many more; it is impossible to write about all of them. These are just a few that have hindered my treatment and delayed me from getting a better night's sleep.

This is why it is important to recognize signs of sleep apnea, and on a bigger picture, any other condition that a loved one may have. Sleep apnea, like other conditions, can only get better when getting treated for it and only cause you problems when it goes untreated.

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