Healing is wonderful, in particular when the disease is trying to kill you. Some of you that read this blog regularly know that one my illness was defined by my doctors as obstructive sleep apnea, OSA. I had a very severe form of sleep apnea in which the prognosis without treatment would have meant that I would die in less than two years.
Severe sleep apnea is a really nasty disease. You live constantly in a state of confusion from lack of sleep and worse from oxygen deprivation. You may be doing almost anything and desire to sleep which sometimes is unavoidable. The apnea drives up your blood pressure, puts a severe burden on your heart that is racing trying to get oxygen to your body, and causes gastrointestinal reflux which in a deprived state of sleep trauma can cause you to aspirate. Heart attack, stroke, brain death, drowning in your sputum, are all waiting there just to take you out. If those do not get you then you may just fall asleep while driving a car and you are then putting other people at risk. I do not mean to scare you, but if you have sleep apnea then you should act quickly. Of course most people’s apnea is not nearly as bad as what I described above.
The symptoms of apnea are daytime sleepiness, headaches, high blood pressure, waking with a racing heart, nasty taste in your mouth at night from gastrointestinal reflux, loud snoring, and confusion. The way you determine if you have apnea is whether you are breathing when you sleep. Holding your breath for about ten seconds is not unusual in a healthy person and you may do this up to five times per hour. However, anything more than this is sleep apnea. Severe is when you hold your breath for more than ten seconds more than thirty times per hour. There are two types of apnea as defined by the medical community, OSA that is caused by your throat tissues collapsing and closing your airway and central sleep apnea, CSA, that is caused by a problem with you central nervous system.
My wife bothered by my loud snoring monitored my breathing one night and told me that I was not. I laughed at her because the issues with the pain in my back was so devastating that a few snoring episodes was no big deal. I went to the doctor anyway because of other issues and after the note of the symptoms that my wife observed; it was off for a polysomnography otherwise known as a sleep study. I was wired up from head to toe and told to sleep. After what was only an hour, I was awaken from a disturbed sleep and was told that I needed an air flow device to keep me breathing and that it was going to be titrated during the rest of the night. So how severe was the apnea? It was like they did not want to tell me. It took me two years of pestering my doctor before he finally gave up the results. The tech at the sleep test told me that I was breathing for thirty seconds and then not for thirty seconds for the entire hour that she tested or an AHI (measure of sleep events per hour longer than ten seconds) of 60. What this means is that my blood oxygen saturation was dropping. The info that my doctor finally told me was that I had dropped into the sixty percent range of oxygen saturation before the tech stopped the test. What I now understand is that hypoxia and brain death starts to occur at below seventy percent. Typically during your awake time you have a saturation of above ninety eight percent. When you sleep the oxygen saturation will typically drop into the low nineties. My level was obviously a ticket for death.
Now this really nasty disease has completely gone. There is no more treatment necessary. The treatment was a continuous positive air pressure, CPAP, device that forced air into my lungs. The National Institute of Health says there is no cure for this disease. They are wrong. I really believe there is no such thing as obstructive sleep apnea. It is all related to failure of the nervous system. The good nutrition that I practice brought this disease to an end. We will explore this more in other post, while you wait, go into the sun or get your vitamin D otherwise – Pandemic Survivor