By Dara W.
Often times when one member of a family has a sleeping disorder, all members of that family have a sleeping disorder. This was the case in my family. My father suffered from horrible sleep apnea, pauses in his breathing while he slept, and the loudest snoring you can possibly imagine. He let off such tremendous snores during the night that he would wake up my mom. My mom is a light sleeper and often once she gets up she cannot go back to sleep.
After being woken by my dad, my mom would then wander the house until she felt tired enough to go back to sleep. My sister suffers from ADHD, an attention deficit disorder. This causes her to be and even lighter sleeper than my mother. While my mom is wandering the house trying to sleep she will wake up my sister. My sister is not the calmest person in the world. If you wake my sister up, you will know immediately. This would lead to my mom and sister fighting on the other end of the house.
My family is ridden with disorder and I also suffer a disability. I suffer from chronic anxiety and depression, which cause panic attacks that put me in the hospital. Needless to say waking up to people fighting in the house does not help someone suffering from anxiety and panic. I would wake up in a frenzy, usually hyperventilating. I would then make my way out to the hallway where I would start crying. My mom and sister would stop arguing and come to comfort me. Then there would be another hour of lost sleep spent trying to calm me back down. I always felt guilty, I didn’t like keeping my mom and sister up even longer. Many times the three of us would sit together in the living room with my mom on one side and my sister on the other. The night would finally come to an end after I was able to stop crying. The irony came when we were all walking back to our rooms and we could hear dad’s snoring starting up again at the end of the hallway.
We would all complain to my dad about his snoring, but he had no idea it was even going on. He couldn’t be convinced of the severity of his snoring and sleep apnea. My mom was finally fed up with my dad’s horrible sleeping noises. She set up a tape recorder in the bedroom and recorded his snoring for the night. The next day she played the tape for my dad and he was terrified. He had read online about how snoring and sleep apnea can lead to people suffocating in their sleep. He didn’t think his was that big of a problem, but after listening to the tape he was convinced that something needed to be done.
My dad ordered himself a CPAP machine. After a week it was delivered in the mail. My whole family was praying that this device would somehow magically cure my dad’s snoring, and it did. My dad slipped the mask over his face and the whole house was able to enjoy a night of peaceful sleep.