By: Ja’Loni O
On April 24th 2011, my family praised that day. It was the day that due to a decent tax refund, my father announced that he was moving forward with the building of a “man cave” in the basement. My father’s snoring was so loud that my mother changed her work shift to nights and my father started sleeping downstairs because my brother and I could hear him during the night.
My mother often told my father that his snoring is destroying their relationship and that he should go see someone about it. Well, if you know anything about “men” my father just ignored the counsel given to him about going to the doctor. He completed his ‘man cave’ about 8-10 months later and started sleeping down there every night. At that point, I thought all had been resolved but I was wrong. My mother continued to tell my father to see a doctor because his snoring is still a problem even though no one can hear him at night. I did not understand why my mother kept harassing him about it until September 3, 2013 when my father’s favorite actor (Michael Clarke Duncan) unfortunately passed away. Mr. Duncan’s death was tied to sleep apnea which impacted my father so much that he made an appointment with his doctor. Following his appointment with his doctor, my father was referred to the sleep clinic where a sleep study was conducted. It was following the sleep study that my father was told he had sleep apnea. My mother when with my father and then told my brother and I what the impact of having sleep apnea meant. During my father’s sleep study, he stopped breathing over 45 times during the first four hours of sleep.
I did not know that my father’s snoring could literally cause his heart undue stress creating a situation that could lead to death. I became so overwhelmed by the information I learned about sleep apnea that I began to check on my father at night to make sure he was all right. My father was prescribed CPAP Therapy and started using his CPAP machine as soon as it arrived. I was so relieved that he was using the CPAP machine that I stopped checking on him during the night and just checked to make sure he had it on at night. My mother stopped harassing him, and my house became very docile.
It all started with my family being annoyed, then happy with out of sight out of mind (my father moving to the basement), then being scared, then cautious, and now relieved and ecstatic that my father’s health has drastically improved and what was considered an annoying trait of character was the impetus to getting my father diagnosed with sleep apnea that in my opinion saved his life.
As I share my story with others, I always let them know that my story was a win/win for everyone. As a senior in high school, I just inherited a wonderful basement apartment with all the amenities now that my father is sleeping back upstairs with my mother.