Erika C., Calvary Christian Academy
William had long harassed his family by means of his undiagnosed sleep disorder. His wife, in fact, had taken to harassing him back. She had woken him at least three times last night to inform that he had stopped breathing. He wasn’t totally convinced, it seemed to him that he wouldn’t be nearly as tired if she would just let him sleep.
With a yawn he trudged down the stairs in search of a mug of coffee. Finding it he attempted to pour a cup, but spilt it over the counter and his hand. Mumbling about his recent increase in clumsiness he went to get a rag to sop up the mess, however, he had to initiate his hunt twice as he forgot what he was walking to the sink for.
He started out for the car, but returned moments later in search of his wallet. He began the trek upstairs, puffing as he went. William stomped down the stairs, now in a bad mood, and groused about losing some weight until he was well out of breath.
He finally made it out of the house, into the car, and to work, all on time. He began his assignments among them, scheduling appointments. He then recalled he had a meeting planned for noon today and rushed into his car. He arrived in the conference room with not a moment to spare only to discover it empty. Pulling out his phone he learned that the appointment he was trying to attend was scheduled for noon tomorrow. A closer look revealed he had made the meeting only a few hours before hopping into his car. He drove back to work fed up with his faulty memory. Once he got back to the office he grabbed his phone and called his doctor.
Next week he attended his appointment, on time and on the right date. He described his memory deficiency, weight gain, tiredness, irritability and even the snoring to the physician. The medic checked him over and then looked up William’s nose. He found William had a deviated septum and scheduled him a polysomnography.
William took his sleep study, the results showed his breathing was interrupted 31 times in an hour. He was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and scheduled for surgery. His surgery went well, despite its being scheduled over Christmas, William did quite well too. After his surgery he began using a CPAP machine and had another polysomnography. This sleep study showed he had nearly no apnea. He felt good for a while, more rested, clearheaded, happier, and even a little bit smart; but after a few months the grogginess returned.
He went to the doctor again, while taking his stats the medic found his oxygen saturation level was a mere 71%, low enough for the technician to call a crash cart. He was referred for yet another sleep study. When the results came back they showed William had had 54 apneas in an hour!
He took home a CPAP machine; but the mask was so disagreeable William began taking it off in his sleep. He talked to the doctor about it and, after several refinements, it was comfortable enough to remain on his dormant face. With the further adjustments of moisturizing crème for his nose and a lot more water for himself the mask was bearable.
After a few months William found himself waking up refreshed. Tucking his wallet into his back pocket he strode down the stairs to grab a mug of coffee. He stooped with a smile to pat his dog on the head and grab his briefcase before heading off to work.