“Sebastian, WAKE UP!!”

CaMaye W., Edgewood High School

“Sebastian, WAKE UP!!” I awoke with a start in my hospital bed. The nurse looked frantic, as my Uncle shouted at me.

“ Jeez boy, you’ve been sleeping for days! I thought you would never wake up! Did I not teach you how to drive?! You were speeding on ice…and…” His voice dropped much lower now, “…and you crashed into that big oak on Holmes Street…” He looked relieved that I was now awake, but somber as though there was something else on his mind.

“Wait…No…Stop! Where is she?” I tried to sit up but was unable to, there was a strap around my stomach that held me to the bed, and then I looked down at my aching arms. There were large white bandages wrapped perfectly around my left arm, and leg…well what seemed to be left of a left leg at least…Why? I wanted her now, so confused, she always helped me think better.

She, was my youngest cousin, daughter of my Uncle Bertram, who raised me. Maila lived with my wife and I as my Uncle has become a 40 year old man with a serious substance abuse problem. She was like a daughter to us, very young and very playful. Oh how she loved to play pretend…

“KKKSSSHHH…Seba I am your father!”

“Hey! Err, May, geroff..” I mumbled. My CPAP muffling my voice and making me sound quite a bit like Darth Vader. She pulled “The Mask” as she referred to it, off of my face, kissed my cheek, giggled then booked it out of the room. Crap I thought, the alarm clock on the chestnut table to the right of my bed blinked 12:00 in a brilliant red. I flopped out of bed, tangled in the “Tentacle” again, as she referred to it. In reality it was a long clear tube that resembled the extension to a vacuum cleaner. I raced to the bathroom, called to Maila to get dressed and began to hastily wash my face. The deep “Old man crinkles” beginning at the bridge of my nose and circling down to just above my chin were left by the suction of The Mask. The only con of my new machine is that I often over sleep these days, now that I can sleep. I suffer from severe Sleep Apnea, and I finally have a CPAP machine that forces air into my nostrils and lungs allowing me to breathe as I sleep. It’s an issue that many overweight men struggle with.

“Seba, what does The Mask do again?” She asked once we were packed, and strapped in the car enroute to day care and the office.

“It forces magical air into my nose so that I breathe while I sleep hun. Remember? Silly Sleepy Seba forgets to breathe while he sleeps.” How else does one explain the purpose of a funny looking machine that goes on your face to a four year old?

“Gotcha! Did you dream good things?” She asks, and looks into the rearview mirror large brown eyes, and a mess of short bouncy curls tumble into her face. She brushes them away with a tiny pink mittened hand.

“Of course I did Dream Girl! There were gumdrops, candy canes, the whole shebang.” She giggled and went back to gazing out the window at the icy sidewalks, and snow blanketed ground. My mind drifted to to work, and I realized that I was speeding, the wheels began to slip and…

“She?” Uncle Bertram said with a touch of shock in his voice. “You must have been dreaming kid. There is no girl here.”

There was no way that was a dream. She was real. She needed to be okay!

“Silly Sleepy Seba…WAKE UP!!” Maila whispered loudly into my ear.

“Sebastian, honey, wake up.” My wife called from the kitchen two floors below.

I woke up. I was dreaming! With the machine I sleep so deeply, and my dreams are so vivid and feel so very real! There was no accident, and my darling Dream Girl was sitting right in front of me, making faces to match my distorted expression of excitement, confusion, and relief.


Posted in Scholarship 2015 | Comments Off on “Sebastian, WAKE UP!!”

5:30 Alarm

By: Brooklyn J

My alarm buzzes me awake; it’s 5:30 and it’s time to get to school. I rub my eyes and drag myself out of bed. It’s too early. I stumble pass my parents room on my way to the kitchen. I can hear my dad snoring louder than ever. “How do I not hear that when I’m sleeping?” I ask myself.

I reach the kitchen and start pouring cold cereal into a bowl. The couch in the family room creaks pulling me from my daze. I’m not sure what made that noise. I walk to the couch to find my Mom sleeping on the couch, again. She’s been sleeping on the couch since last week. Why was she sleeping out here? Were Mom and Dad fighting? My brain flashed back to last night when I overheard Mom yelling at Dad, “I refuse to sleep in the same room as you until you get this figured out!”

The following days consisted of my Dad going to a lot of late night “doctor appointments,” or that’s what he said. He seemed fine to me, just a little more irritated than usual and very tired, probably because he and Mom were at odds. My Mom continued to sleep on the couch. I started to worry. My parents couldn’t be getting a divorce, could they? The worries engulfed my everyday routine as mom continued to sleep in the living room, and as Dad never seemed to engage in any family conversations.

During our quiet Sunday dinner, I couldn’t take it anymore and asked, “Are you guys fighting? Are you going to get a divorce?” My Mom gave me a shocked look. Dad looked up from his plate. After a long, very awkward silence my Mom finally speaks up. “No, why would you even think that?” I explain to her everything I’ve noticed in the past few weeks. When I’m done talking the two are silent, again, for a long time. Dad finally breaks the ice by laughing, hysterically. I am mad now and very confused. My parents are getting a divorce and they’re laughing about it? “Honey,” my Dad starts when he’s calmed down, “we’re not fighting. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea after taking multiple sleeping tests.” It took a second to let the information settle in my brain. Oh boy, let me tell you how dumb I felt! But I still didn’t know what sleep apnea was. I started asking my parents questions. What was a Sunday dinner turned into a sleep apnea fact finding and Q&A session.

Sleep apnea mostly affects older, overweight men. I love my dad with all my heart, but he matched this description to one degree or another. He’d probably debate a few descriptions, but he still matches the profile. My Dad died a little inside every time he went to bed. Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing while you are sleeping. When Dad went to sleep, the muscles in the back of his throat relaxed, which holds up the soft palate and some throat tissue, which creates what I like to call the “air tunnel.” When all that tissue relaxes they close up the air tunnel, so now dad can’t breathe. Luckily, his body realized he wasn’t breathing so it woke him up with a gag or a snort. The crazy thing about sleep apnea is you don’t stop breathing once in a night and then continue on in your slumber; it can occur 100 times in a single night. That lack of oxygen can lead to a stroke!

When my Dad was done explaining to me about his condition, he walked out to his car and brought back some weird, boxy machine, which he called a CPAP machine. He told us this would help stop the snoring and allow him to breathe normally throughout the night. I looked over at my Mom and she seemed more relieved than Dad did. He now wears a mask over his nose every night that creates pressure so the muscle won’t relax while dad sleeps. And now he sleeps like a baby and breathes easier.

After Mom and Dad went to sleep that night–in the same bed–I took out my laptop and looked up sleep apnea to learn a little more about it. I checked out the symptoms of sleep apnea: loud snoring, attention problems, irritability, and more. After scrolling through the list a few times, it dawned on me that the website had missed a symptom: Divorce.

Posted in Scholarship 2015 | Comments Off on 5:30 Alarm


By: Bridget H

“OMG. I have such bad insomnia, I could not fall asleep until 3 am last night” Emily confessed to Claire besides the row of lockers. All Claire could think of was how one night of missed rest does not mean someone has insomnia, she has heard this phrase many times before. This has gone on for a week under all the stress of finals; however a week is not even close to the required month there is to diagnose insomnia, how could she possibly know better than the doctors Claire thought. Emily had no idea about

A few months prior, Claire’s psychiatrist diagnosed her with Insomnia and prescribed Trazadone, a medication commonly used for Insomnia, to calm the night terrors. Claire’s self conscious demeanor prevented her from telling Emily that Emily had no clue what insomnia actually was. Everyday, Claire hears the ignorant comments of her peers each day about how they are experiencing extreme fatigue; however, none of them can truly understand the full extent of insomnia. Emily is exhausted all day only to find herself wired at night. She wakes up three or four times each night for no apparent reason. She finds herself lying up three hours early and not falling back asleep even though she feels so tired tears escape from her eyes. Claire has suffered from this ever since she was a child, but only just received help, due to the fact that it seemed that almost every kid in her school said they had insomnia but functioned just fine.

Last week, Claire had an advanced placement Chemistry test and an advanced placement Calculus BC test during the same day. She knew everything and did not have a worry in the world. The night before those tests her mind would not let her rest. She tried everything. Reading, Sleepytime tea and counting sheep, but the sheep never ended they just kept coming. There were no racing thoughts about how infinity multiplied by infinity doesn’t always equal infinity or how .9999 repeating equals 1 just one sheep after another jumping over that stupid fence under the moon until tears were running down her face because she just wanted an hour of sleep. Emily will never understand that point in the night where Claire breaks down crying of exhaustion because she does not actually have the Insomnia. Only 10% of adults have chronic insomnia and tired teenagers who stare at the fluorescents of their computer screens generally do not. People who have not been properly diagnosed with Insomnia should not talk about “how bad their Insomnia is.”

Transforming a disease like Insomnia into an adjective can have detrimental effects on the people suffering from them. These descriptors are inconsiderate to those with them because they downplay the symptoms. Trivializing insomnia creates stereotypes about it. For example, when teenagers at a school start making light of the term insomnia teachers are less likely to take students seriously when they express the struggle they are facing due to this trivialized illness.

Posted in Scholarship 2015 | Comments Off on OMG

Sleep Disorder

By: I’Yana R

A sleep disorder, or somnipathy, is a medical disorder of the sleep patterns of a person or animal. Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental, social and emotional functioning. Polysomnography and actigraphy are tests commonly ordered for some sleep disorders.
Disruptions in sleep can be caused by a variety of issues, from teeth grinding  to night terrors. When a person suffers from difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep with no obvious cause, it is referred to as insomnia.
Sleep disorders are broadly classified into dyssomnias, parasomnias, circadian rhythm sleep disorders involving the timing of sleep, and other disorders including ones caused by medical or psychological conditions and sleeping sickness. Some common sleep disorders include sleep apnea, narcolepsy and hypersomnia, cataplexy, and sleeping sickness . Other disorders include sleepwalking, night terrors and bed wetting. Management of sleep disturbances that are secondary to mental, medical, or substance abuse disorders should focus on the underlying conditions.
The most common sleep disorders include:
Bruxism, involuntarily grinding or clenching of the teeth while sleeping
Catathrenia, nocturnal groaning during prolonged exhalation
Delayed sleep phase disorder, inability to awaken and fall asleep at socially acceptable times but no problem with sleep maintenance, a disorder of circadian rhythms. Other such disorders are advanced sleep phase disorder, non-24-hour sleep–wake disorder  in the sighted or in the blind, and irregular sleep wake rhythm, all much less common than DSPD, as well as the situational shift work sleep disorder
Hypopnea syndrome, abnormally shallow breathing or slow respiratory rate while sleeping
Idiopathic hypersomnia, a primary, neurologic cause of long-sleeping, sharing many similarities with narcolepsy
Insomnia disorder, chronic difficulty in falling asleep and/or maintaining sleep when no other cause is found for these symptoms. Insomnia can also be comorbid with or secondary to other disorders.
Kleine–Levin syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by persistent episodic hypersomnia and cognitive or mood changes
Narcolepsy, including excessive daytime sleepiness, often culminating in falling asleep spontaneously but unwillingly at inappropriate times. Also often associated with cataplexy, a sudden weakness in the motor muscles that can result in collapse to the floor.
Night terror, Pavor nocturnus, sleep terror disorder, an abrupt awakening from sleep with behavior consistent with terror
Nocturia, a frequent need to get up and urinate at night. It differs from enuresis, or bed-wetting, in which the person does not arouse from sleep, but the bladder nevertheless empties.
Parasomnias, disruptive sleep-related events involving inappropriate actions during sleep, for example sleep walking, night-terrors and catathrenia
Periodic limb movement disorder, sudden involuntary movement of arms and/or legs during sleep, for example kicking the legs. Also known as nocturnal myoclonus. See also Hypnic jerk, which is not a disorder.
Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, acting out violent or dramatic dreams while in REM sleep, sometimes injuring bed partner or self
Restless legs syndrome, an irresistible urge to move legs. RLS sufferers often also have PLMD.
Shift work sleep disorder, a situational circadian rhythm sleep disorder. .)
Sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, obstruction of the airway during sleep, causing lack of sufficient deep sleep, often accompanied by snoring. Other forms of sleep apnea are less common. When air is blocked from entering into the lungs, the individual unconsciously gasps for air and sleep is disturbed. Stops of breathing of at least ten seconds, 30 times within seven hours of sleep, classifies as apnea. Other forms of sleep apnea include central sleep apnea and sleep-related hypoventilation.
Sleep paralysis, characterized by temporary paralysis of the body shortly before or after sleep. Sleep paralysis may be accompanied by visual, auditory or tactile hallucinations. Not a disorder unless severe. Often seen as part of narcolepsy.
Sleepwalking or somnambulism, engaging in activities normally associated with wakefulness, which may include walking, without the conscious knowledge of the subject
Somniphobia, one cause of sleep deprivation, a dread/ fear of falling asleep or going to bed. Signs of the illness include anxiety and panic attacks before and during attempts to sleep.
Dyssomnias – A broad category of sleep disorders characterized by either hypersomnia or insomnia. The three major subcategories include intrinsic, extrinsic, and disturbances of circadian rhythm.
Insomnia: Insomnia may be primary or it may be comorbid with or secondary to another disorder such as a mood disorder  or underlying health condition .
Primary hypersomnia. Hypersomnia of central or brain origin.
Narcolepsy: A chronic neurological disorder, which is caused by the brain’s inability to control sleep and wakefulness.
Idiopathic hypersomnia: a chronic neurological disease similar to narcolepsy in which there is an increased amount of fatigue and sleep during the day. Patients who suffer from idiopathic hypersomnia cannot obtain a healthy amount of sleep for a regular day of activities. This hinders the patients’ ability to perform well, and patients have to deal with this for the rest of their lives.
Recurrent hypersomnia – including Kleine–Levin syndrome
Posttraumatic hypersomnia
Menstrual-related hypersomnia
Sleep disordered breathing, including :
Several types of Sleep apnea
Upper airway resistance syndrome
Restless leg syndrome
Periodic limb movement disorder
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
Delayed sleep phase disorder
Advanced sleep phase disorder
Non-24-hour sleep–wake disorder
Parasomnias – A category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal and unnatural movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams in connection with sleep.
Bedwetting or sleep enuresis
Catathrenia – nocturnal groaning
Exploding head syndrome – Waking up in the night hearing loud noises.
Sleep terror – Characterized by a sudden arousal from deep sleep with a scream or cry, accompanied by some behavioral manifestations of intense fear.
Sleep talking
Sleep sex
Medical or psychiatric conditions that may produce sleep disorders
Mood disorders
Sleeping sickness – a parasitic disease which can be transmitted by the Tsetse fly.
Treatments for sleep disorders generally can be grouped into four categories:
Behavioral and psychotherapeutic treatment
Rehabilitation and management
Other somatic treatment
None of these general approaches is sufficient for all patients with sleep disorders. Rather, the choice of a specific treatment depends on the patient’s diagnosis, medical and psychiatric history, and preferences, as well as the expertise of the treating clinician. Often, behavioral/psychotherapeutic and pharmacological approaches are not incompatible and can effectively be combined to maximize therapeutic benefits. Management of sleep disturbances that are secondary to mental, medical, or substance abuse disorders should focus on the underlying conditions.
Medications and somatic treatments may provide the most rapid symptomatic relief from some sleep disturbances. Certain disorders like narcolepsy, are best treated with prescription drugs such as Modafinil.
Special equipment may be required for treatment of several disorders such as obstructive apnea, the circadian rhythm disorders and bruxism. In these cases, when severe, an acceptance of living with the disorder, however well managed, is often necessary.
Some sleep disorders have been found to compromise glucose metabolism.
Hypnosis treatment
Research suggests that hypnosis may be helpful in alleviating some types and manifestations of sleep disorders in some patients. “Acute and chronic insomnia often respond to relaxation and hypnotherapy approaches, along with sleep hygiene instructions.” Hypnotherapy has also helped with nightmares and sleep terrors. There are several reports of successful use of hypnotherapy for parasomnias specifically for head and body rocking, bedwetting and sleepwalking.
Hypnotherapy has been studied in the treatment of sleep disorders in both adults
Sleep medicine
Due to rapidly increasing knowledge about sleep in the 20th century, including the discovery of REM sleep and sleep apnea, the medical importance of sleep was recognized. The medical community began paying more attention than previously to primary sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, as well as the role and quality of sleep in other conditions. By the 1970s in the USA, clinics and laboratories devoted to the study of sleep and sleep disorders had been founded, and a need for standards arose.
Specialists in Sleep Medicine were originally certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, which still recognizes specialists. Those passing the Sleep Medicine Specialty Exam received the designation “diplomate of the ABSM.” Sleep Medicine is now a recognized subspecialty within internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, otolaryngology, psychiatry and neurology in the United States. Certification in Sleep Medicine shows that the specialist:”has demonstrated expertise in the diagnosis and management of clinical conditions that occur during sleep, that disturb sleep, or that are affected by disturbances in the wake-sleep cycle. This specialist is skilled in the analysis and interpretation of comprehensive polysomnography, and well-versed in emerging research and management of a sleep laboratory.”
Competence in sleep medicine requires an understanding of a myriad of very diverse disorders, many of which present with similar symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness, which, in the absence of volitional sleep deprivation, “is almost inevitably caused by an identifiable and treatable sleep disorder”, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, Kleine–Levin syndrome, menstrual-related hypersomnia, idiopathic recurrent stupor, or circadian rhythm disturbances. Another common complaint is insomnia, a set of symptoms which can have a great many different causes, physical and mental. Management in the varying situations differs greatly and cannot be undertaken without a correct diagnosis.
Sleep dentistry, while not recognized as one of the nine dental specialties, qualifies for board-certification by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine . The resulting Diplomate status is recognized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and these dentists are organized in the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine . The qualified dentists collaborate with sleep physicians at accredited sleep centers and can provide oral appliance therapy and upper airway surgery to treat or manage sleep-related breathing disorders.
In the UK, knowledge of sleep medicine and possibilities for diagnosis and treatment seem to lag. Guardian.co.uk quotes the director of the Imperial College Healthcare Sleep Centre: “One problem is that there has been relatively little training in sleep medicine in this country – certainly there is no structured training for sleep physicians.” The Imperial College Healthcare site shows attention to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome  and very few other sleep disorders.
Posted in Scholarship 2015 | Comments Off on Sleep Disorder

Midnight Saturday

By: Ilana G

The stage was set. Midnight, Saturday evening, two hours post-bedtime. My team of throat muscle cells and I were ready. Once I gave the go-ahead, it was show time. Together, my fellow throat soldiers and I began to swell, slowly and steadily. I could feel our collective strength, our power, as we slowly narrowed the passing space for those evil oxygen molecules. Swelling and expanding, our blood-colored uniforms glistened in the dark cavity. In a ferocious rush of energy and excitement we were almost there! Mere millimeters separated our next victory from a painful loss…this airway passage was ours!


“Wha-what’s happening General?”, one of my men asked me, terror ringing from his flimsy cell walls. I was in awe. What could possibly defeat us? I thought we were invincible!


Another blast of air shook the battle ground. We were loosing soldiers by the second—their once powerfully inflamed bodies now retreated. Trembling from this unknown offense, my men scrambled back to the safety of the throat walls. Unsure and slightly nervous of what this could be, I called over my runner boy, a blood cell, shed from our powerful inflammation.

“Go see what has done this, boy,” I said. “We must find out how this happened.”

Five minutes had passed, the startling “whoosh” continued as if machine-made. Finally, my runner boy returned. The bleak look of despair illuminated his rosy face.

“Well, what did you see?”, I questioned him, anxious for a response.

Trembling, he began the stutter. Terror shook his body as he struggled to find the words. I knew what he was about to reveal, and gulped.

“It was the CRAP”

I gasped at this dark revolution. CRAP machines were what killed my father, evicted my mother from her comfy home in a man’s throat, and were what killed my brother in the battle of ’04.

“I saw the mask– a, a tube of some sort,” he reported, stammering.

I shook my head. No, this was not possible. We had won battle after battle, night after night in this throat. My men had built such a strong, fearless army in a matter of months.

“Thank you for this intelligence,” I responded, gears turning rapidly in my mind. Turning around slowly to face my crumpled army, I attempted to plastered a look of strength on my face. Yet on the inside, I knew there was no escape.

“Men, I am here to tell you—“


Posted in Scholarship 2015 | Comments Off on Midnight Saturday

Home at Midnight

By: Ivana S

I got home around midnight. It had been a rough day, working all day and still with a lot of things in mind. I washed my face, put my PJs on and went directly to bed. I lay in bed, thinking about everything to do tomorrow: I need to call Damon. My boss wants me to finish the prototype for tomorrow. I need to contact the company who’s providing the materials. My mom’s birthday is in two days, what am I getting for her!? I need to buy a new dress for my sister’s wedding next month, I should lose some weight, though. Where’s the computer I ordered 3 months ago? I should call tomorrow. Come on, Eliza, you need to sleep. Oh no! I forgot to buy dog’s food. Tomorrow morning. Did I leave the kitchen light on? I don’t think so. The prototype is almost done, just a few more details. We’re having a meeting on Thursday! I need to have my presentation ready, I’ll ask Michael for the 3D printer, it will be a cool detail. Okay, I think that’s all. I hope so. I really need to get some sleep! How long was it since I slept my 8 hours? Like a month? Maybe a little more. I think it was after Elaine’s birthday. It’s been a while. 3 hours are definitely not enough. Okay, brain, quiet! I need to sleep…


Something woke me up. Suddenly my eyes are open. Everything looks pretty normal: dark and quiet. The clock right in front of the bed shows 4:32 a.m. I need to go prepare my coffee and take a shower now.

I tried to get out of bed, but I just could not move. There was something that did not felt right. There is someone in the room.

I could feel someone laying right next to me. I tried to turn my head and see who it is, but I can not move. I have always been a quiet person, so whenever I had a problem I solved it in the most peaceful and smart way possible. I try to open my mouth, ask the person who was he or she and why was it there, but my mouth could not open. And I am guessing there would not be a sound even if it did. I am starting to feel afraid.

I have to call the police. Where is my phone? Oh yeah! Night table. I can not move my arms. My body is not responding to my commands. I am paralyzed.

There is a shadow standing right in front of me now. I can see it clearly, it looks like a man. And it is just there, looking straight at me.

All of a sudden it starts to get close to me. It does not even have a face, is just all black, and is slowly approaching me.

I want to yell, I need to move and tell him to go away, but I just can’t!!

I try desperately to move, kick, yell, ANYTHING. WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME!? I just feel heavy and tired, but I will keep fighting: I NEED TO MOVE!

I was there fighting against my body, trying to move, for what felt like hours. The thing was approaching me faster now, I can feel the tears running through my cheeks. Falling to the bed, and I’m here. Vulnerable. Unable to move or call for help.

I was about to give up, too tired to continue with the fight, when all of a sudden my arms moved in a very abrupt way, even painful. BUT I COULD MOVE!! The shadow was gone, my body hurt, I felt exhausted. But I was happy. I turned to look at the clock, 4:35 a.m.

Posted in Scholarship 2015 | Comments Off on Home at Midnight

A Cure

By: J’Zhane D


Justin had sleep apnea. When he and his wife, Ashley, would go to bed for the night, neither one of them would be looking forward to it.

Every night, Justin would constantly stop breathing for a short period of time followed by a choking sound. Ashley would always wake up from the disruptive choking sounds. This was their nightly routine.

One morning, Ashley went to her husband and told him that he needed to do something about his sleep apnea or he would be sleeping on the couch.

So that morning, Justin set out to find a solution for it. Now, Justin had a fear of going to any type of doctor, so he had to find a different way to deal with his problem.

Justin went online and looked for easy ways to get rid of sleep apnea without needing a doctors help, but all of the things that he found did not appeal to him.

Then, Justin saw an ad for a sleep apnea cure, with no doctor needed! Justin felt as if he hit the jackpot. He clicked on the ad, filled out the information for it, and waited for his package to be delivered to him. Justin had the package shipped for the next day.

That night, Justin told Ashley that he had found a cure for his sleep apnea and the cure would be there tomorrow. Ashley was glad to hear that but she still was not looking forward to going to sleep tonight, but because it would be the last night, she let her husband sleep in the bed.

The next day, Justin received his package. He was very excited.

Justin opened the package and inside lay a book. Justin thought that it looked a little strange but he knew that this was the only thing that would work, so he ignored the appearance of the book. Justin opened the book and read the instructions:

Before you continue, be sure that this is what you want to do. The cure to your sleep apnea is the only cure, but it comes with a price. Once you flip to the next page in the book, your cure will start and you cannot reverse the cure.

Justin knew that this was what he really wanted so he flipped the page of the book.

The next page read:

Good choice Justin. Your sleep apnea will be cured shortly.

Justin thought that it was strange that his name was in the book but he did not really care. His sleep apnea would be cured and that was all that Justin, and his wife, wanted.

Soon, things began to get weird.

Justin was not asleep but his breathing would stop as if he was asleep. Justin did not understand what was going on. Each time it seemed like his loss of breath would be longer and longer. Justin began to worry.

Justin called his wife but each time he would try to explain what was going on he would start choking and his breathing would stop. Ashley got annoyed because she thought Justin was trying to scare her so she just hung up the phone.

Justin did not try to call Ashley back. He could not and he was struggling for air.

Justin began to panic and he did not know what to do. Justin knew that he was about to die and there was nothing that he could do about it.

Justin could only think about his wife. He grabbed the phone and tried to text her. Justin managed to text a few words and then, everything went black.

When Ashley got home she unlocked the door and went into the house. She called out for Justin but he did not answer her. So she went to look for him. When Ashley went into her bedroom she saw Justin laying on the bed. She noticed that he was no longer choking in his sleep from his sleep apnea. Ashley was very relieved and she went to bed.

The next morning Ashley felt very relaxed and rolled over to wake her husband up to get ready for work.

Justin would not get up. Ashley began to worry and then she realized that her husband was dead. She began to panic but then she thought, last night was the best sleep that she had ever gotten. So Ashley called her husband’s job and said that Justin would not be coming in today. Then Ashley went back to sleep.

Posted in Scholarship 2015 | Comments Off on A Cure

Praised that day

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Praised that day