Doris remembers her dad had sleep apnea
“Daddy, Travis is being mean to me again…daddy, he took my juice.” Somewhere in the peripheral of my bathroom I could see my son Travis running away with his little sister’s glass of juice. I chuckle to myself—reminded me of the good old days. When life used to be worry and sleep apnea free and I could be awake early in the morning just to annoy my sister. But things have changed, and matters took a more serious turn when I met my wife, Candice. The thought of her makes me smile a little, something I have been doing so little of lately. Heck, we met at 4 a.m. on a Saturday night and she ended up punching me multiple times thinking I was a mugger. The rest is history, including her good morning kisses. Candice died two years after giving me the gift of my little girl Shay. Since I lost her, I spent my time eating, watching TV and sitting in front of my computer at work, without much exercise. I’ve changed; I am no longer the average sized, fit college hockey player I was. The vision of my half shaven face was blurring—I couldn’t afford tears before seeing my kids. I quickly pulled myself together and finished my shaving business. Now, it was time to face the world.
“Alright girls and boy get your pajamas and let’s get a move on. Shay did you finish your homework? Wait, where is Clarissa?” Clarissa is my oldest daughter whom is going through teenage rebellion. I must say, it was a good rebellion. She spent most of her time in her room reading A Tale of Two Cities. Aside from the fact that I missed her because she spent most of her time by herself, I was proud nonetheless.
“She said she’s going to the coffee shop for some poetry reading. She’ll be back by 10,” replied Travis.
“Oh. How about we watch a movie while we wait for her?”
“Yeah,” said the excited kids, forgetting tomorrow was a school day. For the rest of the night I worked on my project proposal, knowing that it was not the work keeping up, but rather the fear of going to sleep. Sleep apnea did that to me. It made me afraid of my own bed. There really wasn’t a point of having a bed when I already had sleep apnea. In bed, I would toss and turn after missing a few breaths. Sometimes, I’d stop breathing altogether. Eventually my body would notice and I’d frantically wake up breathing heavily and sweating like a pig. I’d look to the side of my bed for Candice to tell me to go back to sleep and give me a kiss on the forehead, but she wasn’t there. So I’d lay myself back down and wait for sleep, meanwhile my doctor’s words would come back to me.
“It is a common condition, really. It happens when your airway narrows or closes completely when you are sleeping. As a result, air flow in and out of your lungs becomes restricted. In your case, looking at your weight, if you are able to lose some of it, it will significantly help you reduce your sleep distractions. But if you decide, there is a surgery option for you that I can talk to you more about.”
No, I did not like knives on my body, so, I guess it’s four miles tomorrow morning.
by Dedicated Doris