Living With and Managing Sleep Apnea
JIM: I had this problem throughout my life. Driving was always a problem, and I tried to make sure that no place I ever had to go was very far away because I knew I'd fall asleep. Carol Lynn was complaining about snoring and, more specifically, snoring and then long periods of nothing,
and then a gasp when I would, you know, start breathing again. Obviously, I wanted to enjoy my life with my children more than I felt that I was enjoying it. It's Saturday morning, and the kids are at your bed ready to do something, and I'm just like, quot;I gotta sleep, guys. I'm sorry. I can't play with you. I can't do this.quot; And I look back and I'm like, quot;This just can't be right.quot;
I had been talking to my about possibly having depression symptoms. I remember the other thing that I said to the when I went was that I no longer had any dreams. If you're not getting into REM sleep, you have no dreams. And so she's the one who then said, quot;Okay, we're gonna send you for a sleep study.quot; I spent the night there.
The amount of times that I was technically waking, and as low as my blood oxygen levels were, it was extreme. I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea. Surgery, as it turned out, really wasn't a good option for me. The next step was that my did prescribe a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.
The idea is they have to get the air pressure to your nose or your mouth or both in order to keep your airway open while you sleep. Because it wasn't comfortable for me to use, I was not using it as well as I should have been, in some cases not at all for weeks at a time. And things got worse, other symptoms appeared. I felt confused and out of it and just not right.
And I realized that I really needed to figure out a way to learn to live with this contraption. Now I'm at the point where I am consistently using it and have been for a long period of time. I definitely feel better. I'm looking forward to feeling better yet. Certainly, I have more energy to do activities with the children than I did before, and we do more.
Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep
MUSIC Periodic limbmovements of sleep. Perodic Limb Movementsof Sleep or PLMS is a sleep disordercharacterized by uncontrolled, repeated movements inthe lower limbs during sleep. While these movements usuallyoccur in the big toe and at the ankle,it can also effect the arms. The movements interfere withdeep sleep, though the person
may not be aware of it, andsimply feel tired the next day. Often the only symptom of PLMSis complaints from the sleep partner being kicked. PLMS may cause serioussleep disturbance for both individuals. PLMS is equally dividedbetween men and women. Up to 44% of people overthe age of 65 may have it. It is rarely seen in peopleunder the age of 30.
PLMS is often mistaken insomeone with obstructive sleep apnea, because it can causesimilar leg movements. Additionally, as manyas 80% of people with restless leg syndrome,RLS, also have PLMS. Symptoms of PeriodicLimb Movements of Sleep. If you have PLMS, or sleepwith someone who does, you may describe the movements asflexing or jerking the big toe, bending the ankle or knee,or twitching the hip.
The movements can lastfrom 1 to 5 seconds, occur about every 20 to40 seconds, and cluster into episodes that last froma few minutes to several hours. Individuals with PLMS oftencomplain of daytime sleepiness and an unpleasant crawling, creeping orpainful sensation in the legs. Some have a hard time fallingasleep or staying asleep. This may be related tochronic insomnia or
restless leg syndrome. Occasionally, PLMS is a signof a serious medical problem, such as diabetes,kidney disease or anemia. Diagnosing Periodic LimbMovements of Sleep. To diagnose PLMS,a health care provider will ask many questions about yourfamily and medical history, as well as your sleep habits. You will be asked aboutyour caffeine, tobacco, and
alcohol use. Bring a list of allthe medicines you take. Be sure to includeboth prescription, and over the counter pills andvitamins. All of these may affect PLMS. Various tests, includingan overnight sleep study, may be ordered to helpidentify the limb movements. Treatment for PeriodicLimb Movements of Sleep.