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My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

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A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


Sleep apnea

Miranda on the bed


Miranda-the-labradoodle is fine! I have sleep apnea! I’m not thrilled about it, but I’m grateful to know about the problem and to be able to address it.

For some months Gregory was expressing a concern about my breathing at night. After procrastinating for quite a while, I finally did “the next right thing”… a sleep study followed by a daytime nap study. The unequivocal diagnoses: sleep apnea. Drat! I have appointments next week for a mask fitting and for a follow up sleep test to titrate pressure. Double-drat! I’m wondering if my five weeks on and off a ventilator in 2011 was good preparation for sleeping with a mask, or if I’ll be reminded of the super-anxiety I struggled with during that time.

My sleep doc sent me all the details of the studies and then called me for a conversation about the results. He gave me a brief run-down of potential complications if I were to leave the sleep apnea untreated, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, atrial-fibrillation, diabetes, and fatigue; diminished executive function, memory, attention, focus and mood.

He said, on average, that I presented with a moderate disturbance in my breathing of 20 times per hour. Normal is 4 times per hour. However, when I was on my back the disturbance was 45 times an hour. When I was not on my back the disturbance was mild at 8 times per hour.

My O2 saturation was at 82% at times. Not good. I remember watching the monitor for my O2 saturation when I was on the ventilator back in 2011. A drop below 90% meant I was probably turning a little blue with hypoxemia and that there would soon be a medical team around my hospital bed.

I know that compliance with a C-PAP is essential. Gregory’s commitment to using his C-PAP since 2006 is a great inspiration.

So, we’ll be a two C-PAP family. Miranda-the-labradoodle doesn’t seem to have any problem with her sleep at all… thank goodness.

If you think you might have sleep apnea, please go for a sleep study. It could improve the quality of your life. It could save your life.

Love & Light,


11 Comments to Sleep apnea

  1. Theolyn's Gravatar Theolyn
    January 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Valerie, sorry to hear that there is now, something else you have to cope with. Glad you have realized it quickly and are able to do something right away to take care of the problem ( or cope with it, HA!)
    More power to you!


  2. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    January 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad that you are taking care of this problem, and so very glad that there is a solution. Love, mom

  3. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    January 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I am also crazy about Miss Miranda – the Labradoodle! She is a marvelous creature!

  4. Sally's Gravatar Sally
    January 9, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I guess I was too busy sharing my woes with you yesterday to hear about yours! What a shocker…and I’m so glad you learned about it in time to prevent worse things happening. And it’s kind of cute to imagine you both with your machines!

  5. Sissy's Gravatar Sissy
    January 10, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Phooey that you have this but yay that it’s pretty much guaranteed you will have more energy and feel better by taking care of it!

    As you know, I have spent pretty much my whole lifetime with a sleep disorder (alpha-wave intrusion) that was identified long long long ago. Over the years I tried so many different treatments – none of them the least bit effective. A couple of years ago my doctor suggested we try one other medication and it has changed my life. I had no idea what “real” sleep felt like until then. I wake up rested and ready to go. My arms, legs and jaw don’t feel achy. I am happier.

    In two years I have only forgotten my medication twice, and the reminder of what my sleep was like before (I recognize now how really strange my semi-concious state was) makes me cringe.

    My hope for you is that you too will feel even stronger and more energized, be happier, and have less pain! And SOON!


  6. Em's Gravatar Em
    January 14, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Amazing the difference a good night sleep makes … best of luck to you!

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