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Joe's Story

"Now that my sleepless nights are over, I can keep up with our grandson all day."

Everything changes when you become a grandparent. Our first grandson, Michael, was born two years ago and is such a great delight for us. Running around, going up and down the slides, and playing in the playroom we have set up for him — this is how I fill my days. And I love it. Of course, due to my sleep apnea, none of this would have been possible a few years before.

My father had sleep apnea before anyone knew there was such a thing. He was a heavy smoker, smoking two packs a day, so I figured his condition would never happen to me since I never smoked. But then my wife told me I was having the same episodes as my father — loud snoring and waking up choking. And like me, by mid-afternoon she would be tired and drowsy due to lack of sleep. It wasn’t fair to her. I had to do something.

After a sleep study confirmed I did indeed have sleep apnea, I was prescribed a CPAP machine. The mask was uncomfortable and the constant noise from the machine kept both of us up, just like my snoring had done. Not to mention that taking the machine apart, cleaning the hoses and filters, etc., was time-consuming and frustrating.

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Luckily, my doctor told me the Oral Appliance could replace CPAP. And that it would be fully covered by Medicare! I admit I was skeptical but was desperate for a good night's sleep, so I made an appointment. The first night I tried it was Valentine's Day and the next morning my wife told me that she couldn't believe how quiet I was the whole night! All the nudging and restless and sleepless nights were over! It was truly a great Valentine's gift for both of us.

I feel well-rested and have more energy. I’m originally from Connecticut, so I love the fact that here in Wilmington we don't have to cancel events in wintertime because of snow or sleet. Even on New Year's Day, we were walking on the beach. And of course our grandson keeps us on our toes. He loves feeding the birds at the beach and enjoys lunch with us at our favorite Italian restaurant. That figures, since he's half Italian!

Location Guide: Wrightsville Beach in Cape Fear, North Carolina boasts family friendly fun-in-the-sun with unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean landscape. Concrete made and hurricane ready Johnnie Mercer's Pier is a prime spot for saltwater fishing.

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Across the country, sleep apnea patients are waking up refreshed and alive again.  Enjoy their stories as they escape the sleep apnea fog and live the life that makes them whole.


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