About seven years ago, my husband looked over at me one day and said, “You really ought to have a sleep study because you snore like crazy and you stop breathing.” He has sleep apnea himself, so he knows it well. I took his advice, did the sleep study, and they said, “You definitely have sleep apnea.” So I immediately got the standard treatment: a CPAP machine, like my husband.
It was okay. I’d often wake up to find I had pulled it off and some nights I’d fall asleep forgetting to put the mask on. It’s a process to get the mask on and tight and adjusted, and sometimes by the time you’ve done everything to get ready you’re not sleep anymore. But it was all right. I mean, sleeping with a mask on is not great but it’s better than not sleeping at all.
Then I got pregnant and had my daughter, and I couldn’t handle the CPAP anymore because I was worried I wouldn’t hear her at night. It was hard enough to hear with my husband’s CPAP next to me but it was completely impossible with one on myself, even with the baby monitor right there. So I just stopped using my CPAP completely and went untreated for a couple of years.
I was miserable. When you’re untreated with sleep apnea, it’s like the movie “Fight Club” where he says when you can’t sleep, “everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.” That’s the way it is. I mean, you’re there and you can sort of do all the things that you need to do but you can’t do them very well. And you can’t hold a thought the way you used to. It’s there and you know it’s there but you can’t really hold it. It was terrible. I was irritable and not a very pleasant person to be around.
My husband said, “You know, my dentist does sleep appliances.” So I saw the dentist and he was great. He said, “I think this could really make a difference in your life. Let’s get started.”
We went through a couple of different appliances and when I got to the Whole You™ Oral Appliance, that was the one that changed everything. It was comfortable at night. I could hear everything. It was simple. And because I also grind my teeth, it was actually doing double duty for me.
You can sort of forget how nice it was to sleep. Sleep used to be the enemy. Now I can look forward to bed because I’m going to sleep the whole night. It brings you back closer to where you were before you had sleep apnea. You start realizing things that used to bother you don’t bother you anymore. My poor little daughter, two- and three-year olds have a lot of questions and they do a lot of things that you have to correct constantly. There is no rest. But because I had enough sleep, I could laugh at things that I couldn’t laugh at before.
You also get your energy back. My daughter is on a five-and-under soccer team and two years ago I never would have volunteered to be the coach, not in a million years. I wouldn’t have been able to go to all the events or keep up with their energy. Coaching them is a lot of work. The kids who aren’t on the field are usually kicking the ball all around me, or wandering off into the ravine behind the field, or walking across the field to get their water bottle from mom. It’s a lot to manage but the kids are hilarious. I probably could have handled it even before treatment but it wouldn’t have been fun or as funny. That’s been a big change.
Location Guide: Presque Isle State Park is a 3,112-acre State Park on an arching, sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie. It has many miles of roads, recreational trails, 13 beaches, and a marina. The Presque Isle Lighthouse, built in 1872, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Comment from Rebecca's Dentist
Here’s a video of Rebecca’s life changing journey with Whole You™ ’s oral appliance therapy