Sleepless in Connecticut


 (courtesy of obesity.ygoy.com)

I love my husband very much.

I hate his snoring even more.

When we first met, he never snored.  In fact, for the first year we were together, he never snored.  I think it was a ruse to get me to marry him, because if he’d snored then the way he snores now, the marriage would never have happened.

I’m not talking a few little grunts and snuffles and burbles.  I’m talking noise to move seismographs in the Sahara and rattle tea-cups in Japan.  There have been times when his snoring was so loud that it kept me awake THREE ROOMS AWAY!

Humor aside, this has caused some issues in our marriage.  Lack of sleep makes you contemplate all sorts of things, not the least of which being holding a pillow over your loved one’s face until he expires.  Vacations have been ruined by his snoring.  For several years, I ended up moving out of our bedroom and into one of my own because I was tired of having to get up and move onto the couch every night.  (Sure, I should have made him move, but he was impossible to wake up.  I have literally shaken him and had him not so much as crack an eyelid.)  He woke every morning dragging and headachy and irritable.  Made him loads of fun to live with.

I begged him to seek help/lose weight/exercise, all to no avail.  It was hard not to think he just didn’t care about the distress it was causing.  Actions speak louder than words and that’s how I chose to interpret his lack of interest in our difficulty.  Finally, he agreed to be tested for sleep apnea.  Hooray!

Until they declared him to have a mild case (Yeah?  You try sleeping with him!) and insurance refused to treat it.

At our own expense, he finally agreed to undergo a uvulectomy.  For the uninitiated, a uvulectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the uvula is removed. The uvula is the bell-shaped organ that hangs from the top of the throat.  The pain post-surgery was the worst he ever experienced and he told me — in no uncertain (and quite angry) terms — that he would never, ever undergo something like that again.

Did it work?  For about a week.  Then we were back to the awful snoring…and back to sleeping apart.  And, frankly, it sucks swamp water to live like a roommate with your spouse of choice.

And that’s where things stayed until earlier this year when a friend of ours was diagnosed with sleep apnea and issued a CPAP machine.

 (courtesy mysleepapneasite.com)

This is a nifty gadget that forces air into the nose to keep the breathing passages open.  Friend mentioned it providing relief and on her word, husband decided to try again.

He went for a sleep study and discovered, to his amazement, that he was waking up no less than 60+ times an hour.  (Yes, you read that right — waking at least once a minute.)  No wonder he felt like death warmed over most of the time.  So they wrote a prescription for a CPAP machine of his very own.

He doesn’t like it, but he uses it.  He calls it his “deep-sea diving mask.”  It’s admittedly awkward and annoying.  It wakes him up in the night because the seal has crack, or it’s uncomfortable, but even with those disturbances, he’s getting more (and better) sleep with it than without.  He no longer wakes exhausted and with a pounding headache.

The problem?

Sometimes — like tonight — when he first comes to bed, he snores despite the machine.  That usually ends after a few minutes.  But occasionally — also tonight — he removes it in his sleep and I can’t get him to put it back on.  Then I have not only the snoring to contend with, but the sound of blowing air as well.

Which is why I’m writing this at 3 am.

If you’re up, give me a call.  We’ll talk.

 

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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4 Responses to Sleepless in Connecticut

  1. Lynn says:

    Melissa- Been there! My hubby was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea and couldn’t sleep with the CPAP. He was diagnosed with a deviated septum and had surgery to connect it. He still occasionally snores when he has a cold but life is so much better! Something to consider!

  2. MJ Allaire says:

    Just over three months ago I could have called you on my way to work… sorry I missed you.

    From Lord Twomey:

    http://mashable.com/2011/11/14/robotic-bear-hits-you-when-you-snore/

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