Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sleep Apnea

I’ve read about Migraineurs needing to take a sleep study due to the possibility of sleep apnea. I wanted to give you another reason to make sure you take the sleep test.

For years, I have been telling my husband he has sleep apnea. Yes, I know I was diagnosing him, but I wanted him to get it checked out by a real doctor. Somehow, he always knew better and just dismissed what I had to say despite his very classic symptoms. He would snore loudly, have breathing cessation and would abruptly take his next breath. Just to make it clear, none of his symptoms were subtle.

Sleep apnea finally caught up with him. He spent the last week in the hospital. In case you didn’t know it because we certainly didn’t, sleep apnea can lead to right-sided heart failure. Yes, he had all of the classic symptoms of heart failure too and we still needed to tell him he was going to the ER and didn’t have a choice.

Because he never had his sleep apnea looked at, he has many more issues to deal with now or should I say we have many more issues to deal with now. MedlinePlus gives a good explanation of what typically causes this type failure.

Normally, the left side of the heart produces a higher blood pressure in order to pump blood to the body. The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs under much lower pressure. High blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is called pulmonary hypertension. The right side of the heart has a harder time pumping blood against these higher pressures. If this high pressure is present for a longer period of time, it puts a strain on the right side of the heart.

What I have found tough this weekend is trying to get help him, get him setup at home and caring for my Migraines which, of course, have been out of control. I usually take much better care of myself on weekends so I can make it through the workweek. How do you manage your Migraines when you are trying to help someone else get through their own health difficulties?

If you are asked to do a sleep study for your Migraines or even just because you might have sleep apnea, it is better to get your study done and take care of what needs to be done so you can help your Migraines and the rest of your body too. Please don’t keep putting it off.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Scary stuff!!! I will get at my brother who absolutely quits breathing when he sleeps.

Had a sleep study but can't stand to wear the mask because all of them touch the nerves in my face. sigh.

MigrainePuppet said...

Definitely scary stuff. He may want to start off slowly. That's what my husband and others I know have done. Two hours now and then three hours will go a long way to wearing it longer. There are also different masks he can try to find the one that works best for him. Honestly, it's better to keep trying to find a way to make it work. Good luck to him!