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BillyHW
Unread post  Post subject: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:37 am
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Greetings All,

I'm 38. Last month I was diagnosed with very severe sleep apnea. About a year ago I was hit with some sudden medical problems for the first time in my life that necessitated going to see the doctor (which I had been avoiding for most of my adult life). After being bounced back and forth between doctors I eventually got sent to a sleep specialist. My test showed a sleep apnea score of over 100. I just got my CPAP machine a few days ago and am trying to adjust to it.

I didn't even know what sleep apnea was until recently, but looking back, I've been showing symptoms of it (like heavy snoring, napping all the time, low energy) since my early 20s. For all my life people just thought I was very lazy and considered it a moral failing on my part.

I've only told one friend about it, but she seems to consider the CPAP a crutch and that the only long-term solution is weight loss. However, I'm pretty sure I showed the classic symptoms even during those times when I much skinnier. I do want to lose weight and get fit again, but if you haven't had sleep apnea, I don't think you can really understand how impossible that is when all your body wants to do is nap. Try not sleeping for a few years and then tell me your motivation to hit the gym or keep to that diet.

I wish I knew someone a long time ago that was knowledgeable about sleep apnea and could have recognized the symptoms and suggest to me I get tested, instead of people just judging me. If that had happened maybe I would have gotten help much sooner.

Anyhoo, I think I've figured out the root cause of my problems now, the lack of a decent night's sleep, and I'm hopeful that with the CPAP machine I'll be able to solve them soon. But I probably won't tell anybody else about it.

So have you been judged for your sleep apnea?


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jb.sing
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:14 am

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I hear it too, to just lose weight. However, like you say, when you are tired all the time, the motivation is not there, AND also I found i NEEDED sugar and coffees.Also i believe sleep apnea interferes with metabolism.


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TheLankyLefty
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:46 am
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Billy, welcome to the forum.

I absolutely LOVE this thread you started. It's a point not often talked about, but is very important to the psyche.

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diamaunt
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:35 pm
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there's research that shows that weight gain is often a side effect of having sleep apnea, so tell your judgmental friend to shove it.

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5280meow
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:54 pm
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Oh jeez, I'm also 38 and this is pretty much my exact situation. The sleep doctor was kind of a d**k -- they wrote down the wrong height for me (they put me as 5 feet even though I'm 5'5") and so they recorded the wrong BMI for me. The doctor put "patient should pursue aggressive weight loss" in my report. It really made me feel like crap. I've been on CPAP for a year and although it is much easier to maintain my weight, I haven't lost any weight yet. I had an older post about it here, viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1904, you may not have seen it since it's from a while back.

Although weight loss can help, I had sleep apnea symptoms even when I was slender/underweight. I had 71 events per hour during my sleep study. My friends used to joke that I had narcolepsy. I even fell asleep at a Nine Inch Nails concert one time when I was in high school -- tiredness from sleep apnea isn't laziness. I agree that your judgmental friend should shove it.


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Kayak
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:48 am
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In my case, the correlation between severe OSA and obesity is crystal clear for my doctors... Now that my sleep study results came in.
For four years, it was failed diet one after the other, inexplicable weight gain (although I was not being particularly unreasonable, ate my three meals a day, low fat, little sugar, no sodas, etc etc), pre-diabetes, bad cholesterol numbers, tension creeping up, and they attributed all this to a metabolic syndrome of some kind... and of course, prescribed the required medication (!)

I started CPAP a month ago. Except for the fact that I have slightly less appetite in the evening, I haven't changed my eating habits, exercise as much as I did before CPAP (very little...): I've lost 95% of my apneas.. and 2 kgs :) . Wonder what my next blood test results will look like. I also wonder if the meds I have been prescribed for four years were really necessary... I'll soon find out.

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alhartman
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:07 pm

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Anecdotal--my brother with a BMI of 33, high blood pressure, pre diabetic, feet unable to support his weight, sleep apnea etc. He went thru all the VA hoops (nutritionist, failing diets etc) and got stomach bypass surgery about 15 months ago. After 6 months of weight loss he was normal blood pressure, no more near diabetes, and no more sleep apnea. And being back to college weight, he can actively walk again (his reason for surgery).
Now there is a real crutch for you!! Get half the stomach removed.
And I judge his experience so successful, I am considering going to Costa Rica and getting the surgery!!
He is feeling so healthy that he doesn't care about others judgements.


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sjbowlen
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:04 am

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As a woman, we are often told that all problems are either due to:
1) You are overweight
2) Menopause
Only after a doc was willing to consider sleep disorder was the cause of my symptoms addressed. My sleep doc found I have a very narrow airway. Weight loss will help but my apnea won't go away all together due to the structure of my airway. Fight to be heard.


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onemoretime
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:24 am

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sleep apnea is a viscous thing.. 45% thyroid disorders have sleep apnea from goiter, 45% pts with "fibromyalgia" have sleep apnea, 35% of morning migraines are sleep apnea....Many high female disorders that MD's "blow off" .. Your fat and just need to diet and exercise - REALLY. When you review Sign and symptoms of the above and complications... after pap tx - headaches, muscle pain, brain fog,...so many things go away.


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sjbowlen
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:38 am

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Well, there I am; fibromyaligia, Hoshimoto's thyroiditis, Sjogren's, post-menopausal and densely packed to boot. If that ain't a winner's ticket, I don't know what was. Funny thing is that I lost 30 pounds and felt worse. I let the young resident know that weight loss is not a panacea for all the problems as the medical community would like to imply. Luckily my family MD is a good guy and takes me seriously so, hopefully, I will soon get some relief from the sleep issues at least.


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DKC_apnea
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:49 am
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Many of us feel forced for medical/health/personal reasons to have to go on PAP therapy. Like many types of therapy, people wish they didn't have to go through it, but most realize the importance. In fact many say they wished they had started many months/years prior to when they did.

Like many I was concerned about being judged/mocked or hindered for needing CPAP. That concern quickly faded when I realized the thousands/millions of others who are being treated as well. Technology is improving over time, as is acceptance and understanding.

Weight is a factor for some of us, but there are lots of people on PAP therapy who do not have weight issues. Regardless of the issues necessitating PAP therapy, anyone who "judges" someone based on that need is sadly uninformed and lacks understanding/compassion.

I'm sure few of us flaunt or boast about being on PAP therapy, but hopefully everyone reaches a point where they feel unashamed using CPAP or the need to secretly hide its use.

my 2 cents.


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diamaunt
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:48 pm
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and many who have weight issues *because* of untreated sleep apnea.

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Dreamwarrior2
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:30 pm

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alhartman wrote:

Anecdotal--my brother with a BMI of 33, high blood pressure, pre diabetic, feet unable to support his weight, sleep apnea etc. He went thru all the VA hoops (nutritionist, failing diets etc) and got stomach bypass surgery about 15 months ago. After 6 months of weight loss he was normal blood pressure, no more near diabetes, and no more sleep apnea. And being back to college weight, he can actively walk again (his reason for surgery).
Now there is a real crutch for you!! Get half the stomach removed.
And I judge his experience so successful, I am considering going to Costa Rica and getting the surgery!!
He is feeling so healthy that he doesn't care about others judgements.


I'm surprised he suffered from so many problems with that BMI, I have a BMI in the high 30's and haven't really suffered with much besides suspected sleep apnea and general poor fitness.

BillyHW wrote:
Greetings All,

I'm 38. Last month I was diagnosed with very severe sleep apnea. About a year ago I was hit with some sudden medical problems for the first time in my life that necessitated going to see the doctor (which I had been avoiding for most of my adult life). After being bounced back and forth between doctors I eventually got sent to a sleep specialist. My test showed a sleep apnea score of over 100. I just got my CPAP machine a few days ago and am trying to adjust to it.

I didn't even know what sleep apnea was until recently, but looking back, I've been showing symptoms of it (like heavy snoring, napping all the time, low energy) since my early 20s. For all my life people just thought I was very lazy and considered it a moral failing on my part.

I've only told one friend about it, but she seems to consider the CPAP a crutch and that the only long-term solution is weight loss. However, I'm pretty sure I showed the classic symptoms even during those times when I much skinnier. I do want to lose weight and get fit again, but if you haven't had sleep apnea, I don't think you can really understand how impossible that is when all your body wants to do is nap. Try not sleeping for a few years and then tell me your motivation to hit the gym or keep to that diet.

I wish I knew someone a long time ago that was knowledgeable about sleep apnea and could have recognized the symptoms and suggest to me I get tested, instead of people just judging me. If that had happened maybe I would have gotten help much sooner.

Anyhoo, I think I've figured out the root cause of my problems now, the lack of a decent night's sleep, and I'm hopeful that with the CPAP machine I'll be able to solve them soon. But I probably won't tell anybody else about it.

So have you been judged for your sleep apnea?


My family were supportive at first but the more I complained about it the more annoyed they seemed to get. I pretty much don't mention it to them now and suffer in silence and get on with my abnormal habits that come with constant
fatigue, which is usually what makes them curious about what's going on again lol.


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TonySee
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:18 pm
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Great thread Billy.

I don't have weight issues but I do have severe OSA. The link is not inevitable.

As for your friend ... you have a diagnosis based on reliable scientific evidence, that's just a fact. I suspect your friend has SAS (Smart Arse Syndrome) and maybe hasn't experienced a serious medical condition.

PS That IS NOT a diagnosis based on reliable scientific evidence.


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Bigtimetorifan27
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:07 pm

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Yup. I definitely feel my osa dx is causing judgement-its really bad when the 1st person judging you is YOURSELF! Then there's my husband, altho i may be projecting my own judgement of myself on him lol. Who knows. Being perimenopausal feels like strike 1, osa strike 2, gaining weight strike 3. Pre-diabetic strike 4. I think 3 strikes is all there is in baseball. It seems like I've created a new 4 strike game-i'll call it UGH.


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Kayak
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:49 pm
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Personally, I don' t care what people think or judge... I'm actually proud about facing this thing and fighting it.When I need more perspective, I try to remember that there are much worse situations in life than having to sleep with a mask.

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cindyY
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:10 pm

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Hi, Billy, I'm new too. Hang in there, don't be discouraged by other people's lack of empathy. A true friend would be happy for you that you are getting help for your sleep apnea.
That's why sites like this are so important, thanks LankyLefty for creating this and all your videos.
Thankfully, my husband and friends and family have been very supportive, and thank God for the Internet.


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ShiftWorker
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:56 am

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As some others have mentioned, I am my biggest critic and my own worst enemy when it comes to x-pap therapy. I refused to use my machine for over four years because the pressure was to high, then had AFib, had two more sleep studies that were unsuccessful at finding a pressure that would help with my apneas. Finally I will see an actual sleep Dr. on Tuesday!
My friends and family have been very supportive and caring regarding my x-pap use and the health benefits of using the therapy, I don't think I would consider someone who judges me for a medical condition much of a friend at all.


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WanderLit
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:59 pm
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My stock answer to comments like this is, "thank you very much, I'm sure that sounds like good advice to you but I prefer an evidence-based approach to medical treatment under the care of a professional who has actually examined me and better understands the specifics of my personal situation. I'm sure you understand."

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CPAPCyborg
Unread post  Post subject: Re: Being Judged For Your Sleep Apnea  |  Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:06 am
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I've been judged for my sleep apnea by my boyfriend for viewing me unattractive with my mask on. Not long after getting my machine I noticed much less cuddling with him and sometime later he simply gave up on our relationship. The other reason for sleeping completely covered is my overall feeling of shame. :cry:


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