The Trials of a Busy Mom


Back in August we rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night because Ryan couldn’t breathe. While we never did figure out what caused that allergic reaction, from that visit we learned that Ryan probably had sleep apnea. Since then he’s experience the joys of the sleep study, where they strap you to all kind of wires and monitors and then tell you to sleep.

Kind of like in this picture, only the cartoon person seems to actually be sleeping. I love how in picture #9 he’s just walking away happy. Waving. The way Ryan tells it, he had the WORST night’s sleep in his life when he went to the sleep study. Hmmm. Couldn’t be worse than being in LABOR all night, but whatever. After the first sleep study, there was a long wait, while we waited for the docs at the sleep center to get the information to our doctor. This took weeks. Seriously? How hard is it to read a couple of print-outs to see that the man had something like 82 non breathing episodes and hour, call the doc and say, “Nope, that guy’s not sleeping”? Fortunately, our doctor is also a good friend, so he didn’t get too bent out of shape when he was asked several times if he had the results.

Eventually, they did get the message to Ryan that it looks like sleep apnea, and he was able to schedule another sleep study test. Efficiency in medicine, folks. He scheduled another night at the sleep study, this time when they actually test the sleeping with the CPAP mask. He was smart and asked for an ambien sample before this test, so that he could maybe actually fall asleep.

More happy sleeping people.

After THAT test (Oh, these tests run a couple thousand bucks, by the way. Most expensive hotel EVER!), we just wanted to info so we could get all equipment needed ordered during THIS calendar year. Since those sleep studies helped up exceed our LARGE deductible, let’s make sure all the expenses are This year, so they are covered. They eventually called, and he went in to the medical equipment place to be fitted for his lovely mask. When I asked if I could take a picture, he protested, but said I could post a picture of ME modeling the mask, so that is what we have here.

Looks comfy, right?
This is what he gets to wear each night, and it’s hooked up to a tube and connected to a little machine thingy. Anyway, it helps him breathe. It also helps him not to snore and make all those loud gaspy noises during the night. It’s supposed to help ME sleep better. After the first couple of nights, I started to get used to the Darth Vader sounds as opposed to the snoring. At one point it sounded like someone was taking a shower. I kept thinking, “Why is someone showering? It’s 2 in the morning?” Then I realized it was the mask. Or I will think it’s raining outside, when, in reality, it’s the humidity control on his mask. So, yeah, it takes some getting used to.

Ryan now looks at his stats in the morning and says, “Oh, I only had x number of sleep episodes last night.” He’s not dragging around so much as he has been, and it’s a good thing. Supposedly, you’re also supposed to lose weight once you start getting good sleep. I asked him about that one, but there wasn’t much of a positive response.

So in a way, we’re thankful for that ER visit, that helped us realize there was a serious problem with the sleeping here.

And now that we know that’s what’s going on, we discover sleep apnea all over the place. Ryan’s friends, my friends, relatives, almost everyone we know has had some kind of contact with sleep apnea. Even on tv, on the sitcom, Mike and Molly, which I don’t watch, they had an episode featuring sleep apena issues.

“You know you can get different color head straps. I went with basic black.” — Mike, on his sleep apnea machine
—“Nice, very slimming.” — Molly

Or have you heard this joke about 2 cows diagnosed with sleep apnea?

This one cow with sleep apnea is talking to another cow and says, “I don’t care what they say the one size mask does not fit all.


  1. Charisma Streeter

    Dad, I, and Paddy all have sleep apnea. None of us have lost weight.
    I love my CPAP–won’t even travel for one night without it!! Paddy is about half-and-half on his. Dad is pretty much non-compliant.
    Funny thing? Dad uses a large mask, I use a medium, and Paddy–a growing young man, uses a small. Weird, huh?
    I am really glad Ryan is using it and found out he needed it; I am sure the doctors told you they can save lives, esp in men! 😀

  2. Mom

    Good account & pictures. You know, earplugs might still help you so you don’t hear the noises. I have to resort to them every now and then. I’m glad Ryan is getting better sleep.

  3. Vern

    I am convinced that Cory has this problem but we haven’t hunkered down and done the tests. Sharing your experience with the cost is NOT encouraging!

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