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Name: Entered in by Emilie Sutterlin, based on an interview with S., M., VA. Feb. 5, 1999. based
Reflection: M.S., 47, has snored at least since his college days. (1) He never thought of it as a problem, although his wife often complained about it. It was less than ten years ago when he first heard of sleep apnea. His wife finally convinced him to go to the doctor, as Dr. Richard Bootzin explained is the case with most middle-aged men who seek help for snoring. The doctor referred him for a sleep study. The first one was a portable home test, but he didn't sleep well that night because it was very uncomfortable and the night was also shorter than usual because of other circumstances. At that time, take-home study didn't include all the probes used in the sleep lab, so results were inconclusive, not showing signs of sleep apnea. A while later, the doctor tried to have him do an in-lab test, but the scheduled appointment had to be cancelled due to travel conflicts. Only when his daughter had to schedule a sleep test as well did he decide to go back to carry through his original intent to have the sleep lab test.
He fell asleep
easily for the in-lab test, and found the room surprisingly comfortable. He
had to stay through the next day to take a Multiple Sleep Latency Test. Some
of the probes were removed. The technician had him stay awake for certain lengths
of time and then take short-duration naps when requested. The purpose of this
test is to find out how long it takes one to fall asleep as a measure of daytime
sleepiness. The results for M.S. showed that he indeed had sleep apnea.
A return visit of another night was scheduled to determine the amount of airflow needed for his C-PAP machine treatment. During this test he was awakened by the technicians so he could be tested in different positions. He had been sleeping on his back and found it difficult to get back to sleep on his side. Even though he has not noticed a significant decrease in his daytime tiredness since using the C-PAP machine, he thinks it has helped his wife to sleep better since he no longer snores. It took him less than a week to get used to the mask, which he doesn't find too uncomfortable. He's glad he finally went in for the treatment, and wishes he had done it sooner.
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