The Bionic Sleeper

You might remember my recent hospital stay where they detected that my heart had gone into atrial fibrillation.  It has been happening to me since I was in high school.  I had learned how to make the abnormal heart beat convert back to a normal sinus rhythm by holding my breath…and so I lived with it.   Yup, real fun stuff.  😀

My new heart doc has me taking some medicine that helps control it.  And so far it is working.  I’ve had a few freak episodes, but they only lasted about 2 seconds…nothing like the 10 hours of 190 beats per minute while I was in the hospital.  😀

I’ve been doing good.  I have not had a drop of caffeine…and I have not gone back into a-fib for more than 3 or 4 seconds.  Those couple times were really my fault.  I had been working outside all day cutting wood.  I had not ate or drank much of anything.  Dehydration and lack of potassium are just of the couple of things that can trigger a-fib.  Whoops…my bad.  😀

The next step of my treatment is a sleep study…this Sunday…yep Superbowl Sunday.  I get to sleep at the doctors office with about 3 million wires and sensors attached from head to toe while some really lucky nurses get to watch me toss and turn over a camera, and listen to me saw logs over a microphone.

Based upon the results, I may have to sleep like this from now on…

cpap

Looks comfy right?  Well, maybe I will actually feel rested in the morning.  I can look like the bionic sleeper if it makes me feel like the bionic man the next day.  😀

Do any of you that read DadThing use CPAP machines?  If so let me know what you think about them in the comments.

22 Comments

  1. I used a CPAP for quite a while after being diagnosed with sleep apnea. Mine was similar to the one in the photo in your post. It took a little getting used to, but I was a whole new person after I started using it. Since then, I’ve lost 80 lbs., which helped, but didn’t stop the apnea. But now I used what’s called a TAP appliance, which was recommended by my dentist. It’s kind of like a football mouth guard. It works by forcing your lower jaw forward while you sleep, which keeps your airway open and prevents apnea episodes. It cost more up front, but there are no maintenance/filter costs. With either CPAP or TAP, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

    • Jared says:

      @Kevin: If I have to use one, I hope I feel like a whole new person too! Congrats n the weight loss! I will definitely ask the doc about the TAP device. Thanks for all the info…you have been a great help!

  2. I am singularly impressed you can cut out caffeine.

    Here’s hoping you find the best method to reduce/eliminate the a-fibs.

  3. Ian H. Graham says:

    I use a CPAP and it makes an amazing difference. I am no longer tired all the time. It didn’t take me any time to get used to sleeping with the machine.

  4. Amber says:

    We will yell extra loud for you on Sunday! Go Steelers!! =)

    Hope the sleep study goes well.

    • Jared says:

      You’ll have to yell real loud…I’ll be surrounded by buzzing machines. 😀 OK, so if I have to pick….Go Steelers! Tell Amy to wipe that smile off her face…and to drink one for me this weekend. 😀

  5. Honeybell says:

    I’ve never used a CPap, but I’ve certainly had enough patients that did, and known a few friends that use one (or are supposed to anyway). From what I understand it is a big adjustment, and some folks give up on it altogether. It takes time to be able to go to sleep as a device is blowing air up your nose after all, but I’ve been told that just like ^^Kevin^^, the difference in how one feels is HUGELY significant.

    BTW- Since my Chiefs suck so miserably; I’m about the underdog. So in the interest of fairness, GO CARDINALS!! 😉

    • Jared says:

      @Honeybell: I know a few people that are supposed to use them that don’t (Chuck are you reading?). I can usually fall asleep under just about any conditions, so hopefully my adjustment period will be short lived. 😀

  6. Momo Fali says:

    I don’t use one, but I have heard that people who use them grow to love them. If it gave me more energy, I would have them hook me up right now!

    Good luck!

  7. New-Dad-Blog says:

    I went to the doc because I was waking up at night constantly and sleepwalking. They sent me to the sleep study where they found out I had sleep apnea and had to do one more to find my optimal settings.

    At first they gave me an apparatus that fit only over my nose. Well I sleep with my mouth open and their answe was “well don’t”. They then gave me a chin strap to keep my mouth shut. Feeling already like a giant dork, I got the final nail in my ego’s coffin when I put the whole get up on to show my wife and our dog started barking at me!

    Since then I have gotten a mask that fits over both my mouth and nose. Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of taking the mask off in my sleep. When I do wear it I feel great in the morning and have a lot more energy.

    If you can tolerate it and you don’t mind looking like a Tie Fighter pilot when you’re sleeping it’s a life saver. I’ve never heard of the TAP that Kevin mentioned, but that sounds a lot less evasive.

    Good luck!

    • Jared says:

      @New-Dad-Blog: The dog! Too funny! I’m not worried about looking like a fighter pilot, but what if my wife’s hair gets wrapped up in that thing? Or I wake up and run to the alarm clock without taking the CPAP mask off? Those are the things that keep running through my mind… Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  8. Angel says:

    Way to go on being able to care for yourself the way you do. So many people don’t dedicate themselves the way they should. Like cutting out the caffeine, etc.

    A CPAP saved my mother’s life. It is hard to get used to, but don’t give up on it. You will get used to it. 🙂

  9. Al Bundy says:

    Sleep Apnea seems to run in my family. As a result, my father has been using a similiar device for several years – and loves it. He takes it with him, whenever he travels (as a carry on – believe it or not).
    His wife loves him using it, because it has greatly cut down on his snoring.
    Like you, he has heart challenges, and this seems to address his rapid heart beat; both during the evening AND during the day because he is better rested.

    Good Luck on Sunday-

    • Jared says:

      @Al Bundy: Two word really stuck out to me in your comment, “better rested”, my dream. 😀 No seriously, I do a lot of traveling for work, so that is definitely something I will have to consider when getting a machine. Will it fit in my suitcase? Thanks for the luck… 😀

  10. Ed (zoesdad) says:

    I can’t imagine trying to use one of those things–though my neighbor swears by his. Good luck.

  11. BusyDad says:

    Oh my god, I have had the same thing also since high school! But since I cannot make it happen on demand, doctors have not been able to diagnose me! Is it like your heart for no reason starts beating ultra fast but “shallow”? I have also discovered that holding my breath and pushing (like you are trying to take a dump) works best to kick it back to normal.

  12. (F)reddy says:

    I sort of feel like sleep apnea is the new ADD. It seems like EVERYONE I know has been diangosed with it and is getting those handy dandy little CPAP machines. I probably would be told I need one…I understand from my laundry list of people who have slept next to me that I snore like a beast. Everyone from my dad to my cousin tells me they can’t even tell when it’s on (find that VERY hard to believe) and that they sleep 1000 times better with it. Good luck with it, man.

  13. Cpap Mask says:

    Thank you for starting this topic.
    I does look like people are not paying that much attention to other peoples problems unless they bump into it… wish everyone good health and more smiles!

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