She's a character, she has opinions.

Overachieving Sleep Apnea

with 2 comments

Coincidentally, this chart could also be used to measure my anger about having sleep apnea.

I was reading an article this morning about how awful sleep apnea can be, how it damages our bodies in so many ways, and included in that article was an interview with someone who has “severe” sleep apnea. I read it, and I found myself almost growling under my breath. Not at that person, not even so much at that article, but at my own body and how it has betrayed me in yet another way.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea  is a sleep disorder during which you breathe abnormally (hypopnea) or even stop breathing (apnea) during sleep. These pauses can last from seconds to minutes. It’s generally accepted that having more than five events per hour means you have OSA. Severity is measured as follows: mild, 5-15/hour; moderate, 15-30/hour; severe, more than 30/hour.

Now, back to the article. Mr. X has severe sleep apnea. He stops breathing 42 times each hour while he sleeps. And now you’re wondering why I got so angry while reading this article. Because I stop breathing 149 times per hour, that’s why.

If Mr. X has severe sleep apnea, then what on earth do I have? When I first got these results the neurologist broke it down for me like this: there are 360 seconds in an hour, I stop breathing for 149 of them. It’s almost as if I stop breathing every other second, or for half of every minute, or for half of every hour. (I was a little afraid to go to sleep the night I got that diagnosis. It’s freaky!)

Look at that chart up there. See how far off the scale I am? My former stats professor would probably like me to tell you that I’m an outlier because my results deviate markedly from the rest. (I am skewing all your results. I shouldn’t even be on your chart!) And that’s why I’m so angry this morning. Because I’m that far off the chart. Because my apnea is so severe it probably needs its own category. Because my body, once again, overachieved when it comes to illness.

Nice going, body. Next time slack off a little, okay?



Written by tldegray

April 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

2 Responses

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  1. Congrats! You win at.. um.. not breathing? :S


    April 10, 2012 at 8:29 am

    • Heh. No kidding, right? Maybe some day I could have a mild cold or something. Perhaps a sniffle. Something that isn’t off the stupid charts!


      April 10, 2012 at 8:32 am

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