I was very glad to find your website. I am very confused about my situation re: sleep apnea. I had a sleep study done almost a year ago. It showed that I had "borderline" obstructive apnea, but they also were unsure about the test results because of some factors that may have complicated the results. I don't have the copy of the study, and from what I've read in your forum, it is well worth it to get it, so I will be working on that, but here is what I do know. I'd be curious to see what ppl's take on this is based on your experience and knowledge of all this.
1) The sleep study started at 9 pm and ended at 5 am. For me, this was a real challenge. I'm a night person who teaches a class that doesnt' even end until 845. Unless I'm sick w/ the flu or something, I'm almost never in bed before 1 am or so. (My day job has some leeway in terms of start time which helps). I got to the sleep study as quickly as I could and unwound as best I could. It was a nice room and the technician was very nice, but even w/ all that, as I suspected would happen, I did not fall asleep until about 1:30 am, so they only got a small amount of data to study of my asleep. My first question is ----- Is 3.5 hours of sleep enough time to observe what you need to observe?
2) I have bad allergies and an over the counter nasal spray addiction. I've kicked it a few times and am now using Zyrtec D which has helped somewhat and also have begun to use Nasonex. This should help, but when I get severely congested (can't breathe out of either nostril)I often, sadly, give in and use the over the counter spray (brand name 4 way, active ingredient phenyenphrine). I get congested a lot at night and I htink this may be part of the problem though one doctor told me it was not. I'm not sure what she based that on though. She hadnt seen the report. She was an ENT who did check and said I did not have nasal polyps which was good news. She's the one who prescribed the Nasonex -- Question --- What's the relationship between bad nasal congestion due to allergy and rebound addition to sleep apnea? Anyone ever hear of this or experience this?
3) At the end of the sleep study, the doctor told me I had "16 incidents" of stopping breathing but that I did not have any snoring. (Also my sleep partner has never reported any snoring.) I always thought that snoring was a key hallmark sign of apnea, and that basically only really bad snorers were apneaic. Is that not true? And also... how bad is 16 episodes? I think he said that was over the course of the whole thing not an hour.. I need to get the report to be sure though.
4) I have a weird thing -- or maybe it isn't weird. I get hot at night. I am a 45 year old woman who has no other signs of menopause, and I dont sweat during these episodes, nor is it is my upper body that is affected. It is generally my legs, thighs in particular and sometimes my face. I will be awake suddenly for no apparent reason in the middle of the night with legs you could cook an egg on! It's very odd and none of the doctors had ever heard of this. I dont appear to have restless leg syndrome accoroding to what they said in this report. Anyone ever hear of this? Is this a hot flash? I always thought sweating and upper body were involved in that. It might well be that, but honestly I'm confused.
So..... that's where I'm at. They diagnosed me as "borderline apnea" and said it was really up to me if I wanted to pursue treament. I hate the idea of sleeping with a mask. I toss and turn a lot even on a good night and I cannot imagine even being able to move around with that on. I know I may need to go the mask route though, so... I'm coming around to the idea I guess. I know they help many people although I really hate the idea a lot and I'm not sure what to do at this point. They suggested repeating the test, but if they can only do this with a 9pm to 5 am timeframe it's going to be tough for me unless i dont sleep at all for at least one day prior. My body is just not timed that way -- even back before all my sleeping probs started. My body is set to night owl settings which never was a problem until the last 2 years or so.
Any advice or feedback is much appreciated. Thanks so much!