Thursday, July 28, 2011

My (not-so) silent killer

I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.  My sleep is interrupted on average 124 times an hour.  That's not a misprint.  I go big or go home(and on this home is  . . .yeah.)  I was diagnosed almost 4 years ago, and now my life is different.  I don't get waken by eveyone in my house because they can't sleep do to the noise I make while sleeping.  I don't get a double hammer strike to the chest with my wife hovering over me yelling, "BREATHE!!!!  BREATHE!!!" and I can't because she has knocked all of the air out of my lungs.  I don't go to the bathroom 14 times a night  (also not a misprint)  Much of my paranoia and rage is also gone.  What isn't gone, as easily, are the habits I picked up while having apnea for over 25 years. 

This is a story that took place some 10 or so years ago, when I was on the verge of the height of my apnea.  I was working 12 1/2 hours shifts (6am to 6:30) pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  At the time I had an amazing collection of wrestling video tapes.  There was one time I had all but about 10 or 12 of the PPVs that WWE put out.  The biggest hole in my collection was Tuesday in Texas.  I had started to obsess over it.  (Another effect of the apnea, but also a part of my personality)  Someone online had posted that they hadn't gotten the last PPV, and if someone would make them a copy of it, they would send that person a copy of any WWE video they had.  I quickly sent an email to find out if they had Tuesday in Texas, they replied back that they did and I jumped up to make a copy.  It was at this time I saw the warning on the front of the PPV about making a copy.  However, I wanted Tuesday in Texas so bad, I went ahead.  I mailed it off that afternoon, which was a Monday.  I emailed the person to let them know I had sent it. 

Wednesday I got an email saying they had it and was making a copy of Tuesday in Texas for me, and he would ask me for my address when it was done so he wouldn't lose it.  I never heard anything that day, and Thursday I worked all day.  I was looking forward to the email when I got home, I was just sure it would be there.  No email.  I sent one asking if everything was alright.  On Friday there was no response.  Saturday morning I went to work a little bothered and told my chopsaw partner what was going on.  Now Jason always liked to get me riled up, but this time he had no idea what he had accomplished.  He simply said, maybe they're setting up a sting to get you for illegal pirating of a movie.  All day that played in my head and when I got home there was no email.  A ball of worry was starting to eat at my stomach.  Richelle was at work, and I was exhausted from work so I took a shower and went to bed around 8.  About 9:30 the phone rang. I was drug out of whatever crazed apnea spawned dream I was having and answered the phone.  No one was on the other line.  I just heard clicks. 

I swear to you this is the complete truth.  I started thinking, "Its the FBI!!!  They've wire tapped my phone!!! They are after me!!!"  I hung up and raced to the living room.  I called a friend and told him, "Can you come over, I need some help wiring my VCR?"  He was dumbfounded, I was the one in the group that always did that.  Next I got online and emailed the guy and said something to the following.  I appreciate your offer for Tuesday in Texas, but I do not want it.  Thank you.  (I have no idea what I thought that would accomplish)  I then grabbed two Giant trash bags and put ever wrestling VCR tape in them and hid them the bag.  My friend pulled up the same time my friends did.  Richelle asked them what they were doing here and they told her what they knew.  I screamed at them to open the trunk.  They did, not sure if I was possessed or not.  I put the bags of videos in the trunk.  I told them what was going on and they all burst out laughing.  I told them I wanted them to take me to another apartment complex so I could throw them in the garbage there so it couldn't be traced back to me. 

They couldn't breath they were laughing so hard.  I told them fine, do with the videos what you wish, but if it comes back on me, I'll rat you all out.  Richelle spent an hour trying to get me to calm down after they left.  You would think this would have been the instance for me to get some help, but no, not me.  I'm fine, they're the crazy ones.  (It is sad how screwed up I was)  What finally got me to the doctor was I kept waking up trying to figure out what I was hearing.  It sounded like  . .. I don't know someone choking to death.  After about two nights of this, I got up, and my wife screamed, "It's your snoring Dear!!!!  (no she didn't say dear.  We're big boys and girls, you can figure it out.) 

Anyway that's my apnea induced paranoia story.  There are many more.  Most are not funny, just sad.  I had a friend I bugged for two months to get a test done, and after he was on the machine at the clinic, he told me the next day the air was sweeter, colors were brighter . . .it was like some farout drug.  And he wanted more.  If you know someone in this shape, bug the crap out of them.  They may not like you for a while, but once they go, if they don't thank you for it. . . I'll be shocked.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . . .


1 comment:

  1. Wow, I only have 93 interruptions an hour!