We Can’t Deal With Anything Until Your Sleep Apnea is Addressed

It was my first meeting with my family physician in Montreal. After reviewing my previous medical info and asking me about my concerns he said:

We can’t deal with anything until your Sleep Apnea is addressed.

After digesting his words, getting an appointment to see his colleague who specialized in Sleep Apnea, I began to do a little research and I have come to understand that Sleep Apnea can be a life destroyer.

How can any of us live to our full potential if we are starving our brains and bodies of oxygen?

Following is a brief look at what I learned, and the steps that I have taken to deal with my Sleep Apnea.

Sleep apnea can be a life destroyer

A Little Background ABout Me & My Health

It is 2018 and I am 70 years old. I am a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Survivor (2000) as well as a heart attack survivor (2004).

I was first diagnosed with Sleep Apnea so 30 years ago. After deciding not to have surgery on my throat my Sleep Apnea issues were never addressed by any of my doctors, or by me, over the past 30 years. Hmmmm.

That is until the leading Cardio Surgeon in Halifax in 2015 identified Sleep Apnea as the cause of my health issues. This was after she began testing me for the heart-related issues she was convinced I had. Man, was she thorough.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.

The following video “Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)” is very informative.

People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times.

This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen.

There are two types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
  2. Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center.

What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?

As normal sleep is disrupted by Sleep Apnea people affected may experience sleepiness or feel tired during the day. Your productive may go down the drain.

Untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of health problems, including:

  1. cognitive impairment
  2. Diabetes
  3. Depression
  4. Headaches
  5. Heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks
  6. High blood pressure
  7. Memory loss
  8. Stroke
  9. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  10. Worsening of ADHD

Getting Tested for Sleep Apnea is Easy

The test for sleep apnea is easy and can be done at home.

The test involves wearing a small machine strapped around your chest with an small tube that sits in your nostrils for one night.

Sleep apnea home test machine

Treatment

The treatment for me is quite standard and involves using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine when I am sleeping.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a form of positive airway pressure ventilator, which applies mild air pressure on a continuous basis to keep the airways continuously open.

CPAP machine
By PruebasBMA – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18885672

The idea of wearing a mask over my face while sleeping was a little unnerving, but after a few nights of wearing the mask I got used to it.

The Steps I Took

If you can relate to any of the above it may be worth speaking to your family doctor.

My doctor referred me to a specialist.

The specialist referred me for a test.

After the test, the specialist recommended that I use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Machine.

Good luck with improving your sleep and improving the quality of your life.

Nothing Changes in Life Until a Daily Routine is Changed

Nothing changes in life until a daily routine is changed.

Nothing changes in life until a daily routine is changed. - Rock Thomas

The purpose of your morning and evening rituals is to set and reset your internal vibration higher to attract its equivalent, to put you into a beautiful state of mind, and increase your energy level, allowing you to experience the best day possible.

Do these things and you’ll have a physical, mental, and emotional edge on your competition.

You’ll hit the day running, full of energy and determination.

– Rock Thomas

Remembrance Day – In Flanders Fields – Leonard Cohen

Tomorrow is November 11. It is Remembrance Day in Canada.

Leonard Cohen recites “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae

In Flanders Fields

“In Flanders Fields” is a war poem written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, 1872 – 1918

A moment of silence is held at 11:11 on the 11th.

Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

Reconnecting with Marcus Aurelius

I am reconnecting with Marcus Aurelius, and I have begun to read The Essential Marcus Aurelius, Tarcher Cornerstone Editions, authored by Jacob Needleman and John Piazza.

It has been decades since I read Meditations.

The Essential Marcus Aurelius by Jacob Needleman and John Piazza
The book blurb reads in part:

This inaugural-and all new-Tarcher Cornerstone Edition presents a stunningly relevant and reliable translation of the thoughts and aphorisms of the Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, properly placing the philosopher-king’s writings within the vein of the world’s great religious and ethical traditions.

In the Introduction, Jacob Needleman writes:

…to discover the real secret of this book, you must open it when life is breaking your heart or when you are engulfed by anxiety or self-pity or resentment or—far more difficult—open it when all your dreams seem to be coming true and it seems that all will be well forever.

I am currently relating to the former, as all my dreams are far – very far – from coming true, and I have been feeling engulfed by anxiety, with a smidge of self-pity, and a pinch of resentment, thrown in for good measure. Balance in life is important after all. 🙂

The Introduction by Jacob Needleman is a wonderful read that lays well the groundwork that helps one to understand where Emperor Marcus Aurelius was coming from in time and headspace. Delightful.

If you are familiar with this edition I would enjoy hearing your comments.

Are You Feeling Stuck? These 10 Ideas May Help You

Are you feeling stuck? In her article 10 Things To Remember When You Are Feeling Stuck on Inc.com, Lolly Daskal the President and CEO of Lead From Within, writes

“You cannot start the next chapter of your life, if you keep re-reading the old one.”

Are you feeling stuck? These 10 ideas may help you.

Lolly Daskal offers her thoughts on things that may help you through the 10 most frequently experienced forms of feeling stuck:

  1. When you’re stuck in your thinking
  2. When you’re stuck in your skills
  3. When you’re stuck thinking things should be easier
  4. When you’re stuck in your actions
  5. When you’re stuck outside your comfort zone
  6. When you’re stuck relying on others for success
  7. When you’re stuck making excuses
  8. When you’re stuck in fear
  9. When you’re stuck in what others think of you
  10. When you’re stuck in the past

I hope that you enjoy reading 10 Things To Remember When You Are Feeling Stuck

What do you do to get unstuck and move forward in your life?

Chariots Of Fire by Vangelis Is In My Morning Kickstart Music List

Chariots Of Fire by Vangelis is part of My Morning Kickstart Music List.

This is a wonderful piece of music, and the film is a wonderful presentation of history.

Vangelis – Chariots Of Fire

Chariots of Fire – the film

Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film.

It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics:

  • Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and
  • Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.

The film’s title was inspired by the line, “Bring me my chariot of fire,” from the William Blake poem adapted into the popular British hymn “Jerusalem“; the hymn is heard at the end of the film.

The original phrase “chariot(s) of fire” is from 2 Kings 2:11 and 6:17 in the Bible.

My Morning Kickstart Music with Richard E. Ward