Well, this is my first ever blog and I’m excited to have jumped on-board into the World of Blogging. Excuse me if I don’t get it right straightaway, but I have so much to talk about regarding Sleep Apnoea, as those of you who’ve met me already know just how passionate I am in raising awareness to the undiagnosed, helping people with their CPAP problems, finding new products to help us, doing research, offering support etc…… However, this wasn’t the case at the beginning, as I was gutted and shocked when I was initially told I have moderate to severe sleep apnoea and had to spend the rest of my life sleeping with a mask. (You can read more of my story on the ABOUT PAGE on this blog). I can remember scouring the internet, whilst waiting for my CPAP equipment from the NHS, with tears in my eyes when coming across images of the Darth Vader look-a-likes, knowing that would soon be me! What helped me was the fact that my Dad had just been diagnosed with bowel cancer, and at the time we didn’t know if he would survive. It certainly put things into perspective for me. (Thankfully he came through his cancer, and is now living a healthy life to the full again). Oh, off-topic here, but my Dad was diagnosed with his bowel cancer through a random test the NHS send out to people over the age of 60. He only took the test because his wife (my Step-Mum) was doing one, as he’d already done his 5 years earlier and it was all clear. What a shock it was to find out his was positive, as he had absolutely no symptoms whatsoever that anything was wrong. Anyway, I wanted to mention this here, even though it’s a sleep apnoea blog, as if it saves just one life it’s certainly worth it. For more information on this you can look here at the NHS Bowel Screening Scheme.
Back on topic now…… you may have just discovered that you have sleep apnoea, you may be suspecting it or you may have struggled on for several years feeling fairly isolated with your ‘condition.’ However, the only thing rare about sleep apnoea is that we are in the minority of being fortunate enough to be diagnosed – most people aren’t yet, unfortunately! Sleep apnoea is actually as common as asthma (in fact I was reading the other day that up to 50% of people with asthma are likely to have sleep apnoea too) and 91% of people who have had strokes also have sleep apnoea, and that’s without the many people I speak to regularly who find they have sleep apnoea AFTER the heart attack or stroke! You’ll be pleased to know that here in the UK the British Lung Foundation have a current Sleep Apnoea Campaign active with funding kindly provided by Philips Respironics. We, at Hope2Sleep, are working with them on this, and it would be good if you could visit the campaign link I’ve provided to see if you can play a part in raising awareness in your area or raising funds etc. Incidentally, I had one of our customers contact me the other day to say she’s so grateful to how CPAP’s changed her life, that she wants to run a marathon to raise funds for the campaign, now that she has renewed energy thanks to CPAP 🙂
Remember, you may feel alone just now, but very soon lots of your friends and family will be joining you. Try to keep a lookout for the tell-tale Signs and Symptoms in those around you, and do remember that sleep apnoea does run in families (more about this in a future blog), and children are not exempt, but at the moment most GP’s aren’t looking for it in the young. Incidentally, we have a Sleep Apnoea Forum where you can join lots of other people to talk about sleep apnoea and seek help for any problems you may be having.
That’s all for now, and I hope you’ll join me regularly on the blog. You can sign up to be alerted when new posts are added, and there’s also another sign up form to be included in the monthly newsletters. Oh, and do let me know if you want a particular topic addressing on here. I have lots coming up, but am happy to move things up the list as to demand.
Best Wishes and Good Sleep!