Saturday, September 17, 2011

Is that a bear?

Source: True Wild Life
When my sister was young, she had a nightmare: a bear was stalking her, and she could hear it growling. Loudly, the way wild animals do, with that low rumble that you can feel in your spine. She awoke in a panic, then gradually realized that she COULD STILL HEAR THE BEAR! It was in the house!

A few more moments later, and a little wider awake, she realized that there was no bear. It was our dad, snoring.

My dad's snoring was ... "loud" doesn't do it justice. "Apocalyptic" is the word that comes to mind, though it didn't really presage the end of the world. Let's just say it was memorable. Also inescapable anywhere in the house.

Even worse, to me anyway, his snoring would stop abruptly for long seconds at a time — an indicator of sleep apnea. I remember lying awake, waiting for him to breathe again. For me, his snoring became a comfort: I knew my daddy was there. I knew he was breathing and alive.

But no one will be surprised to learn that our mother spent many years sleeping on our couch, despite the fact that she had a bad back. She had a choice: comfort for her back OR sleep.

I recently read an article that said,
In fact, 23 percent of married couples sleep alone, according to a 2005 survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, an increase from 12 percent of American couples in 2001. The National Association of Home Builders, which has reported requests for duel-master bedroom houses on the rise since the early 90s, predicts in the next five years 60 percent of new, upper-middle-class homes will use the double master bedroom plan.
Once there were enough extra beds in the house, my parents did take up separate rooms. I scorned them for what I perceived as a failure of intimacy. [In their case, I do think it was that, as well as the whole snoring problem.] This, of course, was long before the days of sleep studies and the awareness that snoring and sleep apnea were serious medical concerns that could worsen heart disease.

Steve snores. I don't ever remember him not snoring. Yes, loudly. And I can honestly say it hasn't really bothered me. Sometimes I nudge him to roll over, but most of the time, I just relax and am glad he's there and breathing. You know, alive and everything. I do hold my breath if he actually stops breathing (most snorers do), but those are rare and for very, very brief periods.

I also snore. It bothers Steve, worse some nights than others. In fact, it seems to depend more on how well he is sleeping in general than with my actual snoring. He has spent a few nights sleeping on the guest bed, however.

I also have apnea episodes that have actually woken me up. It's not a pleasant thing. I have a CPAP machine which, as well as stopping the apnea episodes and helping me live longer (yay!) stops the snoring. But ...
(I flipped the picture, so it looks more normal to you.)

I agree: it's hard to say which is worse for your marriage: separate beds or CPAP "snorkels."

Also, you can't open your mouth while these things are hooked up or they just blow air through your nose and out your mouth. It feels as weird as it sounds. And when you wake up? You have little indentations on your forehead that remain visible for at least an hour. I hate the thing. Seriously. I haven't worn it in months. Fortunately, Steve's been exhausted enough that he's sleeping soundly despite my snoring.

Getting old kinda sucks.

1 comment:

What did you think? Any comments?

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...