Quote from 3ringnursing
Here I sit in the smallest bedroom of he house where I've taken refuge for the past 15 months, sound machine loudly running. The timbers of our house creak and groan overhead as my husband slumbers away - snoring still audible. As usual, I lay awake while in sleep he is quite busy - sawing enough logs to keep a good sized lumber mill in business for years …
My husband is a snorer who is in denial. He snores like he swallowed a lawn mower with the blades still running. He's had this problem for years - in fact, a sleep study awarded him with a shiny new CPAP machine 14 years ago, yet he won't use it.
According to him he doesn't need it.
He's been video taped (my son was grounded in 7th grade for posting a video of him snoring on YouTube). He's heard audio recordings of himself. He has a Fit Bit which chronologues the number of wake episodes during a night's sleep.
He will tell anyone who will listen he doesn't snore despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
For decades, while I still managed to brave sleeping in the same bedroom, listening to the rumbling, ear splitting high decibel nocturnal lullabies of what sounds suspiciously like a skill-saw, I noted he woke himself up on the average of every 3-5 minutes. During the memorial moments when I had to wake him (often with a loving backwards kick of a mule - I was sleep deprived!) he had been choking. On these occasions he stoutly denied having ever been asleep at all.
Did I mention he works in healthcare too? He is fully cognizant about what the health risks of uncorrected snoring, sleep apnea, and the effects of chronic fatigue are.
He's stubborn, and our son and I worry about him.
Does anyone else suffer with a partner who also is a closet snorer in denial?
Any suggestions to make an otherwise intelligent man see sense and take care of his health and well being would be appreciated kindly.
I am so sorry for you!
For years, I'd lay in bed and listen to my husband snort, choke, snore like a band saw and flop around like a mackerel when he literally could NOT breathe. I was awake all night; he slept all night. We didn't have a spare bedroom -- separate shifts helped the sleep problem somewhat but didn't do much for our marriage. He would not get a sleep study; was sure he had no problem, it was all in my head and by the way, if anyone needed a sleep study, it was me.
I made him a deal . . . I'll go get a sleep study if you will. (Interestingly enough, our insurance paid for the sleep study based on "witnessed apnea episodes".) I went and got a sleep study and found out that I did, indeed have sleep apnea. In the two weeks between the sleep study and the delivery of the CPAP machine, I went online and read everything I could on sleep apnea, CPAP, living with CPAP, etc. (I recommend cpaptalk.com.) I read about rain-out, denial, mask discomfort, fears that the partner would find one less than sexually appealing, and dozens of other topics that were useful and helpful. I decided that if I had sleep apnea, I'd wear the damned CPAP and perhaps I would actually get some sleep. With CPAP and Ambien, and an industrial-sized fan blowing high speed to drown out the worst of his snoring, I DID get some sleep. The world looked a lot clearer and more hopeful and I noticed that trees actually have leaves. I'd read about them, but hadn't actually noticed them in years!
After a month paying back my sleep debt, I felt so much better that even DH (who had his own sleep debt robbing him of critical thinking skills) noticed. He still wouldn't go for a sleep study, but a deal's a deal, and I roped in our shared PCP who made him an appointment at the sleep clinic and sent him the referral. He was SURE he didn't have sleep apnea and the only reason his "mild snoring" had ever bothered me was that my own sleep apnea kept me awake. Turns out he DOES have sleep apnea, and has a CPAP machine on the way. He maintained the sleep study was wrong and he didn't really need it.
As part of continuing education in our ICU, I had made a power point about sleep apnea and it's causes, effects, risks, etc. The overwhelming statistics about the relationship between sleep apnea and strokes, cardiovascular issues, etc. were all listed in purple and white (with references) and accompanied by pictures of a hemiplegic patient struggling to learn to feed himself or to transfer herself to a wheelchair. I trotted out my power point and said "Hey, Honey. Would you take a look at this with me before I deliver it at work? I want to make sure it all hangs together." Subtle, right?
It did the trick. The CPAP machine came, and he uses it. He falls asleep without it and wakes me up with his snoring, and I wake him up and tell him to put it on. I pester him until he DOES put it on. When he takes it off during the night, I wake him up and tell him to put it on. Usually he does; if he doesn't, I just keep pestering him until he does. It's a lot more effort on my part than sleeping elsewhere would be. A LOT more. But it's mostly working and I'm getting a lot more sleep as is he.
I don't know if any of this is useful to you, OP, or to anyone else. The thing that struck me is that even if he's "in health care" (my husband is a SICU nurse), he didn't "get" the full relationship between untreated sleep apnea and it's effects. Pointing out that his mother's dementia is probably related to her own hypoxic episodes due to untreated sleep apnea didn't go anywhere, but the power point with photos of an elderly woman with wild eyed-dementia struggling to complete a kindergartner's jigsaw puzzle in the memory care ward DID get his attention. (With the references.) Reminding him of the association between sleep apnea and CVAs got a "Yeah, yeah, yeah -- quit bugging me!" But statistics, references and photos made an impact. As for me -- my own denial about MY sleep apnea was completely countered with two weeks of reading captalk.com. By the time MY CPAP arrived, I was eager to get started with it.
I hope this helps.
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