Foster's Sleep Apnea Story

Fathers play many roles in their children’s lives. They are providers, best friends, and oftentimes role models. I look up to my dad for his character, work ethic, and his ability to face adversity. He served in the U.S. military for over 20 years, and after retiring became a teacher for another 20 years. I can only hope to impact as many lives as he has with his generosity and will forever strive to be great like him. One of my biggest fears, however, is what if I can’t live up to those standards?

He is calculated, organized, the hardest worker in the room, does everything with a smile, and doesn’t seem to have a bad day. He has taught me so much about life, and I feel prepared in some areas but there are some discussions we have yet to have. What health factors will I face based on family history? What are the early symptoms of diabetes? Do I just snore, or should I get tested for sleep apnea early? What are other hereditary health concerns I should be aware about?

I have all these questions about sleep apnea and decided that I would just ask him and share his insights with you! He was diagnosed with sleep apnea over 10 years ago, and can’t imagine what sleep was like before he had his CPAP machine. Hopefully his experience and insight can help you just as much as it will help me! 

When do you think I should get tested for sleep apnea? As soon as you start noticing you have sleeping problems. There are at home sleep tests or you can go to a sleep clinic and work with specialists. You should be able to go to sleep, remain asleep, and not wake  up feeling groggy. He recommended that even at the age of 26 I should get tested, so that I can prevent the other effects that are associated with sleep apnea. Not sleeping well not only affects one’s mood, but increases one’s chance of high blood pressure, chances of diabetes and stroke. Sleep apnea doesn’t discriminate by age, and many Americans are currently living their lives undiagnosed. It is not common to be up at all hours of the night or snoring loudly. You can save yourself so many sleepless nights by addressing the issue and taking care of your health.

Being an African American male should I get tested earlier? Yes, being African American means that you are at a higher risk of many health related diseases. Getting tested for sleep apnea should be included on just the regular checkups that I should be getting. Early detection has saved the lives of many, and can help increase one’s chances to recover from other diseases.

How do I get used to the noise of the machine before I go to sleep? That takes time. Now you can use an app on your phone for a noise machine, but it just takes practice getting comfortable to it. The very first week may be challenging but following the right tips can definitely make it easier!

How can I pay for this without insurance? There are many options available! Talk to your doctor to find the right one for you. You can purchase from sites such as CPAP Supplies or other websites. There are definitely ways to pay for this no matter what your financial situation may be. Regardless, your health is important.

What if I really do not want to go through this process? Being stubborn about sleep apnea is only hurting yourself and your partner. You don’t have to wake up exhausted, and have the ability to take your health in your own hands. It may be hard at first, but you will truly thank yourself in the long run. You should want to go through the process for your own sake! Take control of your life and do what’s best for you.

How do I prepare my significant other for this journey? It took awhile for your mom to get used to the machine, but once again it is only an adjustment. Overtime they will be able to sleep soundly, and it will not interfere with cuddling. You just have to find the right mask and machine that works for you and be patient with your partner and ask them to have patience with you as you begin this new journey with your CPAP therapy.

People have their own questions and will have their own experiences with CPAP therapy. These were just some of the personal questions that I had, but if you have your own questions and would like to speak to a clinician about qualifying through insurance, please call us at 1-866-298-6482. Or give your doctor a call. It is important– now more than ever– for us to prioritize our health. Going to the doctor for regular checkups can save your life. If you are snoring or having difficulty sleeping at night, get tested for sleep apnea. It affects people of all genders and ages. I am glad that I have this knowledge at a young age, so that I feel prepared for whatever life may throw at me!