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Sleep Apnea Widow or Her Name is Marilyn

Barb and R before the c-pap. No after photo as we look the same. Perhaps a tad grayer.

    Yep, that’s me. The girl on her own side of the bed wearing orange putty-like ear plugs named Mack to get away from the noises that R and Marilyn are making on the other side of the bed. From the time we go to bed until we rise each day when I pull Marilyn’s plug, the noises coming from his side of the bed are disgusting. I never heard such heavy breathing, sighing, and hissing. We were told there would be no snoring. But I detect snoring. Yes, that’s right! Snoring. Big time snoring.
    Every night, I throw myself onto my own side of the bed --- I’m not one bit angry --- and push my Mack ear plugs as deep into my ears/brain as they will go, hoping to shut out the sounds of the activity going on right in my own bedroom.
    This whole ordeal started innocently enough with my husband spending one night at a local asleep clinic. Okay, two nights as the doctor said his case was worse than most.
     The next thing I knew the sleep technician said my husband couldn’t  go another night without Marilyn, this rasping, hissing, wanton machine that now sits on the nightstand beside him.  I’ve seen the way he looks at it. AS if he cannot wait to get to bed at night!
    According to the doctor, the sleep report said that R had to have Marilyn and he had to have her ASAP. No waiting. No postponing. No looking at other models. After all they said, they wanted him to live. Didn’t I? Well, yeah. Did I have a choice???
    At the time, of course, I didn’t know what this thing was going to cost me!
    A nurse came to the house and showed us how to hook Marilyn to my husband. Or him to her. Whatever!  The nurse explained that every night R spent with HER, he would have a good next day to spend with me.  He would feel so much better and the nurse was sure all the good of this experience would trickle down to me.
    Nope. Didn’t happen. Not by a long shot.
    He feels better. And I am glad. Honestly. He can breathe better. He has better color. Sure, but, I am stuck wearing these fat orange ear plugs to get through a night peacefully.  Some nights I even have to wear double ear plugs to drown out all the weird sounds.
    The ear plugs have caused me ear problems. I don’t have the heart to go into it  right now. It involves inner ear problems. But mum is the word. His breathing is 
at stake. Whereas with me, it’s only my sanity.
    Meanwhile, the only one that makes out in the deal is Marilyn. And perhaps those who sold her to us.
    The trouble is, Marilyn is here to stay. She has a permanent place on the night stand. We’ve even ordered supplies to make her run better. Several new masks arrived in the mail recently.
    I’m at a stalemate. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do you have an experience with a c-pap you can share? How do you handle it? Tell me -  are there others out there trying to deal with this situation?
    I need your stories to make me feel better. Hello? Anyone out there? Help? Hello? I said help!
    I read this to R and he started snoring, right here, right on the sofa right in the middle of my story, right here beside me.
    That folks is what I have to live with. That and Marilyn.


  1. Do you have another bedroom? This is what I would do ... Go to bed as usual and if you cannot sleep, go and sleep in the other bedroom. You can always rejoin him in the morning -- he won't feel guilty and you won't have been harassed by 'Marilyn'.

  2. ummm, well he won't like the idea as I once approached the subject of twin beds but it may be an option. Although I think I should get the best bed! Thanks! Appreciate your comment.

  3. I can't relate but oh dear I'm sorry!

  4. My son does the sleep clinic in his hospital..I'll ask him if there are any ways to make this better. Working in surgery I understand the importance of airways and breathing and how it works on our systems when we have obstructions...there is a surgical procedure that removes the uvula and reduces the tongue and also pillar implants to help breathing. Also losing weight helps stop snoring on some..not all...people. I was going to suggest separate sleeping arrangements. It's kind of the "thing" now because I think there is more sleep apnea these days. Sleep is so important to our health. (Yours and his!) You know the story since you've gone through the sleep clinic process. I'll get back to you if I find out anything that might be helpful.

  5. My parents just went through this same exact situation. my father was in the same shape as your husband - his Marylin was a life and death neccesity. And yes, my mother has the same problems as you wearing ear plugs, constant sinus conditions, middle ear infections, got so bad, the doctor had to put her on antibiotics.

    Anyway, the only solution for my parents was separate bedrooms. My father was totally against it, but my mother prevailed because as she couldn't sleep at night from all his noise, it was affecting HER health. She lost weight, couldn't concentrate, felt like crap all the time. The doctor told her, if she didn't get some rest, she could end up in the hospital.

    To make up for their separation, they now take naps together in the afternoon or early evening so they can at least say, they still sleep together. That seems to help as he doesn't use Marylin for his nap.

  6. Makes so much sense Anne. I'm not there yet on leaving my bed.
    HOpe we can work out some other solution.
    Appreciate your help. It makes me feel better that someone else has the same problems with the sleep machine.

  7. Laughter in the morning is so good for the digestive tract. Thank you Barb. I laughed and enjoyed.

  8. Same thing, here. When it gets really bad, I do sleep in the other room. One does what one has to do to get a good nights sleep...

  9. I have a good friend whose husband uses a CPAP. I never heard her complain about his snoring with it, but then, she also has a "white noise" machine. But I'll see her Tuesday and ask. I don't know how you get any sleep.

  10. I suggest separate rooms with visiting privileges.


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