Friday, January 11, 2008

Roland Waits, Exhausted and Frustrated

Roland has been excessively tired for months and months. It is hard to say when it really started, because it sort of crept up on us. Still, certainly all this school year he has come home from work and taken a nap every say. On weekends he will sleep to noon like a teenager, without the staying up late part the night before.

He has assumed it was stress from his job. He made the mistake at being good at handling tough kids. He enjoys his job -- but not with the number of kids he has right now. He and another special education teacher were joking (in that way where one laughs because it is the only alternative to crying) about how in a recent meeting Roland was assured that the new student they wanted to transfer from another school had a one-on-one aide. Roland, having been down this road before asked, "Yes, but will the aide be coming with him?" Response, "Um...we don't know for sure."

Anyway, he assumed that was the cause of the exhaustion and it wasn't going away any time soon. He considered applying to a school district closer to The City, debating whether the commute would be outweighed by the higher salary and smaller class size. I've been routing for that option, but he has felt to tired to do anything about it.

But about a month ago he fell asleep in the recliner and did that classic sleep-apnea, stop-breathing-for-five-seconds, startle and gasp thing. I told him he did it. Then I started paying attention to the exact nature of his snores. They are all loud, but there was a pattern that I hadn't noticed before: one regular snore noise, one breath that sounds like it is coming through a small tube, one breath that sounds like it is coming through an almost shut tube, a very subtle startle and deep breath, repeat.

So I started badgering him to go to the doctor. He talked about a pillow that is supposed to help with sleep apnea. I badgered him to go to the doctor. He adjusted his pillows so that he was sleeping more on his side. I kept badgering him. He went.

The technician told him that he could not diagnose, but that it looked to him like Roland had "anea-like sleep patterns."

And now Roland believes that that is the source of his exhuastion. I agree.

And the waiting for three weeks until he gets results just feels overwhelming. He doesn't know how he can continue that long being this tired all the time.

I completely understand -- I really do. Relief is in sight, but still out of reach.

When he thought this was just how life was, he coped. Now is so hard to cope when he knows he shouldn't have to feel like this.

It shouldn't have to be three weeks. I am beginning to wonder if it is an insurance thing -- maybe the insurance plan has a deal with someone in this far away city where his info is being sent. The City we live near is not tiny. There HAVE to be people there who do this sort of thing.

Poor guy.


  1. Carrie9:14 PM

    I asked my husband again. Sleep is a booming business, and neurologists specializing in sleep disorders are in short supply right now. Since you need one to make the diagnosis in order for your insurance to pay, that's probably why you have such a long wait. Sleep lab techs can score the study, but that's all. Sorry, I'm sure it's very frustrating.

  2. glad you are on the way to an answer at any right!

  3. If it is sleep apnea and they offfer him that really uncomfortable machine he should ask about the mouthpiece alternative. I got one-it's made from a mold and is hinged to thrust the jaw forward and change the airway. It worked and is a lot more comfortable. My insurance even covered the 2 grand. I wish I had done it sooner-have some heart damage from the apnea.

  4. I'm glad to hear that he might be on the way to some relief, but I wish it didn't have to take so long.


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.