So how can it be that a man who has been quite happy in a technical career for a quarter of a century, how can it be that he then goes from making $50k/y to in shelter in about three years?!?
It was not a doctor who told me the answer to this.
So it was a comment from one (or was it two or three) walking by my bunk in shelter followed by a “sit yourself down and listen to what I have to say” talk from another which finally convinced me that I needed to get to the doctor.
There they discovered that I stopped breathing (or had severely reduced breathing) some four hundred times in an eight hour night!!! If I spent the entire night on my back that could potentially go up to seven hundred and twenty times a night!!!! At the time I did not know what to make of it but my blood oxygen “nadir” (lowest point) was 55% and characterized by the doctor in my sleep report as “extreme”.
The thing is that the lowest blood oxygen level is clearly associated with the brain damage and quality of life issues that have been shown to be occuring in those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). I did not understand this back then but I do now very much understand now that having severe obstructive sleep apnea with extreme hypoxia (likely for decades undiagnosed and unsuspected) is exactly how I ended up in shelter. And I am very much not the only one!!!
It has been quite a journey since I started CPAP treatment back in August of 2003. CPAP for many (I think likely most) tends to be or become unusable. Here I hope to share what I have found along the way that can help make it usable, effective, and perhaps even unnecessary over time.