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Adventures in Sleep

The Case of His and Hers: Part II - CPAP Therapy

Published April 15, 2009 3:26 PM by Amy Reavis
I have had a rash of husbands and wives lately. Some couples did the tests at the same time; others figured out their problem only after their mate was treated.

From my days doing homecare, I know that the support a husband and wife give each other to get tested and to use their equipment can be the difference between success and failure on their road to health.

I started the month with a husband and wife who needed sleep testing.  The husband said the wife was a restless sleeper and the wife said the husband snored like a freight train.  With this information, we made certain assumptions about how these studies would go. Little did we know that they had no idea what really happened while they slept. 

The husband had so many leg movements that you thought he had jogged a 5k in his sleep.  He snored a little big and has sleep apnea but his restlessness was not what we expected.

The wife? Now, she could have given a freight train a run for its money, which makes me wonder if her snoring was actually causing her arousals. She snored and gasped and has worse sleep apnea then her husband. 

They came back for their titration and did great.  I know--having done their titration and the support-that they are the perfect support for each other as they start using their CPAPs at home. With the change in both their sleep, you should see a happier household and marriage as well. 

My other couple was a husband who had a sleep study three months ago.  He came for fatigue and because his wife said he was snoring.  He had significant sleep apnea and was put on a CPAP.  His wife is still restless at night and it turns out she snored as well.  She came in for her titration study and needs a CPAP as well.  She already knows what to expect because she had the opportunity of watching her husband adapt.  He had a tough go of it but he is using his every night and is feeling better. 

I have learned more then I could ever imagine working with these couples helping them to get the good night sleep they deserve.

2 comments

Thanks for the article.

Amie

Amie Reavis CRTT September 26, 2009 4:04 PM

Oh, how right you are, Amy.  In our Patient Support Center I am seeing double/couple appointments with more frequency.  The individual patients are like any others, except that you see more of the partner than usual.  And the partner knows more about sleep disorders than usual.  And they narc on each other regarding compliance & effectiveness of therapy.

These conditions can lead to unexpected, often humorous circumstances.  Like you, Amy, I have found OSA couples to be wonderfully supportive of one another, & generally a delight with whom to work.

Rock Conner, sleep - RRT, Fusion Sleep April 15, 2009 6:31 PM
Johns Creek GA

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    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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