Last night, I recorded my snore.
I’ve snored since childhood. It started off as a sometime thing. My family teased me about it in our good-natured way. In my 30’s it became more consistent, my second husband described it as a “kitten purring” all night. It got progressively worse and by my late 40’s. It got obnoxious. It got life-altering. Dearest would sometimes escape to the couch for a “good” night’s sleep and I would often wake myself up. I tried dental appliances, with only marginal success, until my teeth started to loosen from the pressure of pushing my jaw forward. I tried sleeping on an incline but would slide down the wedge in the night and the snore would come back loud as hard as ever. I didn’t need to proof I snored. I never doubted the witness of my roommates or bedfellows. I was just curious about what it sounded like. So last night I recorded myself.
I was shocked. I don’t just snore. I struggle to breathe. I guessed it. I believed my friend who heard me snore (and occasionally stop breathing) all the way from the next room at a girl’s getaway. I believed my sister, with whom I shared a hotel room for the Women’s March on Washington last year, when she told me. Most of all, I believed Dearest who shares my bed each night and shakes me awake, not in frustration to stop the snoring but out of worry, to make me breathe again. I have already asked for a referral to a sleep clinic and have an appointment. but the first available appointment they have is over three months away.
There is something deeply disturbing about listening to yourself fight for your next breath. Knowledge, acceptance, and making an intake appointment at a sleep clinic are all one thing. Actually witnessing yourself desperately gasping for air through a narrow airway is something else altogether.
Sleep apnea is a not-so-silent killer. I think it’s time to pull out that pillow wedge again. Just to help me cope until my sleep clinic intake appointment.
Not until I heard your dreams,
Did I realize that I was still sleeping.
And not until I experienced my life with you,
Did I realize that I was barely