The 6,000 Dollar Man

I know, ladies, calm yourselves. There’s no way to make that attractive, so I didn’t even bother with filters or color correction. And my glasses are not normally crooked like that, before you ask.

Since we have been talking about health care and health insurance, thought I would note that the sleep apnea I was diagnosed with in 2005 would be considered a pre-existing condition. Last night I went to have a sleep study done, and that is me with all the electrodes and what not sticking to me before I fell asleep. I hadn’t had one done in a lab since 2005, and if I did not have insurance I shudder to think how many thousands of dollars that would cost. And without a sleep machine, I would be worthless as Jared Kushner’s SF-86.

As it is, I had to fight to get the lab done. My machine was dying, my masks no longer fit me well, and we had done several “at home” studies which did nothing at all over the years because they can’t diagnose the proper settings, whether you need C-Pap or Bi-Pap, etc.

For me, it is not only a quality of life thing- without the sleep mask, I feel like hammered shit, wake up continuously, never get REM sleep, have to take multiple naps during the day, fall asleep in meetings and whenevr I am just sitting, etc., but it is also a very serious health issue. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to “high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.”

And death.. Reggie White Watts, Jerry Garcia, Carrie Fisher, to name a few. Another side effect for me before being treated was constant heartburn, because I was having acid reflux while gasping for air in my sleep. Long term acid reflux can lead to a whole host of nasty things like Barrett’s esophagus.

And it isn’t just fatties like me! Lots of super skinny people have it, so if you are reading this and saying “I don’t have a planetary sized melon and a neck that closely resembles a pork shoulder like John Cole so I have nothing to worry about,” you are wrong! When I was diagnosed in 2005 I was told that I probably have had it my whole life because of my neck structure, and I remember sleeping in the freshman girls dorm and waking up to find my at the time gf sleeping in the hallway because I snored and gagged and gasped so much. VERY WRONG:

As it turns out, being overweight or obese is not as significant a predictor of who may develop sleep apnea as was previously believed. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that, of the millions of people who currently suffer from sleep apnea, as many as 90 percent of these may be unaware of their condition.

Part of this is because many people who are otherwise thin don’t think they could possible develop sleep apnea. As well, since the disorder is more common in men, thin women are less likely to consider they may possibly have sleep apnea, even if symptoms are a match.

Children can also develop sleep apnea, regardless of their body weight. For this reason, the best approach is always to seek medical consultation with Dr. Jamali for a medical diagnosis rather than trying to self-diagnose based on common symptoms of sleep apnea alone.

This is especially important for women, who are at serious risk of being undiagnosed. So go get yourself checked if you are constantly tired or demonstrate the symptoms. Once treated, you will feel better, be healthier, and your partner won’t give a shit about the appearances- they’ll just be happy to get a good night’s sleep instead of listening to you snore, choke, and gasp for air.


The study went off without a hitch. Went in at 9:45, was hooked up by 10:30, was asleep by 10:35. Sleeping at will is my superpower. I can sleep through an air raid siren. I remember being in the driver’s seat of an M1A1 on the firing line with eight tanks in a row shooting, and falling asleep and having my CO have to whip me with an antenna from the turret to wake me up. This is an M1A1 firing line:

Woke up at 5, got unhooked, and started the 90 minute drive home. Halfway home, my dogsitter texted me:

So I called her and tried to walk her through various solutions, including getting the hose and hosing the dogs off, but that did nothing but turn the area under the porch into a muddy mess, so I know how two dogs down in a hole, coated with mud, yapping their damned heads off. I called my parents and dad sent my brother over, and he yelled at them until they came out, and we locked them in the basement until I got home.

I just let them out again and whatever it was is now gone, but today we will be filling a hole under the deck and making sure that shit doesn’t happen again. Another day in the life. I realized while writing this that I have lived out my life on this blog for fifteen years now, and y’all have been here for all of it- adopting my dogs and cats, the death of Tunch, my various injuries and naked mopping, switching to the Democratic party, the alcoholism, the breakdown from anxiety and depression, the mustard, meeting ABC, and on and on. Weird to think about that way, isn’t it?

It’s like the Prairie Home Companion but almost everyone is below average.

163 replies
  1. 1
    eric says:

    almost everyone? sir, I believe you have slandered someone….

  2. 2
    RobertDSC-iPhone 6 says:

    You’re a good egg, Cole. Keep it up.

  3. 3
    Phylllis says:

    Well I think you’re right cute, but then I have always been a chubby chaser.

  4. 4
    ruemara says:

    Somehow, I don’t think below average is correct. Congratulations, John. You’ve built a whole life as well as an internet refuge. Here’s to many more. And good to know about the sleep apnea.

    Back to travel prep.

  5. 5
    Another Scott says:

    Here’s hoping they get you fixed up soon. You’re right that sleep is very, very important. Donnie not getting enough sleep can’t help him, either. :-/

    ( TMI that’ll I’ll save for another time. )

    ObOpenThread? RollCall:

    Updated at 5:43 p.m. | A review of open-source data indicates then-candidate Donald Trump was inside Trump Tower last year when his eldest son and at least two other top aides huddled with a Russian lawyer they believed had Kremlin-supplied information that could hurt presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

    White House and Trump campaign officials, along with the president’s private legal team, have not disputed as of publication time that he was at his Manhattan steel-and-glass haven. That means Trump was nearby — though likely on a different floor — when his son and associates believed they were about to receive information from the Kremlin intended to ding another candidate for the country’s highest office.

    “Mr. Mueller will almost certainly want answers, under oath, clarifying whether President Trump was made aware at the time of the existence of the meeting in general, to say nothing of the specific details of the meeting,” said Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer, referring to Justice Department special counsel Robert S. Mueller. “He will also want to know whether President Trump was debriefed about the meeting at any time in the aftermath.”

    How long until we start hearing mumbles that Donnie “stuck his head in to say ‘hi'”, and then mumbles that “he only stayed at the meeting for a few minutes”, and then mumbles that “of course he was there as a full participant – he’s a hands-on guy!”…



  6. 6

    Hillbilly Home Companion? I suggest a Reality TV show, next step, the White House.

  7. 7
    la caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    I am ABOVE AVERAGE, thank you very much. Naked vacuuming, not mopping. Keep it up for another 15 years. Cole. I think we’re going to need this blog more than ever.

  8. 8
    Zelma says:

    I’ve only been following Balloon Juice for about ten years so I missed your conversion. But I’ve shared all the other events in your life. I want to say that this is my most favorite blog and it’s because I feel like I really know the people especially you, John. I also appreciate the high level of the contributions of the front pagers and the snark of the commenters. If there’s ever a meet-up on the Jersey shore, I’ll be there. Also, only a few weeks to pre-season. Go Steelers!

  9. 9
    SWMBO says:

    My husband was diagnosed with apnea in 1989. He had over 200 apnea episodes an hour, lasting between 10 seconds to over 2 minutes, with his blood oxygen levels dropping to 29%. The doctor told him to get used to the machine or make his funeral arrangements. He was 38 at the time. Many years later, both of our kids and I were diagnosed with apnea. We’re all about that sleeping with the machine. None of us sleep well without it. For anyone who is wondering if it might be your problem, have the study done. The insurance wouldn’t cover my son’s or my lab study this time. We did the home study and they prescribed an autopap machine. It decides what your pressure is and custom sets your machine using software to check on your breathing.

  10. 10
    Yarrow says:

    had to fight to get the lab done.

    Would you be willing to explain how you did this? I am in the middle of the fight, helping out a family member who needs the in-office sleep study, and the insurance company won’t budge.

    They’ve done all the at-home tests. The first machine didn’t work right (the recording part quit after a day, but that wasn’t obvious to the end user so two weeks wasted). The second machine did record but it was inconclusive. My family member usually breathes through the mouth due to smaller nasal passages, which doesn’t work right with a CPAP. So they added a chin strap to the mask and that didn’t work well either–would wake up in the middle of the night panicked, adrenaline racing and gasping for air. A bi-pap is probably needed, but can’t get one for an at-home test. The doctor really wants to do a lab test but the insurance company has refused. How did you get them to approve it? Any hints would be appreciated.

  11. 11
    mai naem mobile says:

    Okay,dood,I is not billow avrag.

  12. 12
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    I’ll have you know I am average, bobdammit. Thanks for all the comraderie, Cole. You and the Juice peeps are a refuge in these twisted times.

    Did I miss a discussion of the Orange Menace nearly wrenching the French First Lady’s arm out of its socket as she attempted to detach her hand from his, after the forced continental kiss? She’d clearly expected a handshake, and got an assault. As I told a friend at lunch that day (before either of us had seen the news) the question was whether the French First Lady wanted a kiss. One of his colleagues had been bitching that morning about the “uproar” over the president (colleague’s term, of course) kissing the First Lady of France, which they all do over there. Turns out I had the right idea.

  13. 13
    John Cole says:

    @Yarrow: I had my GP and the person at the sleep lab contact the contractor who makes the decisions for the insurance agent for a discussion about why I needed an in person lab.

  14. 14
    gammyjill says:

    Jeez, Cole, I’m glad I read further than just looking at that picture! I thought you’d done something typically stupid, like being attacked by a crazed water buffalo, while trying to get your broken car out of a meadow. Glad to know it’s just a test…

  15. 15
    Rex says:

    I missed the part about the mustard.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    @Yarrow: I should note I have success doing this because my gp and the sleep lab personnel became painfully aware that I would contact them twice daily until I had the answer I wanted.

  17. 17
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Another Scott: these people are truly stupid and I would be some money that Manafort was at least advocating for Vlad if not a full out Russian agent. I actually am willing to give Junior a pass on agreeing to the meeting via email because he’s a moron, but Manafort knew better and should have put a stop to it. Other people who I would bet knew about the meeting should have put a stop to the meeting.

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    I was thinking, “Shit, I’m way below fucking average, how dare he say that!”

  19. 19
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:


    I have lived out my life on this blog for fifteen years now, and y’all have been here for all of it

    For me, not all of it, and not 15 years either. I got here somewhere after the conversion to the Good Side of the Force. But I remember poor Tunch’s loss, and at least one time before that when you were in hysterics because he got out and went walkabout for a couple of days. So if not all of it, I’ve seen a pretty significant portion of it anyway.

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    @John Cole: Thanks. The sleep doctor himself is supposed to be contacting the insurance company. That’s the last we’ve heard. Life has been a bit out of hand lately and haven’t had the chance to follow up. I think maybe the ball has been dropped.

  21. 21
    The Fat Kate Middletion says:

    Good for you for following though on a real by-god sleep study. And for making such a good case here for others to do the same. I have too many friends and family who refuse to do so. And I don’t know if it’s still true, but the last time I asked about what it would cost me to pay for it out-of-pocket, I was told $2500. I’ve been on C-PAP for eight years now, and couldn’t sleep without it. I’m convinced it’s saved my life.

  22. 22
    MarkK says:

    My son died from sleep apnea at 29. I’m glad you are getting treatment and for posting this.

  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    Cole, I don’t think Reggie Watts is dead. I hope not, anyway!

  24. 24
    japa21 says:

    @Another Scott: It would be interesting to know just how many details Mueller already knows and how he will compare that knowledge to any answers he gets under oath. It’s not nice to fool Mueller.

  25. 25
    Lefthanded compliment says:

    I can relate. I’d strongly suspected, based on bitter complaints from roommates and girlfriends, that I had sleep apnea, but for years I resisted doing anything about it. Finally, in 1995 (I was 43), severe fatigue impelled me to have a sleep study done. The CPAP machine I got as a result made a huge difference in my life; I very much doubt I’d still be here without it. I encourage anyone who thinks apnea might be a problem to get tested.

    As a longtime lurker, I want to say how much I appreciate both the front pagers and the regular commenters; you make a great virtual community.

  26. 26
    Ruckus says:

    Not dead.

    ETA Of course John could mean a different Reggie Watts. I’m assuming that you mean the comedian/singer?

  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I am so sorry. That’s awful.

  28. 28
    J R in WV says:

    John, interesting live fire video, hard to believe you could fall asleep during that kind of exercise!! But I guess that’s part of the sleep apnea.

    I used to, back when I was your age, be able to go to sleep immediately and get a full night’s sleep, no problem. Now, not so much. My feeble mind picks out a topic/topics and works on thinking through all the permutations of what may happen, and what that event will mean in the future.

    Of course right now all those permutations are terrible as there is NO ONE competent to run a taco truck in the elected/appointed sections of our government. So I take medication to help me sleep, which isn’t the best thing, but it beats the alternatives. Honestly I developed the sleeplessness problems well before Trump started running.

    Anyway, getting a new machine, all new equipment, that’s a good thing. Adam wrote briefly about having equipment trouble late at night and what a pain it was, split tube? or contaminated tubes? Something. Maybe you could post a pic of your new breathing hardware? Can’t be as goofy looking as the sensors pasted all over your face, and many of us would be interested.

    Don’t think I could fall asleep in the sleep lab, but maybe.

    Best of luck with your new sleeping hardware!! Back in the 90s my mom had C-Pap to help with her COPD, and it was clunky and noisy. But that was 20 years ago.

  29. 29
    Suzanne Rizwy says:

    I want to tell you that I love you. I also have a Maine Coon cat, along with two dogs and have been reading your blog since after your wonderful conversion! It’s nice to read someone who is singing to the choir.

  30. 30
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Sure, you’re a giant dorkus but we expect that, the question is could you return a Kim Clijsters serve while wearing a tennis skirt?

  31. 31
    mai naem mobile says:

    When you’re seizing in Arizona near the Mexican border you see a bunch of billboards about dental work across the border. Last time I was driving there, there were signs for sleep apnea doesn’t mention the clock and I don’t know how the prescription works for the US.

  32. 32
    WaterGirl says:

    @J R in WV: My brother-in-law has one and it’s so noisy that I can’t sleep if I’m in the vicinity!

  33. 33
    Kristine says:

    Glad you got the retest, Cole.

    I’ve forgotten how long I’ve been coming here–iirc, GWB/early Obama. One of the few places I make sure to check out every day. Here and Washington Monthly are the only places where I read the comments.

    Pets, gardening, politics, pets, recipes, politics, pets. Donating funds to help folks out. The Story of Walter. This is a special place.

  34. 34
    p.a. says:

    Greetings from the positive slope of the bell curve! I lurve my cpap machine. Prefer the mask over the nasal pillows, but can use either. 11psi. I was under for about 30 mins. when they woke me up. “Problem?”
    “No. You have it. We have all we need, just need to figure out the pressure.”

  35. 35
    The Fat Kate Middletion says:

    I am so very sorry.

  36. 36
    raven says:

    Time on target!

  37. 37
    SWMBO says:

    @Yarrow: My first suggestion is to call the insurance company and ask for the HIPPA official. Every company has to have one. Ask for the names and credentials of the ones who denied the procedure. They must supply you with this. You will find that it was probably denied by some high school grad who is just following the guidelines. There are plenty of people in the system who can override this and approve it.
    Our dentist recently had a check held by the insurance company because the insurance company said they overpaid a different client’s charges (same dentist same insurance company different patient with a different insurance policy). I got on the phone with some girl who was in over her head. She told me (in a conference call with the dentist office) all about these overpayments with the other client. The dentist office said that had been resolved and that the other client had coverage. She looked and said yes, they did find the other patient had coverage. I told her to release the check on our account. (BTW, she wasn’t supposed to even acknowledge the other patient much less give me those details). She told me she wasn’t authorized to release the check. I asked to speak to the HIPPA official. She checked and couldn’t find the name or transfer me to him/her. I asked to speak to a supervisor who was authorized to release the check. She was on another call. I asked for a transcript of the entire conversation. By this time, she was tearful and trying to get me off the phone so she could hide and cry. Long story short, the next day they called and released the check. Did not get the HIPPA official or transcript but got what I came for. Also intend to remind them they didn’t give me the HIPPA official’s name or the transcript as requested last time.
    Write down the date and time and name of who you speak to. Ask for their specific extension if you decide to call back. These people do not want to deal with someone who knows what they want and how to get it.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    That was hilllarious!!!!

  39. 39
    grandpa john says:

    @Yarrow: I had no trouble getting approved for sleep test afters my doctor Our local hospital has a sleep lab. Now I was already on medicare when it was prescribed and my supplementary insurance is state plan for retirees BCBS so that may have helped

  40. 40
    Sirkowski says:

    I can’t sleep if I’m not in my bed, I’m don’t see how I could sleep in an hospital plugged in a machine.

  41. 41
    Laura says:

    This blog is a swell place full of commenters worth crushing on. I found it through other blogs including LG&M (if memory serves, LG&M may have linked the Tunch post) and Digby’s Hullabaloo.
    Following the arc of Cole’s voyage of self actualization is kind of a realtime, participatory diary of samuel peyps.

    Life is hard, and our job is to help each other get through it. That’s what I see here and it keeps me coming back. Joys and sorrows and life more sweet than bitter. Also, Baud.

  42. 42
    grandpa john says:

    @John Cole: when you did it, did they do the sensors in your hair that were held in place by some kind of goop which required about 3 days of shampooing to get it all out ?

  43. 43
    Mom Says I'm Handsome says:

    My best friend had a rogue’s gallery of ailments & physical complaints, but was only able to make headway on any of them after he had been properly diagnosed & treated for his apnea. Proper sleep is the key to just about everything, health wise; not for nothing do our government torturers Freedom conversationalists use sleep deprivation to wreck people.

    When I first saw that photo I thought, “He’s gone through another porch deck.” Glad it’s something considerably more healthful.

  44. 44
    Juliet says:

    I want to tell you that I love you. I also have a Maine Coon cat, along with two dogs and have been reading your blog since after your wonderful conversion! It’s nice to read someone who is singing to the choir.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    For a moment there, I thought our bloglord had suffered a new accident. I am so relieved.

  47. 47
    Schlemazel says:

    Out here on the frozen tundra we are all well above average

    As for living life in the open, look at it this way: How many people have a few hundred people ready willing and able to tell they they are dead wrong about everything at the drop of a hat? I hope this twisted nightmare of a blog has brought you some happiness because it has for me

  48. 48
    Another Scott says:

    @SWMBO: Thank you for that.

    Someone needs to collect information like that into a persistent “All The Secrets of the Way the World Really Works and How to Make it Work for You, Also Too” post. There’s so much great information here that gets buried after a while…


  49. 49
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Ruckus: I just re-watched it and was already chuckling before it began.

  50. 50
    FlyingToaster says:

    It’s like the Prairie Home Companion but almost everyone is below average.

    Dear fucking gods, you compare this bunch of rabid jackals with the most annoying radio production of all time?

    Now even I’m insulted.

    Seriously, in college, my freshman roommate turned that program on a second time and I threw her transistor out the window. And had to go retrieve it (thankfully intact) from the shrubbery 3 stores below. She learned that the phrase “headphones or somewhere else” was entirely meaningful. She left to marry her HS boyfriend after that year, still listening to her hokey shit. Ewwwww.

  51. 51
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @SWMBO: Excellent advice. It wouldn’t have occurred to me (and should have!) to get their attention by asking for the HIPAA official. Thanks much.

  52. 52
    opiejeanne says:

    Thank goodness it was only the things holding the electrodes in place. I thought at first glance that Steve had had his revenge on you for something or other.

  53. 53
    SWMBO says:

    My son, who has other disabilities, had to have 3 sleep studies done before they could diagnose him. He couldn’t go to sleep in their lab for various reasons. The last time we tried it, I brought food and his blankets from home. He ate after he was wired up and just before he went to bed. Got him warm under his familiar blankets. Slept in the lab with him. They came and woke me up early on and said he wasn’t going to sleep. I told him it was time to go to sleep and when he woke up, they would take all the sensors off. He was worried that he was going to have to wear them home. Sheesh. When he got through, I asked the lab techs if he was going to have to come back to be titrated for a machine. The snooty supervisor said they couldn’t discuss it with me. The tech (who had been through a previous try) looked him in the eye and told him he was coming back. He (my son) did great the next time because there were no surprises. And we had finally worked out how to get him to sleep.

  54. 54
    Redshift says:

    I may be joining the ranks of the pre-existing-conditioned soon. In a dizzyingly quick chain of events, I have been diagnosed with a testicular tumor, won’t know until later if it’s cancerous. I’m having surgery on Monday. The doctor assures me that it’s very treatable, “if you have to get cancer, this is the one you want to get.”

    I’m still kind of stunned. I never get sick, and I’m so generally optimistic that my mental reaction to “go get these tests and schedule a followup as soon as possible afterward” was not “that sounds really serious,” but “oh, okay, hopefully it’ll be nothing.”

  55. 55
    pacem appellant says:

    I have a similar photo. I’m not a fatty (though I am overweight). And I have apnea. I met a man in the airport security line who had a CPAP around the time I was just starting with mine. He was very tall and thin and he looked like Anthony Bourdain. I asked him how he liked his CPAP, and he replied, “Well, I like being alive.” I sleep with my CPAP every night. I like being alive, too.

  56. 56
    Felonius Monk says:

    Holy Jeebus. I glanced quickly at that picture and thought John Goodman has now been arrested for drunk driving.

  57. 57
    Betty Cracker says:

    My husband has been bugging me to get a sleep apnea test for years — claims I regularly quit breathing and scare the hell out of him. I don’t sleep worth a damn, and I know it’s bad for my overall health, but I didn’t realize it could be that serious. So I’m glad you posted this.

    We have a new, somewhat less shitty insurance plan going into effect soon, so I’ll gear up to do battle with them.

    Thank you also for this community of snarling jackals. It has been a lifeline in many ways.

  58. 58
    Wenchacha says:

    My sister used to go to a Dr Jamali when she lived in Greenbelt MD. She had a sleep study as well. Same doc maybe? The world is tiny.

  59. 59
    John Cole says:

    @grandpa john: I have short hair, it came out with one shower this morning.

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    Vaguely remember sleep.

    It was nice while it lasted.

  61. 61
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I hope all goes well for you. You have a good attitude, and your innate optimism will be an asset, whatever the outcome of the surgery. Do please keep us as informed as you’re comfortable with.

  62. 62
    Genine says:

    You know I never thought about sleep apnea. I do have a significant number of the symptoms. It’s something to think about. I just emailed my doctor about my experiences and I’ll see what she has to say about a test. Thanks for the inspiration, John.

  63. 63
    Redshift says:

    I came here as part of the Firedoglake diaspora after that site went nuts. That was after John’s conversion, but still quite a few years ago. I used to read a dozen blogs back in the day; this and Steve Benen’s stuff ad Maddowblog are the only ones I read regularly, and this is the only one I comment on much. (I’d participate more on Maddowblog, but MSNBC switched it over to a platform where the comments page freezes an mobile browsers, and has never fixed it.)

    Thanks for creating this place. It’s the best. And thank all of you for being my imaginary friends.

  64. 64
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Betty Cracker: I apparently have a number of sleep dysfunctions. My wife has also said that I stop breathing repeatedly during the night, and also have always been a loud snorer. Last few years we’ve added sleepwalking to the list of joys. Not that I get out of bed, but my arms and legs move (lots more than your cute doggy’s limbs do when he/she is chasing a dream rabbit) and I also apparently talk. Long, loud harangues.

    I’ve also had very irregular sleep habits my whole life. I don’t actually like sleeping, so I used to go for days at a time on 4 hours and then catch up in one long night. I thought that the worst sleep dysfunctions were correlated with less sleep in recent years, so I’ve tried to make an attempt to have more regular habits. So far my wife is not reporting any reductions in symptoms.

    So there may be a night in the sleep lab for me too. I’m currently in insurance limbo but expecting a smooth if expensive conversion to COBRA coverage.

  65. 65
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Betty Cracker: Get the test done; sleep apnea is no joke and the knock-on effects can be devastating. I worked with someone who developed a prescription narcotics addiction because she always woke up with horrible headaches; the headaches were caused by high CO2 levels from having apnea. She eventually got it worked out and also had to have help to get clean from the narcotics.

    The first person I knew to have apnea was a client from my old geology days in 1994. Finally a C-PAP worked but in the meantime he’d lost his short term memory from lack of REM sleep, and the metabolic changes had him going from being a generally big guy to morbidly obese. He’s lucky he had loyal employees who kept his company running during the years it took to get him back to normal.

    I’m wondering if apnea is now more common or if now more people know what it is and do something about getting diagnosed? I sure remember being around older relatives whose snoring would keep everyone awake.

  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @SWMBO: Thanks for this info. It has been an ongoing battle with the insurance company. Will regroup for battle and see if something like this might work. First have to track down the doctor and find out where it stand with them.

    @Betty Cracker: It can be very serious. Worth getting the test if you have people that are telling you that you quit breathing and you already know you don’t sleep well.

    I know people aren’t fans of Andrew Sullivan, but back when he had his blog he did a whole series of posts on sleep apnea and CPAPs. He has sleep apnea himself and uses a CPAP and in his usual way, if it affects him then it becomes worth investigating and writing about. A lot of his readers wrote in and they have interesting stories and results. It may be worth a look for anyone considering getting tested and possibly getting a CPAP. You can start here and just scroll down and click back to continue reading the posts.

  67. 67
    Wag says:

    I have a BMI of 26 and I have moderate sleep apnea. I echo John’s notes tha t you don’t have to be obese to get OSA. I feel so much better after using CPAP for the past year. If your bed partner complains about your snoring I would recommend getting tested. Unless your OSA is severe a home test should be adequate.

  68. 68
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Redshift: “It’s very treatable” is a good thing for a doc to tell you beforehand. Wishing you an uneventful surgery and results that require no treatment.

  69. 69
    Yarrow says:


    I sure remember being around older relatives whose snoring would keep everyone awake.

    According to the sleep doctor, as we age sleep apnea can become apparently because in general our muscle tone isn’t as good as when we’re younger. So when you’re lying down, your breathing passages, throat, palate (whatever, can’t remember the exact thing he said) collapse more because the overall muscle tone isn’t as good. So sleep apnea can become a problem for older people – which may also be why snoring is worse for some older people.

  70. 70

    I don’t remember how I found BJ. It was in the runup to the 2012 elections I think. Maybe the site was in a blog list on another site. I found the conversation here congenial and got brave enough to comment.

  71. 71
    Another Scott says:

    @Redshift: A friend at work had that too. Was worried enough about it that he asked my former boss to prepare a eulogy for him. :-(

    He went through the surgery and treatments. It was around 10 years ago, I think. You’d never know to look at him now. :-)

    Hang in there. Best of luck!


  72. 72
    Olivia says:

    I can’t believe that insurance companies balk at sleep studies. That seems very short sighted. The costs of keeping people healthy is much less than treating the illnesses that can result from not treating an issue.
    I was diagnosed with sleep apnea several years ago. I got fitted with an appliance to pull my jaw forward when I sleep and it works beautifully. I cannot believe how much better life is now that I sleep all night. I wore a splint for years because I grind my teeth, so getting used to the appliance was easy. A bonus was that it straightened my front teeth over a period of time. I got my first 2 appliances paid for with insurance. There was only one insurance company who covered it and fortunately it was the one that I used. Now I am retired and Medicare won’t pay for the appliance and my BCBS supplemental plan won’t pay for it so when the time comes to replace it, I am on my own. The clinic I go to told me it could cost $12,000 but I found another that charges about a fourth of that so I am saving for when I need a new one.

  73. 73
    opiejeanne says:

    @FlyingToaster: I like PHC, but it’s a completely different show now that Keillor has retired; still very good but different.
    And much better than the CW crap one roommate liked, or the Rod McCuen crap the other one liked.

  74. 74
    Lee says:

    Sleeping at will is my superpower.

    Same here. I wonder if that is a product of prior service?

    It really pisses my wife off as I’ll fall asleep mid conversation in bed.

  75. 75
    Yarrow says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Last few years we’ve added sleepwalking to the list of joys. Not that I get out of bed, but my arms and legs move (lots more than your cute doggy’s limbs do when he/she is chasing a dream rabbit)

    You could have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). It’s a serious medical problem that keeps people from sleeping. And a hearty fuck you to anyone who thinks it’s fake. You could also have Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), which can be mistaken for RLS, but is not the same thing. Most people with RLS also have PLMD, but not everyone. You can have PLMD and not RLS.

    If you have to get up and walk around to get your legs to calm down, it’s probably RLS. If you’re sleeping through it but it wakes your wife, it could be PLMD. Your wife needs to tend to her sleep and if your movement is disturbing her sleep, you could try separate beds for awhile to see if she notices a difference. Her not sleeping because of your movement is as much a sleep problem for her as it is for you. Health problems for both of you can follow.

  76. 76
    Yarrow says:

    @Olivia: The actuarial tables probably show that most people with sleep apnea just keel over and die, so that’s much less expensive for the insurance company to cover than the cost of an ongoing sleep apnea treatment and an expensive in-lab study.

  77. 77
    Redshift says:


    Same here. I wonder if that is a product of prior service?

    Maybe, but that’s not the only way to acquire that skill. I’ve pretty much always been able to do that, and I’ve never been in the military.

  78. 78
    jacy says:

    I probably have sleep apnea, because The Boyfriend complains that I snore. He definitely has sleep apnea, and snores — and he is a slender guy — but it doesn’t bother me because I used to work in a vet clinic and learned to just shut out sounds I don’t want to hear. He’s supposed to be doing a sleep lab but has put it off. But I don’t know how the hell things would work for me in a sleep lab, because I can’t go to sleep unless very specific conditions are met, some of which would not be appropriate for a sleep lab. I would go and just lay awake until they kicked me out.

    Shee-it, 15 Years? I came shortly before The Conversion, whatever year that was. I had children and time ceased to be a meaningful measurement to pay attention to.

  79. 79
    Lymie says:

    First day of retirement. Wonder what the future will bring.

  80. 80
    Redshift says:

    @Yarrow: I have PLMD some of the time, which is unfortunate because Ms. Redshift is a light sleeper. Putting some capsaicin-based ointment around the leg joints before I go to bed seems to mostly keep it under control.

  81. 81
    Redshift says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone!

  82. 82
    Jay C says:

    Well, now that I’m over being frightened by the picture at the top of the post, I’ll add my congrats for this info. My wife insisted that I get tested a few years back – mainly for the high-volume snoring – and when I had my first test, I was told that the SA was notably bad: heart-stress bad, even though I don’t have many/any of the usual markers for cardiac trouble. So now do I not only not snore (for which Mrs. Jay is quite thankful), but generally feel noticeably better when I get real sleep,
    As an aside, though: my apnea does seem to be weight-related: I’m told by the Spouse that I snore considerably less (even without the mask) when I’m thinner, than when otherwise (unfortunately, the case lately). But you’re right: it isn’t consistent: everyone with suspect symptoms ought to check for it anyway.

  83. 83
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    There have always been parts of PHC that I enjoyed, and parts I detested. And that’s still true. Chris Thiele (sp?) is a wonderfully dexterous mandolinist, very clever in a lot of musical styles, but I can’t abide his voice and speaking style. I’d be fine if he were a regular musical guest, but can’t stand him as host.

  84. 84
    Shell says:

    I know Im getting plenty of REM sleep. I started taking Zoloft in March. Its helped quite a bit and the only side effect is very vivid dreaming. Every detail of my dreams are crystal clear and can still remember all of them the next day, even days later. Funny, it was only when I googled it, it seems to be very common for a lot of users.

  85. 85
    Yarrow says:

    @Redshift: That’s interesting. I heard of people doing that but it seems to be hit or miss for how well it works. Glad it’s helping you. Wishing you the best for your surgery and hope everything goes as well as it possibly can.

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    Can’t believe how good of sports the ladies were as well as the guy. And at stuffy Wimbledon no less. It was grand when that one girl fell on the ground laughing.

  87. 87

    @Lymie: Congratulations! It takes time to make a new life. For most people anyway.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Can’t you get the VA to help out with this, John?

  89. 89
    Greg Ferguson says:

    You, Cole, are definitely Above Average, or we all wouldn’t still be here.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    First off, good luck. Trust your docs but ask all the questions you can think of. Modern medicine is pretty damn good at fixing a lot of stuff.
    Getting that kind of news is always a shock. I’ve also been pretty healthy, once I got out of childhood, other than migraines, so hearing the words “It’s positive, you have whatever” is a pretty big shock. Take a deep breath, follow docs orders and be positive.

  91. 91
    beabea says:

    Is there any other corner of the internets where you have a bloghost who both occasionally tells his readers to fuck off, while also offering us lifesaving health information from his own experience (and a forum for readers to share theirs)? I almost never comment but have been coming here every day for years (post-conversion but long enough ago to have been here for the other events). Living in Central Wingnuttia, BJ is like my online family of DEFINITELY ABOVE-AVERAGE sane and smart people. Thanks John for having this virtual house and letting us all in every day, and as others have also mentioned, it was a relief to learn that your picture was taken in a medically-supervised setting not related to another freak accident.

  92. 92
    Lauryn11 says:


  93. 93
    eclare says:

    @Redshift: All the best to you for your surgery on Monday. Found out yesterday my dad has cancer. Fuck cancer.

  94. 94
    Downwind says:

    I’m a terminal lurker who can’t resist commenting on this. I had horrible sleep apnea when I was fat (40 BMI.) I’m with Kaiser in California and they’re very aggressive with sleep testing. They gave me a machine but I hated it. Couldn’t sleep with it. So I lost 100 lbs. Now I’m at 25 BMI and Kaiser tested me again and I’m down to 10% sleep interruptions, which they still wanted me to use a machine for but I’m sleeping fine for the first time in years.

    Bottom line. Stop complaining and get back to the weight you were in the army. If a fat old couch blob like me can do it so can you.

  95. 95
    zhena gogolia says:


    Great comment.

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    I traveled to events for a year with a fellow who sounded like a semi truck when he snored. Someone passed by his hotel room one night and asked him the next morning if he had fallen asleep at the base of the door, it was that loud. I once went so far as sleeping in his van rather than face another night. I found that if I could fall asleep before him I could make it through the night.
    He was a big guy and a bit overweight, smoked like an old steel mill, snored like a semi but a great traveling companion none the less. He passed away at about aged 60 and I’d bet it was apnea.

  97. 97
    PST says:

    @Redshift: You have my sincere sympathy about the tumor. Your doctor is right about testicular cancer; he isn’t just trying to make you feel better. I’ve become a bit of a cancer magnet, with three diagnoses in the last 15 years (but not testicular), and it’s led to an education. Treatment for testicular cancer can be rough, but survival rates are very good and life returns to normal. Good luck.

  98. 98
    zhena gogolia says:


    First husband used to make me listen to it.

  99. 99
    zhena gogolia says:


    I hope it works out well. It is one of the more treatable ones, thank God.

  100. 100
    Aleta says:

    @Redshift: I know what you mean about optimism. In a similar situation my brain said: hey biopsies are win-win! If they need to treat, good that it’s now not later. If benign, the relief will feel amazing.

    Sending best wishes and light energy.

  101. 101
    MikeifromArlington says:

    Good luck on the sleeping!

  102. 102

    @FlyingToaster: @zhena gogolia: I had a friend who used to love it, that’s the only time I have listened to it, in her car. She was from Minnesota, I never got the humor. Its very twee.

  103. 103
    opiejeanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: our kids gave us tickets to PHC a few months ago as a gift. They didn’t know that GK had left. We found out from the posters outside the venue.
    As a musical show it was very good although I wouldn’t have sought out any of the guests but it was interesting. Theile (?) doesn’t have a great speaking voice, you’re right about that.
    The one thing that made my evening was when he wished happy birthday to a bunch of composers and one was Scriabin, and Then proceeded to play one of the three preludes that I played for my senior recital in college. The audience was full of musical nerds but I was the only one who cheered when he mentioned Scriabin. The guy next to me asked me about him during intermission.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    I once fell asleep at attention in ranks. Didn’t get caught. Once fell asleep during gunnery practice, a 5 in on a destroyer. Wearing an OBA and sitting less than 30 ft from the gun. On the flip side I also used to be able to wake and be alert in a second or two. Would scare the crap out of people if they woke me up and before they could step back more than one step I’d be standing and asking them what they wanted. For years I used to take a nap for a half hr at lunch. Always woke up on time. Now? Some nights I sleep for 8 hrs other times I lay awake and look at the ceiling for most of the night. Don’t snore, all my numbers are good, but I can’t shut off my mind. Wonder if it’s the only thing left working or if it is the one thing that’s gone horribly wrong. (I’m leaving out a lot of details that puts the perspective on that last bit.)

  106. 106
    amygdala says:

    @Yarrow: You’ve gotten good advice from John and others about dealing with this. Keep the letters your insurer sends about why the denial was issued, and if that info is missing and hasn’t been communicated to your docs, call or write to get the specifics.

    It happens all the friggin’ time that auths get denied despite the alleged missing data (or whatever) being right there in the original request. If I were a better person, I would not have derived as much satisfaction as I did from the resulting “neener, neener,” since it’s hard for them to deny again when you’ve clarified that well, yes, actually, my patient meets your criteria.

    Cosign making sure the PCP and sleep doc are involved. All hands on deck for stuff like this.

  107. 107
    CaseyL says:

    Wow, I had no idea so many people had sleep apnea! Add that one to the list of underlying health issues that were unrecognized, undiagnosed, or untreatable for generations and are just now being recognized and treated.

    I never considered whether I have it, since SFAIK I sleep just fine once I actually do fall asleep. But I, too, am getting older, losing muscle tone, and starting to snore a little. Hmph.

  108. 108
    FlyingToaster says:

    @opiejeanne: As soon as I was able (junior), I got into a single. Both of my roommates were “local” (southern Indiana); one from the Klan enclave halfway to Indy and the other a grow-your-own pothead. I didn’t mind so long as they kept their evangelizing, radio and smoke out of my freaking bedroom. I kept my noise (clarinet, guitar) either down in the “noisy” lounge or off in the practice building.

    @zhena gogolia: Grounds, right there. I never figured out how both CarTalk and PHC could be on the same radio station, because those sets don’t seem to have any natural intersection..

  109. 109
    Ruckus says:

    As someone working past the “normal” age of retirement or as they say in jolly ole england, a pensioner, I say congrats.
    I lost everything, including my pension in the shrub recession so I have to work a while longer. I’d love to retire. Or find something part time that pays reasonable and doesn’t require me to stand all day and run machines. BTW I do understand those are mutually exclusive.

  110. 110
    amygdala says:

    @Redshift: All best wishes for an uncomplicated surgery and fast, full recovery. If the news turns out to be what no one wants to hear, your doc is right that there have been remarkable advances in treatment. Plus you have a whole bunch a jackals who have your back if you need an ear or some guffaws.

  111. 111
    Betsy says:

    You are cute, humble, and funny.

  112. 112
    Laura says:

    @Redshift: wishing you all the best with your surgery and follow up care.
    My older brother was diagnosed with TC in 1987 just months after getting a gig as a roadie with the then biggest rock band in America. His battle was tough and successful. He went on to marry and have 2 fine children and is back out on tour with the greatest reformed train wreck of a band again.

    Get yourself a mighty army of family and friends to get you through your battle.
    Fuck cancer right back!

  113. 113
    Summer says:

    John Cole being willing to argue with Democrats during the dark days of the Bush administration and before his miraculous conversation was truly a precious precious thing. There were many fun places to find camaraderie and cheer — the Shrillblog, the Fafblog, Michael Berube, Digby, Atrios — but coming here to see the arguments happening in real time used to calm my soul. I’ve been reading and mostly lurking almost daily ever since and I love this place. Thank you, JC!

  114. 114

    I have been here since Obama’s inauguration, found this blog via Sully’s Dish. Made the jump when Sully went cray cray after Palin was chosen.

  115. 115
    MjOregon says:

    Beyond fighting for a new test, perhaps a change to a lightweight, full face mask might benefit your family member. I have OSA and have used many different types of “masks” along with chin straps because my jaw tends to drop open when I’m sleeping. I finally tried a full face mask and it’s worked very well, even though I’m a side sleeper.

    I also get all of my CPAP machines, masks, and supplies from because my husband’s insurance at the time wouldn’t pay for the equipment because I was diagnosed with mild apnea and the cost of the machine from them was $600 instead of the $3500 the local medical supply company wanted. Even if your family member is okay with their supplier, I still suggest looking over that website to see what the newest masks/machines are on the market. They have a robust on-line community too that can answer answer many questions anyone might have about the equipment.

  116. 116
    opiejeanne says:

    @FlyingToaster: I’m a native of not just California but Los Angeles. My enjoyment of it may be a function of my age, my experience with my midwestern family, and the books I’ve read, and I enjoy droll humor.
    We at State Agriculture U. did not have the option of single dorm rooms, so my only option when my “non-smoking” roommate decided to start smoking was to find a new roommate. Took me two tries but the last one was the best and we still see each other sometimes.

  117. 117
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yeah, people from Minnesota seem to get it.

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    I noticed that I haven’t said it today yet.
    FUCK Fucking cancer.
    Walked to the store last night and Danny, the cashier who actually remembers me and tells me about his life, when I said I hadn’t seen him in a bit, told me he had his thyroid removed because of cancer and he felt a lot better. Operation and two weeks off for recovery. Told him about my nine weeks of daily radiation for my cancer. He looked at me like WTF, all of our quick talks at checkout and he didn’t know that I was going through that and all the time still walking to the store and trying to live as normal as possible. Life goes on. You get sick, most often you can get better. Till you can’t any more. The road each of us takes may look different but the very end of the road is always the same. I’ve lost 5 friends in the last 8 months. All but one in their 60s but still younger than me. That last one was 41 yrs old and it was from an OD. I knew her parents a lot better than her, used to work with her mom and dad at events and see them yearly. Last time I saw her, she was 12. Her two kids are bright and beautiful and being raised by their grandparents. I hope they make it OK.

  119. 119
    opiejeanne says:

    @zhena gogolia: I’m from California and I get it. My husband’s cousin married a Swedish Lutheran minister. I’ve seen what goes on after their church services. ;-)

    Coffee. Lots of coffee!

  120. 120
    morganducks says:

    I was officially diagnosed in 2009 and my life changed for the better in so many ways. Thankfully I didn’t have to fight my insurance to get the study done. At any rate, if anyone is still reading this thread go get tested if you can in any way afford it. I went from constantly exhausted to a well-functioning human almost literally overnight (rimshot!).

  121. 121
    John Cole says:

    @Downwind: I had this when I was in the army, I was just undiagnosed. When I was diagnosed in 2005 I was only 20lbs over my army weight.

  122. 122
    FlyingToaster says:

    @opiejeanne: I was born-n-raised in Kansas City (where they still drive cows down Broadway every November), but I just couldn’t stand PHC. Something about “Wisconsin nice” makes me want to reach for a chainsaw. Though honestly, taking my daughter back every couple years to visit her cousins gives me the same feeling.

    I first visited Boston during grad school, and it was like stepping into a warm bath. Sarcastic cops, t-shirts that read “Welcome to Boston. Now Go Home.”, drivers out of console games, a street map laid out by cows with street names by Italo Calvino. Home. If only the T actually operated…

  123. 123
    Grover Gardner says:

    I had sleep apnea, misery at night and drowsy and napping much of the day. I hated to go to bed because waking up drowning every hour was like being waterboarded. I avoided dealing with it because I thought they’d have to operate or something. Fussed with “snoring remedies,” nose strips and other useless stuff. Finally I fell asleep at the wheel one day, drove off the road, did a 360 rollover and almost killed myself, my family and all three of our dogs. Thank goodness we were in a Volvo. The poor car looked like something out of Jurassic Park but we were all okay, except for a bruised neck for me. Doctor in ER said, “Why did you fall asleep at two in the afternoon?” I replied, “Basically because I haven’t slept in ten years.” Doc said, “Well, we need to fix that.”

    Not sure why an insurance company would deny a lab test. I got one and my BMI was 75 (normal is 5). After one hour the lab tech came in and said, “We’re done. Put this on.”

    I am tall and thin. Weight has nothing to do with it. I am now dependent on my CPAP, it’s like a miracle. Luckily I’m not a mouth-breather so a little nose pillow works fine for me. If you or a loved one snores horribly and struggles to breathe at night please don’t wait. Go get tested.

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @Grover Gardner: What is a little nose pillow?

  125. 125
    Steeplejack says:


    Nose pillow.

    I’m stalking you.

  126. 126
    kindness says:

    Good going John. We all hope the results of the tests allow them to prescribe good apparatus for you. And kudos for sharing another Jerry Garcia attribute. Just glad you didn’t like his drug of choice.

  127. 127
    JAFD says:

    Not that I have anything against Shock and Awe, but you troops in the Armor _do_ have some ammo that doesn’t light up your postion for everyone from Istanbul to Katmandu, right ?

    Good luck, Redshift ! Will be calling on whatever supernatural entities seem helpful to shave the dice for you.

  128. 128
    zhena gogolia says:


    I’m also a Kansas City-turned New Englander. (Not fond of Boston, though.)

  129. 129
    PST says:

    I cannot say enough about the help I’ve received from the good folks who populate It is a great place to learn how to monitor your results yourself, making you less dependent on the sleep clinics, DMEs, and insurers. I’m not dissing anyone, but sleep apnea can be like diabetes: the more you learn and the better you self-monitor, the better you feel and the more you avoid the long-term effects. It’s a great bunch of people hanging out there (ignoring their politics of course, which are shocking in some cases).

  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Ever since a link from one of our esteemed commenters took me to “Fuck Me Because I Love Jesus”, I find it better just to inquire on BJ than it is to google. Added benefit is that I won’t be stalked with adds for nose pillows.

    edited to finish my comment after it posted prematurely mid-sentence.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: P.S. Saw your final comment on the dead thread but refrained from replying there. On the positive side, maybe the person who was worried about dead threads won’t feel so bad.

  132. 132
    Cain says:

    Hope your lab stuff works out. I took a sleep study myself because I never got up rested. The sleep study results showed that I sleep with 95% efficiency, and the lab tech explained that I slept better than he did. I think I am getting too much sleep, I still have a problem as well. I haven’t figure out the magic time to get up.

    Man, 15 years.. I’ve been on this blog for 13 years I think. Crazy to think that I’ve been part of this community for so long. Then again, I have been part of the open source community GNOME for like 21 years so.. maybe not.

  133. 133

    I got here via a link from the GOP, just before they went nuts. You’re a good egg, Cole. Love that you’re a curmudgeon with a great big ol’ heart. For my money, the world could use a few more John Coles. Good luck with the sleep apnea.

  134. 134
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Wow, Glenn Beck had really let himself go…

    JK, John!

  135. 135
    Steve in the ATL says:


    I think I am getting too much sleep

    You are dead to me.

  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole: Coming late to the thread. Good look with the tests.

    I’m trying to convince a stubborn cousin with persistent sleep problems to get tested.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    Davebo says:

    And to think some people think blogospheric navel gazing is a bad thing!

  139. 139
    MoxieM says:

    @SWMBO: May I ask, what does getting the HIPAA official’s name actually do? I have an issue with my (very expensive) individual policy that even a peer-to-peer by my spine doc could not resolve. I worked it every which way but sideways and never got traction. (Ironically I have paid for the procedure 5x over by now–but hey! they’re a not-for profit, right!?).

    Seriously, If I did get a HIPAA official on the line, what would I ask–I don’t have a violation, as such, just an absurd denial of service against medical advice (also, denial of most conservative treatment besides opiods, which I really don’t want, and they are hard to get.)

    Thanks, and sorry for the OT.

    OT– I love this place for pets, politics, insight, learning stuff, pets, dogs, shenanigans, malarky, dogs, and pets. and the Jackals, too.

  140. 140
    grandpa john says:

    @Yarrow: That’s what happened to me,in my younger years I had no problem sleeping it was waking up that i didn’t like but as I aged and added weight especially neck and throat, I started having problems sleeping all night. It finally reached a point that I had to take action when began to stop breathing as soon as i tried to sleep. This quickly put me in the hospital as I was getting No sleep at all. So yes folks , it can develop into serious health problems. Some people claim they can’t wear the mask, I say if you health depends on it you better learn how to wear the mask

  141. 141
    sharl says:

    @HumboldtBlue: That was a lot of fun; watched it twice.

  142. 142
    nightranger says:

    I think wrong way Cole needs to better inform himself. Weight is ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY a factor in sleep apnea. Just not necessarily the only factor.

    His logic is like that logic I hear unhealthy people use to justify their lifestyle. Where they will mention some news article about someone who exercised and ate right all the time and still died of a heart attack.

  143. 143
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @grandpa john: My husband resisted getting tested because he didn’t think he’d like my nasal mask. He finally agreed to after he caught himself dozing at a red light. He’s quite happy with a nasal pillow mask, though the headgear on the new masks leaves something to be desired.

  144. 144
    grandpa john says:

    @Grover Gardner: that’s the kind I use, works much better for me than full or partial facial masks

  145. 145
    grandpa john says:

    @Brachiator: If he gets to the point where he stops breathing completely when going to sleep, like I did ,He will have the test. 2 or 3 days with no sleep at all offers good incentive

  146. 146
    OldDave says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    … nasal pillow mask

    I never could handle those – it felt like my nose was inflating like Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks. Resmed used to make a mask I loved … so naturally they quit making it.

    I started with CPAP in my very late 30’s (I’m 64 now). The doctor said I wouldn’t make it much past 40 unless I stayed with CPAP. I was a world-champion snorer – sliding glass doors would rattle in their frame – and snoring was good; quiet was bad. It was the lack of breathing that will kill you. My blood saturation levels got down in the terminal emphysema levels (30%) at night. So I’m a big fan of this therapy.

  147. 147
    grandpa john says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Resmeds current nasal has no adjust on the straps that go over your head although the box claims that it does. I have had to find ways to tighten them enough so that the mask does not leak. Leakage is the reason that I don’t use full or partial face masks

  148. 148
    SWMBO says:

    @MoxieM: The HIPPA official must disclose EVERYONE who denies coverage. NAME, EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS. ALL of it. You would be amazed (not really) at who gets to look at your medical records and decide if your issue is covered. And if you take the qualifications of the people to your doctor or to the DPR (Department of Professional Regulation–they license doctors, pharmacists and others in Florida) they can usually find one or more people eminently unqualified to decide your medical issue. In other words, some high school graduate that isn’t licensed to diagnose, prescribe or treat ANY medical condition. But they work cheap. Even if they have licensed nurses or higher education, they may still not be qualified to comment on your case. They generally have someone with years of experience in claims to handle most of this but occasionally someone slips through the cracks and finds out that they aren’t medically qualified under the law to decide these things.

  149. 149
    SWMBO says:

    @nightranger: Bullshit and fuck off.

    Weight is a factor. So are many other things. My husband has both central nervous system apnea and obstructive apnea. The obstructive apnea is partially due to weight but also dental issues. The part of teenagehood where you need braces can affect the shape of the mouth, nose and throat enough to cause it. Central nervous system apnea can be caused by chemical imbalance in the brain. Or being a preemie. SIDS is a form of apnea. And preemies aren’t overweight. Far from it. So declaring that weight is the only issue is idiocy.

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    Drunkenhausfrau says:

    Been here from the very beginning… this is still my first click of the day, after reading the local paper. Thank you and your community for an online home and excellent conversation.

    +1. I remain your humble servant and drunken hausfrau.

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    SWMBO says:

    @grandpa john: Contact your DME provider. They make multiple harnesses for different masks. Most have Velcro adjustments and clips so you don’t have to redo your personal preferences every time. Good luck.

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    Krista says:

    Glad you’re getting the apnea treated. It’s dangerous stuff. People don’t realize how a lack of good sleep can totally fuck up every bodily system you have.

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    satby says:

    @Redshift: Good luck in the surgery and best wishes for a great outcome. Hope it’s nothing too.

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    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @grandpa john: My husband is about to start tying knots in his. I think I’m going to make a new set of holes to tighten it up.

    @SWMBO: Not for this one, as far as anyone has been able to discover. Main recommendation is to wash in hot water to make it shrink back to size.

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    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for sharing, Cole😁

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    rlchina 大芒果 says:

    my untreated sleep apnea caused me to be a giant pain in the ass to my loved ones
    high blood pressure
    acid reflux
    all came around because of the sleep issues
    got treatment
    lost over 120lbs
    no more diabetes, no more high blood pressure, little acid reflux,
    and am much less of a pain in the ass to my loved ones (so I am told)

  157. 157
    J R in WV says:


    Congratulations on sticking out work until you earned retirement!!!

    I love being retired, except for a major decrease in social contact with my former co-workers. But being able to sleep late, go shopping as needed, plan a vacation whenever without asking a boss, all great!

    We saw an old friend at the bakery, and another at the fish shop this afternoon. That’s great, too. Enjoy your retirement, and tell us about your trips and visits and adventures!

  158. 158
    J R in WV says:


    That’s me, thinking all night long about DPRK and Trump, or should I upgrade that basement room to a shelter, or, or, or….

    Sleepless night number 1,423,123…

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    I rarely think politics as I lay there awake. More often than not it’s the past that won’t fucking go away. Not bad stuff just lots of silly stuff, mostly little nothings that I can’t shake. It can be a sign of depression but I feel much better than I did just a few months ago. More energy, more direction….. And I’d bet I was a little depressed, cancer will do that, the lack of a diagnosis for going on 2 yrs for some other life altering things isn’t helping, sort of normal bureaucratic snafus at the VA which cause a lot of delays in seeing your docs, being told in April that I probably had a mini stroke, my next apt is in Aug…….

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    Central Planning says:

    @Redshift: Testicular cancer survivor here. Doc said same thing. Had surgery 2 years ago, took one out (running in a non-redundant configuration now). Went about the same way you described – if you’re going to get cancer, this is the kind you want to get. I was back to physical exercise (rowing) about 6 weeks after surgery.

    Surgery was relatively painless. Don’t sweat it, but I would advise talking to your doctor about getting a psychologist/psychiatrist (not sure which is which). I think anybody that gets cancer should probably get one, at least for one meeting. Cancer can be scary, makes you think about life/death, and so on.

    Anyway, 2 years, cancer-free. I don’t really feel like I had a battle with cancer. I told my doctor that – he said I should think of it more as a skirmish. That helps – I didn’t need chemo/radiation or any drugs to fight it.

    Also, I joined a group for the Movember challenge last year, raised a little over $1500. There were a few people that surprised me by telling me they had testicular cancer too. I decided to be open about it, but I can understand why people don’t want to say anything.

    Good luck with the surgery. Let us know how it goes. I’m happy to chat about my experience if you want. Have one of the front pagers send you my email address if you’re interested.

    And… Fuck cancer.

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    grandpa john says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: yeah that is one of my ways to adjust . Mine came with Resmed masks have never tried another and that is the one My supplier always sends

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    TerryC says:

    @eclare: I gotta add that when I was 60, almost ten years ago, I decided I did not want to be a fat old man and lost nearly 70 pounds in three years. Kept it off, too. Key was mindful eating – thinking about what I ate and working hard to make sure it was only really good quality food of the sort I liked. Sometimes had cheeseburgers twice a day, but it worked. Went from XXX to M and from 48″ to 36″.

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    chromeagnomen says:

    man oh man, i have been here a long time, and though i seldom comment these days, i commonly read through the threads. helicopter boy, general stuck, the naked mopping, mustard, the Great Conversion, and a hundred thousand other mishaps, heartbreaks, hilarities, philosophical ramblings, solemn misgivings, and uplifting triumphs. wouldn’t miss any of it.

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