Sunday, January 17, 2010

Breathing While You Sleep Is A Good Thing

Rick's results from his second sleep apnea test came back. The first test he was sitting up all night,and stopped breathing 9 times and hour. He was suppose to be laying down,of course. We wanted a second test. So they conducted a second test,and this time he was laying down....and stopped breathing 30 times an hour. We knew it was going to be more if he was laying down,but the results unnerved Rick a bit. The night we got the test results,he said that he laid there for awhile trying to figure out when he stops breathing,and he became worried about not waking up. I assured him he would be fine. He goes back to the VA in a couple of weeks for another sleep study,this time they are going to give him an oxygen machine,and they are going to gauge how much oxygen he will need during the night.This is a typical machine that they use for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is more common than one realizes. My oldest brother has been on a machine for years.My neighbor has one. There are several reasons for sleep apnea.Rick's is caused by his brain injury.One of the questions they ask to help determine if you have a brain injury is if you snore or stop breathing at night.I knew he snored----the man could break windows. We can't even sleep in the same room anymore,he snores so incredibly loud. Before he left for Iraq,he rarely ever snored,and when he did,it wasn't very loud. I remember being thankful because he wasn't a big snorer!! Then he came back and all that changed. Rick's Neuro TBI Dr, Dr Whitlock,asked us if he snored,and I responded how bad it was and how it has affected our lives. He then put in for the original test.Neither one of us knew he stopped breathing.

Now he will not stop breathing,and he will no longer snore. We can actually sleep in the same bed! It's been so long that it will take some getting used to,but I am very happy to oblige!!

Today Rick is having what he terms as not a good day-he is having one of those days where he is quite confused,and his short term memory is really bad. He is also having a bad speech day,where he drags out the sounds of words here and there. We did have fun yesterday,playing with Zach. Zach received Beatles Rock Band for Christmas,and it has been Zach's favorite thing. Zach played the bass, I played guitar for a while but then went back to singing,and Rick played the drums.I asked him if that bothered his knee ( there is a bass pedal)but he replied it didn't really,because he keeps his foot right on the pedal and doesn't really need to push down on it. It's good brain therapy for him. Each drum has it's own color,and when the color hits the bar on the screen,he has to hit the drum. So it's alot of eye -hand coordination,and quick thinking. He is a bit slow,but doesn't do too badly-averages between 60-78 % of his notes. However,after about 30-45 minutes he started to get confused. His brain was going on overload,so he had to stop. However, it's fun,and gets his brain exercised,which is a good thing!

1 comment:

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