The bane of my life, and I don't technically suffer from it, I am a victim by proxy......
My Partner of 16 years, husband of 12 however does, so does my 4 year old son. Its a cruel disorder that at best can be controlled by operations, or Constant Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) and at its worst can cause constant debillitating tiredness, severe depression, an inability to work and a general loss of quality of life for the sufferer. My son has the mild form, he has recently had his tonsils and adenoids removed in a bid to "cure" him, My husband has the severe form, he has no energy to enjoy our 3 gorgeous children, he is an amazingly intelligent man, but feels he may as well be dead, to the extent he has talked about it.
Sleep Apnoea takes on a few forms and while i won't bore you with science, anyone with an interest can check it out here:
To us it means we can never plan anything, a day ahead is a day too far. My husband cannot commit to being able to help anyone, take the children anywhere, visit anyone or even do things for himself. Thats not to say he doesn't want to... he physically can't, the debilitating tiredness, inability to concentrate, loss of mental focus, and depression it brings with it, often bring our lives to a grinding halt. The children are learning to deal with it, Beth now knows that if daddy says no to something, its not because he doesn't love her, or doesn't want to do things with her, but that he fears for her safety. The younger 2 are learning, Amy still hurts, but then she is a sensitive soul. Theo on the other hand seems to feel an affinity with daddy that has existed since his birth.
My husband now has to renew his driving license on a yearly basis, the fate of his independance resting in the hands of someone he has never met.Our priorities when younger now mean that only he can drive, as we decided that if one of us had to learn, it should be him, as we live in a rural community, as things stand at present it will be a very very long time before we have the financial stability for me to learn.
Finances.....now theres the laughable part, We have our pride, as long as I am able I will work to support my family and provide them with everything they need to have a good life, but we are both aware there may come a day when this has to stop, thankfully each passing day makes that less likely as the kids become more independant.
There are days when I go into work with visible bruising, I can state categorically my husband has never once attempted to harm me, while he is awake..... asleep his parasomnias mean that he is neither aware, nor able to control his sleeping self, his "other" self. This is the self who will be verbally agressive toward me, and on occassion the kids, if caught at the wrong time, he can also lash out. Each of these episodes breaks my husbands heart when he wakes up and finds out.
I may talk further about apnoea at some other point, but I wanted to make an introduction and create an awareness, to show everyone what it is like to suffer, by proxy.