After 15 years of fatigue, Stacy finally got a sleep apnea diagnosis. Today, she’s grateful for the chance to be a patient advocate and provide help and support to others with her condition.
My name is Stacy, and this is my sleep apnea confession.
In 2015, I had my first sleep study, and it was discovered that sleep apnea was causing me to wake up 22 times per hour. Though most people don't like the news of a sleep apnea diagnosis, I was really excited to finally have an answer about what was making me so tired and to have a clear path to treatment. It had taken me 15 years of complaining to my doctor about fatigue to finally get a referral to a sleep study. So, I was really happy to finally have answers.
What scares me the most about sleep apnea is that so many people have it, but are undiagnosed. And then beyond that, there's lots of people who are diagnosed, but they're refusing treatment because of the stigma around PAP therapy. There's a lot of risks around sleep apnea. It's even beyond sleepiness and snoring. There's a lot of health risks involved, some of which are life threatening. So, that scares me a lot when it comes to sleep apnea.
The silver lining of having sleep apnea is that I get to spread the word all around the world about how to get treated and diagnosed. I have found so much purpose in connecting with others who have sleep apnea and sharing my journey with them. I try very hard to set a really good example for people when it comes to CPAP therapy use and being consistent with it. And I've gotten messages from people that say that I have inspired them to stick with CPAP therapy. And for me, that makes the whole journey worth it.
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