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Cognitive problems, complex sleep apnea, and help for both: a patient's and a physician's personal stories

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SusanR +0 points · over 8 years ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator Researcher

The following story was shared by a patient struggling with sleep apnea for many years. This eventually led to the diagnosis of "complex sleep apnea" and treatment by an expert in the disorder. As a physician, I recognize the challenges in this "complex" condition, but was truly moved by her experience. Below is the introduction to her story. Please visit our Research page to learn more about Complex Sleep Apnea by Dr. R Thomas and read her accompanying article.

A Patient's Story (introduction)

You know the quips people make about having "Old Timer's Disease" when they can't remember words or where they put something? Some of the people telling those jokes, and having those problems, aren't anywhere near old.

How many of us have experienced the deep frustration of awful sleep - and the cognitive problems that often come with it?

If you have a sleep disorder badly enough, long enough, and it goes undiagnosed, untreated, and unimproved, you can slowly be losing brain cells and all the functions that go with them.

And how many of us have been doing our level best to use that mask and that machine, and still find it off our face in the morning, or have whipped it off (or across the room!) in the middle of the night? Or just flat out now refuse to use it for any one of a number of reasons?

If this sounds familiar, I encourage you to take the time now to go read the article written by Dr. Robert Thomas, the physician who developed a new treatment for complex sleep apnea and offered it to me. Maybe it will help you, too.

Along with his is a short piece I wrote about my experience. No other sleep specialist has been able to get me this well, and give me back so much of my brain – it may not all come back, but I no longer feel I am standing in dementia’s doorway.

It’s about time.

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