Though not recommended because it will relax muscles and may increase apneas, I have used it many times and the Ativan has not caused me any problems. Take it for your anxiety, which at this point seems to be the more pressing problem. There are good medications to treat panic and anxiety today, make an appointment to see a doctor. Sleep apnea in itself is not life threatening, although its' untreated longterm effects can be. Have a sleep study done and find a therapy that works for you. Good Luck. Relax
I read your post with great compassion. I am not a healthcare professional and I want to offer you the following things for your consideration:
1--Right now, you can try some deep breathing exercises to help with the panic and anxiety. Look for some on you-tube. When you are carrying anxiety like this, bring all the focus to your breath and this will help you relax.
2--Reconnect with weight watchers for a support system.
3--Try some beginning yoga to help you get back to inhabiting your body. Even 10 minutes of beginning yoga will help you feel better.
4--Contact your physician immediately about the symptoms you are having and get back on track with treatment for your sleep apnea.
5--Please do write us all back to let us know how you are doing. You have already demonstrated great care taking of yourself during your lifetime and I am confident you can do this again. Good luck!
I can answer a few of your questions.
Until you get a CPAP machine, sleeping in a recliner (obviously sitting up to some extent rather than dead flat) can reduce OSA for some people so it's worth a try.
Over the counter aids are useless - don't waste your time. They are legion, often quite expensive, and I have yet to hear of one that is in any way effective.
Any medication that is a muscle relaxant has a good chance of exacerbating your OSA, so I wouldn't recommend it, especially without consulting with a doctor. Also, medications for anxiety are many and using them appropriately should be a process which is carefully managed and monitored by your doctor, so it seems very unwise to me.
In order to get some treatment as quickly as possible, you could look at getting an auto CPAP, at least short term until you can have a study and the full works. In Australia they are easy to rent, although they can be expensive. It should offer some relief and piece of mind, especially if you have to wait a while before getting a sleep study. I would imagine your doctor should be willing to OK it as an urgent matter without too much rigmarole. Perhaps a phone call would be enough.
I, too, suffer from an anxiety disorder, so I really feel for you. Hang in there. I can offer you the comfort that it's not OSA that kills people, but the problems that result from it which develop over the long term. Any one particular instance of apnoea may be scary but it is not, in itself, a threat.
Your post shows important insights and motivation- which are two very important steps in getting control of your apnea and improving your sleep. I hope you are able to speak with your PCP today who may want to evaluate your overall health problems as well as ask for an expedited appointment with a sleep physician. Some sleep centers have slots to quickly accommodate patients like you. If you have trouble getting to a sleep clinic and let us know where you live, we can try to help facilitate this. You are not alone! Take care and hope to hear positive things soon.
To add to this, you can reach out to us directly at email@example.com if you have trouble getting to a sleep clinic. Hang in there!