"Remember, sleep plays a vital role in health. If you're struggling getting used to your PAP system, get help from someone who has been there and done that. It can make a tremendous difference!" —Orville
Life prior to therapy:
"I didn't realize I had sleep apnea until I collapsed in my living room," says Orville, shaking his head. Fortunately for him, the lab technician at the hospital where he was taken was also a sleep center lab director. After administering the electroencephalogram (EEG) test to measure his brain’s electrical signals and learn about the blackout, he told Orville he might have a sleep disorder and recommended a sleep study.
During the study, Orville had 37 events per hour. He was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and prescribed a bilevel positive airway pressure machine. Orville was relieved that he had a diagnosis, but he struggled getting used to PAP therapy. "Fortunately, I had great support from my friends and family."
Orville's perseverance paid off. He mastered the new and strange feeling of having something on his face at night. He learned how to fit the mask properly, and soon, using PAP became routine. It wasn’t long before he noticed some changes. After being on PAP treatment for several weeks, Orville's ability to concentrate was noticeably better. He had much more energy — so much that he decided to go back to school to get an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy to work with sleep apnea patients.
He's now a regular speaker at sleep apnea support groups. "All aspects of my life were affected positively," he explains. "My relationships, my career and my physical health are all better. All my friends and family have noticed how much more energetic and alert I am."
Hometown: Northern NJ
Symptoms: Snoring, fatigue, fainting
Years on therapy: 9
Mask type: Full face
Hobbies: Radio, volunteer firefighter, model trains