Sleep Apnea and the lack thereof

Last Wednesday I went to see the Pulmonary and Sleep Apnea guy, Dr. “S”.  First, you meet with their respiratory therapist and they test your breathing: lung capacity, strength and how well the gas exchange is happening between yer blood and yer lungs.  The respiratory therapist and I got on like a house on fire; it was wonderful to meet her and I hope I get to see her again.

I did all those tests, and then one has to fill out a ten page questionnaire about one’s sleeping habits.  FYI, I’m a fairly light sleeper and I’ve had insomnia since I was a little kid.  Then, Dr. S comes in.  He’s seen the readouts from the breathing tests and then he reads my questionnaire.  He told me about 5 or 6 times that my lungs are “great” or “really excellent”, and then he told me that he really *doesn’t* think I have sleep apnea (neither do I.  I mean I snore, but it’s a quiet little snore).  Usually people with sleep apnea are always falling asleep or are about to; I have trouble falling asleep even when I’m really tired.  He wouldn’t even do a sleep study on me he said, except that the surgeon asked for one.  I was really happy to hear that my lungs are so good.

So I go off to the scheduling person and the first available appointment is not for 2 weeks, but I take it.  Then I have to schedule a follow up appointment with Dr. S to talk about the results of the sleep study and that not until February 17th!  I sign up for that one too.

Dr. W, the surgeon, said that he’d meet with me after we got back the results of the breathing test and sleep study.  At that point, he’ll decide whether he’s gonna do the surgery or send me off to the guy in Nashville.  Grrr….

Now that I’m feeling better – since I’ve been talking ALL the medicines they’ve prescribed for me and I’m healed from the catheterization – and I’m no longer feeling like I’m gonna drop dead at any second, I do begin to wonder if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.  Today, I will call and leave messages for the surgeon, the cardiologist and another therapist (on another issue) to find out if they really wanna wait until the end of February or early March to do this thing.  I was given to understand that I needed this sugery done rather soon – like by the end of January. Believe me, I’m not in a hurry to have any surgery EVER but if it truly needs to be done, let’s do it.  Tests are groovy, but let’s not waste time and my insurance company’s money.  There is still the nagging question about how this all has happened, but I want off this merry go round…..



  1. All of this hurry up and wait is frustrating. My hope is that they are going to really figure things out first so that they determine the best course of treatment. If it must be surgery, I know you will prefer one over two.

  2. How smart of you to keep the cardiologist and surgeon up to date with what’s being said and your concerns! It sounds like the doctors need to get their act together on this. Keep phoning if they don’t respond—24 hours is plenty of time between calls— and most of all, keep your belief that it will work out beautifully. Just needs some nudging, is all.

    (Just had to spout my opinion on this after working 15 years as an RRT at Children’s Hospital.)

    Hugs again.

  3. Good idea to get in touch with everyone again. Sometimes things get dropped through the cracks and it’s up to the patient to be their own best advocate. I have certainly found that to be true. Saying prayers and sending you good healing thoughts!

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