Falling in love with my husband was the easiest thing that I’ve ever done. He was handsome, kind, and apparently following some sort of manual on winning my heart. For one of our first dates, he showed up on my doorstep with a puppy he’d recently adopted. Game over for me. It was like an instant family and I was a sucker for that pound puppy and his new dad. I thought I’d hit the single girl lottery. He could have told me he believed in aliens and I’d still be hooked. If he was getting abducted, then so was I.
The Early Days
The beginning of any relationship is somewhat like getting anesthesia before surgery. It’s a big beautiful blur and all is right in the world… And then you’re awake, and you’re awake a lot because your knight in shining armor snores. Boom. The honeymoon is over and you’re ready to get off that spaceship! Hypothetically speaking, we could have built our own cabin with the logs he was sawing. Dating sites and marriage vows are alike in that they are misleading most times. There are no disclaimers on dating profiles and I don’t recall hearing “through sickness and snoring” from our wedding officiant. How do you have a happy marriage when you’re not getting any rest?
Two Kids Deep With Zero Sleep
Marriage alone is a difficult journey. There’s no denying that, especially when you add a couple of kids. When your newborn is in a bassinet next to your bed, you pray for them to sleep. When your husband’s snoring awakens them, your mother’s wrath kicks into full gear. There’s nothing more maddening than being an overtired mama who just wants to sleep like a husband sleeps. So what do you do? I’ll tell you what you don’t. You don’t try to put a band-aid on a bullet wound. You know, those tiny nose bandages that supposedly stop you from snoring? Not in our case. We tried special pillows, magnesium concoctions and all other types of Google search sorcery. Some couples have even resorted to separate bedrooms but I’m afraid of spiders so that wasn’t happening. With one last attempt at saving our sleepless marriage, my husband said yes to a sleep study. In his case, it was an overnight PSG (polysomnogram). I’m not saying that I enjoyed knowing he was hooked up to a myriad of wires while being monitored by big brother otherwise known as the sleep technician, but I’m not saying that I greatly disliked the thought of it either. Up until that night, I honestly didn’t think that my husband had ever had an interrupted sleep in his entire life.
The results were soon in and my husband was diagnosed with a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A Greek word, “apnea” itself means “without breath”. He was actually choking and gasping for air while I laid beside him scowling with my arms crossed. Never has the term “my bad” been more appropriate, or in this case shall we say mea culpa. Looking back, I can attribute most of our disagreements and misunderstandings to classic sleep deprivation. Something we didn’t even realize that we could easily fix.
With a bit of what I’ll refer to as encouragement, my husband reluctantly consented to test out a CPAP machine. CPAP being short for continuous positive airway pressure therapy. In short, he wears a mask connected to a hose that delivers oxygen to him to keep his airways open while he sleeps. In shorter short, my snoring husband is no more. We officially broke up. God answers prayers, just not necessarily when we ask him to. This particular season was a test indeed.
In the end, we didn’t need marriage counseling, we just needed a CPAP machine. I certainly don’t claim to be a medical expert but I’m forever grateful to the ones who helped us. The mombie apocalypse is officially over in our house. Bedtime just looks a bit different these days. When my husband puts his mask on, he gets bonus points for his perfect “Bane” impersonation. I think I’ll keep him.