For years my wife was worried about that I regularly stopped breathing during my sleep. So much so that my wife would be frightened to go to sleep herself for fear of waking to find me dead next to her.
It became so bad that it could take up to twenty seconds of my wife shaking me for me to start breathing again. I would wake up totally oblivious to this but wonder why I felt so unrested.
My poor wife lost so much sleep herself that both of us would be scattered throughout the morning. I would then be struggling to keep my eyes open and constantly yawning mid-morning.
It was only the prospect of having lunch – which would be earlier and earlier – that kept me from taking to my bed. However, by 11 a.m. I was ready for my bed and often I would take many snacks upstairs with me and several cans of fizzy drink.
This would see me through until 4 p.m. when I would slowly make my way downstairs still feeling tired and ready for more snacks and fizzy drink before my evening meal.
It was only admission to the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green that revealed I had severe sleep apnoea and would stop breathing up to forty times per hour.
From the London Chest Hospital, I was sent across to St. Bartholomew’s to collect the rather fetching CPAP machine you can see me wearing in the photo below.