Ray, I'm so happy to hear from you! You are right-it sure does seem that it's a novelty thing, but it's something that has been around for a very very long time, just probably didn't get diagnosed as often. PMS-Popular?? Yeah, right! [img]/community/emoticons/devil.gif[/img] lol You still have a great sense of humor!!
Well, maybe I shouldn't have said that PMS was popular. I'm sure that those (of both genders) who suffer from it wouldn't think it very popular. But about
25 years ago, there was a pretty big upsurge in its diagnosis and "treatment." I use that word only in the very broadest sense of the word. During that time, my first wife decided (or was convinced by those who thought they had some sort of treatment for it) that she suffered from PMS. She used it as a basis for many treatments, hospitalization (mental), and to explain the strange behavior and irrationality that started after our 2nd child was born.
The thing I find interesting is that all of her symptoms continued, even after a hysterectomy...and in the last 5 or 8 years, she's been diagnosed as severely manic-depresive. That's what I tried to tell the doctors way back when, but since I was only the husband.....
Anyway, back on topic, it just seems like there are "diseases du jour" that become overy diagnosed and "treated." Funny thing, since Medicare stopped paying for carpal tunnel syndrome claims, no one seems to get it any more. (I only have this as second-hand information. I wouldn't bet the farm that it's 100 percent accurate.) When I heard the pulmonologist state that 50 percent of all people over the age of 50 have sleep apnea, I was rather...no, make that VERY... surprised. How has the human race survived this long if half of us stop breathing as we sleep? I know...and I'm just poking fun at it. But it seems like a pretty broad statement to make.
I guess both my wife and I are going to try the CPAP and see how it works...but I'm not really convinced that it'll work miracles. But if it does, I'll be happy to eat my words.
One other thing occurred to me: (I spose I'm feeling like the devil's advocate tonight) One of the things that the pulmonologist mentioned as as an aggravating factor with sleep apnea was allergies. Supposedly that's one reason the air is filtered before it's inhaled. Then she also told me that it might take 3 months before I saw any major results from the CPAP. Doing a little thinking outside the bun, I figgered that if someone is suffering from seasonal allergic reactions....say to certain pollens and stuff of that nature, that 3 month period might just be what an old-school GP once told me was called a "tincture of time." Essentially he was saying that over time, most complaints that people see doctors for (I've read numbers as high as 80 percent) will get better on their own...given enough time. That other 20+ percent is a different story.
However, if a person is suffering from pulmonary distress (including sleep apnea) as the result of seasonal allergies, then the 3 month period might just be enough time for the allergens to decrease in the atmosphere and the symptoms could subside on their own. In my case, allergies have been a life-long, year-long thing. I'm allergic to just about
everything, including rocks, it seems. (Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration....but you get the point.) So the seasonal thing wouldn't be quite as applicable to my situation. But it's something to consider. In the meantime, I'll just keep taking antihistamines and blowing my nose.
I'd sure be interested to hear from folks who have had good (or bad) experiences with the CPAP. I'm sure the anecdotal knowledge base will grow dramatically over the next couple of years.
Just a quick cardiac-related note. Being on Cozaar, Coreg, Vytorin and Niaspan for the last 6 weeks or so seem to have done a world of good for my angina. I very rarely have it any more. I've only taken 1 Imdur and zero nitroglycerine in the last week or so. I took the Imdur today, probably as the result of bending over the motor in my truck for an extended period today. So there's some real improvement, cuz about
6 weeks ago, I was taking 5 to 8 nitros per day. And when I had my BP checked at the pulmonologist's last week, it was 112/72. I haven't had a reading that low since I was in my 30s! I'm impressed! Again, before this medication change, the BP was in the 190/100 range.
Best wishes to all,