Friday, March 20, 2009


I had insisted that whoever working with my husband months ago would require him to get a medical check up. There were things I was concerned about. I had to insist on this because I was dealing with people who did not really believe me. That sort of behavior really makes any counseling situation very difficult.

But, finally, he was asked to go to the doctor. I did not go with him. He was sent to a sleep lab since he has been having sleep issues for years. Really, it was since we first got married, that I noticed he would stop breathing in his sleep for a few seconds. Sleep apnea. He laughed that I was concerned, but it continued to bother me.

The sleep lab's report went to the doctor yesterday. The doctor phoned my husband. His sleep and wake patterns are so disrupted that they are deeply concerned. So concerned even that they have taken away his driver's license. He is too dangerous to drop off to sleep at any second and his reflexes are down.

For years, I have been nervous driving with him, and I stay alert and watch his eyes and talk to him. So nervous in the last year or two that he is upset and thinks something is wrong with me. But, his eyes half shut for long sessions and he is groggy. But he is a man. Men do not sleep and can drive.

At the same time, we all rely on driving. To not be able to is stunning. How do we deal with daily life? Who will pick up the kids when I work? How do we drive while we are home for the summer and have some long distance driving to do?

But, I'm proud of him. He took the news well and did not fight it.

But pray. It is a big, big change in out family routine, and we need to figure it out.


Missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras said...

Are they going to put him on a BiPap for night time sleeping? Having worked night shift for 12 years-I KNOW how dangerous it is to drive while sleeping! As bad as drunk driving!

junglewife said...

Wow, what a big change for your hubby and your family. That's great that he is taking it so well (that would be a hard adjustment for anyone!) I hope that there's something they can do for him... Dan's dad sleeps with a machine for his sleep apnea - I think that's what the last comment was referring to also (I don't remember the name of the machine)...

Becky Aguirre said...

Wow! Yes, I agree, not being able to drive is a huge issues, but also indicative of the seriousness of his condition! And you know, lack of sleep can be a HUGE factor with irritability...I know that from personal experience...will be praying that perhaps this will be a step towards healing all around.

Ellie said...

We see the doctor again on the 27th, and I am hoping to get some answers, but the system moves very slowly.

Likely they will put him on the machine and see what else can be done.

I might ask and see if they can give him a limited license - in town, off the freeway only, like beginners get so he can pick up kids and go to work. Those are only ten minute drives. I am sure he can stay awake that long - especially with all four kids talking at the same time!

I'll let you know what we hear.

Ellie said...

And yes, I am hoping that with more sleep, much of his irritability and anger will decrease. Ability to cope with stress should be better.

But, I still feel an immense sense of frustration. For four years I have been trying to tell people that he is not sleeping - like not even going to bed until 4 or 5 - and that it is affecting him. And I have been called a controlling woman (why should you tell him when to sleep?!) and a pathological liar (he says he gets enough..) and recently having a psychological disorder. That hurt.

Truth was - he wasn't sleeping. And had we listened earlier, we could have saved some of this crisis we went through. But I had my team leader who has been a good friend of my husband, but who has not lived in the same city with him since 1991, before we were married. He told me that he knows my husband and my husband does not get angry at people. I felt like it, but did not say it, that perhaps I might know him a little more, having been married to him and sleeping in the same bed with him for fourteen years.

Frustration. Intense frustration. And I have to deal with this team leader on a writing project at least on a weekly basis. He is all sweet to my face, and talks like this behind my back. Pray for me here. I need a way to put this down - to deal with the frustration. Would love to face him and talk, but don't know if that is possible or if he would listen. Pray for a resolution.