Between late 1991 thru 2/1997, my girlfriend, ex-girlfriends, family, friends, associates complained to me that I snore extremely loudly, stop breathing when I am asleep; seem fatigue throughout the day; fall asleep at very odd times (i.e. when driving, sitting in meetings, at church, or just sitting still); wake up gasping for air; is gaining weight; and told me I used the bathroom too much (average 8 to 10 times daily). Between 1991 thru 1997 I also began noticing the frequency in which I had indigestion; and that I was also gaining a lot weight.
During that same timeframe (1991 thru 1997) I also went through a period of depression, moodiness, work related stress, insomnia and most embarrasing (no sexual stamina).
In 9/2001 I was diagnosed with Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I was told I stop breathing 36 times an hour.
I have 5 questions:
1.) My problem is that in 1993 I was diagnosed with FATIGUE. I often wondered if the doctor or Physician assistant, mistakenly misdiagnosed me, because girlfriends, family, friends and associates have observed me having the above symptoms since 1991.
2.) How well educated was the military and civilian medical communities on the diagnosing sleeping disorders, especially Obstructive Sleep Apnea between 10/1991 thru 2/1997.
3.) Since obstructive sleep apnea doesn't appear to be something you get overnight how long does it take for a person to start having the above symptoms I mentioned earlier?
4.) Is it possible that I had obstructive sleep apnea several years before I was diagnosed (9/2001), even though it was undiagnosed while I was on active duty.
5.) What is the etiology for ostructive sleep apnea?
In talking with other people who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, they were not aware they were having this major health problem, until there wives, girlfriends, or whomever observed them started complaining to them over and over about the above symptoms I mentioned earlier. It took 10 years of complaints from family, friends, associates, and girlfriends, one in particularly which I did not want to lose to get me to go to the doctor; and the additional fact that I was not allowed to spend the night a at family, friend, and a few women I dated over the years home due to the above observed symptoms really hurt me.
9/2001 I decided to go to the doctor with my current girlfriend who told the doctor that she observed tha I snore excessively loud and that I stop breathing when I am asleep. The doctor had me do a sleep test and turn the results of that test in. Later that same month (9/2001) I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea.