Cured of Sleep Apnea

Cured! By humbling myself and praying to God, I was cured of Sleep Apnea after 20+ years of feeling terrible most days but not knowing why.

My motivation for posting is to share testimonies of how God has worked and is working in my life. I am sharing them to give God the glory, to encourage other people to see God at work in our world and for them to experience God’s power in their life so they might in turn glorify Him.   My first testimony details the cure God gave me for a disabling illness I had for more than 20 years.

Chronic poor sleep quality had given me such familiar but high levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and a number of other physical symptoms, that my understanding of normal was lost. After over 20 years of progressively worsening symptoms, I can now feel refreshed most mornings after getting a good night’s sleep. It turns out that I had been suffering from Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) and was none the wiser until after a unique series of events,God showed this to me.

I am writing this to give glory to God who answered my specific prayers and provided a cure for me. One reason God cures and heals people is to receive the glory. Humanly speaking this of course seems very egotistical, but put simply, God is better, higher and more capable than any of us and rightly deserves and commands such praise. In fact this is encompassed in the very first commandment [5].
Jesus allowed a man to be born blind so that He might heal him and receive the glory. You can read about this in John Chapter 9. Specifically verse 3 (NKJV) says:

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

This means he wasn’t blind because of something his parents did, nor because of some random event, instead God allowed him to be blind from birth so that He might get the glory when He healed him.

In another example, only one of the ten lepers when healed by Jesus [4] came back to give God the glory. In a similar fashion I want to ensure He is honoured for what He has done.

Leading up to the cure

In desperation I confided with two prayer groups I belonged to how I was sick of waking up at 2am each morning with nocturnal panic attacks. I shared how I didn’t want to go back on anti depressants – because they affected my memory and dulled my emotions in order to give me some nominal solution. I shared how I often felt like rubbish after consistently poor quality sleep. Up until then my pride had prevented me from revealing to anyone but my closest friends that for perhaps half of the last 20 years I had depended on anti depressants and other medicines to cope. I wanted people to think I was somehow above the need for such things. I had solved almost every other problem thrown at me, why should this one be unsolvable? One reason is that my pride was getting in the way.

I had prayed and sought God for my own healing many times in the past, but it seems that God wanted to humble me before showing me what was wrong.  Until I surrendered my prideful thoughts of thinking I was too good for a lifetime of anti depressants and sought divine help in that context, did God step in and reveal to me not only the problem but also the solution.Why was I cured? As I wrote above I firmly believe one reason is that I might give God the Glory. Another reason might be because God wanted me to get better. Why did it take so long for God to make known a cure? I can only speculate. To get me to the point of desperation lest I dismiss His hand in the solution. To have me depend on Him rather than on myself.I credit this cure to God who answered my prayers, after out of sheer desperation and in an unusual step of humility for me, I took my concerns in earnest before two prayer groups I frequented.   I emphasize humility as I confessed my pride had prevented me from sharing the truth about my situation.  Very soon after praying God gave me the thought of getting a sleep study done. This was not intuitive as I don’t snore, I’m not overweight, I don’t have daytime tiredness (just plenty of adrenaline keeping me awake with resultant side effects of chest pains/muscle spasms/anxiety/depression/weight loss etc). Symptoms of snoring, tiredness and being overweight are symptoms classically associated with SDB so I had no reason to suspect I had SDB.

Waking up every hour for short or long periods of time is not normal.  While SDB will do this to you, often the concurrent depression [2] will also give you poor quality sleep resulting in a vicious circle.  So if you are experiencing poor sleep quality, I encourage you to speak with your GP about finding out the causes.

What was it like for me before being cured?

Many of those who know me, know I was a ‘light’ sleeper, but few people had any idea how this impacted my ability to cope with life’s responsibilities. Every second or third day my physical symptoms would get so bad that eliminating them would constantly consume my thoughts. The only thing I had come across to patch the symptoms was to take a particular antidepressant which would increase my serotonin levels, help me fall back to sleep quickly (after waking up) and also reduce the amount of adrenaline flooding my system. I couldn’t understand what it was about my life that caused me to need this medication. I went through periods of accepting it was necessary and was told I just had a predisposition to low levels of serotonin with associated symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder. But why should this be ???

Disregarding for a moment all of life’s known stressors, I otherwise felt decidedly normal for all of my life until I was about 19 years old. At that point I began getting chest pains for no obvious reasons. The doctor said they were stress related, but what was stressing me??? At that time I had no job, no new family responsibilities, perhaps being a small fish in a big pond at uni made it harder (compared to my time studying at high school) but this and other symptoms persisted long after I left uni so it certainly wasn’t that. Not long after the chest pains crept up on me, I started getting documented cases of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) associated with or caused by Premature Atrial Contractions (PACs or “ectopic beats”). The AF continued on and off for about a six year period. It eventually mostly abated – probably because I wasn’t burning the candle at both ends and also staying up late and depriving myself of much needed sleep during my time at Uni. Interestingly sleep apnea has been associated with Atrial Fibrillation as far back as 2003 [1], so there is a very real possibility my SDB was worse in my early 20’s and that contributed to the onset of AF. I still get PACs but they don’t degenerate into AF anymore, as I am now taking an anti-arrhythmic medication for my AF.

A diagnosis

I was diagnosed with Sleep Disordered Breathing, subtype UARS (Upper Airway Respiratory Syndrome)

The Cure

A device to hold my tongue forward (AveoTSD) as I sleep.  A nasal dilator to hold my narrow collapsing nostrils wide open as I sleep.  CPAP therapy gave me too much bloating (gastric insufflation).

Anti Depressants

In writing this testimony and desiring to be free from antidepressants, I am not suggesting that anti depressants or medicines for mental illness are something to be shunned.  After all, there were many times my sanity and well being were restored and maintained by using them, so they fulfilled a need in my life and I do not regret using or depending on them.  There is a season for everything.  I am personally happier to be dependent on a CPAP machine than to be dependent on antidepressants and I am relieved that the correct treatment can finally be received.

In conclusion

Glory to God for motivating me to get a sleep study done and revealed my problems, after I cried out to Him! Some reading this will dismiss the hand of God in my cure, preferring instead to attribute it to happenstance or my reasoned/desperate decision to have a sleep study performed.   To those of you, I pray that God would give you your own undeniable experience of His power in your life that you too can use your testimony to glorify Him.

 

[1] Association of atrial fibrillation and obstructive sleep apnea

AS Gami, G Pressman, SM Caples, R Kanagala… – Circulation, 2004 – Am Heart Assoc

Background—Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF) after electrocardioversion. OSA is highly prevalent in patients who are male, obese, and/or hypertensive, but its prevalence in patients with AF is unknown.

Cited by 425 Related articles BL Direct All 7 versions

[HTML] from ahajournals.org

Obstructive sleep apnea and the recurrence of atrial fibrillation

R Kanagala, NS Murali, PA Friedman, NM Ammash… – Circulation, 2003 – Am Heart Assoc

Methods and Results— We prospectively obtained data on history, echocardiogram, ECG, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, NYHA functional class, ejection fraction, left atrial appendage velocity, and medications in patients with AF/atrial flutter referred for DC cardioversion.

Cited by 393 Related articles BL Direct All 11 versions

[2] https://www.google.com.au/search?q=depression+sleep+apnea&hl=en

[4] Luke 17:15 (NKJV) – And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,

[5] Mark 12:30 (NKJV) – ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This [is] the first commandment.

One Response

  1. David 3/9/2019

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