1/3 of my life


April 11, 2012 by jooshanoosh

One of the major sources of conflict in my marriage, and I’m not pretending we don’t have a few, is my snoring. I’m not a particularly overweight man, and I’m not a drunk; my snoring is purely genetic. I inherited it from a long line of Norwegian immigrants, and before that, Norwegian fishmongers, and before that, trolls. But for reals, you guys, I snore like a battleship. I rumble the walls. Sawing logs is an understatement; I saw redwoods. Sometimes I actually wake myself up with my snoring. I’ll be trying to sleep and I’ll hear this monotonous, repetitive snarling and I’ll be so irritated. Then I’ll realize that it’s me. And I’ll wake up, furious with myself for keeping myself awake. Imagine how my wife feels.

She has been patient over the years, or more accurately, “patient.” She hasn’t divorced me, is what I mean. Even though she has grounds for it. She hasn’t slept in seventeen years. She has figured out special commands to get me to stop snoring, most of which moderately work:

1. “Stop. Snoring.”
2. “Turn over.”
3. “Open your mouth.”
4. “I hate you.”

Any one of these does the trick, and particularly number five. But it’s a brief respite; she gets about 5 minutes before I’m off again like a farty pig. I feel bad for her. I’m not making fun. But there is honestly nothing I can do about it. I’ve tried everything, including turning over, opening my mouth, and “stop. snoring.” But nothing works. Until recently.

Like many of you, I have seen commercials for those Breathe Right strips on TV and felt a blend of hope and skepticism. How can a little piece of modified tape cure my snoring? I mean, I was happy to try it. But would it really work? And would it irreparably widen my nose? The people in the commercial seemed so attractive and well rested. Could that be me? I thought I would give it a shot, so I drove out to Walgreens and picked up a box.

That night, I carefully blew into a kleenex and scrubbed the bridge of my nose down, per the instructions on the box. Then I methodically peeled back the protective backing of the Breathe Right strip and affixed it to my nose, just like the picture showed me to. Immediately, I felt a new sense of air flow and a cool rush of breeze. Interesting! Is this what I had been missing all my life? Breathing? Is this what other people feel? Could I finally paint with all the colors of the wind? I’m happy to report that I slept soundly that night, and in the morning Lisa texted me and said she had “slept like a baby!” I was thrilled. Problem solved! Kind of.

I have used these strips now for three weeks, and turns out I’m still snoring. It’s not as much, but with my nasal cavities, where there’s a will there’s a way. Last night I got the classic “open your mouth!” and a few nights ago I got “CHRISTOPHER.” So I know it’s still going on. Lisa has been kind not to mention it. But I know. Do you think it’s possible that I have a deviated septum? Celebrities seem to get those all the time. I feel like I should go see a doctor, but I hate going to the doctor because I’m always positive he’s going to tell me I have the bird flu or some other disease du jour that has nothing to do with my snoring. I could get tested for sleep apnea, which is a thing, but then they make you wear a mask that reminds me of this:

I guess maybe that’s what it comes down to, though, that horrible mask. I don’t know. I’ll try it. I’ll try anything. My wife is a remarkably attractive woman and I hate to think that my snoring is getting in the way of her beauty rest. So, if you guys have any tips, please pass them along! And DON’T recommend those Breathe Right strips, because, as I’ve been saying, I tried them. With moderate success AT BEST.

8 thoughts on “1/3 of my life

  1. Hailey says:

    Ben has started snoring, and if I "gently" nudge him or kick him, it usually subsides long enough for me to fall back asleep. He still doesn't believe me that he snores. I told him I'm going to record it one of these nights…

  2. Just go to the sleep specialist and have the diagnostic test. If you have sleep apnea, it's effecting a lot more than your wife's sleep. It impacts your dental health, your heart health and can lead to diabetes. Unlike the old whole head, man in the iron mask devices, there are a variety of masks/appliances you can use on a cpap now. They'll help you find one that you are comfortable with. I've been using a cpap for about five years now and it's made a huge difference in the quality of my sleep – (and I think eventually your wife will forgive you.)

  3. You could try the "Vital Sleep stop snoring mouthpiece" advertised over there on the sidebar… I have a fan in the room. Scott snores like a monster and the white noise makes it so I'm not laying in bed thinking of kitchen knives and how to eviscerate him. He refuses to do the cpap thing which is unfortunate because snoring (and sleep apnea which he claims not to have) can cause a ton of health problems.

  4. Alisa says:

    Unfortunately, the Sleep Study (can't wait to hear you write about this fun adventure — lots o' fodder) and the resulting CPAP machine may be your best and only solution. In agreement with Mr. Davenport up there, I was diagnosed with mild Sleep Apnea nigh on a decade ago. The mask and machine were uncomfortable. So I stopped using it, thinking, "It's only a MILD case."Ten years later, I now have SEVERE Sleep Apnea. I have gained a couple of stones, developed high blood pressure and Type II Diabetes along with all the fun that it brings. You don't want that. Get the CPAP and live a healthy, long life. Your wife and kids will thank you. 😉

  5. Thora says:

    My sister always snored – a gentle little, ladylike snore, but we would tease her about it, because we were vicious mean siblings (or normal). When she joined the Army, she got surgery, since she had a deviated septum, and they paid for it. Now she's still a little breathy, but it's not as bad. So if you have good insurance, and a deviated septum, at least you wouldn't need a mask the rest of your life.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Your story is word for word (except for the Christopher part- insert Wesley instead) the story of our long, long struggle with my husbands snoring problem. We have tried everything short of a sleep study. I cannot tell you the seething anger I feel when I cannot fall asleep because of the awful snoring sounds coming from my loving man sleeping right next to me. I've actually recorded it because I have a need for him to hear just how awful it is. Wow, I'm getting all worked up just writing about this.What has worked best for him is acupuncture. I don't know why or how it works, but it has for him, and thank goodness! It is not a complete cure, but the difference it has made has been huge, for him and for me. He needs to go in for a "touch up" ever so often. Totally worth it.Good luck and best wishes for some resolution soon.

  7. Lisa says:

    All I want for our 17th Wedding Anniversary is a #@(*&# CPAP!!!

  8. Mary says:

    All I can say is you will feel like a new person if you in fact have sleep apnea. My husband was diagnosed about 7 years ago and I swear it prevented death or divorce! He is severe and after getting the mask his tacicardia subsided and his once pleasant personality returned! Exhaustion makes you mean and messes with your health and I love the white noise from the machine!! Good Luck!

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