Original Goal... I did it!



I hit goal once... I CAN do it again!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Looking back...

We got a call today from the pathologist who did my brother's autopsy.  He stated that even though we had the death certificate that stated that he died from Pulmonary Edemic Congestion, he had more information to give us now that all of the toxicology was back.  I called it back in December... Obstructive Sleep Apnea caused the congestive heart failure.  He said that the congestive heart failure was not something that he dealt with for any time.  He just stopped breathing due to the sleep apnea and that caused his lungs to fill with fluid.  A silent thief in the night.  He was not dealing with other serious health conditions that we were speculating over the past week since receiving the death certificate.

I was looking on the internet during the call and came across this paragraph during my search.  It all makes sense now. "People with sleep apnea syndrome have a higher risk of death than the normal population. The price they pay includes a potentially crippling deterioration in daily functioning, an increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke, depression, and death either in accidents or in their sleep. There are terrible costs for the family of the person with sleep apnea syndrome, who may experience irritability, mood changes, lowered sexual drive and capacity, and a reduction of intellectual ability. In addition there are major business, insurance, health, and social costs including the loss of productivity, the impact of accidents caused by a driver or worker falling asleep, and the wasted health care dollars spent on alleviating symptoms like heart disease without treating their possible underlying cause."

I mention this for those who are awaiting insurance approval, or contemplating a band to deal with this condition.  Please don't take sleep apnea lightly!

Here is the article: http://www.healthyresources.com/sleep/apnea/articles/protect.html  A lot of the things mentioned in this article make a lot of sense looking back.  If I can say one thing that gives me peace, it would be a thankfulness that this only took him.  I say that because 2 weeks after his death, he was set to start over the road truck driving classes with a guaranteed employment. He had been looking for a job for a long time.  We just thought he was really lazy.  I thank the Lord for not allowing him to take this condition over the road and possibly take someone with him.  My brother was a very caring and loving man, it would have broken him if something had happened in a big rig and he took someones life.

I love you Bill. I always will miss you, but I feel so much better knowing that you weren't keeping any problems you were having from me.  I feel fortunate to have been your sister.  I wish my kids would have been able to spent more time with you, but as the article suggests... sleep apnea is a thief in the night.  I'm sorry we suggested you were lazy.
This is the last picture that we have together.  It was taken about a month before he left us.

17 comments:

Darlin1 said...

Thanks for the heads up!

Justawallflower said...

I am really glad (is that the right word?) that you can find some peace in how he went. I have known that sleep apnea is not something to mess with, but did not realize all the affects it has on a person outside their sleep quality and threat to their life. The real sad thing is that most people who suffer from sleep apnea are diagnosed through their partner noticing issues while they are sleeping. So for a single person, the chances of being diagnosed are even slimmer. My heart still goes out to your family. (((hugs)))

Lee Ann said...

My heart goes out to you Heather. This is nice picture and looks like you had a fun evening. He was lucky to have you for a sister and I know you'll keep his memory alive for your kids.

THE DASH! said...

What a sad, sad time. I'm glad you have the pictures for remembrance though - they are hugely important. xx

Barbara said...

Oh Heather.. my heart aches for you.. your post was so informative...if someone benefits from this I am sure your brother would be glad.. it is so terrible to lose a loved one (this I know).. memories my sweet.. memories..they get us through the day

blondee said...

prayers and thoughts for you heather... my fiance is not obese but does suffer from sleep apnea - i keep telling him how serious it is but he won't listen - I am going to have him read this entry and hope it opens his eyes... xoxo

~Lisa~ said...

Thank you for the very informative post. I feel your relief in your words, and I am glad that you're finding peace in this terrible tragedy..

I have OSA. I was diagnosed over the summer. It is frightening and very debilitating. Oh, I complain non-stop about the C-RAP (C-PAP) I need to use, but I realize that it has saved my life and sent me on the path to the bariatric Dr - in other words, it really woke me (pun intended) up to the fact that I needed some big and serious changes.

Thank you for getting the word out. Hopefully, through your words, others will seek treatment for OSA.

Jacquie said...

Great info Heather. Hang on to all the great memories...that will keep your brother alive in your heart.

Dinnerland said...

I'm so sorry about your brother-- it is too bad to lose someone so young... perhaps the info you've shared in your blog will save a life, though. I hope that brings you some feeling of peace about things.

Rachel said...

Heather I'm glad the information gave you closure and I'm glad you posted. Your post was insightful and important..

Amanda said...

I am really glad you posted this information! My heart aches for you because I know there are things that you wish you had said or done. But you are living by example for your family and I know your brother is proud!

Violinist with a Band said...

My heart goes out to you, and I was just tearing up reading this. Its wonderful that you've set out to inform others of the seriousness of sleep apnea and the benefits of losing weight - what a wonderful way to honor your brother. And I'm sure your brother is watching over you, and is so proud of you for all of your successes with your health.

Ronnie said...

Wow, this really opens up my eyes to sleep apnea. I have it (not only from being obese, just because it runs in my family), and I have ignored it even though I have known without a doubt for two months. I guess I have no excuse but to go get fitted for a CPAP machine now.

Libby said...

Heather,
I am so glad you have found some measure of peace in knowing what happened to your brother. My brother also suffers from sleep apnea and must wear a C-PAP although I am not sure if he always does. My heart would break if I lost him. I plan to pass this on to him so that he knows the seriousness of his condition.

Thank you for posting.

amandakiska said...

I had no idea that could happen! Thanks for spreading the word.

MandaPanda said...

On the one hand, I'm just so sorry that this happened. On the other, it must feel good to get all of the information, finally. My heart and prayers continue to be with you.

Nella said...

Im so sorry...
My sister has sleep apnea and I told her about ur brother. She needs to lose a lot of weight. She unfortunately cannot afford it! Dont know how I can help her...

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