I need a proper nights SLEEP!!

Hi guys,

I have found sleeping very difficult, I wake up in the night gasping for air and coughing. I have severe asthma caused by many different problems :(, I'm also recovering from a bactiral chest infection and viral flu. I spoke to my consultant and asked if it was possible that I have got sleep apnea, he looked at me in his usual arrogant smug way with a little giggle and said it's mainly large middle age men that get this and your neither of them! I really don't get on with my consultant and he treats me like I'm stupid !

I also have a muscular disorder at the base of my tongue which is floppy and makes my breathing noisy. The muscle is called the ginoglossus, which this also plays a massive effect on sleep apnea.

I'm not a confident speaker (I'm a stammerer) so I'm finding it difficult to speak up, does anyone have any advice??? Please

Thank you


5 Replies

  • Ps my consultant pays no attention to my throat disorder

  • Sorry to hear you are having trouble. Surely getting insufficient sleep is no help at all!

    Since speaking is sometimes difficult for you, would it help to write an email or even snail mail to your respiratory consultant explaining why you think sleep apnea needs to be looked into?

    I agree that it is ridiculous for him/her to rule something out simply because you are the wrong age, weight or gender. Sleep apnea can have lots of causes.

    Also shouldn't asthma treatment, especially difficult asthma treatment, treat the entire airway as a potential source of issues?

    The tongue isn't just in the mouth - it is shaped like a tennis ball with a quarter cut out and only the ""lip"" above the cut out part is in the mouth. The rest extends down the pharynx and can easily block air if it ends up in the wrong position - a fact that is regularly made use of in certain languages with uvular and gutteral/pharangial stops and trills - the sound is made by opening and closing the way back of the mouth or pharynx with the tongue rather than the mouth. (I know this from studying phonetics and because one of the languages I speak - Hebrew - has such a sound).

  • Hi Jordan,

    As Beth suggested it might be worth writing it down and either taking it to your next appointment or emailing him.

    I will say though if you feel your consultant is not listening to you at all ask to see someone else.

    I had to do this and its made a world of difference to the treatment I'm receiving.

    My old cons had very fixed ideas and wouldn't listen at all.

    Good luck!


  • I'd agree with what everyone else has said esp re finding a new consultant! I have also found this has made a difference for me, having someone who actually listens and doesn't dismiss what I say. I would defo agree that with what you've said, they should be investigating all this and how it relates to your throat disorder.

    I am not male, large or middle-aged either, but I noticed when I had a bronchoscopy that they'd written on the results form (which I didn't see till ages later when I got my notes) 'very crowded palate - at risk of sleep apnoea?' Not that they followed up on it which seems a bit naughty of them since I was pretty sure I told them I had sleeping issues, so they could at least have asked me some more questions about how I slept!

    It was followed up at another hospital (in discussion at least though I said I don't seem to snore) because I mentioned that I do get sleep issues when my asthma is playing up but I'm not always aware of this at the time - it's more like I wake up knowing I've had a disturbed night and then feel very sleepy/exhausted all day, but I wasn't awake enough to know that I was awake, look at the clock, take inhaler etc. Frustratingly, I do come across drs/nurses who seem to think it doesn't 'count' as a disturbed night if you don't wake up fully, take note of the time and take your inhaler. That does happen sometimes, like last night, but most of the time not, for me.

  • Jordan, if your consultant isnt listening, could your GP refer you to a sleep clinic. I dont know where you live, UK or not.. but certainly my GP is able to refer people to the sleep clinic for testing. There is a large sleep clinic (RSSC) at Papworth, near Cambridge. Your consultant sure likes to pigeon hole people, I know several people who have CPAP machines, and none of them fit his dodgy description!!

    Lynda :)

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