My sleep apnea disorder almost killed me… multiple times and ways. Listen to the audio clip below.

I just stepped out of a time machine of sorts and it reminded me of just how close I came to losing everything.

I happened to come across a CD that had an audio recording of a presentation I made  to a CEO club on February 10, 2004, just 6 months  before I sought treatment for my sleep apnea disorder. As I listened I became almost sickened. I could hear my words slur, if I didn’t know better I would have thought I was drunk (I’m not a drinker so I know I wasn’t)  or I had had a stroke. I mean it was really, really bad.

The only reason I’m bringing this up is to offer a warning to you if suspect that you, or a loved one, might have sleep apnea disorder.

I KNEW I had it and had had it for years. But true to my nature I was going to get past it, I was going to overcome it, I’m not afraid of doctors I just don’t like admitting I can’t do some things on my own. I saw sleep apnea as a self induced problem (my weight and inactivity) and I was going to fix it on my own.

Looking back I could NOT have been more stupid. My stubbornness cost me much of my speaking career, TEC (now Vistage) was having me speak to 60-80 of their groups a year but as my sleep apnea disorder progressed they starting booking me less and less, until finally they weren’t booking me at all. Of course I could not see any of this at the time, I thought I was doing fine (even though I didn’t sleep in a bed, not even once, in 30 month (I had to be sitting up to get any sleep at all). I fell asleep on planes, in meetings and my wife and daughter refused to drive with me because I would nod off at the wheel.

Before I make myself out to be a complete idiot I should say that I did get treatment in 2004 and it was amazing, I mean absolutely 100% amazing. They fitted me with a C-PAP and I immediately got 5 hours of the best sleep I had had in at least 7 or 8 years. The next night was the same, the next the same. In days I was a WHOLE new person my sleep apnea disorder was being managed.

I’m glad to say that I’m now down nearly 100 pounds from my high and I do 4 miles on the treadmill 4 or 5 times a week and my sleep apnea disorder is now a foggy but painful memory. I no longer need the C-PAP but a guarantee you I would slap it on in a heartbeat at the first sign of sleep apnea. Oh, and I haven’t slept anywhere but in a bed (well may a few times in my hammock) since 2004.

I urge you to do whatever it takes to get yourself or anyone you know who you suspect of suffering from sleep apnea disorder to get in for a sleep test as soon as they can.

Here’s a small audio clip from the presentation I delivered in 2004. Ed Taylor TEC 2004 Clip

Here’s me now- Ed Audio 09-11

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