Jim: I was in my early 30s, about 20 years ago, when I began thinking that something must be wrong with me. I fell asleep everywherein church, at stop lights, even sitting in the living room talking with someone. One second I was there and the next second I was sleeping, like someone drew a curtain. I didn't have any control over it. I could be talking to you right now, and then you wouldn't hear my voice any more. I'd be asleep.
Jim: Of course my wife complained. She often went to bed before I did so that she had a chance to fall asleep before I came in, because if I started snoring, there was no way she could fall asleep.
Jim: If normal functioning in life is 100%, I was probably at 55% at my worst. I was a heavy drinker at the time, was falling asleep everywhere, and seemed to be getting strep throat a couple of times a year.
Jim: They recommended surgery. In my case, the problem seemed to be that the soft palate at the back of my mouth was falling into my throat and covering the airway.
Jim: I'm feeling much better these days, although I still have occasional apneas, and I know I'll never be fully cured. There's still a fear factor within my family too, like when the kids, who are now in their 20s, ride in the car with me. They'll say, "Are you OK, Dad? Do you want me to drive?"