Chapter 29: Snoring

IMG_0552From the List Of ALS Ironies

One of the results of my aforementioned midlife weight gain, though I didn’t know the causation for certain until after I’d lost a ton of weight: I snored like crazy for years, and my poor wife’s patience was pushed to the limits.

The problem came on so gradually that all tolled likely a year transpired before the snoring was even brought to my attention, one night, when my sleep was disturbed by an elbow and a desperate plea, “Howie, please roll over on your side!”

This of course revealed that not only had my sleeping partner been accumulating mounting frustration with the snoring, she’d also had had her sleep disturbed enough over the course of enough nights to determine that I only seemed to snore while asleep on my back, a position I unwittingly ended up in despite starting every single evening over my entire life falling asleep on my side, as I believed I preferred.

Over the next two years, at least half a dozen snoring remedies were tried, a variety of mouth pieces of varying levels of discomfort or awkwardness or both, one pulled my lower jaw forward by my lower front teeth, until I gradually developed an underbite and a lisp and my dentist ordered me to stop using the medieval torture device. Fortunately, within a few weeks of stopping its use, my lower teeth moved back into their normal position, and I moved on to trying a device that fits in the mouth, with a little bulb that sticks out, into which you inserted your tongue, breathe in, creating as suction that holds the tongue in place, pulled forward, clearing the airway, and stopping the snoring.

Only problem with this device, however: You must be able to breathe in and out of your nose. And so, anytime I experienced any degree of nasal congestion, not to mention a full-blown cold, flu, or other sinus infection, it was off to the spare bedroom, where I could snore in peace without anything in my mouth except what I was born with.

Fast-forward, I’d been diagnosed about a year, dropped 50 pounds, and one night the tables abruptly turned. Because it seemed so hard to believe, the reality hit me that night that snoring was now coming from the other side of the bed. I’d been tolerating it quietly for several months, and finally, that fateful evening, my elbow jabbed and I pled, “Hon, please roll over on your side!”


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