Editors Note: This story is from a peer of ours who attends our same post-doctoral institute. We all know about the dangers of drunk driving; but, in fact, sleepy drivers are perhaps more dangerous and more common! The patient described in this story realized he needed a snoring appliance for just that reason. In the end, it helped him far more than for just getting a restful night’s sleep to drive safer…
I will never, make that NEVER, forget the second “snoring device” I ever made was for a guy sitting in the next operatory. He overheard me as I was describing the first snoring device I had ever made. He came into the room and said, “I have to have one of those! I just fell asleep during a red light on my way over here!”
This was 1984-5 and this was a “Snoring Appliance”. I was, to indulge in some understatement, blithely unaware of all the health-related issues that this entailed.
While discussing his problem at the appointment the next day, he looked at me in that vulnerable, sleepy-eyed, basset hound way and said words to this effect:
“Doc, I am serious about a woman. We have both been married and divorced, and have been dating for a couple of years. We think it is the real thing and we want to get married. We really love each other. So, we took the trip of a Lifetime together to Hawaii. It was a wonderful trip except………
the first morning I woke up and there was a note on her pillow:
I love you dearly. But, I cannot marry you and sleep in the same bed with you because of your snoring. I am in room #201, call me to discuss this.
Doc, can you help me?”
Well, I made him the appliance that I knew at the time. And it, luckily, stopped him from snoring. I got a call from the newly wed Mrs. XX, who called and said, graciously, “Thank You”. She also shared with me what a dilemma she faced when confronted for the first time as an adult sleeping with a freight train sound next to her. And that this crazy device saved their relationship and they got married after all!
True story. And because it happened so early in my efforts, I have always believed we can help, at least in some way or another.