I first met the IRS team in September 2010. After spending a night at the UBC sleep lab, I knew that I was diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea. I was only scarcely aware of what that meant, and what changes it would signal in my life.

When I received a diagnosis of sleep apnea, I greeted the news with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. The respiratory therapist very quickly put me at ease and helped me to understand exactly what sleep apnea is and the negative impacts it can have on my life.

She showed me the various CPAP machines and sized up my nose, head, etc for proper fit.

It was a change to get used to the “snore machine” but the benefits were immediate, I stopped snoring. Perhaps even more importantly, after a few weeks to adjust to the fit of the machine, I awoke feeling rested and full of energy. I can still feel a difference in my energy levels if I wear the CPAP all 8 hours or if I remove it (unconsciously – this still happens) during the night.

The regular support through weekly appointments with the therapist helped to keep me focused, on track and committed to making CPAP work for me.

Adjusting to wearing a CPAP was a months-long process for me, and I occasionally still resist wearing it. But it is clear to me that the benefits to my health, my energy and my general well-being absolutely justify the cost and the adjustment period required to learn to sleep with the CPAP.