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Saturday, September 24, 2016

A snoring conspiracy

All my life I’ve had a problem with snoring. Not me, but other people. It's not just that it bothers me, it drives me up the wall!

First it was my dad. The nights didn’t bother me as such, because my parents’ bedroom was quite a distance away from mine, but when we went camping I couldn't sleep in the tent. To get some sleep I was forced to sleep in the car. His snoring was so loud that even neighboring campers started to complain. 

When I got married I fiercely hoped my new husband wasn’t a snorer and fortunately, he wasn’t. He had another problem though … he was a heavy breather. He felt bad about it, but in those days there was nothing to be done about it.

Many years later I was selected to join the national bowling team of South Africa and our team of twelve, six men and six women, plus two coaches, went to Pretoria for the Interprovincials.

To keep the cost down, two women would share a room, two men would share a room and the coaches would share a room, making it seven rooms. I was teamed up with Anne.

I was quite looking forward to having a roommate and building team spirit, but things changed dramatically shortly after the lights were turned off.

Anne started snoring, but it wasn’t a normal snore, it was like a freight train was going through the room. I tried putting my fingers in my ears and putting the pillow over my head, but her snoring was so loud nothing helped. Eventually I gathered up my pillow and duvet and slept in the bath. Since we had a five-day stay in Pretoria, I insisted to be moved.

More recently my son Dieter turned out to be a snorer. For the longest time he never gave a peep at night, but suddenly he developed a snoring problem. 

Several times each night I had to get out of bed and go to Dieter's room to wake him up. And forget about people only snoring when the lie on their backs. Whether Dieter lay on his back, side or stomach, he snored in all positions. Sometimes he would be cooperative and rolls over, other times he grumpily reply "I'm not even sleeping." Yeah right.

I insisted that he go see a doctor, this couldn't go on. He didn't get sufficient rest and neither did I. "Wear ear plugs," someone suggested, but they had little or no effect. While they drawned out soft snoring, once Dieter got going I could still hear him.

"Try nasal strips," someone else suggested. Dieter bought nasal strips, three different brands, and other than being $30 our of pocket, these nasal strips did absolutely nothing.

Just when we started considering a sleep apnea machine, someone suggested placing a humidifier in his room. The very next day such a machine was bought and … there was peace and quiet, Dieter didn’t snore anymore.

Now there is another problem … Charlotte, one of my cats snores. You might not think this to be a problem, but it is. At night Charlotte sleeps with Dieter, but over the weekend when I take a nap, she comes and sleeps with me.

My goodness and can that cat snore, you wouldn’t think it possible that such a small nose and produce so many decibels. When I touch her to wake her up she starts to purr, only to switch again to snoring ten seconds later.

First my dad, then my friend, next my son and now my cat … is this a snoring conspiracy?

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