70: No Doubt About it

70: No Doubt About it

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

No Doubt About It

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

~Anthony Burgess

No doubt you’ve heard of Doubting Thomas. I live with him. Or at least I’m married to one of his descendants, Doubting Dale. Let me just say that our wedding vows should have read: “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, til snoring do us part.” Because it did… part us. One part of us is positively certain that one of us snores. The other part sincerely doubts it.

For years, our morning conversation would go something like this: “Honey, I know I don’t snore, but did I snore last night?” “No doubt about it, unless I dreamt that I was sleeping with Darth Vader… again,” I’d reply. Soon my subtle hints took on a note of sarcasm.

“Honey, I know I don’t snore, but did I snore last night?”

“No doubt about it, unless you think I actually prefer sleeping in the garage with a pool noodle wrapped around my ears.” Then, since sarcasm seemed to be wasted on him, I tried telling him the truth: “Your snoring was so loud, it made the china rattle in the dining room buffet, next door at the neighbor’s!” But he just wouldn’t believe it, even after our neighbor moved to Calgary, three provinces away.

Needless to say, Dale’s doubts were doing nothing for our relationship, let alone our sleeping arrangements. As time went on, the peace and quiet of our lumpy living room couch seemed more and more appealing. But first, I tried every anti-snoring gimmick out there. I wore earplugs guaranteed to muffle the sound of a jackhammer. They didn’t work. I drank gallons of chamomile tea to make me fall asleep faster, to no avail. I sewed a tennis ball into the back of Dale’s pajama top to make him roll over onto his side. It didn’t matter. Apparently he can snore in any position. A real turning point came when I tried the “hands-on” approach. One night I pinched his nostrils shut and he came up for air, fists swinging. I just barely ducked in time. And then he accused me of premeditated murder. As if anyone could meditate in that racket.

Of course that little incident didn’t do a whole lot for our relationship either. Something had to be done. That’s when Dale signed up for an overnight stay at a “Sleep Lab.” There, someone actually watches you sleep and records it on video. But first they have to hook you up to a computer that monitors your sleep patterns. Eleven wires were attached to Dale’s head (with one up each nostril), four more were fastened to his chest and two were taped to his legs. Then they wished him, “Good night, sleep tight!” Yeah right! Most of us would be too wired to sleep a wink. Dale was sawing logs in five minutes flat.

In the morning he asked his favorite question: “I know I don’t snore, but did I snore last night?”

“No doubt about it,” the technician answered. Then they went on to tell him he has a mild case of sleep apnea and recommended him for laser surgery to enlarge the breathing space at the back of his throat. It wouldn’t be one hundred percent effective, they told him, but the surgery could reduce his snoring by eighty-five percent. Dale decided to go for it.

After the surgery, his throat was very sore for about ten days. Six weeks later, however, I noticed little change in his snoring. So, back he went for more surgery… more soreness and then after six weeks… more snoring. At this point, I really didn’t want him to go back, but Dale refused to give up. At his next appointment, the doctor sent him home with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine for him to wear with a mask every night… and it worked!

No doubt about it, Dale’s determination to make us an “overnight success” story has done a lot for our relationship. The sparkle is back and we’re able to tease each other, again. Just the other morning, for instance, Dale said to me, “Honey, you sure had a good sleep last night. You were snoring to beat the band!”

“Very funny,” I chortled, rolling my eyes. “I know I don’t snore.”


~Lisa Beringer

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