By Tracy Simons, Silver Cross Hospital
For more than 10 years, 50-year-old Mike Palomar suffered from constant sleepless nights. He always felt sluggish, could fall asleep any time of the day, was unable to control his weight and struggled to do daily activities.
His wife often complained of his loud snoring or alarming moments of sleep when he didn’t appear to be breathing. He decided to seek help and was referred by his doctor, family medicine physician Ann Mitrakul, M.D., to have a sleep study at the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center located in Pavilion A at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.
Here, it was determined that he indeed had sleep apnea. Now, Palomar enjoys many restful nights’ sleep and even has more energy to enjoy his hobby of bowling two to three times a week.
“Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep,” says Dr. Phillip Leung, board certified pulmonologist and medical director of the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center. “These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and often occur five to 30 times or more an hour.”
During Palomar’s sleep study, he had 78 breathing pauses every hour. His treatment plan included using a CPAP machine with a humidifier to sleep at night along with a full sleeping mask.
Sleep apnea usually is a chronic condition that disrupts sleep making you tired during the day. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes; make arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, more likely; and increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents.
While at the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center, Palomar spent the night in a private home-like room where he had his own bathroom, calming décor and comfortable bed to help put him at ease. He spent the next eight hours undergoing a polysomnographic test and a sleep study that provided a detailed picture of his entire sleep cycle.
The study allowed technicians to analyze Palomar’s exact sleep pattern, from the onset of sleep through the four normal levels of sleep, to breathing, oxygen levels, heartbeat, movement and snoring activity. The next morning it was determined that he had mild sleep apnea and required a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help control his breathing while he sleeps.
“My experience at the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center was great,” said Palomar who resides in Joliet. “I was very nervous initially when I came for my test. However, thanks to my technician, Rod, who thoroughly explained each step of the exam and thoughtfully answered all of my questions. Rod made me feel he cared about my health and made me feel very comfortable during my entire sleep study. And the facility was so comfortable I didn’t even feel like I was at a hospital.”
Life Enhanced Since Sleep Study
“I would definitely recommend other people who aren’t sleeping well to get a sleep study because it will positively change their lives,” Palomar said. “I no longer fall asleep during the middle of the day because of the high quality of my full night’s sleep. And since I’m more rested, I have more energy and feel better throughout the day. I no longer suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol, and due to committing to a healthier lifestyle, I have lost 50 pounds in the past five months by following a vegan diet.”
In addition to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, the Center specializes in sleep-related breathing disorders, insomnia, sleep related movement disorders, and narcolepsy. “We are committed to helping our patients receive the correct treatment that will enable them to rest properly, so they can have a better quality of life,” Dr. Leung said.
If you or someone you love is experiencing a sleep problem, we invite you to contact the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center for an initial consultation. For more information, call 1-815-300-REST (7378) or go to www.silvercross.org/sleepdisorderscenter.
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a new 289-bed acute care hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox and 8 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices.
To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.