The snoring bear: Part 5

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Well, this is this patient’s problem in getting life insurance. You can read prior episodes of this story online at cdapress.com. Just search on “Snoring Bear.”

He arrived at home from a business trip and was greeted with the smell of a gourmet meal being prepared and a cocktail already poured. This made him think, “What’s up?” This was completely different from previous arrivals home from a week long business trip.

After dinner, his wife handed him an envelope which he opened and read:

Dear Daddy, My name is Johnny. He stared at his wife with a confused look and asked, “Who is this Daddy, and who is Johnny?”

Just then it hit him like a ton of bricks! He realized what his wife was telling him. They were going to have their first child and he was a boy. Of course, being a parent for the first time was going to change things completely. One is going to have responsibility for another person. He needed to get more life insurance.

He filled out the required paperwork and mailed it to his insurance broker. Later the broker called and said that none of the companies he had contacted would insure him after they looked at the paperwork and his health information. Wow!

This was a great shock; he could not understand and asked the broker why this was happening. Under 50 years old, no smoking, no drinking excessively, no high blood pressure, just 10 pounds overweight, regular light workouts. What’s the problem?

His broker said that his health history showed that he had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. The patient answered, “Sure, I have, but what’s the big deal?” The next question was the real problem — the real deal breaker.

“You aren’t using the CPAP machine that the doctor prescribed for you last year, right?” Of course, he had the records from my health history and doctor’s report so I had to answer, “No.”

The broker continued, “The reason these companies won’t insure you is that untreated sleep apnea is serious — on average you will die 8-10 years before you should. You have obstructive sleep apnea, it’s untreated, and the risk is far too great for these companies to risk insuring you.”

Insurance companies know something that most people with untreated sleep apnea don’t know. There are comorbidities; that is there are other diseases/disorders occurring at the same time as sleep apnea. These include, but are not limited to snoring, heart disease, strokes, metabolic issues, diabetes, E,D., memory problems, as well as societal costs. What would be the cost of the loss of life of a person killed in an auto accident who was hit by a person with sleep apnea who had fallen asleep at the wheel?

A person with untreated sleep apnea is 23 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than a person who doesn’t have sleep apnea! This is the same risk as someone who is obese, who smokes, and has high blood pressure — and has all three of these at the same time!!Come back next week to see what happens to your golf score if you have sleep apnea!

• • •

Dr. Donald Johnson founded Northwest Treatment Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Coeur d’Alene to help patients stop their snoring and live free with no limits! Obstructive sleep apnea is usually able to be treated with a small oral appliance. Dr. Johnson’s office is at 114 W. Neider Ave., near Costco. The website for more information is www.NWSleepDoc.com and the office phone is (208) 667-4551. Schedule a free consultation appointment today!

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