Larry and Linda Peterson
Body repair technician and sleep apnea patient
"Sleep apnea affected everything in my life."
Better Sleep for a Better Life
Sleep lab helps Gladwin man manage complex sleep apnea
Larry Peterson of Gladwin is getting to the bottom of a sleep problem that has troubled him for at least nine years. Larry, 51, is working with his MidMichigan physicians and the Sleep Disorders Lab at MidMichigan Medical Center–Gladwin to control his complex sleep apnea.
“Sleep apnea affected everything in my life,” said Larry, who is a body repair technician at an automobile dealership in West Branch. “Every day was hard: I felt constantly worn out. Almost every weekend was spent trying to catch up on sleep, instead of spending time with my wife and our family, and doing what I enjoyed.”
With the latest in care from the sleep lab in Gladwin Larry’s sleep has improved remarkably.
“I have started feeling better and doing more,” he said. “It’s a big relief.”
Help for a challenging condition
People with sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep. They may stop breathing for periods two to three minutes and up to hundreds of times every night. It not only leaves them exhausted, it is linked to other medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease that pose serious health risks.
Larry’s condition combines obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type, with his larger problem of central sleep apnea, which is more rare and challenging to treat.
In spring of 2009, Larry’s sleep apnea had worsened, and his family physician, Marcelino Barreto, M.D., referred him to the sleep lab in Gladwin.
“The Sleep Disorders Lab at MidMichigan Medical Center–Gladwin had just opened, and it was only 11 miles away, much closer than where we went before,” said Larry’s wife, Linda. “Dr. Barreto’s office is located right next door to the Medical Center, so he can easily stay involved with Larry’s ongoing treatment. Larry’s heart specialist is there, too.”
Comfort, compassion and results
Larry and Linda found a trusted source of help in MidMichigan Sleep Lab Manager Erik Robinette, C.R.T, R.P.S.G.T., B.S., and the skilled technicians who conducted his sleep studies.
“I could tell Larry felt comfortable about the sleep tests. The technicians explained everything to him, which made a big difference, and had not been done during his previous experiences at other labs,” said Linda. “In addition, Erik is always there for us. Best of all, he does not give you false hope: when he says he can do something, he does it.”
Larry has reduced his episodes of apnea from eight or nine an hour to nine for the whole night, but different aspects of his therapy continue to be adjusted for even better results.
“Technology for treating sleep apnea patients has improved since Larry’s initial diagnosis several years ago, and continues to improve,” said Erik. “With a variety of approaches, including newer technologies, the sleep lab is equipped to treat patients with even more complex sleep disorders. We are helping more patients like Larry get more restorative sleep, improve their overall wellbeing, and have the energy to do the things they want and need to do every day.”
For more information about MidMichigan’s Sleep Disorders Labs or to take an online sleep quiz, visit www.midmichigan.org/sleep.