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Shirley Hedrick

Shirley Hedrick 

Sleep Test Patient and CPAP Device User

Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

“The people were friendly and accommodating and treated me like a queen. All I had to do was relax and watch TV.”

Sleeping Better Thanks to a Simple Test and a CPAP Machine

Most people spend roughly one-third of their lives asleep and quality of sleep is closely linked to quality of life. A good night’s sleep can help almost anyone feel better. For 67-year-old Shirley Hedrick of Mt. Pleasant, a good night’s sleep is vital to her health.

An upbeat, positive and creative soul by nature, Shirley also has congestive heart failure and Meniere's disease – an inner ear disorder that affects balance and hearing. She also suffered two stokes in 2000 and has had both knees replaced.

Shirley works hard to manage her health so she can maintain a happy, active life. So when she moved from Houston to Mt. Pleasant, one of her first tasks was to assemble a new health care team.

“I didn’t know where to start, so I called MidMichigan Health Line,” she said. “The lady I spoke with took some information about me and recommended I see Dr. Mansabdar.”

Shirley connected with the office of Internal Medicine Specialist Madhura Mansabdar, M.D., and Mickki Templeman, B.C.-A.D.M., C.D.E., C.F.N.P., board certified family nurse practitioner. Together, they help Shirley manage her overall health.

After Shirley had her second knee replaced, she took advantage of inpatient rehabilitation at MidMichigan Medical Center–Gratiot. “The nurses who checked on me in the night noticed my oxygen level dropped much too low,” Shirley said. At first, she used supplemental oxygen at night. However, because of other health issues, her primary care provider wanted to get to the root of the problem. “Mickki is wonderful,” Shirley said. “She referred me right away to Dr. Shaikh.”

Zubair A. Shaikh, M.D., specializes in internal medicine and is also board certified in neurology, sleep medicine and vascular neurology. While treating Shirley for complications from the strokes, Dr. Shaikh also ordered a sleep study.

Shirley had her sleep test conducted at MidMichigan Health’s Sleep Disorders Lab in Mt. Pleasant. “My daughter dropped me off at around 8 o’clock in the evening – they were watching for us – and I checked in and changed clothes,” she said. “Then they put all these wires on me. That was it. All I had to do was sleep.

“I can’t say anything bad about the experience. The people there made it very pleasant.” Shirley said. “Even though I was in a medical office building, it felt more like a nice bedroom. It was really comfortable and cheerful. I usually don’t sleep well in a new place but it was just the opposite there. I watched a little TV, fell asleep and slept through until they woke me up.”

While Shirley thought she slept soundly through the night, her sleep test results proved the opposite; she frequently quit breathing and her oxygen levels were very low.

Shirley was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening disorder that causes a patient to stop breathing for a few seconds – sometimes as often as hundreds of times – during sleep.

To help her get the uninterrupted sleep she needed, Shirley was fitted with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. A CPAP device is smaller than a shoebox and can be placed on a nightstand. A flexible tube connects the machine typically to a mask that is worn over the nose and/or mouth. The machine blows air at a prescribed pressure determined by a physician. The increased air pressure keeps a patient’s airway from collapsing as the patient breathes.

“It makes a big difference,” Shirley said of the CPAP device. “It accommodates my oxygen and while we’re still working to refine it, it works and I feel better.”

Shirley said the sleep test was one of the easiest medical tests she has ever had and encourages others who have sleep issues to relax and take the test if their doctor suggests it. “It was a pleasant experience,” she said. “The people were friendly and accommodating and treated me like a queen. All I had to do was relax and watch TV. There’s nothing to worry about; they just monitor you while you sleep. It’s very comfortable and not invasive at all.”

 


 

If you're concerned about the quality of your sleep, try requesting a free copy of our sleep disorders quiz and discussing the results with your doctor. To request a copy or for referral to a doctor who specializes in diagnosing sleep disorders, call MidMichigan Health Line toll free at (800) 989-3199.