Weight loss and my machine 'companion'
Glenn Keller and Fit Nation Athletic Director April Burkey stretch after a run in Atlanta.
March 28th, 2012
09:01 AM ET

Weight loss and my machine 'companion'

Glenn Keller is one of seven CNN viewers participating in the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. At the beginning of the challenge, Keller weighed more than 300 pounds and suffered from sleep apnea due to his obesity.

It's been ten years or so now that I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I was told that it was a result of my being overweight. The process started with a sleep study when I spent the night in a sleep lab so that the degree of sleep apnea could be diagnosed. That way they would be able to determine settings for my new companion, a C.P.A.P. (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

I use the term "companion" because the machine goes everywhere with me. I've been unable to go anywhere without it for years and I mean anywhere.

It has gone more places with me than my wife.

When I went on a cruise ... it was there.

When I go to Louisiana to visit my mother - it's right there.

Spend a night somewhere in a motel ... and it's right there.

And yes, it's in the truck also, every time it moves.

It's really an experience going to sleep looking like a scuba diver.

My wife could probably speak more to this issue but there is nothing intimate about it. However, my wife never lets me fall asleep without it. The snoring associated with sleep apnea is unbearable. Yes our sleep apnea affects others. Occasionally while watching television I will doze off and it seems without hesitation she will wake me up and tell me "put that mask on."

Trust me, going to sleep without it was an accident. There have been a few times that I had an occasion to sleep without it. When I would awaken I would always have a splitting headache.

So here we are 10 years later - not joined at the hip - but instead joined at the face.

What has been totally ridiculous about this is that I could have done something about it. I wasn't going through this as a result of some incurable disease. I was allowing myself to go through this because I would not stop overeating. I endured over 10 years, over 120 months, more than 480 weeks and more than 3360 nights of having no sleep with this thing on my face because I wouldn't stop stuffing my face. I can't imagine the cost to my insurance provider for the sleep studies and CPAP machines over the years with all I really needed was diet and exercise.

Unfortunately sleep apnea isn't the only problem that being overweight can cause. Being an over-the-road truck driver I'm required by law to take and pass a physical every two years. They test for things like hypertension and diabetes - and both can be disqualifying. There were times leading up to a physical I would be taking garlic pills and drinking vinegar in an attempt to get my blood pressure down.

How sleep apnea can wreck your sex life

A couple of weeks ago I was at a truck stop standing in line behind someone who was buying a pickle that was in a little plastic bag with pickle juice in it. He turned to me and asked, "doesn't this vinegar help bring your blood pressure down?"

It was with a great deal of pride that I responded, "not like diet and exercise."

The last time I saw my doctor, my blood pressure was great.

That's not all diet and exercise has done for me. Since becoming part of The CNN Fit Nation Tri Challenge I've lost almost 30 pounds.

At the beginning of this blog I spoke about the splitting headaches I would have whenever I tried to sleep without the CPAP machine. While in Atlanta for Kick Off Weekend I didn't have access to it for three nights - which I had never done. I slept without it and not one morning did I wake up with a headache.

Then a couple of weeks ago, while at home, I left it in the truck and didn't realize it until bed time and didn't feel like driving back to the truck.

I just knew my wife was going to have to sleep in another room because she was not going to be able to put up with the snoring.

Much to my surprise, when I woke up she was right there. When I asked her about my snoring she said it was so mild she hardly noticed and it didn't even bother her.

What has been so wonderful is that I still need to lose a bunch of weight - but how much of a difference simply heading in the right direction has made!

What is it going to be like when I arrive?

I'm thanking God already. Dieting and exercise has been a challenge, but it's been a rewarding challenge.

soundoff (1,301 Responses)
  1. state farm near me


    June 17, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. used cars for sale near me


    June 17, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. salons near me


    June 17, 2021 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. dinner near me


    June 17, 2021 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. printers near me


    June 17, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ford dealer near me

    I love it whenever people get together and share views. Great website, continue the good work!


    June 17, 2021 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. garden center near me


    June 17, 2021 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. community colleges near me

    Right here is the right site for everyone who hopes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÖHaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for ages. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    June 17, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. lunch near me


    June 18, 2021 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. tanning near me

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.


    June 18, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. emergency vet near me


    June 18, 2021 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. asian massage near me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    June 18, 2021 at 02:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. laundromat near me

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this topic here on your website.


    June 18, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. landfill near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is also very good.


    June 18, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. golden corral near me

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 18, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pedicure near me


    June 18, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. h&r block near me


    June 18, 2021 at 06:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. butcher shop near me

    I like reading a post that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    June 18, 2021 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. restaurants that deliver near me

    Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 18, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. teriyaki near me

    Iím impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog thatís both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something concerning this.


    June 18, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. animal shelter near me

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to find somebody who truly knows what they are discussing on the web. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people need to check this out and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you're not more popular given that you surely have the gift.


    June 18, 2021 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. denny's near me


    June 18, 2021 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. academy near me

    I truly love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my own personal blog and want to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    June 18, 2021 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. bathroom remodel contractors

    I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    June 18, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 18, 2021 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repairs Nearby

    I like reading through a post that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    June 18, 2021 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repairs Nearby


    June 18, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. deck cleaning near me


    June 18, 2021 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. indeed jobs near me

    Hello there! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have got here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.


    June 18, 2021 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Camper Repair Shops Near Me

    You are so cool! I don't think I've truly read through anything like that before. So nice to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that's needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    June 18, 2021 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 18, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Shops Near My Location


    June 18, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 7 eleven near me

    Good article. I'm going through some of these issues as well..


    June 18, 2021 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair


    June 19, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Nearby RV Repairs

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Thank you!


    June 19, 2021 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repairs Near My Location

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It's always exciting to read through content from other writers and use something from other sites.


    June 19, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    That is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate infoÖ Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 19, 2021 at 02:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    I like reading through a post that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 19, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don't talk about these issues. To the next! All the best!!


    June 19, 2021 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. autozone near me


    June 19, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa


    June 19, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. fry's near me

    Great info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!


    June 19, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. spectrum store near me

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own site now 😉


    June 19, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.


    June 19, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Nearby RV Repairs

    Hi! I simply wish to give you a big thumbs up for the excellent info you have got right here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.


    June 19, 2021 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. ti le cuoc

    Trực Tiếp đá Bóng Thời Điểm Hôm Nay, Liên Kết Xem Soccer Trực Tuyến 24hlich phat song k+Theo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania vào ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới mang đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội ko ngán Lebanon song sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi bên trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch tranh tài, quý khách rất có thể chuẩn bị xếp việc làm


    June 19, 2021 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 19, 2021 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Near My Location

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 19, 2021 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to publish more about this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people don't discuss these issues. To the next! All the best!!


    June 19, 2021 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.