Peter Messenger

At-home sleep testing offers one man life-changing results

Peter Messenger knew he had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). He was diagnosed with the lung condition in 2005 and since then his breathing and quality of life continued to go downhill. In April of 2010, his condition was so bad that he spent a week in the hospital in an induced coma. After recovering from that incident, he was admitted to the hospital several more times for pneumonia and other complications.

Along with treating his COPD, Peter's doctor, Ahmad Khayat, MD recommended that he have a sleep study done to check for sleep apnea. "I didn't like the idea at all," says Peter. "Even though I knew I was having trouble sleeping and I was always run-down and tired, the thought of going to the sleep center for an overnight test was strange to me."

In November, 2011, Peter ended up back in the emergency room. "My overall health was really declining," remembers Peter. "I decided something needed to be done." Fortunately, Dr. Khayat was able to offer him a new option for screening for sleep apnea.

Embletta Gold
Embletta Gold device

Embletta® Gold is one of the newest and most advanced sleep testing devices. It gives patients the convenience, comfort and privacy of completing the test in their own home. Unlike other at-home sleep monitoring tools, Embletta Gold goes beyond screening for possible concerns and is able to monitor and diagnose breathing sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

Following an initial consultation, Dr. Khayat helps patients determine if an in-home sleep study will work for them. Because it is a diagnostic test, patients need a physician referral in order to use the Embletta home-monitoring device. It is covered by most insurance.

"When it came time for the test, I went to Dr. Khayat's office, and in ten minutes the respiratory therapist had hooked up the device," says Peter. "It involved three cloth bands around my chest and stomach area, an oxygen sensor on my finger and the monitor which is attached to one of the bands. I went home and was able to sleep in by own bed." After sleeping overnight with the device, patients remove the equipment themselves at home and return it the next morning.

The results from Peter's test showed that he had severe sleep apnea and that he required continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Within two weeks of his initial consultation, Peter's CPAP machine was delivered to his house, he was instructed how to use it properly and he began to see his life change.

"It took a while to get used to the CPAP, but the outcome has outweighed any adjustments," explains Peter. In just two months, he went from waking up every twenty minutes during the night to sleeping a full eight hours. "I used to sleep and eat very sporadically both day and night. I was tired all the time and my diet was far from healthy," he adds.

During those first two months he lost 38 pounds. "I wake up feeling great. I'm eating regular meals instead of snacking and I'm eating healthier," comments Peter. "My breathing has improved and I started exercising." His wife Margie commented on his improved health, and also a positive change in his entire outlook, "I consider it a miracle and friends have also commented on how Peter seems to have more color in his face and a healthier appearance."

Peter finds it hard to believe that such a simple process has impacted his health so dramatically, "Just from knowing the difference it has made in my life, I actually look forward to putting my CPAP on every night. I should have listened to my doctor earlier."

Aurora Health Care physician, Ahmad Khayat, MD is board certified in critical care medicine, internal medicine, pulmonary disease and sleep medicine.

For more information on Embletta® Gold or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khayat, at the Aurora Marinette Menominee Clinic, please call 715-735-7421.

Watch Dr. Khan's video to see what ApneaLink looks like, how it operates and how it can put you on the path toward a better night's sleep.
Aurora also offers ApneaLink screening. ApneaLink is a free screening tool that is used in the comfort of your own home - it does not take the place of a sleep study. You do not need a doctor's order to use the ApneaLink technology.

ApneaLink is not available at all sleep center locations. There are 11 Aurora Sleep Medicine Centers located throughout eastern Wisconsin. Find a sleep medicine specialist in your area.