A Scottish Floridian
When you listen to my podcast or hear me talk on Instagram, you can't miss the fact that my accent hovers somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.
I grew up in Scotland and met my husband, Jason, there. Jason was from Florida and, after a very Scottish wedding, full of Americans in kilts, we moved to St Augustine, Florida.
So that's how St Augustine ended up being home. We've lived here 15 years and have two girls and a dog called Bear.
During my 20s I had a myriad of unexplained health problems. I was always tired, I had morning headaches, and struggled with anxiety and depression.
Seeing multiple doctors through the years I was always told "it couldn't be sleep apnea because that only happens to older overweight men".
I accepted this until I fell asleep at the wheel with my baby in the back seat at the age of 30. I pushed for a sleep study and was diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
A Wake-Up Call
Starting my Podcast
Soon after my diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in 2008, I started CPAP treatment. I felt alone and unsupported. There were no resources to help me adapt to CPAP therapy, which can be really challenging in the beginning.
I also wondered if there were other people out there dealing with sleep apnea who didn't fit the older, overweight and male description.
It was this curiosity and need to connect with other people with sleep apnea that led me to start my podcast "Sleep Apnea Stories". I started out recording from my closet excited but having no idea how it would go!
It's been 2 years since I started the podcast. I have been delighted by the response from the sleep apnea community. People living with sleep apnea have shared their stories and experts working with sleep apnea patients have explained all the different treatment options.
I hope you'll check out the episodes so you can hear other people's stories and feel less alone in your journey with sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Advocacy
I interviewed Julie Flygare, the founder and CEO of Project Sleep, on the Sleep Apnea Stories podcast. Project Sleep is a 501(3)(c) non-profit raising awareness about sleep health and sleep disorders. To say I hit it off with Julie would be an understatement! I was so inspired by Julie and her journey living with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy, I knew I had to help support Project Sleep in any way I could. In January 2022, I was appointed to the board of directors. Read about it here.