Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that’ll make you sit up and take notice, especially if you were born a year earlier and you, too, have sleep apnea.
Coincidentally, I forgot my Sleep Machine when we left town yesterday to visit my parents for Christmas, so last night was the first night in 14 months that I haven’t used the Sleep Machine. Did I miss it? Let’s just say that I lost count of the number of times I woke up during the night somewhere in the mid- to high 20s, and at that point it wasn’t yet 2 a.m.
Another interesting coincidence: Panther defensive end Mike Rucker also suffered from sleep apnea, but he had surgery for it a couple of years ago. You’ve got to have it bad to go for surgery, because it’s incredibly painful and the success rate isn’t much over 50%, my doctor says. But it worked for Rucker.
There’s reason to believe that being overweight, even in the heavily-muscled way common to pro-football defensive linemen, can contribute to sleep apnea. I think my own case dates back to my mid-20s, well before my weight ever was an issue, but I’m trying to lose weight anyway.
White wasn’t much of a Panther — his decision to come out of retirement to sign with the team in 2000 was ill-considered on both his part and the team’s — and his attitudes about homosexuality denoted a very cramped reading of Scripture, but he seemed in many other ways a really decent guy. My heart goes out to his wife, Sara, and their kids.