H Charles Jelinek Jr DDS - April 2020

3 Celebrities Living Full Lives With Sleep Apnea Living with untreated sleep apnea can be an isolating experience. While the rest of the world functions without headaches and fatigue, you may be struggling just to make it to 5 p.m. Getting a sleep apnea diagnosis and following a treatment plan can make a world of difference for you — at least, that’s been the case for these three celebrities.

YORKIE DOODLE DANDY Smoky the World War II Canine Hero

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL Shaquille O’Neal was a force on the

basketball court, but when it came to sleep, the four-time NBA champion struggled to get enough. As is common among spouses of those who have sleep apnea, O’Neal’s ex-wife claims his snoring would keep her up at night and cause concern because he would stop breathing. O’Neal was the

focus of a Harvard Medical School sleep study that identified that the 7-foot-1-inch, 324-pound man was struggling with sleep apnea. Since undergoing treatment, reports have indicated that O’Neal has improved and is sleeping and functioning better.

Considering the stress of combat, it’s no wonder military dogs tend to be tough breeds known for their size and strength. German shepherds, boxers, and various bully breeds are well acquainted with the battlefield. But in World War II, the most famous military dog weighed only 4 pounds and stood a mere 7 inches tall. Smoky the Yorkshire terrier wasn’t exactly what most people associated with Shakespeare’s “let slip the dogs of war,” but her small size is part of what made her such a hero. In 1944, after being discovered beside a foxhole in the jungles of New Guinea, Smoky met Corporal William A. Wynne, an American soldier from Cleveland, Ohio. The two quickly became inseparable, and she stayed by Wynne’s side the entire time he was stationed in the South Pacific. Smoky is credited with going on 12 combat missions, surviving 150 air raids, parachuting 30 feet, and earning eight battle stars. Smoky’s sensitive hearing allowed her to alert Wynne and other soldiers of incoming air raids. Smoky’s most famous act of heroism occurred when she went where no man could go at an air base at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. The engineers needed help, so Wynne tied a strand of telephone wire to her collar and Smoky ran through a 70-foot-long pipe in a matter of minutes. Without Smoky, it would have taken three days to lay the wire. Her work kept over 250 ground crewmen and 40 fighter and reconnaissance planes out of danger from enemy bombings. In addition to saving lives on the battlefield, Smoky is also considered to be the first recorded therapy dog. She learned a number of tricks to cheer up troops and would visit injured soldiers at the hospital in New Guinea. After World War II, Smoky and Wynne visited veteran hospitals across the United States. “Corporal” Smoky lived for another 10 years after the war before dying on Feb. 21, 1957, at approximately 14 years old. Wynne would go on to write a memoir about his time with Smoky titled “Yorkie Doodle Dandy.” Almost 50 years after her death, a life-sized bronze statue of Smoky was erected at her final resting place in Lakewood, Ohio. Her statue is dedicated to the bravery of all war dogs, and it is a reminder that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

AMY POEHLER Best known for her “Saturday Night Live” antics and comedic stylings on “Parks and Recreation,” Amy Poehler is a name synonymous with success. But Poehler admits to struggling with consistent exhaustion during her first pregnancy, to the point where she was falling asleep in meetings and taking naps wherever she could pack them into her busy schedule. However, Poehler was suffering from a

very common form of sleep apnea that comes from pregnancy. Due to hormone changes, increased abdominal pressure, and muscle changes, sleep apnea is common during and after pregnancy. Today, Poehler reports achieving better sleep and curbing that exhaustion by treating her sleep apnea.

RANDY JACKSON The wake-up call for Randy Jackson came

after flu-like symptoms left him feeling lethargic, sick, and out of his element. As the symptoms lingered, Jackson was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea, which explained his exhaustion and weight issues. Since that diagnosis, Jackson did a 180 on his diet and became more focused on his health. Reports indicate that he treats his sleep apnea and maintains a healthier diet to curb symptoms of the condition. Whether your condition is caused by weight, pregnancy, or your genetics, treatment for sleep apnea is possible. Learn more about your options by visiting NorthernVirginiaDental.com.

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