Frank vs David: Which Sleep Apnea Sufferer Are YOU?

Frank vs David is a concept I came up with to help demonstrate the two types of sleep apnea patients.

Although Frank and David are not real “flesh and blood” people — their traits are absolutely real and based on real people.

You’re currently one of them.

Which one? Well, you’ll need to read the rest of this page to discover that!

But know this…one of them has CRUSHED their sleep apnea and no longer suffers from groggy days, declining health, and worried spouses. The other one hopes to overcome their sleep apnea “some day”.

Meet Frank:

frankFrank is a real estate agent from Florida. He’s probably had sleep apnea for twenty years, but didn’t realize it until 10 years ago when he finally went to his doctor after his wife said she wasn’t going to put up with his snoring any more.

Frank was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in 2003. He was prescribed CPAP by his doctor, and used the machine off-and-on for about 3 months. That’s when the CPAP equipment went into the closet, and has been there ever since.

Frank has been “thinking about” finding a serious solution to his sleep apnea since 2008. That’s what?… a little over 5 years now, I guess.

Meet David:

DavidLike Frank, David has had sleep apnea for a number of years.

The beginning was difficult for David – but as soon as he realized a few “truths” – his situation got a whole lot easier.

David now enjoys crystal-clear thinking during the day, and doesn’t dread going to sleep at night anymore.


Recently I read a book by the late Paul Arden. Paul was the former creative director for the advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi, and before passing away he wrote a few good books on personal productivity and positive thinking.

One of the things he wrote, is worth mentioning here:

















I’m going to circle back to this quote at the end. Why I’ve written it will make perfect sense then. It’s important … for you.

But let me first continue to explain the big DIFFERENCE between Frank and David.

Brief Backstory

You see … back in November 2008 I was thrown into the deep end when, one night, my wife sat bolt upright in bed and started gasping for air.

It was almost like she was gagging, but we didn’t think much of it. Everyone has nightmares, right? But when it kept happening night after night, I did some research into her symptoms, and discovered that she had the classic signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

I’m a researcher (it’s what I love to do), so I started digging into the various treatments for OSA. What I found was that most doctors – and many websites – automatically recommend CPAP therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.

But when I saw pictures of CPAP machines on the internet, I was pretty shocked. How could someone comfortably sleep with that mask on their face? My wife has a tendency to feel claustrophobic, so I knew there would be no way she’d go for CPAP.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that CPAP provides crucial relief for a lot of people who suffer from OSA. CPAP is still considered the “gold standard” in sleep apnea therapy, and it has been proven to reduce apnea symptoms in some people and help them function during the day.

But I also know that there are a heck of a lot of people who just can’t tolerate sleeping with CPAP equipment (in fact, one study showed that up to 83%of CPAP users do NOT regularly use their equipment).

And here’s what adds insult to injury: the CPAP manufacturers seem to have a stranglehold on the sleep apnea “industry”! Many, many people have told me that the only treatment their doctor knows about is CPAP – even though there are dozens of other potential treatments, many of which have been tested in scientific, clinical trials.

The FRANK Role

frankSince starting in 2008, I’ve come across a lot of people who hate CPAP but have pretty much given up on finding a solution to their sleep apnea.

In other words, there are lots of “Franks” out there (remember Frank, who I introduced you to at the beginning of this story?)

The Franks in this world just assume that what the healthcare industry is telling them must be the whole picture – that the only way to deal with their apnea is to stick that stupid mask on their face every night and “suck it up” (literally!)

I don’t blame Frank – he’s just following “doctor’s orders”, right?

And I know that doctors are busy people, that it’s hard for them to keep up with new research on treatments, and that the CPAP manufacturers probably make it darn easy for them to just write prescriptions for their machines (not to mention how lucrative sleep centers have become).

But that doesn’t mean millions of sleep apneics have to suffer night after night with one of those suffocating masks on their faces!

But let me get back to my story 😉

After realizing that my wife had sleep apnea, I started looking into treatments that DON’T involve CPAP. I spent many hours browsing websites, reading through university research studies, and talking to experts.

And what I found is a lot of scientifically-tested sleep apnea treatments that don’t involve CPAP. Unfortunately, many of these treatments are not well known – even by many doctors.

But there ARE some sleep apnea sufferers who are benefiting from these new and proven sleep apnea treatments.

These are patients who have decided to take their health into their OWN HANDS and not rely on a jaded healthcare industry.

You know where I’m going with this, right 😉

The DAVID Role

DavidA David operates completely differently to a Frank.

A David doesn’t take a “defeatist” approach to his health (it’s his HEALTH, after all!).

He sees his sleep apnea NOT as a lifelong health condition that he just has to live with (until it’s depleted his body of so much oxygen that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and stroke have destroyed his body).

David sees his sleep apnea as a PROBLEM that can be SOLVED.

David refuses to accept the status quo, and seeks out solutions from as many sources as possible – NOT just the “standard” sources (uninterested doctors and the healthcare leviathan).

That’s the approach I took when I discovered my wife had sleep apnea, and it’s why I’ve been able to uncover little-known but highly-effective sleep apnea treatments that are free, can be done at home, and don’t require a horrible “Darth Vader” mask!


A Frank thinks his destiny has already been set in stone, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Every time Frank sees a news story about the ever-escalating sleep apnea stats on TV, he just shrugs his shoulders and changes the channel.

The healthcare industry knows how a Frank operates. So they tell him the lie that he wants to hear: that CPAP is the “gold standard” of sleep apnea treatment (notice that they never say CPAP is a “cure” – because it ISN’T), and that CPAP is the ONLY treatment worth attempting.

The outcome is always inevitable and predictable.

Davids are different…

A David knows that crushing sleep apnea is a process, not an event.

It’s something that gets worked on, continuously.

The road ahead is not easy. Hell no. Not one little bit. It requires discipline and determination.

A David is focused on finding the sleep apnea solution that is right for HIM – not just drinking the “Kool Aid” fed by the healthcare industry and CPAP manufacturers.

It starts with the right mindset (anyone can think like this). It’s executed through customer development (creating products or solutions that people really want).

I’ve probably said enough already. I’m sure you get the point by now.

But I will say this to end off…

There are different “layers” to both a Frank and a David.

Some Franks are content operating in their Frank role. They’re content to be ignorant (while realizing that their health is slowly, but surely, deteriorating).

Some Franks consciously know they’re a Frank … but they want to change. But mostly, they just don’t (yet) know how. They want to be a David — if they only knew how.

The most successful Davids are those that:

  • Refuse to accept the status quo
  • Are “action takers”
  • Understand that the healthcare industry isn’t looking after their best interests (despite what the CPAP manufacturers say!)

It’s all choices and decisions and attitude. None wrong. Just depends on what you want, and for what reasons.

What about you?

Are you a Frank or a David?

If you’re currently a Frank — then you have a decision to make (reread the Paul Arden quote).

But whatever you choose, know that it’s the right decision (for you).

My advice to you? Choose to be a David.

Have the guts to roll the dice. Perhaps it’s time to make the right decision.





Marc MacDonald, M.Sc.

P.S. I love this video — take control of your health.

P.P.S. Have an opinion on this? Please leave your comment below!

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