Me and my new room mate – a follow up to my follow up of my sleep study

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 8.06.33 PM.pngMy new sleeping partner is a Cpap machine. I  will call him Pappy. I think Pappy is a long lost relative of Sesame Street’s Snuffelufffagus. He has a long long nose. Cpap machines are usually the choice for the treatment  of  obstructive sleep apnea {the cessation of breathing} Cpap is the abbreviated form for continuous positive airway pressure.

My initial sleep study indicated that I had mild sleep apnea-not a life threatening condition. Howeveer I agreed to try it to  humour my doctor. She  researched and found that studies  indicate those with even mild sleep apnea  can benefit sleeping with a Cpap machine by reducing their risk of developing atrial fibrillation and helping to  maintain  good brain health and memory. She is  recommending it to many of her senior patients.

Sooo–  I was given an apointment with a respirologist and a technologist at a health care facility  for a demo and to get fitted with a Cpap machine for a trial period. Interestingly the offices were in the same scary building where I had my initial sleep study done. But it wasn’t a scary building after all. It was a modern building that housed a small medical/commercial   plaza. It makes a difference when one enters through the main door in daylight and not through the dark and dingy night entrance.

My daughter accompanied me to my appointment because two sets of eyes and ears are better than one. Besides her sets are younger than mine. A whole contraption was brought out with all kinds of connections and parts. The technologist must have seen the look of horror on my face because he said “don’t worry , you won’t have any problem assembling this at home.” I said “Yes I wiLL” He said “no  you won’t”. My daughter said “No You won’t”. I repeated “Yes I will”.

Of course mothers are always right.The first problem i encountered was –I couldn’t get the cap off of the large jug of distilled water.The water chamber of the machine has to be washed and filled with distilled water every day. I think carrying and pouring from the heavy jugs contributed to the recent problems I developed with my hands.Then there is the face mask with its multiple straps and rubber part that fits over the nose. I am not sure that I ever acquired the knack of putting it on properly. I have worn the mask upside down and inside out, the main strap on top of my head, on the back of my head  and I nearly asphyxiated myself when I tried it under my chin. The mask must be secured tightly so that no air leaks occur. Once the mask is  on it has to be connected to the six foot plastic tubing  {Pappy’s nose}. When it is attached the machine automatically starts up. It surprised me and almost knocked me off my feet the first time. The air pressure and  temperature can be adjusted, but I can’t differentiate among the different settings.

I really don’t mind the moist air travelling through my nasal passages and I have to admit I find the mainly soft white noise to be soothing. However I have to learn not to yawn, sing or talk to myself at night. It is not a pleasant experience when one opens ones mouth and a gush of air forces its way down ones throat. Pappy’s nose constantly gets in the way and it is more difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep.I found the nose piece to be irritating and sometimes red marks could be seen on my face the next day.

Last week I went back for the second overnighr sleep study. This time my  sleeping was monitored while I was attached to the  Cpap machine.I didn’t sleep very well. The objective of this follow up sleep study was to see if I stopped breathing less frequently using the machine. The results are not available as yet. However two days later I went back to the technologist to discuss any issues i was having with the machine. The machine was connected to a computor that showed when bunking in with Pappy I had less incidents of apneas. I changed my mask for a less obstructive one using nose pillows. I find this better as I can see to read or watch television while wearing the mask. One disadvantage is it is more difficult to sleep on my side. I have been sleeping on my back with a pillow underneath my knees to ease the strain on my back.

Am I  going to buy a Cpap machine or part ways with Pappy?  I don’t know. I don’t have to make a decision until July 15. I have an apointment with the respirologist and then with the distributor of the machine. The machine isn’t cheap. Some nights I think I have a better quality sleep and some nights not. I can tolerate using the machine for about five hours a night. When I wake during the night , I remove the mask and continue sleeping without it on my side. What to do?  What to do? Any suggestions?

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About epsnider

E.P SNIDER is the pen name that I used to publish "WHY ME- a memoir". I used a pen name so as not to embarrass my spouse, my offspring, their offspring, my grand dogs and my friends. A dream came true when I had my first book published at the age of sixty-nine. "WHY ME? "is a collection of memoirs recounted from various stages of my life and the lives of those that I love or like at least some of the time. Most of the incidences are humorous-some are not. I am a senior but I feel more like a junior except for the aches and pains. When I look in the mirror I often see my mother or some other aging lady with wrinkles and sun spots. The amount and depth of wrinkling depends on which mirror I am looking into, the degree of lighting and how well my skin absorbed the moisturizing cream that day. Although I am mature in years, maturity is definitely not one of my virtues. If something strikes me as funny I get the giggles. Most of my family and many of our friends have a rather warped sense of humour-so I giggle a lot. Laughter plays an important role in our lives. My friends were a significant inspiration for me to begin my writing career. For the past number of years hubby and I have been spending part of the winter season in Florida to escape the sometimes bitter cold climate in Toronto Canada. Every year I send emails to those left behind. To my delight they find my emails to be hysterical and a cure for their winter doldrums. They compare my style of writing to that of the late Erma Bombeck. For those of you not familiar with the author-- she was a beloved American humorist in the 1970's and 1980's. I have loved literature and creative writing from an early age. I spent some of my growing up years in Alberta and won a prize for a best poem commemorating Alberta's bicentennial year. My grade seven teacher was a large and forceful woman, with white hair and course bristly white chin hairs to match. We were all intimidated by her and thus listened intently as she drilled us about parsing sentences and adverbs and adjectives. She provided me with a good basis of the English language. In addition to "Why Me" I have had a short essay published in a book of assorted memoirs by Canadian woman. I currently write for our Toronto Condominium newspaper. I hope to do more writing, although I am not sure if my family can cope with any more of my meltdowns when blocks of written material mysteriously disappear off of my computor. I admit I am computor and electronically challenged, but I will persevere. - - - - - - - - - - - Writing has been a passion of mine through out my life. Ever since I took a step forward and entered into the world of computers, a new world of opened up for me. I found myself engrossed in writing emails with lengthy updates about my life's recent highlights. To my delight, people found me...funny! I then offered to write for my condo newsletter, and I recently had a short memoir published. For the last several years I became glued to my computer, transferring my hand-written life adventure notes to an actual story of my life's defining moments. Finally, at the age of 69, I was done... I wrote a book! AND it's actually published. People are reading it. People are enjoying it. I am thrilled! Plus, it's one of the greatest gifts I could ever give my family. Talk about a dream come true. My advice to you: Think positive, keep your eye on the prize, and you too can enjoy as your dreams and desires come to fruition.
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11 Responses to Me and my new room mate – a follow up to my follow up of my sleep study

  1. Sorry, but it just sounds horrible to me. For one thing I have never been able to sleep on my back and still walk the next day. And I can’t even wear a respirator mask for painting. I can never get a breath in them and feel like I’m suffocating, I certainly can’t tell you what to do, Elaine. If you need it, you need it so I hope it gets better for you. Does the less restrictive one still cover your mouth?

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    • epsnider says:

      I had my apointment with the sleep specialist doctor. He checked my records without using C pap. and sleeping with it on. The findings were I had a few sleep apneas when i wasn’t attached to “Pappy” and none with the machine. However the only time the apneas occurred was when i slept on my back, The doctor felt that I had mild sleep apnea and wasn’t a threat to my health.So, I parted ways with Pappy .I don’t miss him . I try to fall asleep on my side .I have an apointment with my regular doctor. I know she is encouraging a lot of hr patients to use a Cpap as a preventative measure against developing atrial fibrillation and to help maintain a healthy brain. There is a slight possibility Pappy and I may reconcile but I doubt it. Too many incompatibilities.

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  2. Susan Applebaum says:

    My son stopped using his because he kept ripping it off while he was sleeping.

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  3. I do appreciate your writing about your journey with sleep apnea – which is one step ahead of mine. I still have to go the overnight study and fingers crossed that I will not need one of those contraptions! Good that you get to try before you buy – I wondered about that. Do you have to sleep on your back? I never fall asleep like that! Keep me posted and good luck.

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    • epsnider says:

      “Pappy “ and I parted ways. According to the sleep specialist I have mild sleep apnea and only when i sleep on my back. It isn’t a threat to my health, but my family doctor may still recommend i use one as a preventative measures against developing atrial fib and to help maintain a healthy brain.

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  4. epsnider says:

    Good luck Cinda with your journey with sleep apnea. It int any fun. With the full mask I was able to sleep on my side, but with the nose pillows it is difficult and I sleep on my back. Keep me informed.

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  5. mamaredeemed says:

    I have had my CPAP for 8 weeks now and even though it has been challenging it has also been life changing! If your apnea is moderate to severe try to think of it in a more sciency way. If you are not giving your body the O2 rich blood it needs to repair and rejuvenate during the sleeping hours, your body will try to compensate. Low Metabolism, brain fog, depression all these things can be caused by poor sleep quality and low O2 saturation

    Liked by 1 person

  6. epsnider says:

    Thank you for commenting. I had a follow up appointment with the sleep specialist. Apparently I have mild sleep apnea and the apneas only occur when i sleep on my back. At this time I have opted not to purchase the machine. I heard that pillows are available that make it difficult to roll over on ones back when sleeping.
    That is great that you have had such positive results with your CPAP.

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