My Life With CPAP

I have a love/hate relationship with my CPAP machine. I have probably documented this fact before in my blog. I would say I mostly hate it if I were being totally truthful about it. I spend every night tethered to my Dream Station CPAP machine.

For those who aren’t familiar with this, the CPAP is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Basically, it is a machine which blows air into into my nose and mouth to keep the airway open for those of us who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. That means we stop breathing during sleep for various periods at night. That’s kinda not a good thing. This machine is designed to help with that.

On a positive note, my CPAP machine has done that. Since I have started using the machine I have gone from 90 events per hour to an average of one per hour.

Yes, that’s good but I still hate the machine. I can never leave home without it and I never like putting the mask on my face at night. It’s a necessary annoyance in my life now. It is possible that if I lost enough weight that I could get off of it but that’s no guarantee. The machine isn’t too loud but enough to be annoying at times. It also dries my sinuses out a lot. I have a water attachment to it that is supposed to help but it doesn’t.

I guess the machine keeps me alive. That’s probably a good thing. When I sleep or nap without it I wake up with a headache so it makes a difference. But unlike those who claim it makes a huge difference and they wake up refreshed with the best sleep they have ever had – I have not experienced that myself. I’m still wondering about that. I suppose I should be happy I am breathing 89 more times each hour.

So therein is my dilemma. I hate it but I have to use it. It took a while for me to adjust to the machine in the beginning. In fact, the folks at the sleep lab were upset the first morning I used the machine when I woke up sick instead of celebrating the best sleep ever. They took it kinda personal. I had a difficult adjustment in the beginning.

I will say that the CPAP does help me fall asleep sooner. It doesn’t take long for me to drift off to sleep. I also dream a lot more now (although I can’t always remember what I dreamed) which my doctor says is a good sign that the machine is working. I don’t wake up with headaches as much but mostly I have to regain my balance since it does something in affecting it. Doctors haven’t been able to figure that one out.

No, I’m not in love with my CPAP but it’s like an annoying family member who moves in with you. The CPAP lives with me like an annoying relative and I just have to manage until me or the technology changes.

Leave a Reply