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sleepy head

Posted by robin jones on Monday, November 17, 2008

Over the last couple of weeks I've undergone a sleep study, or polysomnogram. It's taken me a long while to breakdown and do this thing. I haven't been able to sleep on my back for several years now because of an obstruction of some sort. Couple that with feeling like, well, like hell, for way too much of the time, and it was a test whose time had come. Now I can add sleep apnea to my growing list of symptoms of decrepitude.

The day I came home from the sleep study center a local medical supply company shot over here and set up with my CPAP. It's supposed to take at least a couple of weeks to adjust to sleeping hooked up to that contraption. I felt bad enough waking up over 100 times a night. Now with that thing I can barely get to sleep at all! I just thought my days were running together before. After three nights I'm not sure which end is up.

Anyway, that little bit of torture is what I'm getting to experience. And yes, I realize how lucky I am to have caught it, to actually have medical coverage, and all the happy-happy-joy-joy gratitude things. Nevertheless, I'm in a foul mood and if you don't believe me, just ask one of my dogs. If you can get him or her to come out... ;^/

UPDATE: Actually got some sleep last night. My mask was pretty loose so I tightened up the straps a little. I've got creases all over my face but at least the thing didn't slip every time I moved during the night. I'll tweak it a little more tonight. Maybe I've turned the corner on this thing?

5 comments on “sleepy head”

PaulKirby Says:
Monday, November 17, 2008 @12:36:10 PM

I've heard that those CPAP things are like metal fingerpicks: rather uncomfortable for a short time, but if you get through the break-in period, they are really great.  I'm sure I don't need to tell you about how debilitating sleep deprivation can be. Hope the machine helps!

PyrPups Says:
Monday, November 17, 2008 @3:01:16 PM

I've been on CPAP for almost four years already.  It took over a month to somewhat get used to the headgear.  The first headset got broken bouncing off the wall in frustration.  Once I finally spent a whole night with it, the benefits were obvious.  Proper rest is a key ingredient to much better overall health.  I hardly ever need a nap any longer and the alertness that waned over the years came back, seemingly tenfold.  It's a "Linus blanket" now and I automatically reach for it at sack time.  I lost my Dad back in '78 and he had a serious apnea problem.  I'm sure that he would have enjoyed many more years had the technology been available.  You will soon realize how good you can feel with a proper sleep cycle and the oxygenation that accompanies it.  One side benefit is if you have a head cold and are congested, attempting to sleep intensifies the agony.  With CPAP, sit up on the edge of the bed with the unit on for about ten minutes to allow your nasal passages to open up under CPAP pressure and then you will find that you can sleep normally with the congestion relieved.  Make sure you use the humidifier religiously as CPAP will dry the passages to much without it.  Good Luck with it...Pain in the ass at first but after you've gotten a few good night's rest under your belt, it is a small price to pay for the rewards!  My dogs know when it's time to go out as soon as they hear me shut off the CPAP.  It's their alarm clock!    Kerry

BvilleDon Says:
Monday, November 17, 2008 @3:14:43 PM

I have sleep apnea and tried the machines several times. They were uncomfortable and difficult to keep a seal or change positions easily. I tried two different models from two different "eras', was told that the newer ones were a big improvment, but found that not to be the case when i tried one. I know use a mouthpiece appliance. It is a mouthguard that you boil in water to fit your mouth. When you fit it to your mouth, make sure your lower teeth are projected forward. This posture keeps the airway from collapsing, which is why they sell something similoar for snoring. Shop around until you find one with a built in airway to breath thru the mouthpiece. It took me a while to find one. But the answer was cheap, easily done and effective and I do not have to replace hoses and masks every six months. If anyone else finds the machines unworkable, you might give this a try. I am not a doctor, but I learned this technique from another sufferer after it worked for him. This answer is so easy, it makes me feel like the whole CPAP thing might be a cottage industry for charging a lot to insurance and medicare for a problem that can be addressed by the sufferer himself much more cheaply and effectively. Again,. I am not a doctor and do not want anyone to go on my word alone. Look around, the truth is out there! Good luck!

pstroud1 Says:
Monday, November 17, 2008 @5:31:33 PM

Robin, here's wishing the best with getting use to it. I've been on a machine for just over 10 yrs now. There are different machines and different kinds on apnea. The mask is probably the most important part in getting use to it. I use a soft mask similar to what the old aircraft pilots used for oxygen. It's real soft around your nose and is very forgiving when you move. It a marage sp?
You can change if the one you have gives you trouble.
Pleasant dreams. Paul :)

robin jones Says:
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 @5:51:54 AM

Thanks for all the nice/supportive comments.

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