Monday, November 23, 2009

C-PAP - Fact or C-RAP?

So my pulmonary doctor is concerned about the amount of oxygen I'm getting. So he upped the amount of steroids I'm to inhale daily and had me tested for sleep apnea. The steroids I can handle, they aren't strong enough to alter my mood or grow hair on my chest but the sleep apnea? What a pain.

To determine if I had sleep apnea, they sent me home with a kit which had a chest belt with a machine attached and instruction to place it at nipple level but against the chest. Since I wasn't going to bind my chest flat, I opted for the other option of above the breast with the leads cutting into my arm pits. There was a tube with an attachment that went into my nostrils and my mouth. I put a monitor on my ring that glowed all night long. Now I was suppose to sleep naturally. The next day I returned the system for evaluation and guess what I have sleep apnea. I tried to explain that there was no way they could have gotten a correct diagnosis as I hardly slept but they seemed firm in their belief in the readings they got that they are correct. So off I go to get fitted for a CPAP machine and face mask.

The clinic went over how the damn thing works, how to keep it clean, how you might not sleep well for the first couple weeks. They fit me for a mask and get this, I'm a size SMALL, in fact they almost gave me the Petite SMALL! So finally I wear something in a SMALL. I brought home my luggage (the thing weighs a ton!) and got my distilled water for the attached humidifier and I was all set.

Come bed time, I set up my machine, adding the water as instructed, keeping the machine below the level of my head. I slip on the headgear with face mask, plug it in and lay down. Soon as I lay down, I realize I need to pee. So I disconnect the hose. The machine starts loudly blowing out air, until I find the button to turn it off. I do my business and plug myself back in and get into bed.

This machine is not made for people who sleep on their stomach and much of their face. I'm going to have to train myself to back sleep. The good thing about this machine is that it will pretty much eliminate my snoring that I do when I back sleep.

So I've had 3 nights on the MACHINE and I'm not feeling rested at all. I can't seem to adjust the humidity on it, so I'm either as dry as a bone or drowning in the accumulated condensation. I'm also trying to give up caffeine, I'm down to half caff coffee and no other caffeinated beverages. All this in pursuit of better health. I might be healthier soon if it doesn't kill me first.


  1. I have a CPAP too! It is so funny funny that you posted the Darth Vader picture because that is what my husband calls me with mine on! It took about a month for me to get totally used to it but I LOVE it now and cannot even think about sleeping without it. Do you know what your pressure setting is? I am on 7. BTW -I used the distilled water for about a month or two and decided I did not need it. I have been without humdity on it for three years and have not missed it at all.