My CPAP, My Friend, My Buddy
My Rating for CPAP devices
”Honey, I’m bringing a friend to bed with me tonight.”
Sleep apnea was a new term for me. I didn’t realize I had such a problem. “I” didn’t even know I snored and wiggled like a worm in hot ashes until I was told that I did. All I knew was I awoke each morning exhausted. A sleep study confirmed it and Mr. CPAP entered my life.
CPAP, short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is a device that forces air continuously thus providing breathing assistance throughout the night. Without it, those with Sleep Apnea stop breathing when the airway closes. We go without air until our body wakes us up gasping for breath. Sometimes this process is repeated way over a hundred times each night. No wonder I was waking up exhausted each morning!
I've known some people who eagerly received their CPAP, yet became very frustrated and gave up using it. A few tips might prevent this from happening if we understand a few of the adjustments our nights will now need to make.
1. It's not a pretty or flattering item, much less sexy. This seems to be especially an issue for us women and may not be as big of an issue with you guys. A friend of mine admitted his wife seems to accept it and use it more when HE is not around (she works nights, sleeps while he is at work). I cautioned him to let HER make the jokes about it, not him. I mean, you really don't feel sexy when hooked up to an elephant nose! J His job was to be supportive because this is a very serious health issue.
2. I've learned the best thing to do is NOT put it on immediately as soon as you lie down. Allow yourself a few minutes to relax and settle down. Once you have relaxed, and are actually ready to go to sleep, THEN reach over and put the CPAP on. This is rather important for me. If I put it on immediately, I fight it more and it gets on my nerves. I feel like an astronaut or a fireman ready to go fight fires, not sleep. Once I’m relaxed and ready to sleep I don’t care if I look like a snorkeler or an aliean from Mars, I just want to sleep. Sometimes I will fall asleep before reaching for my CPAP. Never fear, my darling will remind me when I start snoring. J He'll wake me up and tell me to put my muffler on.
3. When I went into labor with my son (some 30 years ago!) They gave me this canned gas. It had a mask similar to my CPAP mask. I quickly learned to inhale and relax as I exhaled. (now, had I ever done any drugs or smoked I might have more suggestions but, sorry this is my only). When I got my CPAP it felt very similar to that gas mask, thus, inhale and relax.
4. Every night, go through the process as I've mentioned above. If it's a bad night and it's getting on your nerves, then take it off. If you wake up in the middle of the night and its agravating to you, take it off. You have to allow yourself time to adjust. This will take alot of the frustration out of the process and you will end up adjusting and using it full time faster. Just don’t stop trying. Give your CPAP friend at least one chance per night.
5. My final tip is this: So much of this CPAP acceptance is MENTAL. If you fight it, don't like it, etc. you will probably join the ranks of those who tried it, gave up and tossed it in the closet. Mentally accept this change and you will have 90% of the adjustment battle won. Make your CPAP your friend and you will enjoy a lifelong friendship and peaceful, restful sleep and your sweetie will be thrilled to hear you say:
”Honey, I’m bringing a friend to bed with me tonight.” J
Such a wonderful Invention
CPAP Designed for Travel
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