Blogs > Sleeping with CPAP

Assistant News Editor Lee Dryden was diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist with breathing while sleeping. From a layman’s point of view, he will discuss the benefits, issues, challenges and frustrations of sleeping while wearing a mask.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sleep.....or else

Full facemask for CPAP
CPAP machine
Once it was determined I needed a CPAP machine, my doctor put me in touch with a home health care company where I could pick it up and receive a quick lesson.
It was a bit overwhelming with a dizzying amount of information provided in a 15-minute session, but I headed home with a pricey machine (very thankful for insurance) in what looked like a camera bag over my shoulder.
When I went home, I sat there a bit dumbfounded but I eventually pieced it all together and laid down to try it out. Despite an advance warning, I think it scarred my 9-year-old daughter for life to find her dad wearing some crazy contraption.
Obviously, sleeping with a mask is an adjustment but, for whatever reason, I am able to tolerate it. I’ve read that the CPAP failure rate is as much as 50 percent. Not the machine, but the patients who decide they can’t or won’t use it.
I’ll admit I had a couple tough nights where I couldn’t get comfortable (yes, the mask was thrown across the room once) but overall the transition has been smooth. Oddly, I find the air blowing in as I’m trying to sleep kind of soothing.
My problem is I work strange hours. I get home in the wee hours, sleep for an hour or two, then get up to take my daughter to school. I go back to bed later in the day to finish my sleep.
When I first got my machine, I would use it when I got home after work but I kept falling asleep elsewhere in the house without it during the day. Therefore, I wasn’t logging as much time receiving the sleep therapy as I should.
There are varying requirements from insurance companies and Medicare to continue paying for the CPAP, accessories and doctor’s appointments. Generally, my doctor wants to see 4 hours per day. That’s not much for most people, but I wasn’t reaching it with my unusual sleep pattern.
There’s no cheating. The machine records the time spent receiving therapy and there is a tiny disc that must be brought to appointments so the doctor’s assistant can print out a chart.
My doctor was less than pleased. He expressed concern the insurance company would take away my machine and I would have to resort to more drastic therapy like a breathing tube (yikes).
Perhaps he was overstating the situation to scare me (is a burly repo guy really going to come take my mask?) but it worked. I resolved to do better.


Blogger Steve Berke said...

I enjoyed reading your article :) PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from beddingstock.

April 16, 2018 at 1:43 AM 

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