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, April 19, 2012

Happy anniversary to me

  What began with a suggestion from my wife that my snoring may be a problem culminated a year later with a nurse remarking that I’ve reached graduation day.
  I apparently passed my 1-year CPAP follow-up with flying colors as I was told during my five-minute appointment to come back in a year. In my first year, I visited several times, with increasing timespans between appointments.
  They ran the numbers from my little disc that I brought in from my machine. I’m proud of the fact that of 203 days since my last appointment, I used my machine during all of them, vacations included.  
  My doctor's reaction showed that is somewhat unusual.
  Also, my hourly average of episodes where my breathing was interrupted was 1.1. Regular readers of this blog will recall that during my pre-mask sleep test, that number was around 40.
  Yet, it’s not graduation in a sense that I’m moving on. While some people reach a point where they no longer need CPAP, I’ve accepted that it will be part of my life indefinitely, perhaps forever.
  And that’s OK. I know there are people out there with much worse afflictions that are much more difficult to manage. Sleep apnea isn’t something to play around with but it can be kept under control with CPAP and various other ways I’ve written about.
  It’s as much a part of my daily life as brushing my teeth. I don’t dread putting the mask on. It’s simply the last thing I do before my head hits the pillow.
  I do have the occasional uncomfortable night where the mask needs adjusting. I tend to obsess over the numbers and it stresses me out a bit when the episodes are up a tad and hours of sleep are down.
  Sleeping with CPAP (shameless insertion of blog title) has improved my life by ensuring quality sleep with minimal interruptions. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, I sincerely wish the same for you.


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