Goodnight Moon. Goodnight CPAP.

My life has been kind of a hot mess lately and I’m not even completely sure way. I think it’s because I’m starting to make some big decisions and a lot of things are changing. I’m going to have a thyroid “procedure” done and I’m making a huge career change. I’ll talk more about those in another post. This post is about my CPAP.

I’ve known for awhile that I might have sleep apnea, I just didn’t do anything about it (stupid I know). I just didn’t want to have to go to a sleep center and I definitely didn’t want to have to use a machine. I’d starting having symptoms a few months ago.: the chronic fatigue, feeling like I’ve been holding my breath under water when I wake up in the morning, brain fog, trouble remembering things, etc. It also doesn’t help that both my dad and my mom’s mom have it. Double whammy. I finally decided to go to my doctor because I just couldn’t handle it anymore (especially not with all my other thyroid related problems). I told my doctor and he was like yeah you probably have it. My grandma and dad were both patients of his.

I was relieved when he told me I didn’t have to go to a sleep center (I hate not sleeping in my own bed). He said that a sleep study company would mail me a device that monitors my sleep and then I just mail it back. Super easy! That’s exactly what they did. I got it in the mail and had to use it for 3 nights in a row. There was a tube that went under my nose, a sensor on my finger, and a sensor that wrapped around my chest. All three plugged into a box that strapped to my wrist. When a sensor would move out of place, the box on my wrist would say “cannot detect chest sensor” and wake me up. The first night it did this several times. Like how are supposed to monitor my sleep if you won’t let me sleep? So rude.

After I was finished with the sleep test, I mailed it back and then had an appointment with my doctor. He confirmed that I had mild sleep apnea. Yay! Not. A week later a guy came to my house with my new CPAP and showed me how to use it. I have had such a horrible time trying to use this thing. First of all, I’m highly claustrophobic. I thought that getting the nose pillow wouldn’t be bad. Nope. I was wrong. With the nose pillow you have to also wear a chin strap (for the first few weeks) that keeps your mouth closed. Your mouth has to stay closed in order to create a seal. If your mouth is open then the air is getting out and defeating the whole purpose of the CPAP. I already sleep with ear plugs because I’m a light sleeper. I also have to sleep in complete darkness. Earplugs + complete darkness + chin strap + nose tube = I feel like I’m being buried alive. Then sets in the claustrophobia and anxiety.  I ended up having to sleep with a lamp on to ease some of the anxiety of feeling like I was being buried. I has helped and made it easier to sleep with the thing. Two other things that haven’t help: my nose is stuffy and the nostril pieces hurt my nose. I forgot that my nose gets stuffy with my sinus infections that I get quite often. That’s going to be a problem. I also noticed that because of that I alternate between mouth and nose breathing. I’ve been waking up feeling like I’m suffocating. I’m going to call them this week to see if I can switch to one that covers my nose and mouth. I don’t know how that will do with my claustrophobia, but it has to be better otherwise. In order to keep my machine covered by insurance, I have to use it consecutively for the first 30 days for at least 4 hours each day. I’ve been doing a lot of my time during the day while I’m watching TV so I don’t have to use it much at night. That’s bad, I know, but I’m going to have to do it until I get a different mask. I will keep you updated on how that goes.

Anyone else have to sleep with a CPAP?