Gazelle Weighs The Pros and Cons of His New CPAP Machine
The time has finally come for my CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to arrive.
It's been a solid week of having the machine in my household and I have to tell you, I was pretty stoked to pick it up. The nice lady over at Cape Medical Supply in Dartmouth made the setup easy and relayed all the information I'll need to be able to use at home to help me breathe correctly while I sleep. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea earlier this year.
I'm not going to lie. There was a lot more that goes into understanding the machine than I thought there would be. Nonetheless, I absorbed everything I was told including the dos and don'ts, maintenance and getting the machine connected via Bluetooth to my phone to track my progress.
However, even with the correct mask, as comfortable as it is, I wasn't ready to struggle from the get-go with the machine.
It's a device that you have to get used to, and the first few nights were pretty rough.
For instance, I'm fine when the pressure is around a 4, which is a light amount of air being pushed into your lungs, but since I have been prescribed pressure level 15 to combat the apnea, it tends to get a little overwhelming with the amount of wind I'm sucking in. The machine starts each sleep session wth a low dose of air and eventually ramps up to the prescribed setting.
I felt like I was being blown up like a balloon. My cheeks were bulging and my chest was taking in more air than I was accustomed to. Over time, I'll be able to adjust to the pressure, but for now, I'm taking baby steps toward it, each night progressing a little longer with the mask.
Anyone with a CPAP machine is advised to take good care of it and the parts that come with it, such as the filter, the water compartment that keeps your mouth and throat from drying out, and the mask. Daily cleaning is required and sometimes that can get a little tedious.
Overall, I'm looking forward to being able to fall asleep quickly once the mask is applied. Most importantly, I'm looking forward to staying asleep for an entire sleep cycle. I'm yearning for that refreshed good night's sleep, and I've yet to experience it.
One day, with patience and persistence, I'll be there, but again, if it's baby steps that I have to take to make it work, then I'm happy to play the long game.
Oh, yeah, and I'm also told that this machine has the best perk I've ever come across. If I ever take it with me on vacation, as long as I have it with me in hand, I'm able to board the plane first regardless of what ticket I bought. This is something I'd never want to abuse (there are people out there who have it a lot worse), but this is still a pretty neat fact to keep stored in the back of this sleep-deprived brain of mine.