I am up kind of early today, 2:50am. Every once in a while I wake up with this choking sensation, unable to breath. It has happened often enough that I know all I have to do is sit up and it will clear. Now my awake mind knows that but it seems my sleeping mind forgets it. Wake up choking unable to breath and it gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush or at least it does for me. I can’t just immediately lie down and go back to sleep. So here I am poking away in the middle of the night. Soon I will be hearing my pillow calling my name and back I will go.
Actually, I am all excited I get to go and pick up my new CPAP machine today. Being memory guy, I don’t think I have written too much about my sleep apnea.
First off, what is sleep apnea (according to Bill). It is a condition that literally causes you to stop breathing while sleeping. Usually, this is only for a few seconds but the time can vary. There are sleep clinics that diagose you with this. You spend a night there hooked to gaugets that monitor you sleep. I am pretty sure it was 79 times that I stopped breathing over a 5 hour period. I do remember for sure them telling me the longest period was for 79 seconds. That is a long time, I have tried holding my breath for that long and just can’t do it.
Obviously, when you stop breathing your body is deprived of oxygen which is not a good thing. I have been told being deprived of oxygen can kill off brain cells. I know I started off with billions of brain cells but I am pretty sure now I am down to about my last 4 brain cells and I am guarding them carefully.
Anyway, to treat this I wear a full mask. It is sort of comparable to the masks you see pilots wear in the movies. Through a hose the mask is connected to the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, basically a sophisticate fan that blows air, through the hose and mask and directly on to your face constantly all night long. I don’t know how they calculate the pressure that you need to be coming out of the machine. I do know that it feels like what must relate to a 70 mile/hour wind. Actually, I googled that trying to find the comparable wind speed but couldn’t find it. Maybe someone can tell me.
Now I found something disturbing while doing the google seach and reading up on this. Somewhere I read that about 20% of people give up on their machines and don’t use them. Why? Because it is too hard to get used to the pressure of the air on your face.
If you are indeed not using your machine for that or any reason, I strongly urge you to do so. It just takes a little time to get used to the feeling of the wind in your face. My pressure setting is almost as high as it can be set and I have become so accustomed to it I no longer even feel it. Granted at the start it can be uncomfortable, it can feel almost difficult in exhale with the constant pressure. Give it a little time and it will soon be the norm and feel just fine. Hey, the pressure even has a ramp feature on it. The pressure starts off lightly and slowly builds. What can I say this is a life saving devise use it.
OK, now 5:20 and back to bed