Monday, May 14, 2012

Learning to Sleep With My C-Pap Machine

As part of my Vertical Sleeve preparation, one of the tests I had to take was a sleep study.  These are normally ordered by the surgeon for a couple of reasons.
  1. If you have sleep apnea, then you'll certainly need to know this for the surgery as you'll go under anesthesia.  It is sort of important for the anesthesiologist to know this fact and prepare for it.
  2. If you have sleep apnea, then this fact helps in the determination of whether or not you will be eligible and have your insurance pay for the surgery.  In other words, the more issues you have due to excess weight, the easier it is to be approved for the bariatric surgery!
What is sleep apnea you ask?  Well, that is a good question.

Here is a the definition of Sleep Apnea, from the WebMD website:
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain -- and the rest of the body -- may not get enough oxygen.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.

The sleep study I took actually turned out to be two different studies.  The first was to see if I tested for and actually had sleep apnea and the second one was to have me use a C-Pap machine to see what machine settings I would need to help overcome sleep apnea.  My surgeon already surmised that I had sleep apnea and had ordered the second test along with the first.

So what does taking a sleep study feel like?   It feels something like this:

Frankensleep's Monster!

So I had the two sleep studies and after waiting four weeks with no word from the sleep study office, I finally called them and asked them what was going on.  After convincing the lady I was talking to that my primary doctor did not have the study results and that the studies were ordered for my upcoming surgery, she finally told me who to call to get the ball rolling to get my C-Pap machine.

Two weeks later....

I went to a second office and finally got my machine.  Here is what I now sleep with every night.  Or at least try to for now.

C-Pap Nasal Mask
C-Pap Machine with Hose


You may wonder why I said "try to" use every night.  To be honest, it's difficult for me to sleep with this on my face.  When you use this, you have a constant pressure of air blowing in your nose which is designed to keep your airwaves open so you don't snore.  The first week of use, I found myself taking the mask off after about four to five hours of use.  One night I actually realized I took it off and put it back on.  Another night the humidifier chamber ran out of water and I had moisture forming inside the tube and mask, dripping into my nose.  That was a night I took off the mask and did not put it back on .

So far I've had one night of continuous use.  I'm hoping to have better results this next week.

I'm also still waiting on the results I've read about.  Results like better sleep, no more tiredness during the day, so on and so forth.  From talking to others it may be a while before these results happen to me.  I am hoping that it's sooner than later!

Anyway, have a blessed rest of your day!


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