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Is CPAP crap? Or am I a Darth Vader wannabe?

with 4 comments

I am a bit skeptical, but we’ll see.
I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. After a sleep study showing 47 breathing obstructions per hour I qualify to join the CPAP tribe. How did I get here?

In June, my friend Andy Rusten suggested that I have a sleep study. It is common knowledge among my friends that when I sleep, I snore like a rhinoceros in the dead of winter.

A typical Cpap Machine.

A typical Cpap Machine.

Andy said “if you don’t have the test, I’ll come back to Salem and ring your neck.” He explained that he had a friend that had passed away for failure to use a CPAP machine. He warned me in my situation failure to be on CPAP could result in a heart attack.

“Continuous positive airway pressure” machines are prescribed by a physician for those of use who for whatever reason stop breathing when we are sleeping.

Unfortunately the Sleep Disorders clinic was booked for months. It took me a referral and an appointment with a Pulmonologist just to get the sleep study test. Ca-ching!

Little did I know that before I would even have my first sleep test, I would have a heart attack while traveling, pushing to the brink even higher importance of the getting a CPAP sometime soon. So by the time I had an opportunity to have a test, I jumped in at the opportunity the same day I met with the physician. My doctor said, “I want him scheduled for a sleep test as soon as possible.”

Yet still I have mixed feelings. I am viewing the whole idea with some degree of skepticism. Im not sure I want to be relegated to cuddling up with a machine every night; one that breaths for you when you don’t. There is alot of hype that goes with this sleep disorder industry it seems. I have heard from friends, neighbors and online blogs that, “you’ll loose weight”, “you’ll sleep like you never have before,” “you won’t have to sleep as much” and “you’ll have energy. Then there are the blogs seeded with advertising links who’s links mysteriously lead you to look at a particular CPAP technology or marketing for accessories. There are even marketing scams requiring you to put up $250 for voice an opinion. No doubt about it, buying a CPAP is an expensive investment. I am hoping my purchase is not like purchasing from a fly by night waterbed dealer in the 80’s.

Darth CPAP>

Darth "CPAP" Vader breathes easy.

I am wondering if the phenomenon is like so many other exciting medical trends, when TMJ surgery, ear tubes for kids, and fen-fen prescriptions to loose weight were a popular medical hype. These were medical trends that have gone by he wayside or crashed and burned for whatever reason. I wonder if this one will too.

But my head is spinning, because I have not been sleeping well. My energy is lower than ever, and I am hoping by getting on the CPAP machine that serveral health issues maybe resolved.

On my second sleep test night two weeks ago I had my first chance to use a CPAP. It was at that point I realized I might needed it. Whenever I start to relax, the machine would fill my lungs for me. So some ways I’m trying to be optimistic. However when I was woken up by the technologist, I wanted to sleep more. I was not refreshed. However I was quite sleep deprived for having been in hotel rooms for 4 nights.

I am still waiting on my prescription to get a CPAP. I am anxious to see if it will help. Time will tell. I will let you know. In the mean time, I’m avoiding doing impressions of Darth Vader. For now it’s a little close to home.

It’s been 2 weeks now and still don’t have my prescription for a CPAP. So I’m getting a bit anxious.

– – – – Related – –

“…our experience has shown that nationally there is only about a 55% compliance rate with CPAP therapy,”

via CPAP Retail Store Opens Tomorrow « Dawggin’ It

– – – –

Follow Up Blog: My First Night Date with CPAP


Written by gettheconcept

October 15, 2008 at 3:27 am

4 Responses

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  1. I have to admit that I too have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and have used several CPAP machines before finding the right one. They do work, good luck!

    Veronica Marx

    October 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm

  2. Thanks. I hope they work for me. I have yet to pick a brand out. From what I have read it’s better to get one with a heated humidifier. Being a mouth breather I’m a bit torn and what way to go for the mask, but my technician said a chin strap is something one only needs temporarily. In any case I want to keep things simple, because I travel heavily.


    October 16, 2008 at 1:55 am

  3. you could get the “Alien Facehuger” mask…
    pictured here:

    After a week and a half, I’ve stopped pulling the thing off in my sleep. I’ve worn it through the night for the last 3 and things seem to be getting better as far as being alert during the day and feeling fully rested in the mornings.


    October 24, 2008 at 8:07 pm

  4. Thanks Eric. I got a much needed laugh from your Alien CPAP example. Also the name of your blog, “Eric has Issues” is hilarious too if you don’t mind my saying.


    October 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm

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