So last night was my first night sleeping with my breathing machine. If you want the long, wildly entertaining story go here. If you want the short version- I have sleep apnea, a condition in which I stop breathing roughly 15 times per hour in my sleep. I’ve decided that the picture of me wearing the mask is far, far, far too embarrassing to put on the internet. Although my dear, sweet, darling mother found nothing wrong with texting it to just about everyone in my family. Look! Here is Lauren with her machine! I can, however, pull up a random picture from the internet and you can imagine what it would look like on me. Just be kind, internet.
So this is the actual machine, with humidifier!
And the sexy face mask:
My mask is a little different on the top, but it still covers my mouth and nose and then there is a long tube that connects the two. Now do you understand why 1) I refuse to show myself wearing such a contraption and 2) why I call it Darth Vader? I sound all raspy and weird when I talk, and don’t even get me started when I start to cough. I mean the whole thing feels as though it is convulsing.
The woman at the machine office (I don’t know what to call it… she wasn’t a doctor or anything) was quite weird. I mean, very helpful and very informative, but very, very weird. She showed me how to tighten the mask and clean it and how to adjust the humidity and settings and other various things. Then she let me go and wished me good luck with my breathing!
So, naturally, last night I used the thing. At first it was okay; it starts off at level 4 of oxygen and within twenty minutes goes up to level 7. Now, that is a lot of oxygen and it felt like a lot of pressure was on my ears. Weird, no? Finally I was able to fall asleep; but woke up quite a few times in the middle of the night convinced that someone was trying to SMOTHER ME. After about a minute or two of thinking someone was covering my mouth, I realized that I could, in fact, breathe. The first time that happens, scary. By the third time I was waking up and clawing at the mask, screaming in my head GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF. But again, I realized what I thought was trying to smother me was actually trying to help me breathe, and was able to count to ten, breathe, and go back to sleep.
All in all it was an interesting night. Around 8am I woke up, alert and ready to go but seeing as it was the first time I was able to sleep in past 9am in a month I was determined to go back to sleep, sans mask. I got up, cleaned it like I am supposed to, and went back to bed. I know it is going to be quite the improvement in the long run, but there are only so many times I can wake up in the middle of the night thinking someone is going to kill me.
I’ll get a picture of the real Darth up soon!