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No swift surge of brilliance

July 29, 2011

Day Three of the CPAP experience, and boy am I tired. Been trying to sleep — and mostly failing — with this lovely mask thing on my face. Last night, after lying there for at least a couple of hours, I took the damn thing off. Which kinda defeats the purpose; I can’t really expect the CPAP to prevent sleep apnea if it’s turned off and the mask is lying on the nightstand.

They told me I’d get used to it. They said I’d notice a big difference in my quality of sleep, and in my alertness during the day. Of course, sleep doctors, nurses and technicians seem to be good at delivering reassurances that turn out not to be so true. Yeah, it’s too soon to give up… but I sure hope I start feeling comfier soon, or I’ll be pulling the plug on CPAP and taking my chances with apnea. (Well, what I’m really hoping is that I will continue to lose weight and gain fitness, and remediate my apnea the natural way. I’ve lost at least 15 pounds this year, and I’m on a good program.)

The good folks who design CPAPs have actually done a very good job making them as flexible and comfortable as possible. But it’s still fundamentally unnatural to sleep with something clamped to your face. I imagine some people adjust better than others; myself, I am slightly claustrophobic, and I think that’s making it harder for me to cope.

And if I may be permitted to whine a bit more, the CPAP has taken one of the great joys of my life and filled it with anxiety. I like being in bed; I like sleeping. Especially since I get to sleep with someone I care about and appreciate. But this mask is overshadowing the whole sleepytime experience, and that sucks.

So… sorry, folks. I haven’t written the Great American Novel or cured cancer or devised a debt-ceiling solution acceptable to both Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders. In fact, I’m struggling to be even minimally productive after three nights of very little sleep.

But hey, at least I’ve written a blogpost. Can I go take a nap?

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  1. Life with CPAP « John Walters, writer

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