I received my new CPAP machine today, and am hopeful that salvation is now at hand for me in terms of getting a good night’s sleep.
It has a small, lightweight mask that fits snugly over my nose and is not exactly comfortable, but not exactly uncomfortable, either.
My vanity does not permit me to post a picture of myself wearing it, sorry, but it looks pretty much like this.
The 6-foot tube attaches to a small box on my nightstand that contains a blower and a heated humidifier so that the air I get is neither cold nor dry. It has a memory chip to track how many hours I use it and on which days, and it can be adjusted for different types of masks and tubing. I can increase the humidity level from high-desert desiccation to completely underwater if I’m so inclined, although of course I’ve been advised to steer toward the middle. It’s a very sophisticated piece of equipment, and I’m grateful to finally have it. I know there will be a learning curve to start and probably a few difficult nights until my body adjusts to it. The pressure ramps up gradually over a 45-minute period to provide more pressure as I fall asleep and my airway relaxes. If I’m not asleep before it reaches peak pressure, I have a hard time breathing out against the air flow. It will be interesting to see how this first night goes.
I put it on for about half an hour to take a nap this afternoon, and Rudy, despite being rather high-strung about home security and thunder and all things that go bump in the night, has shown no reaction whatsoever to the machine. Reggie, however, was scared of it almost immediately (she doesn’t like the vacuum, either, not surprisingly). When it’s running, it’s very quiet and unobtrusive, but when the mask is off my face for any reason—say, when I need to scratch my nose—the blowing air is quite intimidating to her and me both. I don’t expect her to be sleeping on the bed with us for the whole night at least for a little while, but I hope she will get used to it as I figure out how to keep it from blowing uncontrollably.
Also, the doctor tells me no refunds will be given if the dog eats my CPAP mask, so I’ll have to be very careful to keep it out of Reggie’s reach during the day.