Oh my goodness. I got up this morning and was ready to kick ass, take names, and chew bubblegum. And I was all out of bubblegum.
Backstory: Some months back, I had a colonoscopy. When they asked me if I had sleep apnea, I said no. Then when I woke up, the doc was kind of upset with me, because he said I’d stopped breathing a few times under anesthesia and they had to kick up the oxygen to make me start up again. He said it wasn’t his call but he thought I had obstructive sleep apnea and to get my ass to my primary care physician for a referral for a sleep study.
My PCP was perfectly happy to do that, and in December, I did the sleep study. It was a home sleep study, which means for two nights, you sleep with this minicomputer strapped to your forehead and a couple of tubes stuck up your nose. Of course I slept like shit. I gather that this beat the regular sleep study that you do at the sleep center.
A couple of weeks ago, I got the results: Severe obstructive sleep apnea. Resolution: Get a CPAP machine and lose weight. So I got the CPAP machine yesterday. No, I don’t know why it takes so damn long for this process to happen.
Anyway, the CPAP I got is one that just has “nasal pillows”. I shit you not, that’s what they’re called right on the package. Basically it’s a rig that goes over your head with a strap around the back of your neck, and that rig holds the device that goes on your nose in place. The “nasal pillows” go on your nostrils and you get this nice flow of air into your nose all night that keeps your soft palate from collapsing and you from breathing. If you still can’t visualize this thing, it looks like this.
The CPAP machine also has an optional humidifier that keeps your nose from getting dry. The tech who explained all this to me said that some peoples’ insurance doesn’t cover the humidifier. Luckily mine does, but I cannot imagine how dry the nostrils of folks whose insurance doesn’t cover it get. As it was, my nose was sore just from having the nasal pillows strapped to it all night. I gather one gets used to that.
I didn’t think I’d be able to deal with this thing all night the first night, but other than getting up for the usual old man reasons around 5:00 AM, I did actually wear it all night. My wife said that I absolutely did not snore for the first time in years, and in fact she was having trouble sleeping because I wasn’t snoring. As for me, this was the first morning in years that I haven’t woken up with the Sahara Desert in my mouth.
And I slept the sleep of the blessed. No anoxia-induced nightmares right before waking up gasping and covered in sweat. In fact, no dreams at all.
If you even think you might have sleep apnea, get thee to a sleep specialist and get help. That shit is no joke. I have so much more energy today than I’ve had in forever that I am really kicking ass and taking names. (Luckily, I really don’t care for bubblegum.)