Sleeping with Masks

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Back in the spring, I mentioned that thanks to my shot every three months bringing on menopause, I was experiencing major night sweats and they were not only making me miserable, but they were enhancing my snoring. In turn, my snoring was driving Terry crazy. Over the years, he has tried ear plugs, but they have never been adequate and this new situation had gotten out of control. So I went to my primary care physician and she had me do a sleep study in April.

Sleep study’s are a trip, plain and simple. The one I did here in NOLA was done at a small house next to one of the hospitals in the area. I showed up at the sleep study ‘center’ at about 8:00PM and was put in a room that reminded me of a mid-grade hotel (think an older LaQuinta). The technician played a video on the benefits of a C-pap machine and then rolled into my room with a cart full of wires and machines and gadgets. He hooked me up to the machines and informed me that he was going to turn lights off at 10:00 and that he would wake me up at 5:30AM. Getting comfortable was difficult, but I was able to fall asleep.

The one positive, was driving home at such an early hour. The sun was rising and all was quiet. Few people were up and about and it felt like I had the city to myself.

Two weeks later, the results came back and I do indeed have mild/moderate sleep apnea.  Yippee. Well, at least there was something that could be done! The challenge was getting back to the sleep center for a second sleep study, this one hooked up to a breathing machine. I finally got back in for sleep study #2 in August–two months later. #2 was similar to #1, except that this time I wore a breathing mask, hooked up to a C-pap machine. Yep, a mask over my nose.

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And the mask is hooked up to a C-pap machine–a machine that blows air into the face mask and your nose.

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It was a couple of weeks before I had my own machine delivered to the house. I’ve had it a little over a month now and it has been quite the adjustment. I’m definitely sleeping better and it has cut out my snoring. I also have more energy (although that energy is hard to find sometimes with the workload I’ve had dumped on my plate).

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However, the down side is that I feel like a freak! Waking up with a mask on during a night sweat episode, sucks. And it’s been a hot Fall down here so sweating at night is the norm. Even with a fan blowing directly on me, I can still burn up–and then get chilled after the ‘flash’ period is over. The other challenge is that In order for the insurance to cover the machine, I have to be in compliance for 30 days straight, using the machine for 4-5 hours a night. Yep, I had to take the machine with me when I went to Houston.

I tried the Chillow pillow last night and so far, it’s not working for me. However, this woman on Rachel Ray loved hers:

There is most likely going to be more to this story. I went to my primary care physician yesterday morning and we talked about the C-pap machine. Apparently there is a new sleep apnea device on the market that she wants me to try. I will after my 30 day trial of my C-pap machine is complete–and will let you know what I think.

Sweet Dreams!

4 thoughts on “Sleeping with Masks

  1. Pingback: My 15 | Searching for EMWA

  2. Pingback: Rerun: Maybe I Deserve at Least a Smiley Face Sticker | Searching for EMWA

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