MY CPAP EQUIPMENT:
My CPAP machine: REMstarPlus M SERIES:
My CPAP face mask:
Ultra Mirage full face mask
A few days ago I went to my Home Health Care Company to try on a CPAP face mask. You probably recall me mentioning that I was going to check out what a full face mask was like, and that I was panicking.
I have to wear the CPAP mask for my Sleep Apnea. Before I go any further, for those of you who don't know anything about Sleep Apnea or CPAP machines, I'm going to do my best to give you a little explanation. I hope this isn't dry, but please bear with me.
A CPAP machine keeps your airways open so you can breathe while sleeping. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (the most common kind) occurs when air is prevented from entering the lungs multiple times each night. The person stops breathing for 10 to 30 seconds each time they get an apnea (each time they stop breathing). He or she can stop breathing up to 400 times per night. Often when the person stops breathing, he is aroused awake. This results in very poor sleep. A person with sleep apnea can develop many serious, even life threatening, health problems .
The CPAP machine prevents you from stopping breathing. It does this by forcing air through your airways, preventing your apneas, allowing you to breathe normally during sleep.
In a CPAP machine, a hose is attached to the base of the machine. Air is then forced through the hose, into a face mask which is worn over your nose. If it is a full face mask, it is worn over your full face, allowing you to breathe through your nose and your mouth. The benefit of wearing a full face mask is if you generally have a plugged nose and need to sleep with your mouth open, or if you drop your mouth open while you are sleeping, you will still get the proper air flow to stop your cessation of breathing. (To view a full face mask, see the photo at the top of this entry. This is my face mask that has been ordered for me.)
Okay, I guess that's enough education, LOL. I just thought some of you might want to know a little about Sleep Apnea and CPAP machines.
Now let me tell you about the appointment to try on the CPAP face mask I had about a week ago. I arrived there, and the therapist wasn't too nice. She rushed me. I wanted to try on the mask and make sure I didn't make a mistake this time in choosing it. The last CPAP face mask I used was an utter failure. So I wanted to try out the full face mask even though I was scared to death!
So first I asked Kim, the therapist, if I was going to die if the power went out. She thought I was ridiculous. I really didn't find it an amusing question. She told me to try on the mask. To my amazement I could breathe extremely well, both inhaling and exhaling, through the holes in it. She explained that was the way the mask was made.
It looks like I won't be getting a doggie after all. I don't need an animal to chew through the hose in case there's a power outage and I don't wake up! Michael doesn't want a doggie anyway!
The next thing Kim did was show me how to detach the face mask if I wanted to "escape". Escape is my word for it, LOL. I have this thing that unless I know that I can get out quickly I'll freak out and not be able to fall asleep! Like what if there were a fire, and I was attached to this machine? I wouldn't want to be trying to figure out how to rip this thing off! I know it's psychological, I am strong enough to pull the mask off, but still. So when Kim showed me how to removethe mask, I was thrilled beyond thrilled to find out how simple it was. So easy that I can't believe it! What a superior piece of equipment.
Finally, I tried it out. She turned it on. I didn't panic! Wow.
I dropped my mouth to see if I could breathe out of my mouth as well as my nose. I wanted to be sure. I closed my eyes so I wouldn't panic and tried to relax. "Open your eyes!," Kim snapped. "That's enough time. This should work for you, it looks like."
"How do I know if I can breathe out of my mouth if I don't test it out long enough?," I asked her.
She snapped, "Your mouth will fall open naturally during sleep and it will work, you'll see. So this will work for you," she said hurriedly. "You can't have it now, though. You have to wait until it arrives from FEDEX."
Then she mumbled something about getting off early. So John and I marched out the door, we didn't want to take up a second more of her time!
I'm still waiting for the face mask to come and it is going on a week. I sure hope it comes soon. I am very excited about finding a cure to my daytime sleepiness. Overall I am pleased with the mask - what I have tried of it so far. Here's hoping things works out this time...
Love you all,