Monday, September 3, 2012

Picture Pretty ..enought to Post?

It has been said I have a sleeping problem. I find that a matter of opinion but unfortunately the "they" that are saying this have written confirmation to back this up. "They" also say over 10 million people suffer with a disorder called OSA.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the long version of those initials which here after will be referred to as OSA simply to avoid typos. All shortcuts are

Do you snore? Did you know your soft palate is drooping? After many years of snoring, the soft palate gets stretched and when laying on your back in slumber, it obstructs the airway causing your oxygen level to drop while you are sleeping. Lack of oxygen causes you to rise out of deep sleep, the restorative part of your sleep period back to REM sleep which is not the most restful period. Have I bored you enough?
If you think this is boring, there are many other articles to be found on the web for other causes of OSA. Not all of them are "palate' related.

Most people with this affliction complain of being exhausted upon awakening after a full night's sleep which immediately clues their doctor in and he orders a sleep study. Also complaints of not being able to stay awake during the day spurs the doctor into action.

My problem was, I had a severe inflammation of the lungs when I complained to the doctor about being exhausted on awakening he ordered a sleep study.

I now have a wonderful machine sitting at my bedside that forces oxygen gently down my bronchus and into my lungs should my oxygen level drop during my sleep. I wear a mask that covers my nose and my mouth; this mask attached to a long flex hose connects to the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) from this point forward will be referred to as CPAP and the reason is quite obvious.
This small little machine does not have to be set at a certain pressure as it is an "auto" model that reads and sends out only the amount you need on each breath. Smart little thing isn't it.

I'm supposed to be brimming with energy the following day related to this machine keeping my oxygen starved body pumped up with enough oxygen to keep me in a deep restorative sleep.

I have no clue if this is working. The doctor fixed my lung problem by giving me high doses of steroids for a week. The inflammation has receded for the most part and I can breathe much better. Do I really need this machine at my bedside with the attractive facial attachment strapped tightly around my head at night?
I'm still trying to make that determination. My little machine has a computer in it but then, what doesn't these days?
I can study the readouts each morning on it's little LED screen to tell me how I did the previous night. A little red face with a frown indicates my mask wasn't  perfect airtight fit during my sleep period. A yellow smiley face indicates a good face mask fit. I awoke to an angry red face with a frown. I went to bed with a smiley face and woke up to that little red devil face.
Right now that is the only indicator that I have memorized. There are other readings I am supposed to be concerned about but the icon of the angry face is the only one that I can recall easily. I plan on studying my sleep history as soon as I study the manual that came with this piece of hi tech gadgetry.
Friends that have this affliction and sleep with a CPAP swear by it and about how much energy they have during the day. How they are able to stay awake to watch TV, the exhaustion gone and their lives back to normal. I've always been a bit OCD; always moving and active. These friends would fall asleep while giving a verbal report, while driving and while doing anything that required them to be inactive.
I didn't have that problem until the lung inflammation which caused my inactivity and oxygen starved body to demand rest.
My sleep study showed "moderate apnea". At point I'm still trying to determine if this machine is really  mandatory for my health.
My goal tonight is to get the mask fitting to be a "smiley" face in the morning meaning I get full oxygen supply during the night. I'll decipher the remaining readings and then access my activity/energy level.
First of all..I must get a face mask that seals well. Tonight I will use the nasal mask that just covers the nose only.
This is my way of noting to myself my progress and opinions on using this CPAP. I won't tag this to Facebook. The less people subjected to this the better!
Stay tuned for the exciting follow up to my sleep posts. Have you zoned out yet?

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