Saturday, September 15, 2012

You awake?

It's 0400 hrs and I'm awake. My CPAP machine screen shows I've been asleep for 6.6 hrs and my AHI is 3.3.
Apnea Hypoxia Incidents = AHI.
Last night I deleted the Ambien from my normal bedtime routine. I wanted to test whether or not I could sleep with the CPAP mask on my face without the aid of an Ambien.
Have you ever tried to sleep with a mask covering your nose; a head harness holds this mask in place. Not only does it leave a lot to be desired in the way of attractiveness, getting past the feeling of being captured by the contraption tying you to a hose leading to the CPAP machine that sits on the bedside table  will be something to get adjusted to. I'm not a fan thus far.
I have friends that become anxious at the thought of not having their CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines at bedtime. Those are the friends that fall asleep mid conversation mid day. I'm not one of those people! Do I really need this machine as my bed companion? That's where my dilemma lies. If I had a problem staying awake or a problem with decreased energy during the day I might be able to cave in to using this machine; set my mind on the fact that the use of the CPAP was something to accept and move on. I'm not there yet.
This is how it works. ...referring to the CPAP. Mine is an Auto CPAP so it adjusts automatically to what I need in the way of air while I sleep. An apnea event is when one stops breathing for over 10 seconds. At this time the CPAP kicks in and shoots air past the obstruction and allows oxygen to perfuse the lungs. During each one of these apnea events, the person's sleep is affected. The deep sleep required to rejuvenate the body and brain is interrupted during these events. The person may have been in bed asleep for 8 hrs but it wasn't a "restful" sleep; the person feels exhausted upon awakening; falls asleep at inopportune times and has difficulty concentrating.
Fascinating information eh? Did I mention the sleep study that is required and a doctor's order to acquire a CPAP machine. I did not go to a sleep study lab but chose to wear a monitor for two nights at home to collect the information needed to determine the AHI and my oxygen levels during each AHI.
I've found, during this experience, how lucrative this has been for the people operating a business associated with sleep deprivation. Sleep labs abound in this city. Medicare pays for two days in a sleep lab and also for the expensive little CPAP machine and nothing about this diagnosis is inexpensive.
This reminds me of all the home health agencies that sprung up when the government was doling out money to care for patients that were home bound. When the money allowance was squeezed, the home health agencies on every corner disappeared. It wasn't as lucrative as it  was initially and those operators moved on to the next government funded program and I suspect that these sleep study labs have now taken up where the home health business has waned.
My friends that have a CPAP machine profess to the increased amount of sleep they enjoy related to using this machine. Not so for me. I have not had any improvement in the length of sleep time as evidenced by the fact that I'm awake at 0400 hrs!
I'm going to slip beneath my soft lap blanket and kill the lights, turn the volumne on the televison to "low" and hope to catch a few more hours of sleep before Carrie hauls herself out of bed. There will be no naps with Carrie around. We have a shopping date today so she will be all hyped to do that. We are in need of new ballet slippers; ones that have ties that adjust to the required snugness to stay on her feet during her leaps and bounds in her dance class.
Carrie hasn't really gotten to the leaps and bounds stage yet in her dance career. She has been to one class. She did enjoy her time there and later this month I will be registering her into a Brownie troop. Hopefully we will find another niche for her to enjoy and learn new things. I'm a big fan of learning and new experiences!
I'm going to try to get that extra sleep now.

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