CPAP — This thing blows!

This is the mouth breather CPAP mask.
This is the mouth breather CPAP mask.

When one of MY people is under the weather, I am one unhappy little hermit.  I would rather have whatever ailment my husband or my son has, than watch them suffer. After all, I don’t like to go out much anyway.  Right now my husband is suffering because he has sleep apnea.  If you are not familiar with sleep apnea, color yourself lucky.  If you want to know what it is, read this: What is Sleep Apnea?

Basically, my husband stops breathing when he is sleeping. Because of this, he not only snores like demons are coming up from the depths of hell to kill us all, he wakes up constantly during the night. So, to help his snoring and his breathing, which is way more important than the snoring, his doctor prescribed a CPAP machine for him.  This is a machine that blows air up his nose all night.  It’s not a gentle blowing, like when you receive oxygen at the hospital. This is BLOWING.  It’s like a nasal hurricane.

They have girly options, too.
They have girly options, too.

As you can imagine, this machine is not a lot of fun to wear all night, which is why my husband ends up keeping it on for like 5 hours and then ripping it off without even being fully awake.  Then, he goes back to not breathing, snoring, and waking up.  It’s not a good time.  He is exhausted during the day. As you can imagine, my husband doesn’t want to live like that.

So, he is having his throat melon-balled.  Well, the surgeon isn’t calling it that.  He tends to call it this: Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP for the common folk.  Go ahead and take a look at that site.  I will wait.

You back?  OK, now please never complain about a sore throat again. Ever.

When I was a kid, my mom told me she would rather pay for my braces than wear them.  This is my “I’d rather pay for it than have it” moment.  I think this surgery will “blow” big time.  Plus, the earliest date my husband could get was December 17th.  Merry Frigging Christmas, darling.  What kind of broth would you like for Christmas dinner? How about some Hot Ham Water, A La Arrested Development?

IMG_0109I would love to hear from anyone who has had this surgery, or who has worn the CPAP.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  Helpful coping tips are welcome.

Note: all photos used in this blog were taken at CPAP Central in Columbus, OH.

17 thoughts on “CPAP — This thing blows!

  1. This is an interesting subject to me. My dad had the surgery, and my husband wears the CPAP, as does my father-in-law. The surgery did not help my dad, but he refuses to wear the CPAP. My husband can keep the CPAP on all night, thank heavens. The sleep apnea in my husband’s case is at least somewhat weight-related, which we realized after we did a 5-day juice reboot and my husband lost 14 pounds and was sleeping much better. Before the reboot (we were getting 2500-3000 calories per day, so calling it a juice “fast” is a misnomer) hubby was having trouble sleeping even with his CPAP being on all night. There are tons of factors that contribute to sleep apnea, so I don’t immediately jump to weight being an issue, but in hubby’s case, weight factored in. I wish I had more helpful things to say than what my guys have dealt with. I know that popsicles were great after I had my tonsils out four Christmases ago. So was the vicodin syrup. I also have a pretty fabulous recipe for cranberry-ginger gelato if you have an ice cream maker; it’s got tons of vitamins and is nice and candy-sour but tummy-friendly. And cranberry-flavored gelato is sort of Christmasy, right?

    1. Molly,

      Chris loves the idea of cranberry gelato. Please send the recipe. I read him your comment.

      While Chris is not a skinny mini, his doctor says his uvula is the size of his thumb. So, it’s blocking his airway when he’s sleeping. Good times!

      So hot ham water and gelato it is! 🙂

  2. I have a CPAP due to the asbestosis and the first machine I had was noisy as all get out and was creepy! I don’t snore and have not ever snored but I do suffer from sleep apnea. I had taken the unit in several times in and received the weirdest and most stubborn responses but the one that beat them all was a Native American respiratory therapist who proclaimed I was not channeling the Great White Buffalo or something. Finally after 10 creepy years, a new therapist(bless her heart) discovered the thing didn’t work! So I have a new quiet, very very quiet machine. Chris might have a reconditioned one or the connections are not sealed or the Great White Buffalo is not ‘channeling’ for him. Stomp snakes before reaming out his throat as I should have raised a ruckus but the damned buffalo was in my way!

    1. Thanks, Deb. His machine isn’t really noisy, but he has issues getting the humidity setting right. Either it whistles from too much moisture, or he has dry throat, which could be caused by the grave yard behind our house. Maybe I should make some sort of offering to our ancestors. 🙂

      1. Too funny! I have the humidity level set at 4.5 for me on the new one. I couldn’t set or reset any controls on the old one so this is a major improvement.

      2. Maybe Chris would be a candidate for one of those dental appliances which are supposed to replace CPAP machines. You have to be fitted for them and I’m sure they’re not cheap, but it might be easier to use. I was tempted but the dental surgeon who offers them in our area is the one who goofed my dental implant. Which lead to a failure and having to get another implant, from a better dental surgeon. Two trips to Ireland was the equivalent of cost-pooh!

  3. I work at an ENT clinic, and while I have not had experience dealing with any of our patients who were candidates for the UPPP, I have submitted many orders for CPAP machines to HME companies.

    Does your husband use an auto-titrating CPAP machine or did the physician order a CPAP titration study in a sleep lab? What sort of mask is it? Does it cover his entire mouth/nose or does it fit into his nostrils? How long has he been using the machine?

    1. Hi Matt,

      He had a Titration study in a sleep lab. He uses the nasal pillow mask now, and was using the nose mask up until yesterday. We got the new mask yesterday. He been using the CPAP 4 months.

      Thanks for your response!

      Lisa

  4. My hubs has used a CPAP for about 10 years now. It took two tries to get the mask best for him. He has very sensitive skin, so the least amount of contact was best.

    He still takes his off in the middle of the night sometimes, but mostly, it stays on. I think it took a couple of years before he REALLY got used to it. It was a godsend for me though. I could sleep

    Although, at first…I hated it. I couldn’t hear ANYTHING from him. So I was afraid he stopped breathing. I would wake him up to check on him. To his credit, he didn’t get too annoyed by that.

    Here’s hoping your hubs recovers quickly!

  5. I was offered the surgery — not so much for snoring, but because my uvula often makes me feel like I’m suffocating (both during the day and at night). My brother had the surgery, and after talking to him about the tremendous pain he was in afterwards (and the fact that it didn’t work for him), I decided I could put up with suffocation for several years more. Yes, I’m a chicken.

    1. Jana, I’m with you. I would so not want this surgery. I know my husband must be miserable if he is opting to do this, especially since it will mess up the holidays for us. Our holidays have not been good for YEARS. We can be chickens together, Jana.

  6. Morning Lisa!

    I’m sorry to hear about the sleep apnea your husband is experiencing. I was a sleep technician for a short time in the past and I myself was diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia. It kicks your arse to have sleep issues. Makes you feel like subhuman. At least he has you there for support and that’s all you can do. If he feels this surgery will aid in providing long-term relief than do the best you can to make his recovery comfortable, and I know you will. 🙂 Sleep disorders are a pain because their management is tricky, mine is very difficult to manage because without medications, there isn’t much you can do. All we can do is be grateful to be alive and well, even though we’re tired, take nap naps. I love nap naps. Keep us posted on how he is doing and wishing your family the best! Hugs and Good vibes- Iva

    1. Thanks, Iva. In preparation for his recovery, we are having Christmas dinner on 12/14. I’m also making him open his “big” present. He will need it during recovery time. I can’t tell you what it is just yet, in case he see this.

      I hope your own sleep disorder becomes more manageable.

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