Wednesday, January 7, 2009

CPAP and Sewing

Several weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. My most obvious symptoms were excessive fatigue and sleepiness during the day and snoring and cessation of breathing at night. The treatment of choice is CPAP -Continuous Positive Airway Pressure - delivered by a machine through a face mask while I sleep. I can't think of anything that kills the mood faster (or deader) than wearing a face mask attached to a 6 foot long tube connected to a machine. (shudder)

My love-life notwithstanding, CPAP has affected my sewing. Before CPAP, I consistently woke up between 4:30 and 5:00 AM. I often used that time for sewing. After CPAP, I now sleep right up to the alarm at 6:00 AM and my extra sewing time is gone! Before CPAP, I began to get sleepy at 8:00 PM. I can't say how many Final Jeopardy questions I didn't see because I fell asleep! After CPAP, I'm able to stay awake until 10:00 PM. I'm able to get my eight hours of sleep and sew in the evening, like normal, grown-up people and (hopefully), I'll be alert enough not to make the stupid mistakes I used to make when I was sewing and groggy in the evening. There is another, indirect advantage to CPAP treatment. This more conventional sleeping cycle allows me to feel more energetic when I wake up - energetic enough to fit in some much needed exercise in the morning. And if I stick with my exercise program, maybe I won't have to add those extra inches to the waist and thighs of the pants I sew! Now, that's an advantage I can live with!

17 comments:

  1. Goodness. Sleeping like that doesn't sound like fun at all. At least you can see the positives to it, and they really sound good to me!

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  2. This seems to be so common. Only recently my brother (who is only in his 40's) was diagnosed. He doesn't get his mask until March. At least you know now why you were so tired.

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  3. Wow - I'm glad that the problem was as simple (?) as getting a good night's sleep. Will you be cracking open "Creative Surface Design" for some tasteful embellishments on your new hood ornament? :)

    Sleep well!

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  4. I'm on CPAP myself, having been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea about a year ago. The difference is like night and day --- so much more energy with CPAP. I started a forum to connect CPAP users, with the goal of letting everyone who has this know what i wish i would have known when i started. Please consider joining us: www.sleepguide.com.

    Warm regards,
    Mike

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  5. Check out sleepweaver.com They have the only all cloth mask on the market. If your health care people tell you they can't get it; yes they can!!

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  6. Woohoo with that exercise, girl!! I'm with you!! lovE

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  7. I dated a man with sleep apnea before and after the mask. Believe me, I liked him better after the mask.

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  8. My BIL has this too. Here's to feeling better!

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  9. I'm glad you're getting the sleep you need. I almost never sleep more than 3 consecutive hours (thats a lot of waking up each night), perhaps I should speak to my doctor about the possibility of my having Sleep Apnea. Thanks for the info.

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  10. I have a CPAP system too - and I agree, it DOES feel like a face-hugger alien!! BUT - I've now had it for 3 years, and I can't BEGIN to tell you what a difference it's made. Weight loss is easier (not easy - ! just easier) and the joy of not being fuzzy headed all the time from sleep deprivation - well.

    I bought a system with a humidifer and I've had fewer episodes of cold/flu/tonsillitis since - and this from someone who regularly have inflamed tonsils and tonsillitis - at least 5-6 times a year.

    Good luck with it - and happy alert sewing!

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  11. LOL, I misread your title at first. I thought it said CRAP and sewing. And I was thinking...Been there. :D I'm glad you're feeling better! I wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 too and wish I slept better...I've been a light, terrible sleeper my entire life.

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  12. Elaray, I showed your post to my DD who is a sleep tech. She wanted me to let you know that if your mask reminds you too much of the creature you illustrated, you may be much happier with a different style mask. They don't always tell you about the options. She also suggested you check out http://www.cpap.com/
    vtmartha

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  13. OMG! Your illustration is too funny. I suffer from the same symptoms. On Thursday, my doctor gave me a referral to schedule a sleep apnea test. I didn't realize my breathing was interrupted while sleeping until my DBF told me so. Often I dream of drowning and then I wake up in a panic.

    Glad you are resting/sleeping better.
    C

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  14. Now you've scared me (about the mask). My doctor thinks I have sleep apnea too and he's scheduled me for a study at the end of the month. I know I have it from the symptoms he describes. Reading the posts here let me know I have options with the mask so that's good to know. I DO NEED MY ENERGY BACK!

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  15. "My love-life notwithstanding..." Hi!! I've found that if I wait 'til the last "Night Sweet", "Love Ya" kiss and THEN put on "Breezy", my CPAP mask, "it" works OK!!
    DH thinks I CRAVE that mask... swishhhh!!
    Good Night, Sweet!!
    Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

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  16. Wow, I am glad u posted this information, my dear husband had a sleep study done. I know he needs a CPAP machine. I will tell about your good results.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  17. I love my CPAP mask! And the feeling of being rested that goes along with it. I prefer the analogy of a dog sticking its head out the window of a car. Of course, my husband and I both wear them...Kathy

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