Step 1: Be diagnosed with Sleep Apnea
As you may know from previous posts, I recently did a sleep study to try and get to the bottom of some ongoing health issues. The study determined that I have sleep apnea. Not that I was surprised; both of my parents have it, so there wasn’t much chance of escape for me.
Step 2: Get a CPAP machine*
Wednesday I got to pick up my very own Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (commonly known as CPAP) nighttime ventilation machine. As I was waiting around in the lobby for my consultation with the respiratory therapist, I had the opportunity to look over all the various types of masks available. There is a wide variety of masks, but I was surprised to see there is a grand total of zero masks which resemble Dark Vader. NOT ONE, you guys.
There is a tragically untapped market here, friends.
The mask which I got is apparently called the “Nasal Pillows” design. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. My respiratory therapist walked me through the anatomy and physiology of the machine, pausing now and then so I could try all the switches and buttons for myself, try on the mask, and test the machine for a few minutes. He even helpfully dimmed the lights and reclined the armchair so I could pretend I was sleeping and see if it would work for me. Apparently I passed the driver’s exam because he let me take the machine home at the end of the appointment.
Step 3: Put on the CPAP mask in front of your spouse/bed partner.
Later that night when it was time for bed, I put on the mask in front of Ian for the first time. His reaction was something like this:
He managed to choke out a comment in between gasps of laughter: “You look like an elephant!” I could have punched him for that, but I didn’t. Because it’s true. I totally did look like an elephant. I broke down into a fit of the giggles, which is much more difficult than you might think when you have a machine blowing pressurized air into your nostrils.
In case you don’t believe me, here is a photo of a fake man’s head wearing the exact mask I wear:
You be the judge.
*You thought that said “CRAP machine” didn’t you? It’s ok, I see it too. Look, I didn’t name the thing, ok?