Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I need Sigourney Weaver ASAP

Check out my new face hugger.

Looks sort of like a Muppet, doesn't it? A Muppet down whose mouth I stick my nose, and whose eyes I press against my forehead. It's my new CPAP!

I talked about CPAPs before. "CPAP" stands for "Completely Prevents Any Peace" and it blows air into your nose while you sleep. That gray hose you see at the bottom attaches to a machine about the size of a shoebox, and it makes a noise THEY claim is a gentle puff of air. To me it sounds like Darth Vader trying to say something in Parseltongue.

I wanted the surgery. I don't want sleep apnea and I don't want to be tethered to some iron lung wannabe every night for the rest of my life. Jesus H, it's hard enough to fit everything in one suitcase when I travel. But the insurance people weighed in, and said they wanted me to do a CPAP for a month before they pay for the surgery.

What they did not tell me is how they'll decide at the end of that month whether I get the surgery.

Agent: It's been a month. Did your like it?
Me: No. It was like having an air compressor blow-drying my sinuses.
Agent: Did your snoring stop?
Me: Yes. I haven't slept in 31 days.
Agent: So your snoring did stop?
Me: It has, as have many of my normal brain functions and sensory perceptions. Just this morning I was having a conversation with former president Warren Gamaliel Harding about whether the Kansas City Chiefs would win the Americas Cup. One more night with the CPAP and I will either kill myself or start a cult. Does that window open onto the street?
Agent: Did you know it also came in red?

Not that the surgery is a pleasure. It's another overnight stay in the hospital (with all the attendant Crocodile Dundee issues) and you feel like you have gravel in your nose for about two weeks. But then you're DONE. No more sleep apnea, no snoring, and no inflating my sinuses to 44psi.

Something just seems wrong with the CPAP notion. My problem comes from a partially blocked nasal passage after a broken nose when I was a kid. "Solving" it by just blowing air through it harder seems less like sound medical advice and more like something physicists would try on a bet.

I just had a horrible thought. What if I get a stuffy nose? Happens all the time when you get a simple cold. With that thing on my face, I won't have time to get a tissue. The pressure will just increase until the blockage clears. That's no way to cure snoring -- that's a way to kill zombies.

Off to bed! If my new Muppet doesn't smother me in the night, I'll be back to tell you all about TAM London!


Artful Dodger said...

Has Maria stopped laughing yet?

fwap said...

Oh, jeez. I'm sorry to hear this.
In spite of your always spot-on humor, this is a real pain in the ass. Can we not just pass Go and (not) collect 200$ already?

I will be interested to hear how the CPAP works for you. I know it's uncomfortable and only semi-effective for dad.

mikespeir said...

I use one of the things, too. Have for about seven years. You get used to it, sort of.

As to the stuffy nose thing, I think you'll find that the machine tends to dry you up (might take a while) so that it's not much of a problem. Every once in a while sneezing is a problem, though it hasn't been common for me.

Funny post, as usual. One itty-bitty problem:

"Me: It has, as has many of my normal brain functions and sensory perceptions."

I think that should be "...as HAVE many of my...." On the other hand, the sentence itself goes a long way toward explaining the error.

The Man Version said...

Grammatical error? What grammatical error? Clearly you misread.

(Thanks for catching it. I try to be careful about that stuff.)

My first night with the thing was not exactly an unmitigated success. I ended up peeling it off around 3am. I think there are spots on my face that need to get used to having something on them.

This model has a built-in humidifier which is supposed to minimize the drying out. It'll take some time to adjust to the right level -- until then I will alternate between having a hand dryer up my nose and putting my sinuses in the rinse cycle.

I'm not really worried about smothering myself. After some experimentation, I feel the pressure will break the seal before it blows my sinuses out the back of my head.

And Maria stopped laughing when she realized I was going to be cranky without enough sleep :)

Amanda said...

You're not supposed to say you broke your nose as a kid, you're supposed to come up with an awesome story involving ninjas, spies, and gorgeous nymphomaniacs that results in a broken nose.

Hope everything works out with you and your muppet.

mikespeir said...

I always like to point out grammatical errors in the works of obviously better writers than myself. It's like a balm to my bruised ego.

I've never had a CPAP with a humidifier. I might benefit from one. Sometimes, especially during the winter, when the air is very dry I'll wake up feeling like somebody is running a bottle brush through my sinuses.