Cuddling and the CPAP
In March, I posted about my sleep study at the Omega Sleep Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. They were able to confirm what I heard from a college roommate nearly 15 years ago. I stop breathing when I sleep. I have moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
To combat that, I now have my very own Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine! It uses air pressure to keep my breathing passages open. With open passages, I don’t stop breathing and if I don’t stop breathing, I sleep peacefully through the night.
But there is a downside. In order to take advantage of that pressurized air, I have to wear a mask at night. A mask that is attached to a hose which is turn attached to the machine. My mobility is hindered…and I’m not exactly good looking.
There are a number of simple pleasures in my life right now, I am very blessed. But there was one pleasure that seemed in jeopardy and I was not ready to part with it. That would be cuddling. How could you cuddle when you are attached to tubing?!? Furthermore, who would want to cuddle with Darth Vader?
Untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. It can cause memory problems and mood swings and weight gain. Sleep apnea is definitely not good for one’s health.
BUT… this is cuddling! Comfort, connection, peacefulness, happiness and warmth. Was I just to give all that up?
I had to reflect. What was more important– cuddling… or my health? I found it to be a very tough call.
But guess what! Cuddling and the CPAP machine are not mutually exclusive! The tubing is quite long. The machine is quieter than expected. And it turns out there are so many wonderful ways to cuddle with your face exposed, as demonstrated by Creative Commons Cats and Dogs.
Photo by sskennel
Photo by tin_woodsman
Photo by Malingering
Photo by TCM Hitchhiker
As I finish this post, it becomes bedtime. I’m going to brush my teeth and wash my face and retire to the bedroom. I’ll use my cell phone’s light to navigate quietly and will cringe when I accidentally trigger the voice activated dialing. I’ll get growled at when I move the beagle out of the way. I’ll lay down, give my companion one kiss on the forehead and put on my mask. He’ll roll over and put his arm around me.
That’s how I’ll sleep– in the arms of a man I couldn’t love more. And I’ll breath the whole night.
Sometimes you can have it all.