Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sleep Apnea

A few days ago, I got on my little soapbox about distracted driving.  I received several thoughtful comments that I said I would blog about over time. No more soapbox- I promise.  Time for positive, productive comments from this blogger!  

One of my readers commented on the fact that she has sleep apnea and that, in her state, drivers with sleep apnea who do NOT use their CPAP machines (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) can be fined if they are in an accident.  This is the first that I have heard of it being a law that you have to use your CPAP if you have sleep apnea and drive, but I agree with it.  If you need glasses- you have to use them to drive.  Who wants to be on the road with someone who needs glasses and isn't wearing them!  SO- if you need medical equipment to get deep sleep, you should have to use it to drive.  My reader shared that she has sleep apnea.  I also have sleep apnea and have been sleeping with a CPAP for about 4 years now.  It has changed my life!  I never knew how poor my health was until I started getting deep sleep again and saw the difference.  And the reason my doctor ordered a sleep study for me is because I told her I was often drowsy when driving.  When I was driving alone, I had to stop the car and get out and walk around about every 20 minutes to drive safely.  Not good!  I never drove when I thought I was drowsy.  As soon as I felt sleepy, I pulled over.  But it was a pain!

If you snore loudly (not normal snoring- I mean the really, really ugly snoring) and if you wake up with a sore throat, stuffy sinuses, a headache, and not feeling rested- I strongly encourage you to talk it over with your doctor.  Life is so much better (and safer) with REAL sleep.

So.... I'll bet you don't think I can turn a conversation about sleep apnea into a sewing project.  Well--- here goes!

The photo above is of a "tube buddy".  I got it from the respiratory therapist and it was covered by my insurance, so I have no idea how to get one or how much it is.  The one in the photo was manufactured by ResMed.  In the winter time, when the bedroom is a little colder at night, the warm air from your mask condenses in the tube and you get a wet face.  Not fun.  That's where the tube buddy comes in.  It's a blankie for the tubing that keeps the air nice and toasty so it doesn't condense inside the tubing. 

If you have sleep apnea, or if a friend or a family member does, this might be the perfect gift for them. 

My tube is made of fleece.  It measures about 80 inches long, which is a few inches longer than the tubing.  Cut it about 5 inches wide, and make a 1/4 inch seam.  This makes the finished width, about 2 1/4 inches wide.  At each end, leave about a 4 inch opening and finish it with hook and loop tape.  That's all there is to it.  Wouldn't these be cute in sports team colors or colors to match bedding or bedroom colors?  I also made a little mat to co under the CPAP so any stray condensation or moisture from my humidifier wouldn't damage my night stand.  If ya' gotta use this silly thing, it may as well be less of an eye sore!

I hope you all have a restful, restorative night's sleep. 


Barb said...

That is really interesting because as long as I can remember, I have always been tired, needing a nap...and I can not even drive to the Post Office without getting drive long distance is a chore....I would have to pull over and take a nap.....I felt bad for my kids because I was always tired when they would come in from school....

Nancy-Rose said...

My hubby has HORRID sleep apnea. He's had a CPAP machine for two years now, and I too sewed a cover for the tube!

Anonymous said...

Sue you are full of wonderful info! I am definitely making a hose jacket for my CPAP! Thanks!

Doris said...

Treatment procedures for sleep apnea are now being practiced by my dentist. Germantown (TN) is where his clinic is located, and I got to visit it last week for my husband's diagnosis. I was a bit worried about his snoring for the past couple of weeks. Aside from it gives me sleepless nights, it bothered me 'coz I never wanted him to have difficulties in breathing, and we're very watchful on our general health. The clinic was a short drive from Memphis. Sleep apnea could lead to a more harmful disorder like cardiac problems and I don't wanna wait for that to happen to my hubby.