Tonight I sleep!


Today is the first day of the rest of my life. This morning I managed to finally secure the CPAP machine I had such high hopes for. In case you hadn’t heard, breathing is good.

Judi woke first, around 5AM, and drove herself into the office for a few hours of work. I slept another couple hours, waking at 7. I secured a cup of coffee, ate a handful of animal crackers (Hey! Who left those out there?) and by 8:30 was in the car on my way to Chantilly. It takes about a half hour to get there.

Until I walked into the place, I still wasn’t sure if my insurance had pre-approved me for the machine. When I made the appointment a couple weeks ago, it was after week of nagging their office. The receptionist said, “Well, we can get the appointment on the books now, and hope it is approved by the time you come in for the fitting.”

So, it was the first question I asked them. They responded with “Good news! Your insurance doesn’t even require pre-authorization!” Lucky me. You mean I could have done this three weeks ago? I didn’t say anything but I was a bit peeved. I know the world of health insurance is a giant snarl of ridiculousness, but seeing how it’s their job to unsnarl this sort of thing for patients, it’d have been nice.

The “fitting.” That was an appropriate word, where I got to put on another oxygen/darth vader mask. Really, though, most of the time was spent filling out paperwork, and getting an in-house tour around the machine before I took it home.

It has a humidifier. And a heater. And built-in wireless. It dims automatically a few seconds after I start it up. So, all things considered, it’s actually a little bit nicer than any of the first three cars I owned. I have to wash the parts weekly. A company sends me replacement parts every so often, like air filters and disposable silicone face masks.

I learned from my last sleep test (the one where I wore the mask of doom), that I needed to trim my beard a bit or it wouldn’t make a seal. Ever spend the night having someone blow air into your eyeballs while you’re trying to sleep? No? Well, that’s the reason you want a good seal.

I did a little dance in the chair when I realized I was going to get a humidifier on the new machine. The night of the test was marked by an extremely dry mouth… I may have told the respiratory therapist “I woke up and it felt like a scab had formed.” There was much drooling. Now I know what a basset hound feels like when it sticks its head out the car window on the freeway.

The whole thing took about an hour. I signed and dated a lot of things. I may have accidentally given up my firstborn child. I never do well reading the fine print: this is why I bring Judi to these things.

When I got home, I washed out all the parts, hooked up the thing and took it for a test drive. Napped fifteen minutes. It was comfortable. I didn’t wake up with scabmouth. All is good.

The best part? I’m driving again! I hope against all odds that the annoyance is gone and that I start feeling better day to day.

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