What’s CPAPening?

I’m a dork. I admit it. Had to open the blog entry with something fun. New progress in the Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) world. Almost at the 11 month point (May 22, 2016) since the diagnosis and I’m averaging 2.5 hours a night wearing the face sucker mask. That’s over the last two weeks anyway.

That’s a real win. It’s been an uphill slog with the CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. But if you’ve been told by your partner or a medical professional you have OSA well don’t let it get you down. Don’t give up or give in. Just keep fighting. It’s worth it. The health consequence are sobering, so take it seriously. What’s more, I know it is because I’ve had a decent night sleep on three occasions. Despite the discomfort I’ve felt most nights, the ones where I made it through the night resulted in a near normal feeling of being rested. How I miss that feeling too.

I’ve been through at least three types of masks. I tried the nose plugger special, just two end caps that cover your nostrils and push the air in that way. And I’ve tried the clown nose special, also hard to get used to. Maybe I’ll go back and try them again, but I didn’t like them to begin with. I ended up settling with the full face mask. For some reason it works the best.

But the coolest thing I’ve discovered yet is Phillips Dreammapper ap (download from iTunes of Google Play) and synch it with your Philips Respironics CPAP device. It works most of the time. I only say that because the ap has received some scathing reviews online. Give it a shot anyway. If you don’t mind spending the $100 on the Bluetooth adaptor and assuming it fits your machine, you can synch your CPAP therapy progress with your iPhone or Android device. I’ve just started using mine. I like the ability to track total hours of use, how many open apnea, obstructive apnea and hypoapnea incidents I’ve had each night.

If you want to free up time used to visit your sleep technician listening to them give you your OSA stats back to you, give this ap a shot. Using your phone, the ap and the Bluetooth adaptor can improve your motivation to stick with the therapy.

Keep breathing,

Jason

Starting again – CPAP Happy

There’s comes a time to start again. Good Animal, as a starter blog, has served as a great place to dabble in ideas and expressions, stories and places. It’s will be in a state of perpetual growth and change. Time to start writing it again with a new vision. As my Dad once said, “writers write” and he said best. So true. Just write it out.

CPAP Happy. That’s where I’m taking this blog. I’ve been told by one sleep physician and more than one respiratory therapist that I have a weight-connected issue called OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea affects more of us that we realize. Having once woken up happy, well rested and alert, I now take half h0ur or more to fully wake up. And only then with at least two jolts of crap coffee from a plastic capsule. Sweet.  Dragging my ass out off bed at 6:00 am has never been harder. I’m 45 years old.

So I’m in therapy now. OSO therapy or therapy with something called a CPAP. CPAP stands for \Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It’s a device the size of a toaster that sits on your bedside table, forcing air into an airway that’s supposed to stay open while you sleep. So if you can wear what feels like the face sucker from the first Alien movie on your face and fall asleep, then you’re good to go. Picture Han Solo searching around the outside of the Millenium Falcon for alien life forms during The Empires Strikes Back. Yea, that’s what one of these things looks like.

Han with Mask
Good shootin’ Kid!

 

More Than A Feeling

IMG_3464Cannon Beach is a spiritual place for us. The wind swept shores, the seaside cottages, the small town feeling. Cannon Beach has it all. Walking along the short Main Street, you can reel in the charm and the unique signature feel of an Oregon village. 

   
It  feels good here. Really good. Family and friends joining together. Sea waves crashing. Salty air blowing across the roads. Coffee shops, craft brews and pub food. You know, the good  life 

Breathing Fears

The longer I’m here, the longer I spend breathing in and out and in again. I have minimal control of the outcome. Neither do those I go to lean on for support. It’s said we can set goals, be focused, certain, reassured and confident and controlled. We have will power and self-control, the ability to direct our lives. These things are true. But the hardest part is having faith and acting on that faith each day. We must direct our minds towards that action. Actions that produce results, a direct response towards having something more than what we already have. On the inside I mean, not in terms of owning another material item.

We are human to have fears; it’s in our nature. And it’s natural to be held back by these fears, at least for a little while. I have a need to identify these fears. Call them out by name. Get up close and look them in the eye. It’s dawning on me that I have but one path forward, to meet these road blocks where they are. It’s for me alone to overcome them, no matter how late in the game it seems. And it’s not too late. Never has been. Never will be. Perceived as most blocks are to me, they’re just an image in the mind. Fears are nothing by a set of molecules. Emotional and chemical stews boiling on the back burner. They’re there to hold you back from a warrior path.

Fears and life blocks are made up by the mind.

Blocks attached to our past, born clinging with a death hold on to nothing. Memories of failure long gone. Short comings no one cares about. Rejections that are painful at first. Sources of love lacking and connections to others lost. That’s the only place these fears come from. That’s all they are.

Resting Heart

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State Fair . . . crowds . . . Cotton Candy . . . Coffee . . . “I want, I want, I want” . . . ATM . . . Cheeseburger, no bun . . . Moms, Dads, Kids, babies . . . excitement . . . heights . . . mountains . . . soda . . . rope . . . time . . . frazzled . . . the screaming, oh Jesus, the screaming . . . laughing . . . standing . . . spinning . . . tickets, for games and rides . . . tension . . . I killed a bee . . . people were grateful.

Programming their future

cid__img_0622.jpg“Genes are physical memories of an organism’s learned experiences.” – from Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief.

Teaching my children to master their lives is critical. I must teach this skill early in their development. Directing good energy and thought their way can only improve their chances in this life.  It is on me to ensure they have every chance, every opportunity to succeed. Compiling lessons learned and highlighting what worked and what did not in my life is a worthy pursuit for their benefit.

I want them to see life for all the good it offers. I also want them to see they have the power to choose. One of the key choices they’ll make on the path to self-mastery and success is whether or not they are willing participants in the endless cycle of commercialism.

I hope they realize the need to step back and question the prevalence of commercial advertising. Rather than drift unaware in a consumerist sea and pass the blind tendency to buy on to my kids, I’ve got to hold a mirror up to this bullshit and let them see it for what it really is. The New Media, the access to twenty four hour news and information, the internet, iPads, iPhones, laptops, tablets and so many more “must have” devices still to come. After seeing the way these things distract and subvert staying in the moment, the ways in which they pull us away from each other, I’ve decided they need to see it all in another light. Until my kids can make informed decisions for themselves of what it’s all about, it’ll be my duty to guide them. Still, the more I hear about how quickly product a,b, or c will make you, the consumer, a more effective and not so “time crunched” citizen, the more I question the system on their behalf. Time is fleeting. Why do we need to feel so compressed, packing in more and more until we’ve finally lost our sense of self?

I’ve got to teach them to enjoy our culture from a safe distance. I want them to learn to pay attention to the moment, delve into the emotion, no matter how uncomfortable or painful, and gain the insight of the life lesson. And when life presents challenges, resist the urge to blunt painful and uncomfortable emotions, stuff or drown the emotion with drink, food or a synthetic pill with unknown side effects.

My children’s genetic destiny is not set. The expression of their genes is not predetermined and does not have them locked on to some inescapable fate. They have control over their genetic expressions, the way the internal code is played out, as well as the neural pathways they’re developing in the environment. And I can influence them as well, until they’re able to for themselves.