At the start of February, I did an at-home sleep study. I had been having problems for years and I had finally put it all together and it led me to sleep apnea. I got a referral from my doctor and waited three months for the Sleep trial.
This past Friday, I got a phone call from the Sleep Clinic. They said that the results are back and that I have been diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea. I was a little bit surprised by the severe part. Some nights I know I wake up but some nights I seem to be sleeping just fine. I am single and I have been for a long time so there’s no one sleeping next to me to tell me what’s going on in the middle of the night.
I have been set up with an appointment for March 11th. I am told it will be an hour-long and I will be set up with all the equipment. I am a Canadian with a low income so whatever Machinery I am given has to be covered. Healthcare has told me that they only pay for the basics. I’m not entirely convinced I will get a top of the line model. I imagine I will get the cheapest because it’s going to be the only thing they pay for.
After being told it was severe obstructive sleep apnea I’m a little bit panicky about it. I don’t want to wait till March 11th. I’m sleeping worse and I feel like at least in some part it’s because I’ve got it in my head that I’m not breathing all night long. I toss and turn all night long and I have terrifying dreams when I do sleep. I don’t want to wait until the 11th to try and fix things. But I will have to I guess.
I have all sorts of concerns. I have facial hair. Will I be able to find a mask that will seal well with facial hair?
I also don’t have any teeth. Will that affect things? Some of my searchings has said that if you are a mouth breather you either need a full face mask which probably won’t work well with facial hair or a nasal mask of some sort. Some places have suggested that a nasal mask kind of forces you to breathe through your nose. One website said that the pressure difference will cause my mouth to close on its own. Other websites have suggested I might need a chinstrap. Both of these things would make it very difficult because without teeth something forcing your mouth closed puts it into a very uncomfortable and awkward position. If you’ve ever seen an old guy with no teeth make his no teeth face you will know what I’m talking about.
I’m a little bit scared of a CPAP machine but I’m terrified of stopping breathing again and again and again throughout the night.