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I want to help my husband with his CPAP anxiety the right way – iDunmed

Hi guys,

After a lifetime of apnea, my husband (22m) is finally breathing deeply while he sleeps. He’s been using his new ResMed F30i it for three weeks now, and it was a really tough transition at first, but he’s finally able to sleep in short periods with it on. I noticed that he’s developing new muscles around his lungs while he breathes, where before his chest would constrict with each breath. He’s finally experiencing REM and he’s having dreams for the first time ever.

Before the CPAP, his head would hit the pillow and he’d start snoring from pure exhaustion. Now, he experiences a lot of anxiety falling asleep and waking up because he feels like he’s passing out (falling asleep slowly), and his muscles don’t respond as quickly when he’s ready to wake up because he’s not fully conscious as fast. This causes a lot of panic in the middle of the night, where he rips his mask off his face and tries to sit up very quickly. He oftentimes falls back asleep without his mask on, and he’s back to snoring with limited airflow. At bedtime, he falls asleep with the ramp up on while he’s on his phone, but he can’t do this when he wakes up in the middle of the night because he’s too tired.

My question is related to this:

– Whenever I wake up to him snoring, I wake him up and remind him to put his mask back on as gently as I possibly can. Once this happens, he’s up every hour taking his mask off or falling asleep with it in his hand. He usually doesn’t remember this in the morning.

-When he panics, which isn’t as often anymore, he’s reluctant to wear it at all. He calls it his dumb robot machine at 3am and seems sour that I woke him up at all to put it back on. He’s just half awake, and when he’s awake he rationally prefers the mask.

As his wife, I want to be as supportive as I can. We’ve both been exhausted making this transition, but we’ve hit a point where we both feel like there’s no progress being made. We make it about halfway through the night before the struggles begin. I don’t have sleep apnea, so I’m asking you; from your experience with sleep apnea, what would you want from your s/o to feel supported during the transition? Should I let him transition at his own pace, or should I keep waking him up to put the mask back on?

TLDR; Lifetime snorer panics in the middle of the night and doesn’t want to wear face mask anymore, and his wife wants to know if she should continue to remind him to put it back on.

submitted by /u/LouiseMama
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