A Need to Share (Part One of Two)

     One day in March, I felt crappy. I can’t even tell you what the symptoms were but 2592I was pretty weak. My husband, Danny, insisted I see a doctor and made an appointment. After an examination and blood test, I was asked to walk around the clinic but Icould only get half-way around. The doctor called Danny into the exam room and told him to take me to the emergency room immediately. 

     The emergency room was waiting for me and started x-rays and tests. I wasDoctor looking chest x-ray film in hospital. shown my lung x-rays which were covered in white puss. The doctors said that I was going into ICU and that they were going to have to suction my lungs. It would be a painful and extended process. They asked my permission to intubate me to make it easier and assured me that I would be sedated so that I wouldn’t experience discomfort. I had nothing to lose or so I believed so I agreed.Tetsu420full798969

     That is the last thing I remember clearly for about 3 weeks. I was intubated for 17 days which is an extended amount of time for intubation. While coming out of the fog, I went into a psychosis, had hallucinations and became unreasonable. It frightened me but I was told that it was normal given the medication and long stay in ICU. I have also read that it could be from Sepsis.

     All I kept hearing from hospital doctors and staff was, “You are very, very sick.” The diagnosis was Streptococcal Bacteremia and Sepsis due to Pneumoccus. Oddly, my normal anxiety was at 0 and the doctors was at 100. Perhaps because they knew I almost kicked the bucket and I did not.

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CPAP THERAPY – Trials and Tribs Part Two and Final

My point in writing this post is to let CPAP users know that there is an abundance of mask styles and designs. Amazon has CPAP Therapy equipment and accessories most often at a lower cost than most online providers. I started with CPAP.com’s website for an overview of available masks. I have a provider who bills Medicare for masks and supplies every three months.

Medicare rented my machine monthly for me for however long it took to get it paid for then it became my property. As I understand it, Medicare and all insurance companies monitor usage through the provider to ensure that I am actually using the machine at least 4 hours a night. I have gone more or less than 4 hours and sometimes not at all with no complaints from Medicare.

If you are new to CPAP Therapy, I recommend that once all the apnea testing is done, be prepared with a request for a mask that you feel will best suit you. If one doesn’t work, try another. It was suggested by my provider that I research mask types and designs on the internet (after my initial standard) and let them know which one (ones) I would like to try and they will order them for me. Medicare pays 100% for all my equipment and accessories. Keep in mind that if you don’t like it, you most likely won’t use it.

Please don’t give up. CPAP Therapy may not be perfect but though it is a lifestyle  changer, it can also be life saver. Sleep deprivation affects your quality of life in ways that may surprise you. I love it! Yes, I did say “love“.

CPAP (Controlled Positive Airway Pressure) Therapy TRIALS AND TRIBS – (Part One of Two)

I have been determined not to give up on CPAP Therapy – actually giving up would be a very bad idea for me since I stopped breathing 699 times during my sleep test.

Being a side sleeper creates problems in CPAP Therapy that do not exist for back sleepers. For me Most masks have fasteners for adjustments that hit me right in the pressure points of my temples and face and dig in when I lay down. I have tried to sleep on my back but it didn’t work for me..

As most CPAP users, I have gone through several masks. First I had the Simplus Full Face mask and it irritated my skin, drove my anxiety up the wall and had a hard plastic forehead support.

Then I got the Dreamwear Nasal Pillow which was pretty cool but it has the hose on top of your head and you can imagine the drawbacks there.

I decided I needed a full face mask because I was a mouth breather so I got the Airfit F20 for Her and again the silicone bothered me even though it had soft wraps.  I decided that I did like the full face better.

So I got the AirTouch F20 for Her and liked the face mask because it was memory foam and had a more comfortable surface texture. I used this one the longest but the fasteners are directly on my pressure points and being a side sleeper, I found this painful thus affecting my sleep. I even developed knots in the fascia of my temples that tthe massage therapist was able to work out.

 Because of the way the bottom of the AirTouch mask rested on the indention abosve my chin, it pretty much forced me to breathe through my nose. I decided to try another nasal pillow mask to see if I could be a nose breather though I was intimidated by the pillows that fit up to your nares (openings to the nose).

The thought of having silicone protrusions in my nose kept me from going this route in the past. However, the pillows do not go into your nose they just inflate to fill the openings.  The Dreamwear mask had a pillow that sat just under your nose where Swift FX for her has different nose pillows but the hose attaches to the front of the mask rather than the top of the head.

I am now using the Airfit P10 for her and it seems to fill the bill for me. It only has 2 straps, comes with adjustment clips and the nasal pillows are of good quality qnd fit nicely. It is comfortable and easy to use. I can even put it on in the dark.

(Continued Part Two)

 

How to Sleep Easier With Your CPAP Machine By John Donovan (WEB MD) Part Three

Learning to Appreciate CPAP

Continued

For most people, these devices are the best way to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The challenge for doctors and sleep specialists is to convince the wary that they’re better off with one than without it.

Aside from poor Zzz’s, though, people who don’t get treatment for the problem face a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

But most of the time, Rapoport says he tells his patients they can’t knock CPAP until they’ve tried it.

“I would tell people, ‘Try it. Use it part of the time. Let’s get you to the point where you see the benefits. You don’t have to believe me. You’ll see it,’” he says.

Parthasarathy says many of the people he points toward CPAP do see the benefits, some more quickly than they imagined.

 

“I had a patient tell me that he felt like he walked across a desert and finally found water,” he says. “I get comments like, ‘This is the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long, long time.’ Or, ‘I have dreams now. And it’s been a long time since I remember having a dream.’”

How to Sleep Easier With Your CPAP Machine By John Donovan (WEB MD) Part Two

CONTINUED

Your doctor and sleep specialist can help you make sure everything works and fits as it should.“It’s like wearing shoes. You buy a new pair of shoes, they’re initially going to chafe or hurt you. Or a new pair of glasses — you become very conscious of them,” says Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at the University of Arizona. “But after a while, it becomes second nature. You put it on without thinking.”

Noise: In the old days, CPAP machines were clunky and loud. Instead of a whoosh, it was more of a WHOOSH. Some made metallic, clicking sounds.

But that was then. Machines today are smaller, quieter, and much less noticeable. Many brands are near-silent. That’s a bonus not only to CPAP users, but to their bed partners too.

Pressure: Machines have different air pressure settings. Some of them vary it depending on whether you’re inhaling or exhaling. Your doctor will help you figure out the level that’s comfortable for you and helps you the most.

Dryness: Some CPAP users say all that forced air dries out the nose and mouth. Many machines have humidifiers to fix that. Some even heat the moist air.

Trouble breathing through your nose: If you feel stuffed up from allergies, sinus problems, or a physical issue with your nose, you may have trouble using a CPAP machine. But the problem usually goes away when you treat your congestion, whether with medicine, allergy treatments, or sometimes surgery.

“A lot of people have nasal obstruction or congestion and they don’t even know it.” Parthasarathy says. Treatment for those problems makes CPAP work much better for them.

 
 

How to Sleep Easier With Your CPAP Machine By John Donovan (WEB MD) Part One

I want to share the following article written by John Donovan and published on Web MD. I have found that using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine has honestly improved my quality of life. My hope is that this article will help my fellow Sleep Apnea victims to better adapt to CPAP Therapy.

Your doctor wants you on a CPAP machine to help your sleep apnea. You might worry you’ll be tied to a noisy gadget all night with tubes there, a mask here, and straps going every which way.

It can seem overwhelming, says David Rapoport, MD, the director of research at the NYU Sleep Disorders Center. 

“We work very hard to try to get people to be more open to the idea,” he says. “What’s remarkable is, when they try it, they often say, ‘That’s not so bad.’”

There may be some hurdles at first, but they don’t have to be deal-breakers. Once you know what to do, you can sleep well with a CPAP machine.

Get to Know Your Gear

When you have sleep apnea, you can stop breathing, briefly, up to 30 times or more an hour when your airways close or get blocked. CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure, pushes air into them to keep them open. 

The machine has a pump that controls the airflow, a tube that carries the air from the machine to you, and a mask that goes over your mouth, nose, or both.

Some things about it may take some getting used to:

Masks and straps: If you’ve never slept with something on your face, it’ll probably take some time for you to wear the CPAP mask without thinking about it.

Most modern ones fall in one of three groups:

  • A nasal mask that goes over your nose
  • A “nasal pillow mask” that fits under your nose
  • A full mask, which covers your mouth and nose 

Among those three main types, there are kinds including:

  • Full-face masks that go over your eyes as well
  • Nose masks with prongs that go into your nose

As long as the mask is sealed enough so that the air pressure from the tube stays constant, the CPAP will do its job. It’s up to you to find out which type is most comfortable on your face, and which straps are best to hold it in place. You may have to try a few different types before you find one you like.

 

At Last

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So you know how when you move to a really cool place you think you will have a lot of visitors from home. Well, when we finally quit begging, we have finally started having guests. Actually Purgatory Ski Resort has started to have guests but we are taking what we can get.

Sadly, after our guests head back to Texas, it tends to snow. Go figure. Yet that doesn’t
stop us from boring them with our favorite sites and events. We get so excited to show off things we love about living in Colorado until we see that their eyes have glazed over. Yet we are thankful that they took the time and effort it takes to travel so far.

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We loved sharing all the wildlife that we feed with our grandchildren. It is amazing if
you aren’t accustomed to seeing squirrels bicker and tussle on your deck. There are so many different birds with all their crazy needs and antics.
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220px-Raccoon_climbing_in_tree_-_Cropped_and_color_correctedWe have raccoons that sneak in onto the deck at night and eat theIMG_0153 bird and squirrel food making sure to destroy the bird feeders. We have resorted to using metal pet bowls for feeding both birds and squirrels. In the past, Rocky Raccoon helped himself to the cat treats in the rounder cabinet. He came through the kitchen window after removing the screen. I supposed the cats revealed the location. They are fascinated but not afraid.

 

s-l225We gave away all the grandchildren’s toys when we left Texas so the three visiting kiddos had no toys to play with. Kids are resilient though, they played with some vintage glass candy that I had in a dish on the end table the entire time they were here. We also have 9 small aquariums with fish, frogs, and shrimp so that had an entertainment factor. Snow and skiing were an added plus, of course. For the adults we have great restaurant’s and micro breweries. We also hit the hot springs for leisure and relaxation.

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Our youngest daughter is pretty darn amazing. She and her husband were in sync and orchestrated the kids care, entertainment and even cooked and cleaned up after. I do have to give their oldest daughter and her friend credit here for helping with the kids and dishes. They all made everything so effortless.

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P3 is here for a month and his mom will be coming to pick him up so we will get to spend a week with her. If we could just get our son and his family here but life keeps interfering. However, it is something more to look forward to.

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Among the Missing

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Wow! It has been a really, really long time since I have posted.

My sabbatical started out as working from home as a law enforcement transcriptionist. Loved the work but got tired of donating my time and stress for very, very little money. I am sure there are many people who make the bucks because they are fast and experienced. and although I have law enforcement administration experience, my transcription skills were rusty. I think I will stick to my volunteer work, that should keep me busy enough.

I have missed blogging so it will be good to get back to it. In my absence, I have gained new followers with some interesting blog sites that I am excited to visit. I should advise that in checking out the list, I have deleted some followers from it.

Among the deleted are those advertising a good or service, empty email addresses and the blog sites that Word Press is unable to locate. I also deleted the blog sites that Word Press has found not to be following the guidelines set out by them and have been booted out. I feel compromised by those using Word Press for advertising or other or hidden agendas – but that’s just me. I have been notified of many new followers @outlook.com which peaked my curiosity. Still not sure what that is about.

Anyway, I am glad to be back and am looking forward to revisiting old friends and developing new ones.

I am on a journey to improved mental and emotional health. I am also experiencing fun and adventure so lots to share. And as always, I remain….

Open-u-nated

 

On Being Self-ish Part Two of Two

45686418-vintage-slogan-with-motivation-vector-illustration
There is a saying,
“God only helps those who help themselves” and it is a saying that I try to live by. Often we think we are helping someone but we are actually enabling them. We can also be robbing that person of an opportunity to gain “strength thru adversity”.  When we overcome an obstacle or solve a problem, it gives us sense of pride and confidence as well as developing reasoning and problem solving skills. The very best things we can offer someone is encouragement and emotional support.

When I left my abusive ex and moved into my mother’s house, she told me that she was Family conflictin a position to financially support me but to do so would cripple me. It was one of the most loving things she could say to me.  What I heard was that she would not let me give up on life. I didn’t need her money but I did need a home even if temporarily and she needed  my help in recovering from a serious illness.

stock-photo-20604007-young-woman-looking-through-red-curtains-rear-viewI had always been independent but now I found myself emotionally broken with little confidence and it would have been too easy to disengage from life. Little by little, a network of supportive people stepped up with encouragement, assistance and helpful information many of whom had just come into my life. Not one of these people would take credit for what I accomplished because it was all done selflessly and with no enabling. I became stronger day by day, regained confidence and got my feet back on the ground. Every step of the way, my mother was in my balcony cheering me on along with many others who I met on the path to wholeness.6610590-Mother-and-teenage-daughter-relaxing-at-home-in-white-living-room-Stock-Photo

All this being said, as much as I would like to jump in with both feet to help this14296015-3d-render-of-a-person-helping-another-man-3d-illustration-of-human-character-people young woman, I would be tapping in to my past experience rather than her present. I am grateful to her for giving me an opportunity to see that I am still a work in progress. I need to come to terms with my abuse by doing my own work before I can become involved in helping someone else.

20638912-young-couple-arguing-in-the-kitchenBeing self-ish is not always easy because we have to put blinders on to others’ perception of who we should be and how we should live.  We will always be responsible for the outcome of our decisions and actions regardless of others’ opinions. Giving consideration to others’ opinions and suggestions can be helpful but in the end we have to do what is best for us and only we know what that is.

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On Being Self-ish Part One of Two

20612432-la-violencia-dom-stica-y-el-abuso-como-un-resumenAs a survivor of domestic violence, I have advocated not walking away from someone who is being abused but instead to do what you can to help. I have complained in my blog that the two people I turned to did not want to be involved. So now I find the shoe on the other foot and wonder if I should have done or should do more.

In order to help others through crisis situations, I have worked for and volunteered for popart-comic-retro-woman-talking-phone-vector-illustration-36967984Crisis Hotline. I am currently on hiatus from Crisis Textline in order to determine where I want to go from here. Assisting domestic violence victims via the Hotline and Textline was something I had the ability to do with no residual affect, becoming personally involved is not in my bag of tricks.

I recently met a young woman that I thought I might enjoy having lunch with from 5939322-a-portrait-of-a-happy-mother-and-daughter-drinking-coffee-outdoortime to time so we exchanged phone numbers and set up a lunch date. Upon arrival at the agreed upon restaurant, I found that she was not there.

 

 

I texted that I was at the restaurant and soon thereafter received an apologetic phone call from her telling me that she couldn’t make it. She said she didn’t want anyone to know but that she could gallery_1_4_8533tell me that her boyfriend had beat her up the night before and one side of her face was badly bruised. I felt a responsibility to offer emotional support so I offered my strength, hope and experience. When she said that she had never been beat before this badly, I asked if it was a pattern and she said it wasn’t. Yet, several times she repeated that she had never been beat like that before.

She also became confused about where her purse was and offering that she had several9610217-young-caucasian-woman-in-a-kitchen-weeps-while-on-the-phoneinstances of head trauma from sports and recreational accidents. She said she had PTSD from being raped as a child. In the beginning I asked if she wanted to accompany me on my errands but she claimed she was too embarrassed. I suggested that she might need her family’s support but she said she had disappointed them too many times. She said she might take her dog and go to a motel for the night and it didn’t occur to me that she might be hoping that I would offer to have her stay at my house. As the conversation proceeded, I saw more and more red flags warning me that I needed to distance myself. She suggested we could have lunch at a restaurant in her apartment complex and I pled off saying I didn’t know where it was though it wouldn’t have been hard to find since I knew where the complex was located. She questioned that I didn’t know where it was and I became exasperated and insisted that I didn’t.

Eventually, I said though I hated to I had to go because I needed to get my errands12363983-upset-mom-with-frustrated-daughter-over-green-backgroundcompleted and told her to call me later so I would know she was okay. She agreed insolently and we ended the call. I thought a lot about the situation and what I would do if I heard from her again. I knew in my heart that I did not want to get any more involved but on the flip side, I felt a responsibility to help. For the next few days I found that the situation was a trigger for me. I started having disturbing thoughts and feeling trapped.

I decided pretty quickly that I had to be honest and let her know that having 15817148-heart-and-brain-that-dance-concept-of-physical-wellbeingfriendship with her would not work for me. When I was in counseling for the domestic violence I was told that I needed to cut ties with my ex and any and all mutual ties through others. It was like they were a combination of hook and trigger. My trauma was triggered by this encounter to the point where I decided to go back into counseling.