Posted by: Jan | April 30, 2010

99 Years????

I’m lusting after a CPAP mask (Swift FX) that my provider says is “not in their formulary”.  Not sure I believe them, but also not sure I have a choice.  Since I have a good working mask only a month old, I don’t have any standing to push on this issue.

 So I’m trolling a CPAP auction site to see if I can get one myself for the little money I can afford to pay.  So far no go—I see these masks all the time on the auction site, and about half of them don’t sell for the minimum asking price which is more than I can pay.  I’m watching to see if they come back at a lower price, or eventually go out again at a higher price.  It’s curious where the sellers are getting all these masks—some people have a history of 250 satisfactory sales.  These aren’t patients selling masks that didn’t work out–I think that DME employees are doing some augmenting to their incomes.  But that is not the subject of this post. 

Anyway, to buy online from one of these sites, you must have a prescription on file.  So I asked for one from my provider.  DME prescriptions include a statement of “duration of need”, and in that box, the RT wrote “99 years”. 

99 years . . .

 What a depressing thought. 

I like my CPAP a lot now.  That good feeling is starting to remain with me for longer and longer periods each day.  It’s only when you feel so good that you can recognize how rotten you were feeling, and believe me, I was feeling ROTTEN.  I was in this constant state of panic, and it was interfering with everything in my life.  But I didn’t even know it, until I got to see what life is like when you don’t feel that way every moment.  So, CPAP is becoming like heroine to me.  I almost can’t wait to go to sleep at night, because so many mornings I wake feeling so good, like taking some really cool illicit drug.  And the best part is that there is no crash on the other side.  I feel good, or I feel not so good, but I don’t go nuts, or have hallucinations, or cravings or any of the downside of an illicit drug high. 

But, 99 years?

I don’t know about that. 

Two months ago I could not picture using CPAP every night for 2 months, let alone the rest of my life.  Now, I can picture wearing it tonight, perhaps tomorrow, and on into next week, just to get some of that “feel good” drug it gives me. 

99 years, I’m not so sure about.

 Yesterday, on Good Morning America, they featured “comfort products” for sleep apnea on the health segment … s-10511936, and talked about sleep apnea in general.  The person interviewed talked about the fact that a parent had sleep apnea, that it’s often hereditary, and 8 of her parent’s 9 siblings had been diagnosed (with a strong suspicion that the 9th sibling had it as well but refused to wear a mask).  In addition, she stated sadly, the family believes that her grandfather, father of the 9 siblings had sleep apnea, too, and he “died in his sleep”.   

Hold on a minute. 

 “Died in his sleep”?

 I don’t know about you, but I WANT to die in my sleep.  Will CPAP just make sure I’m awake to suffer whatever kills me?

 I know CPAP will reduce the things that will kill me.  I’ll probably live longer.  But will it be quality life? 

 Not that living feeling so rotten could be called “quality life”.  It wasn’t THAT horrible, but I do like the way I feel now, better. 

 And, no, of course I will not abandon my CPAP for the remote possibility that I might be able to die in my sleep, but it does give one pause.

I realized early on that I cannot think about CPAP for the rest of my life.  I can only think about it one night at a time (and during some of those awful first weeks, it was more like 10 minutes at a time).

So I will wear my CPAP tonight.  Beyond that we will see, though I most likely will.  I can live with tonight, but not 99 years!

One night at a time . . .


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