Living On O2 for Life
This is a machine that pretty much saved my life! I can no longer sleep without it. It’s called a Bipap machine. I wear the mask over my whole nose and the machine forces room air mixed with oxygen into my lungs and then only allows me to exhale a small amount. This keeps my lungs filled with air at all times. I started using this machine in 1993. The models of this machine has greatly improved over the years. Mine has a small memory card that when the doctor pulls it out (It looks like a credit card), he can use his computer to read how much I actually use the machine. Last week, the doctor looked at the card and it showed that I use my bipap on average of 12 hours a day. Granted, some days I use less and some days I use more due to not feeling well. This is a pretty neat machine. On the front of this machine is a water reservoir that acts as a humidifier. The water is warmed (if you want to turn on the heater) by the plate that the machine sits on. This comes in handy during the winter time when the air is cold. It will warm up the air that flows through the humidifier before you inhale. That really helped when I had bronchitis last September.
When I first started using the bipap, my husband had a hard time looking at me. He was a little scared because this was yet another step in my health declining. The mask wasn’t a very sexy thing to wear to bed.. I must admit. But, it gave me back my energy during the daytime. I could sleep at night without feeling like I was falling into a deep dark hole and not able to wake up. Before using this machine, I would nearly stop breathing and my CO2 went sky high. My breathing was so shallow that sleeping with just my oxygen on wasn’t enough anymore. I had to use the bipap.
It was really hard to get use to the force of air going through my nose. At times, it would blow out my sinuses and make me extremely miserable. Other times, I have trouble with stuffed up nose when I lie down to sleep.