The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Objects: #3—CPAP Machines

By Andrew Tibbetts

I am the only person I know who’s had a sleep assessment and wasn’t diagnosed with sleep apnea. Does everybody have it? Everybody middle-aged? Because of how fat we are? If you sleep around with as many middle-aged men as I do, you will be very familiar with the horrifying pause, the strident snort and the gasp awake that marks the death of abs and the birth of high blood pressure.

Or is the increase in apnea diagnosis because of the machinations of the CPAP lobby? These “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure” machines blow air into you so that your throat doesn’t close up to interrupt your breathing while you sleep.

My sleeping troubles turned out to be attention-deficit. I was as bouncy-minded during sleep as I was awake. Paperwork? What paperwork? Timesheet? I forgot to sign my time sheet for how long? A month? Oh, a year and a month? Gee, that’s long. Sorry. It slipped and slipped and slipped my mind. Turns out you need to spend a certain amount of sustained time in each sleep level to get the benefit of it. My sleep was not refreshing. Now I take a non-stimulant medication for ADD and I wake up feeling rested for the first time in my life. It’s had a huge effect. I still struggle with paperwork, but maybe not quite so much.

So I don’t have to have a CPAP machine. Everybody I know who has one has a dusty one. It’s lying under the bed long abandoned, or as deep in the closet as a gay Harper cabinet minister. Who can sleep with one of those things strapped to your face? (The CPAP, not the conservative!) And they cost more than a cappuccino at Starbucks. Like $140,000 or something. Yes, as much as a cappuccino and a slice of carrot cake! You can get a refund from the government because it’s medical equipment. Not the cap n’ cake. Although caffeine is good for my ADD so I should be able to get a government grant for espresso and chocolate. Medicinal snackage?

I was told by the sleep lab administrator that while I didn’t need a CPAP, it wouldn’t hurt to have one. What? I smell a kickback. But anyway, I opted out. I sleep around. Imagine hauling one of those out of your sex gym bag. Let me just slip into something a little less comfortable. Maybe there’s a subclass of sex fiends who have an apnea fetish. They rub their CPAPs together through the night. Nuzzling tubes, clinking hard plastic. Cheers! And then, for the truly freaky, they rip those things off in the night and snort, baby, snort!

*Photo of CPAP wearer from (Dear CPAP lobby? Your CPAP ads are heterosexist! Where are the same-sex CPAP ads? Two butch lesbians with matching plaid CPAP's, two designer twinks with Prada CPAP's, a trio of bears camping at Jambouree with their CPAPs plugged into a generator...let's hop to it!)


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Oh, you're so funny. I'm in the Wellington library because the B&B we're staying at doesn't have guest access to the Internet. Maybe I should get one of those machines. I'm an ADHD non-sleeper, too.

Thu Oct 09, 03:34:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Seriously Tricia! Try strattera! I swear I get no kickback from Eli Lilly. It's made such a huge difference. And you need your sleep, so you can be well-rested to write more beautiful stories for us!

Fri Oct 10, 09:33:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Jacqueline said...

Hilarious, Andrew! Simply hilarious.

It's good to know I'm not the only writer sleeping next to a middle-aged man (or in your case, as I take it, many).

I take me hats off to ye, governor! (insert cockney accent here).

Sat Oct 11, 07:25:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Oh, Jacqueline, then you know those night time snortles and silences?

Sun Oct 12, 06:42:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Jacqueline said...

You bet!

There's nothing like knowing you're next to a hot body to turn those snortles and silences into lullabies.

I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Sun Oct 12, 06:45:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

My mom tried one but it made her claustrophobic. My husband did the sleep clinic thing but they didn't diagnose anything. He still breaths funny and scares the bejeebus out of me.

He says I snore, and he's right. So I stick one of those little thingies on my nose, but that's as far as I'm gonna go.

I'd love someone to come up with hypnosis therapy that turns those snorts into birdsong, or maybe the sound of waves.

Mon Oct 13, 12:08:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

My uncle used a CPAP when he was down here visiting us. Talk about a contraption. I don't know how the hell he slept with it on.

This was a damn funny post, Andrew. Nice work!

Wed Oct 15, 03:44:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger alex tuter said...

This innovation of cpap machine is really good because many people will benefits this especially those who have sleep apnea.

Mon Sep 03, 07:54:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger JONES WILSON said...

Really- very informative post ...........thanks for sharing
best sleep apnea machine

Thu Oct 11, 04:53:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger JONES WILSON said...

I have visited your blog for the first time and found it a well organized blog. thanks for sharing
Cpap Canada

Wed Dec 19, 07:37:00 am GMT-5  

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