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 www.resmed.com (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!)