Thursday, April 2, 2015

Oxygen is good


Yesterday I gave my CPAP a thorough clean and went to bed feeling ready to breathe in that life-giving air. Turned it on, lay down, a few breaths later I was gasping for air. Not enough oxygen! Suffocating! It's such a horrible feeling. I checked the machine, all the connections and settings, air was definitely coming out the nose holes so why did I feel like I was drowning? This happened a few weeks ago too, first time back after a break, and I eventually had to give up that time but it was fine the next night. What on earth was going on? I was sure it wasn't psychological, I really wasn't getting enough oxygen.

I sat there turning it on (and off!) a few more times trying to calmly work it out. And I realised that I couldn't feel any air being released from the mask when I breathed out. If you've never used a CPAP, and I hope you never have to, when you breathe out the expelled air doesn't go back down the tube, it gets released through little vents or a fine mesh or something. But in my case, it wasn't being expelled. And if it was going back down the tube then I was just breathing the same air back in over and over, explaining the drop in oxygen and the feeling of suffocation. But why now? And that other time too? It wasn't dusty, I just washed it... with detergent. There you go. Most days I just rinse the nose pillows under a running tap, but this time I gave it the full thorough clean. Although I rinsed it, I'm thinking the detergent made an invisible film over the mesh that stopped air getting out. I blew hard on the mesh a couple of times and rubbed it clean. And voila. I could breathe again.

Once I eventually got to sleep I slept solidly for about four hours then woke and took the CPAP off because it was causing an unpleasant tickle in my throat making me cough. Still residual effect of my cold, it will get better. I think four hours is a good start, and Fogdog suggested a four hour minimum which I think is sensible.

I went for a short walk today which included a brief jog to get to a gate before the elderly janitor got there and locked it. And I was absolutely fine. All better. The gym is closed tomorrow for Good Friday so I'll do some exercise at home, then start back at the gym on Saturday.

I ate one bad thing today I was inclined to think of that as making the whole day a fail, but actually I did well the rest of the day. I did the grocery shopping for the long weekend and the trolley was filled with fresh meat and vegetables and fruit. I bought hot cross buns for my husband and daughter, I don't like them. I did get ingredients for one dessert, but nothing else unhealthy. I didn't write off the whole long weekend because of Easter. So that is pretty impressive actually! I will certainly be eating chocolate on Easter Sunday, but it won't be a four day free-for-all.

Report card:
Diet: Mostly good.
Exercise: Good. Ready for more.
Water: Poor.
Sleep: Good start.
Mental health: Bad then good. I need to give myself credit sometimes for the good and focus less on the bad.

Yay for the long weekend!


  1. Oxygen is good. Love that title, but love even more that last paragraph. Good on you.

  2. Every time you posted, you should give some credit to your mental health; It means you are thinking about your health.

    I'm so glad you didn't give-in to a whole day of failing, keep it up Natalie, be good to yourself. Last week you were stating that at Easter you were going to over do it, this week you seems resolved to scale it way down... bravo!

    Hey pretty good you outrun an elderly janitor to a gate... now you have to train to out run a younger janitor to the gate LOL