Having a Caretaker Assist With My CPAP Therapy
Last updated: May 2023
Sleep apnea is 1 of the health conditions that I deal with. This is something I have written about. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is another condition that I deal with. Living with SMA has slowly taken away my physical strength. This can be frustrating because I have to rely on others to assist me with most of my tasks, including a caretaker to assist with my CPAP therapy.
How my caretaker assists with CPAP therapy
For you continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine users, think about your nightly routine. How do you get your CPAP set up? Do you wipe down your mask each night before bed? You probably put on your own mask and turn on the CPAP. These are all things that I need assistance with from my caretaker.
It wasn’t always like this for me. When I first started CPAP therapy, these were all things that I handled without any assistance. When we have the flexibility and freedom to do things like this on our own, we can take it for granted. I certainly did take my physical independence for granted.
Pros and cons of a full-time caregiver
For the last 3 plus years, my partner has been my full-time caregiver. There are always pros and cons to everything. Before Suzanne took over my care, I was relying on my parents. Suzanne has added a lot of flexibility to my life. We tend to do everything together anyway so our situation works for us. However, there are times when I want to stay up later than she does.
It can be frustrating for both of us in situations like this. Obviously, she is tired and needs to get to sleep. When I am not ready to sleep it’s frustrating for me to lay down and put on my CPAP and just wait to fall asleep. We try to compromise but there are times I concede because I don’t want to burn Suzanne out. When this happens, I try to do some of my relaxation techniques to help me fall asleep.
Techniques to help me sleep
Two techniques that have really helped me over the years have been meditation and doing multiplication tables.
Meditation can be a little difficult when you are wearing your CPAP. Being silent and still is my preferred method of meditating. When my mask leaks it becomes a distraction and ends up causing me to become frustrated.
Some people count sheep or sing a song in their head. Those methods never worked but I have found success doing multiplication tables. The redundancy of going through simple math has always helped me clear my mind and help me fall asleep faster.
Having other health issues with sleep apnea
Having my caregiver assist me with my CPAP therapy is what I like to describe as a necessary evil. Obviously, I’m grateful that I have a loving partner who fills this role for me. Managing sleep apnea with another health issue can be complicated. However, it is extremely important not to neglect our sleep apnea.
If you are someone who needs extra assistance with your CPAP routine make sure you find someone. Treating sleep apnea is serious, especially when you are dealing with other health issues. Sleep is 1 of the most important things we can do for our body. Don’t neglect your health!
Do you have a caretaker assist with your CPAP therapy? Please share a comment?
Mental Health May Question: On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to sleep apnea?
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