I Can’t Stand My CPAP! What Can I Do?
Your life changes dramatically when you bring home your new mask and CPAP machine. You probably will not feel comfortable with this equipment, and like many people, feel like quitting CPAP before you even begin. Here are some solutions to struggles, trigger points, and what to do if you feel like stopping your CPAP therapy.
The initial CPAP shock and how to cope with the struggles
I was pretty devastated when I went to the doctor and found out I needed to wear a CPAP mask to sleep each night. When I first put the mask on, I was not very comfortable and felt like there was no way I could wear this mask every night.
The initial shock of bringing a CPAP machine home is going to impact your emotions. You are changing up your normal routine to the one you have never even contemplated before. It is going to be a rough few days when you get that machine home.
The thing to remember is it takes time to develop a new habit. The same can be said with a CPAP machine. If you give yourself a bit of time to try the machine out, you may find that the therapy works for you. A lot of people never try because it is all so new to them.
The mask struggles
The hardest part of CPAP therapy is not the machine. It is not the need for water every night. It is the mask. I struggled a lot with my mask at first, and this is one area where other insomnia patients struggle. You feel frustrated with the mask and want to throw it on the floor each time you put it on.
Wearing the mask successfully each night takes time and effort. You may not wear it much in the beginning, and that is fine. The more often you wear the mask, the easier it becomes.
I still do not like wearing my mask, and some nights it ends up on the floor, but I make a concentrated effort to wear it each night. I know that it is going to give me the best shot at feeling better the next day.
There are a lot of different masks on the market, so do not feel like you have to stay with the one you have now. Ask your sleep therapist about different options for your needs.
Understanding the CPAP equipment
A lot of your confusion over your CPAP machine and mask can be attributed to a lack of knowledge. You need to spend some time reading about and understanding your CPAP machine and sleep apnea in general.
I remember coming home with my new machine and all these hoses and other pieces of equipment that I knew nothing about. I spent a lot of time reading the manuals and getting to know the equipment. I read articles and watched videos about CPAP machines and sleep apnea.
Solutions to CPAP struggles, you are not alone
One common problem we face when trying to deal with CPAP machines and sleep apnea is that we try to do everything on our own. We feel that sleep apnea is our own personal problem that we have to manage on our own without any help.
One thing that helped me a great deal in the early stages of using CPAP was reading forums and talking to others about my condition. You may have questions that you do not feel like asking your sleep provider. A good forum can allow you to vent or ask those questions. Getting involved in a good community can offer you the support you need to deal with this condition.
No matter what you may be feeling in regards to your sleep apnea, you should remain positive. There is a period of adjustment when you first start using this machine. You have to give yourself time to adapt to life with sleep apnea.
I struggled with my mask for months, and today I still pull the mask off from time to time. I have come to terms with my sleep apnea and remain positive even when I have rough days. You will have those rough days, too, and that is fine.
You do not have to love your CPAP machine or your mask. There is a big adjustment to using this equipment. If you take the time to allow yourself to adjust to the equipment, it is going to go a lot better for you. Seek out help from forums and ask questions if you are having difficulty. Remain positive through this journey as it does get better.
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