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Difficulties Living With Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea seems like a very simple condition to anyone who is not affected by it. You get your CPAP machine, put it on every night, take it off in the morning, and have no other problems. This is absolutely not true. There are many difficulties that people with sleep apnea deal with on a regular basis.

There are a few that I have, and I do my best to manage them and remain as normal as possible. I don’t get mad when people minimize sleep apnea and make it sound easy to deal with; I educate them and have a discussion. Getting upset won’t solve anything, but teaching someone can really help.

Getting used to the CPAP machine

One of the hardest parts of having sleep apnea is learning to sleep with your CPAP. Yes, it can be simplified to putting on a mask, turning on the machine, and falling asleep. But most of us with sleep apnea know it isn’t that easy.

You have to learn how to sleep so that you are not awaked by the mask losing its seal or your neck getting wrapped in the tubing. If you prefer silence when you sleep, the machine makes some noise, and you have to get used to that as well.

I have had many issues with the mask becoming loose when I sleep and getting wrapped in the tubing. I still can’t do much about the tubing. I like to toss and turn in my sleep, apparently, and I did have to go through a few different masks until I found one I liked, and that didn’t lose its seal.

Mental health and stigma

Mental health is also another difficult part of living with sleep apnea. There is depression and anxiety, but also the stigma when you tell someone you have sleep apnea. It can be a very difficult topic to talk about with other people and answering all the seemingly ignorant questions.

As I said, I don’t get mad at them; I try to educate them. However, it still takes a toll when you have the same questions from different people or people acting like they feel bad for you like it’s a death sentence or something. It’s really not a big deal to have sleep apnea, but so many people make it seem like it is worse than it is, and that can really get inside your head if you let it.

Sleep apnea costs time and money

The last big difficulty I deal with is the expense. It is not a daily expense, but you do have the expense of your time when it comes to cleaning the machine, and when you need new parts, they aren’t the cheapest.

Sometimes you have things you need to replace quickly, and if you haven’t budgeted for it, that cost can hurt the wallet for a little while. You can’t go without your machine working for very long, so you need to buy replacement parts when needed.

What about you?

These are some of the difficulties I have with sleep apnea. There are so many more and it's impossible to list them all. If you have any of these difficulties or any others, know that you are not alone and there are many of us who share the same issues.

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