Sunday, July 6, 2014

George the Cpap Machine

George is the name I have given my cpap machine. With my soft pallet almost totally paralyzed I have limited use of this very important part of my body, hence the reason for George, my cpap. It sucks, but if he keeps me here to enjoy my kids, grandkids, family and friends then he is worth the hassle!

So where is your soft pallet? It’s a flap of muscle and connective tissue between your mouth and nose. It is supposed to move freely when you breathe and it closes so you can blow your nose.

Mine is almost stuck shut but not completely.  With it being almost immobile it really does not allow me to properly breathe all the time, blow my nose or smell things for the most part.

The soft pallet moves when you speech and swallow. Since mine does not move freely I have issues with those things as well.  However the worse part of this paralysis with Bells Palsy is the breathing issues.

When I am awake, breathing is okay as long as I remain sitting and not laying down. I get out of breathe quickly if I close my mouth to breathe or use the straw as I take a drink. Even while talking I really need to stop and take a breath or I get winded.

I was miserable when I tried to lay in bed to sleep during the first year into this Bells Palsy.  I would often wake, and I snore loudly. My mouth would be so dry when I’d wake it was awful. I finally had a sleep study done on May 5, 2014 and on June 4, 2014 I learned at my next doctor appointment that I had failed that sleep test. 

With 37 occurrences of breathing issues in five hours of that study I was told with mild seep apnea.  I had to enter the hospital once more to be fitted with the cpap and they determined the level of pressurized air I needed to sleep well. I am a 9 and I am middle of the average range of 8 to 12, the highest one can go is 20 so I, like many others am half way there.

Anyways I brought George home on July 1, 2014.  That first night was rough and I woke up with it lying beside me in bed.  However I am happy to say I am sleeping much better and wake rested now. Last night was my fifth night with George and the fourth night where I kept him on for 7 to 9 hours.

For more technical definitions of a soft pallet and its functions, check out this link

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