I recently read that something like 80% of all people with Parkinson’s Disease have some kind of Sleep Disorder, so I’m in good company, eh? There’s even a study in progress to see if using a CPAP machine will improve the cognitive abilities of PWP, particularly memory. That’s something I’d love to see as a side effect of putting up with this thing!
Well, I haven’t given up yet, but I also haven’t gotten through a whole night with the CPAP machine on, either. I’ve been getting to sleep with it pretty well. But then my old insomnia habits take over, and I’m wide awake several hours later. I am finding it easier to get back to sleep the first time, but not when I wake up around 1:30 or 2:00AM. That’s when I’ve been taking it off on most nights.
I’ve also had a vague nausea and a horrible bout of stomach bloating, particularly this weekend. Since this is already a problem related to the elimination difficulties I have, I treated it with that in mind, with no success. Then, just on a lark, I Googled for bloating and Cpap. To my surprise, I found that this is a common problem, as some people get air forced in their stomachs. The suggestion was given to use Gas-X, and after I did that I felt much better! It’s a shame I didn’t think to check that sooner, as I didn’t go to Church this Sunday, as I just felt entirely too yucky.
Another thing I discovered quite on my own yesterday made a considerable comfort difference for me last night. There are Velcro adjustments at the forehead and around the back of the neck and under the ears for the attachment of the mask. I’ve been loosening and pulling on them for days, trying to get comfortable. I happened to notice, while the mask was off, that the harness was all twisted out of shape, with one side pulled tighter than the other. So, I undid them all and started from scratch, carefully tightening them up in a symmetrical way, until I thought I had the right size. Then, I tried it on with the CPAP blowing air at its top volume and carefully adjusted it again. Now it is much more comfortable to wear!
I’ve been up since 1:30AM, so the CPAP hasn’t helped me break the insomnia cycle yet. But I did sleep until something like 5:30AM Sunday morning, although most of that was without the CPAP. It’s just going to take time, I know, but I WANT IT NOW. Patience was never one of my virtues.