It’s serious stuff ! Repeated stopping and starting of breathing, sleep apnea, is now recognized as a profound health risk affecting one out of five adults. People can die from it, or be furthered in progression toward diabetes, high blood pressure, liver problems, even –perish forbid — dementia.

Well, that sounds mighty depressing. How about we take a moment to examine a lighter side of the condition ?

You’ve at least heard about them; the dreaded C-Pap machine, a technologically sophisticated device that forces air down your nostrils, eliminating the breathing obstructions in sleep.

Is the machine effective ? Yes, but not without what we might call an indoctrination period. This is where the “dreaded” comes in !

Initially, the one that I countenanced looked like something that might be worn by astronauts while space walking. Immediately I could see a problem. This “thing “, supposedly to be strapped to my face, was so unwieldy that I could foresee obvious complications with fitting back inside the lunar module!

“Ah, Houston, we have a problem.”

After consternation visits with the Doctor, we settled on a smaller nose cannula that posed a whole separate set of breathing adventures. The forced air, at times building excessive pressure, simply needs to be released.

Simple. Open mouth and a remarkable exhalation is released, complete with the noise of rushing air, the gnashing of teeth and an odd whistling noise that defies description. No, wait a minute. Perhaps a runaway freight train would best describe, but locomotives seem a bit quieter.

Do understand that this melee of noises is totally out of the control of the person from whose thorax the commotion emits. Humbling to say the least.

And what about the dear lady next to me. Well, if she’s not a lesson in tolerance, then who is ?



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