Wednesday, October 19, 2005

No Sleep and No Hope

I’ve had no sleep in 38 hours and I feel like I am going crazy. Let me explain: I have sleep apnea and use a Remstar™ CPAP—Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device. This machine delivers air into my airway through a specially designed mask. It doesn’t breathe for me, but the flow of air creates enough pressure when I inhale to keep my airway open. I have been using a CPAP for about 15 years and can’t sleep without it.

Monday night the motor of my Remstar CPAP locked up. I know that because the damned thing stopped working and “motor locked” is the digital error message that I was given. Searching the Internet I find that this machine has a history of its motor bearings wearing out and thus causing the motor to lock up. That’s something I can’t fix—and without health insurance or an income it appears I’ll not get it fixed.

The longer I have been without sleep, the crazier I feel. For example, at the moment and for no reason that I know of, I feel like crying. I find it hard to concentrate and even more difficult to write these words. Most appalling is that my problem solving ability seems to have been reduced by my lack of sleep. I am struggling with how to solve the sleep apnea/CPAP/sleepless problem and the longer I am awake the more I feel I cannot solve the problem and that I will never sleep again.

I wish I had optimistic words with which to end this post. I don’t.


  1. I pray for you to find a way to fix the machine. I can only imagine how crazy you must feel--I get cranky after just one night of restless sleep...

    Good thoughts and prayers ascending!

  2. Nick, drop me an email at

    I'm not rich, and I might not be able to front you enough to get the machine fixed, but I can help you out a little bit.

  3. Oh my, sorry about the no sleep deal. That has to suck.

    PS - in a prior comment I used the word skeeve. Not sure it is even a word or that I spelled it properly but basically it means "to freak out." LOLOL

  4. I am so sorry you are going through this. How did you realize you had sleep apnea?


  5. I'm sorry about your sleep apnea. I hope that you find a way to fix your machine quickly.

    PS- I really enjoy your blog!

  6. My husband has sleep apnea too. Prior to his diagnosis, he was having all kinds of problems. He was having memory loss and would think he'd said things when he hadn't. All sorts of mental (not crazy but brain function) stuff. He also had problems with his emotions staying stable, and especially with anger and irritability.

    Check with Salvation Army. They may be able to help. Also, contact every medical supply and nursing assistance place you can find. A lot of them will help you out. I know one place here in town gave my husband his tubing and mask for free and forgave his debt beyond what insurance paid. Don't give up, you need this machine! Maybe even try the Red Cross.

  7. ugh I'm so sorry for you Nick! My boss had sleep apnea really badly, and just recently had surgery to correct it - he's slept like a baby ever since! Have you ever looked into surgery for your problem? Hope you are able to sleep!

  8. ModestNeeds might be worth a look. This link also has a list of other agencies that might be able to help you out.

  9. Punkmom: Thank you! Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

    Thomas: Thank you! At one time I would have said "thank you, but..." However, I am desperate and the sleeplessness is becoming more than I can tolerate. Thus, any help you could provide will be greatly appreciated.

    Southern Fried Girl: Thank you! Y rather thought that “skeeve means "to freak out.” However, since I couldn’t locate it in any dictionary, I thought I’d ask.

    Natalia: Thank you! That’s a good question. What led me to the diagnosis of sleep apnea was that I was falling asleep during the day even though I thought I was sleeping at night. For example, when I pastored in southern Indiana I often attended meetings in a city 85 miles away. It got to the point that I would have to pull off the road a couple of times during each way and nap. Finally I went to my MD and he had a test set up for me at a sleep clinic. The test indicated that during my 7 hours of sleep there, I stopped breathing over 400 times, with the longest being 85 seconds. Also, my blood oxygen levels dropped at one point to less than 70%. Later I learned that since I was (and guess I still am without the CPAP) a heavy snorer, that is another indication of sleep apnea.

    K-coop: Thanks two fold: for your hope that I get the CPAP fixed and your compliment regarding my blog.

    Sonson: Your husband and everyone who suffers from sleep apnea has my blessings. It can have terrible effects on one and one’s life. I came very close to obtaining a replacement CPAP today (after 7 hours of searching). However, as I’m sure you know, I have to have an Rx giving the CPAP settings before I can obtain one. When I learned that, I contacted my primary MD only top find he is on vacation until Monday!

    Audrey: Thanks! I have heard about the sleep apnea operation, but have never checked into it because the sleep clinic recommended the CPAP. If I ever get health insurance again, I will check into it.

    Thomas: Thanks! I’ll check out the link now.