Nearly eight years ago, I started using a CPAP (pronounced “SEE-pap”) machine while sleeping. I have sleep apnea, which I wrote about in April 2008:
Sleep apnea is caused by the upper airway being closed off when the muscles relax during sleep. This cutting off the of the airway leads to a loss of oxygen, which triggers an automatic fight-or-flight response from the cardiovascular system and brain, which causes a waking response. This sort of thing, repeated over and over again, messes with your sleep and puts undue strain on the heart.
The difference between my pre- and post-CPAP life, if you’ll forgive the expression, is like night and day. I feel completely refreshed when I wake up, and I no longer have that mid-afternoon lull where I’m useless and just want a nap. I now use my CPAP every night, and I take it with me when traveling.
I’m wrapping up a week-long business trip to the corporate HQ of my workplace, GSG, in Concord, Massachusetts. When I unpacked my bag on Sunday night, I realized that I’d somehow left behind the straps for my CPAP mask. They’re a key part of the system, as they hold the mask to your face as shown in the picture below:
Luckily for me, I always carry a roll of duct tape in my laptop knapsack. Here’s what my quick-and-dirty test run looked like:
Version 2.0 incorporates a hotel face towel on the back of my head so I’m won’t rip out my hair when I remove the mask in the morning. As for the bacon images, it’s my belief that life’s too short for plain duct tape.