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  • Help!

    My partner has been dianosed with Apnea, and is due to collect a CPAP machine next week. He bought one home o try a few weeks back, and that is where the panic set in.
    When I was a child, I nearly died due to a dentist forcing a gas mask onto my face, when in fact the gas cylinder was empty - I needed CRP to bring me back. Ever since, I have a very real phobia of anything near a face - I can't even watch the hospital programmes on TV or even wear a scarf.
    When James took it out of the bag at bed time, I totally freaked out, drove off in the car, where I spent the rest of the night.
    I know he desperatly needs help and support to use the machine, but I can't stay in the house while its there.
    Is there any alternative (Private or NHS) to the machine? An advice welcome,Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Unfortunately, when it comes to OSA, there isn't much of an option to the machine and mask. There are surgical options, but they aren't great to have done, or very effective at treating the condition. At a push, if he only has mild sleep apnoea, it may be possible to treat it with a mandibular advancement device (MAD), but this is unlikely to help much if it is more than mild OSA.

    Have you thought about getting help with your phobia? counselling or hypnotherapy? It could well be the best solution for you in the longer term if you ever get into a position where you need a mask for anything.

    Good luck trying to find the right way through it for you both.


    • #3
      I have tried for over 30 years to find a way of coping with this fear. Last session of counselling ended in a panic attack. resulting in a trip to A & E, and a prescription for beta-blockers, which have their own side effects of nightmares! I tried to look at a picture of a mask on this web site, but ended up with another bout of tears. Will keep on trying!!


      • #4
        Seems you got it bad, Lizzie! Hopefully the day will never come - but, in an emergency you may need an oxygen mask and your life may depend on not freaking out! (I'm sure you've figured that out for yourself). I mention it only in terms of incentive to get your phobia sorted.

        Do you know there are all sorts of counsellors - some of which are useless for phobias and some of which are highly effective? Which ones are which depend in large part on the client but you could do worse than investigate Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Cognitive Behavioual Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). Hm! I'd investigate CAT then CBT and NLP last - but that's because I don't like NLP, is all.

        Respironics REMstar 'M' Series APAP.
        Resmed Mirage 'Quattro FX' Full Face Mask with a 'Quattro' headgear.


        • #5
          Wow - I understand real phobias having just had to face mine (also dentist related, bad experiences with injections though not masks thankfully) and visit a dentist for the first time in 25 years. You need to find someone who can help you professionally, and then a friend who can go with you to help you sort this out.

          Remember that the CPAP rig is fail safe, the full face masks all have safety valves, and a nasal mask still allows for mouth breathing, and it's beneficial to you both!

          I hope you find someone who can help - speak to your GP and get a referral to a therapist quick!


          • #6
            Thanks for the support & messages. The good news is that James has taken to the machine and stuff like a duck to water. He tells me that he slept 7 hours the first night, and over 8 hours subsequently.
            The bad news is that I cannot cope with the mask, so have sadly moved out of the house. Will remain good friends, & he understands the situation.
            Thanks again.