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Steven B. Ronsen updated their profile
Sep 15, 2018

My partner died a while back.  It had been a joke with us that my machine was blowing in his face and he would laugh and kid about it when he would kiss me.  It's hard to imagine having a relationship again, but then I began to wonder: How do I deal with the CPAP and the RLS issues if I meet someone?  What do I say?  What should I expect?  It's rather a scary thought.  Has anyone else experienced this?

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Pamela, sorry for your loss. I am sure by the time you get to the stage you have to tackle this topic with someone else they will love you for what and who you are. You may even find your partner has a CPAP too! Sleep apnoea is fairly common these days and if it is a problem, you could always join the thousands of others who, after a cuddle simply sleep in different rooms!   

I am sorry for your loss, but glad you are looking to the future.  I agree with Hayley, by the time you reach that stage in your relationship you will find they accept you for who you are complete with medical issues.  You might also find they have a friend, or family member using CPAP and are completely understanding.  I dated someone who snored the roof off the house- a CPAP would have been a blessing and much easier to deal with.  I cuddle with my spouse andve our intimacy moments and when it's time to go to sleep turn over and mask up. I do sleep on my left side or back to keep the mask exhaust from hitting them.

Best of luck to you.  If CPAP is a deal breaker it's best to know soon into the relationship.

I am also sorry for your loss and glad you have discovered CPAP to save your life.

I would bring it up as soon as possible to avoid wasting a single moment on someone who would/could not accept and deal with a machine that is improving your live significantly.  Life is too short to waste it on someone who would put your life at risk for any reason.

Just an aside, I have had 2 CPAP machines now and I would like to point out that my current machine is much quieter than my first one.

When I first started seeing the girl who eventually became my wife, I had to think about how to "break the news" to her that she will end up sleeping next to someone who looked something like Darth Vador in bed. Well she accepted it. There were lots of questions at first since she knew nothing about c-pap anyway, but I guess that if she loved me, then she'd rather put up with me like that at night and know that my health and happiness is better for it. Well, over time I guess that the old saying "if you can't lick them then join them" came into play. I advised her to get a sleep study because of her window shattering snoring and periods of what appeared to be no breathing and she had apnea herself and ended up on c-pap too. Now when we go to bed it's an even playing field now.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Way back before I was married to my current DH, I started dating a man. I called one night and he answered and I could hear something blowing the background. He said it was his "sleep machine" ..Hmm, ok. The next morning when we were both more wake and functional, he explained his condition and how the machine helped. I didn't care. It was for his health. If I couldn't sleep with it blowing because I was having a restless night (which was rarely), I moved to the guest room. Most of the time, I was ok with it. 

He also suggested that I get tested because of my snoring and heavy daytime sleepiness. When I brought it up to my doc, he blew it off and told me to walk and lose weight. It wasn't mentioned again til I had other health issues (which my current doc now feels strongly is related to untreated apnea) that put me in the hospital.After the 2nd episode that resulted in hospitalization, I got my sleep study and now have a CPAP. The sleep center said I had a pretty severe case. My DH didn't mind the addition. My snoring stopped and any sounds my machine makes is much less so he's happy I'm healthier and he doesn't get chased off to the sofa anymore because I'm shaking the walls.

I can't speak to bringing CPAP up in a new relationship.  But when I brought CPAP into an existing relationship my partner was thrilled I had found something to help with symptoms that disrupted both our lives.

My wife is actually very happy that I finally found out about my apnea. My body used to jump and jerk and my legs used to flop and kick and sometimes, she used to have to lay across them to keep them from kicking against her.

How I deal with the vent air if I lay toward her, is I simply use the blanket, and cover the front of my mask so the vent air is blocked from blowing on her. It works out very well for both of us. I don't often lay on my back, and I used to be a stomach sleeper, and now that I have a mask I cannot any more, and even before the mask, I had surgery for acid reflux which made it uncomfortable to sleep on my stomach, so I more often sleep on one side or the other.

The main thing about my CPAP that I love, other than the fact that it allows me to sleep without stopping breathing, and that I feel much better, is that I can cover my whole head and face and still breathe! So, when the morning light comes in, and I still want to sleep (I work 2nd shift, so I sleep later) I can do so without running out of breath!

So, covering the front of your mask with the sheet or blanket might be a solution for you as it does block the air from blowing on your partner without blocking the air flow from the mask.

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