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My New Bed Partner, CPAP - From A Patient

by Cheri Burgin
(Holt, CA)

I have had sensations of being paralyzed and unable to take a breath since I was 4 yrs old. Never knew what it meant but I dreaded going to sleep most of my life. I would crawl into bed with my parents thinking they could save me from my dreams.


One night I remember waking up agitated and mad because Mom didn't help me. I was crying and upset with her. I was probably 5 yrs old in 1961. I just learned to live with these dreadful sensations and poor sleeping habits.

When I was in my 40's I became aware of Sleep Apnea since my husband was Dx with it. He was given a Cpap machine and wow we all slept! His snoring, breath holding and thrashing had disappeared with the use of his machine.

As I approached my 50's I became tired and could barely drive during the day. I thought it was old age. I asked my husband "do I hold my breath?" His answer was "I haven't noticed but with my Cpap machine I sleep so well and wouldn't know!"

That statement made me jealous! I went to my Drs who suggested a sleep study. I met with your Drs who said the anatomy of my throat, tongue and mouth was a prime candidate for Sleep Apnea. I was skeptical since I was thin and physically active. Dr said "I would be surprised if you didn't have Sleep Apnea." I was scheduled at your new clinic at the Redwood City Towers. It was an easy test and I was surprised I slept with all the wires and gadgets.

I came back for my results and was told of my Dx of OSA. I never realized I had so many disruptions in my sleep! I received my ResMed S9 sleep machine, Eson nasal mask and heated hose. I wanted the best my insurance would cover since so many friends refused to use their machines. It took me 2 weeks to get used to wearing the mask and the incoming pressure.

Several months later I started having the suffocation and paralyzing sensations. I went back to your clinic for a follow up and described how I was doing well with my machine in the beginning and now it seems like I need more pressure. Your Drs reset my machine and gave me a higher pressure. It worked! I'm so relieved to have my machine and know that I can go to sleep without any fear of suffocating, being paralyzed or dying!

I use my Cpap machine every night and won't go to bed without it! I have not gone one night without my machine since the day I received it! So glad Dr Dement was interested in sleep and pursued this field! He has made Sleep Apnea a Dx that is now taken seriously! I wanted to thank him for a good nights rest! I wanted to know if Dr Dement has had breakfast at the Maple Counter Cafe on Alder Street in Walla Walla WA. Used to be the old parts or radiator shop. My mother's family is from Walla Walla. My Uncle Gene Tom 1928-2013 went to school with Dr Dement. We visit Walla Walla each year and enjoy the beautiful old Antebellum homes and wonderful places to eat! Our trip wouldn't be complete without a milk shake from The Ice-Burg Drive-In! Congratulations Dr Dement!

Comments for My New Bed Partner, CPAP - From A Patient

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Oct 21, 2014
Thank You For Sharing
by: Kevin

Thanks so much for sharing this story Cheri!

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About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

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The Stanford Sleep Book

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Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

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