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Mar 18, 2007
Hi Guys,.....I have reached the point of needing a Bipap. Respiratory therapist was here today with the equipment. As I am claustrophobic I opted for the nose pillows and was fine until he told me I had to keep my mouth closed. Have been a mouth breather for years. Every time I closed my mouth I felt panicky and wanted to rip it off. He said I would get used to it but I dread the thought of having to begin this tomorrow night. How in the world will I get to sleep feeling such awful anxiety. Was wondering if anyone out there has any suggestions on how to cope with this. Wish there was a pill out there I could take and fall asleep immediately. I know there is a chin strap they can attach to keep my mouth closed but even this sounds terrifying. Any thoughts on this problem? Just don't feel I can handle this. Thanks, Sharon
Anti anxiety meds help before you lie down. Before trying that try using the machine sitting in a chair watching something you like on TV or listening to soothing music as someone else suggested. Try getting used to it in the daytime before lying down with it at night. A chin strap is used by most mouth breathers and there are a few different types. I'm surprised the RT didn't bring one. Hope this helps.
Hi Sharon,

I feel for you.....but it does get better!

I don't have any miracle cures for you, but try to relax and ignore it to the best of your ability. I had exactly the same problem! I tried it one night and just about panicked so I ripped it off and forgot about it for the next several weeks. But, my headaches were becoming more severe so I knew I would either have to get used to a bipap or my time would be up real soon. Since I was not ready to die yet.....still have too much living to do! I knew I would somehow have to get past my panic and use it. It was one of the harder things I have done! Some people don't have any problems - I did.

I had a good long talk with myself and then thought - if others can do this then so can I!
I put the mask on and laid quietly on my left side and concentrated on other things. I have a very strong mind, so I forced myself to RELAX. After awhile the bipap synchronizes with your breathing pattern and gets more comfortable. Everytime I put it on it takes a few minutes before it perceives my breathing pattern and stops fighting me. It also took several nights to get the settings so they were comfortable, your RT will work with you on this.

I was also a mouth breather because of sinus problems since 13. So I got a face mask - tried several before I found one I liked. It only took 2 nights to get used to it once I stopped trying to fight it. Now I cannot understand why I fought it so hard at first. It is a LIFE SAVER! I can now get a good nights sleep and wake up rested, this has not happened in over 7 or 8 years.

Try using it a bit during the day just to get used to it. Lay down for an afternoon rest and put it on. Have a good talk with yourself......YOU CAN DO THIS - I DID.
Once you get used to it life gets better as you will have more energy. My breathing was also better during the day, likely because my diaphragm got some rest while I was using the bipap.

I can totally relate to what you are saying, but please relax and convince yourself you can do this - because you can!

You can also ask your doctor for a mild sedative you can use at night.

Hope this will help you a bit......ask me anything and I will try to answer.
I Agree Anti Anxiety Meds Make A Huge Difference. I Take Lorezapan (ativan). Try As Al Said Getting Used To It, Doing Something You Enjoy. Don't Worry I Felt Panicky Too . Take A Deep Breath And Say A Pray That Is My Remedy For This Journey. God Bless
Hi Al, joelc, and janf,.........All your suggestions have made a huge change in my attitude. I was thinking of the Bipap as "the enemy". As soon as I post this I am going to try all your suggestions. I think the synchronization had me thrown off, too, as I didn't give it a chance to meet mine. I also have some ativan. They are only .5 so I don't know if it will be enough. Well, everyone, time to meet my demons. Will post and let you know how it goes. Ora pro me. Thanks a million. Sharon
Hi Joel,

What a great post! I think you should save it and re-post it when other PALS come back with similar issues.

I know what you mean, Mike. I keep telling myself the enemy is in my head - meaning the thoughts running around in it. Cindy
important question about bipaps

hello everyone,

i have not been online for quite awhile now as my husband's breathing is just so bad that i feel i need to be with him as much as possible. i have missed being online with you, my new friends.

i do have a question - he has a very long tubing for his oxygen/nose thing that he can walk all through the house with, but.... he now feels that he might should use his bipap much, much more during the day. we have the large machine, as i guess most of bipap users have, and he wanted me to ask is there anyway that the bipap can be used all over the house also without having to manually move that large machine and plug it in in the room you are in.

could someone please help me with this.

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