A little breath of air

I got a new gizmo yesterday. It looks like a plastic perforated wall plug with two rubber protrusions which go into your nostrils at bedtime.

It’s supposed to keep me from snoring.

Does it work?

I don’t know. There was no one to listen to me last night except the cat, and she never complains about my snoring. I could hardly expect her to praise me for staying quiet all night.

My husband, who does complain about my snoring, was exiled to his own soundproof sanctuary, from which he can’t wake me up repeatedly asking me to be quiet. These complaints are especially annoying when I’m awake and silent; if his own snoring wakes him up, I am automatically blamed.

Serves him right if I keep snoring; he is not the reason I bought my new toy.

I’m just tired of dreaming that I’m gasping for air, or waking up frightened and out of breath.

Now, don’t tell me to go to the hospital and get tested for sleep apnea. I’ve done it and I have it.

I went in about fifteen years ago, and I was fitted with a C-Pap mask that looked like Darth Vader’s helmet. I don’t know whether it would help me sleep, but I knew damn well it would kill all my chances of ever being awakened for sex. In the two or three weeks I used it, the rubber mask ate away all the skin around my nose and lips, which hurt. Furthermore, no matter how often I cleaned the contraption, I always feared the hose and water tank would burst forth in colonies of killer algae. I expected to be found belly-up one morning, floating like an expired goldfish.

So I stopped using it.

I tried other remedies. Taping my nose flat didn’t help, although it did clear up my blackheads. Sleeping on top of a tennis ball didn’t work either… believe the princess, baby, that was no pea!

The best remedy I found was to sleep on a high pyramid of pillows; this worked well if I slept on my back.

I needed a remedy that would also be effective if I turned on my side… and when this new little gadget showed up on my Facebook feed, it seemed to be versatile enough to work in any position.

I decided to give it a try.

I ordered it, then waited for a few weeks. It arrived yesterday in a flowery Oriental-looking box, labeled “air purifier.” This seemed like an ambitious title; the damn thing looked like a small, red cable splitter.

It had no plugs, no water tanks or hoses, and no Darth Vader masks. It also had no directions– I don’t know whether I wore it right side up or upside down, but that seems not to make a difference. For a minute, I thought its rubber protrusions were too far apart to fit comfortably inside my nostrils, but after a little shimmying, I heard a tiny pop and realized the thing was correctly positioned.

My airways seemed wider. I breathed a tiny bit more freely.

After a few minutes, I no longer felt as if I were wearing something on my face. It was inobtrusive, and worked just as well whether I was on my back or my side.

I slept for four or five hours; when I woke up, I listened for my breath. It was less forced than usual, and seemed quiet. I tried to snore and couldn’t.

Does it really work? I don’t know. Did I sleep like a baby? No… but I didn’t wake up gasping for air.

This thing seems to show some promise.

It’s nice to start the New a Year with a somewhat positive experience.

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