I Saw Carin Kicking Santa Claus

The night before I went to get my CPAP machine I affectionately call Santa Claus, I had a dream about what the training session would be like. In the dream, I was in a big room full of older folks and we were all learning how to use our machines. We had to watch a video about Sleep Apnea and why we were getting the machine. In the video, there were these other old people, I think there was a woman and a man. Each asked a question like “My doctor says I have Sleep Apnea. What does that mean?” And then the announcer would come on and go into a speech explaining what Sleep Apnea is and what it can cause. Then we got to one where the older lady said “I don’t like the idea that this machine can tell when I use it, and can send information to my doctor. Convince me that you’re not trying to put spies in my bedroom.” I forget what the announcer fellow said in response, probably something about how it only sends very specific data to your doctor and it doesn’t have a camera or a microphone, or something like that. And then the older man said “How can I trust these things? Are you sure they’re not trying to kill us by filling our heads with foam particles?” This little bit must have come from learning about a recall of Philips CPAP machines that were causing foam particles to go into people’s noses through their mask and tubing. As you can tell, my mind was super busy. Most of the dream was totally silly, but I have to admit that I sometimes wonder if Santa is spying on me. Here’s why.

As I have said, the machine has an app where you can check your progress. The provider of the app also sends regular emails with tips about CPAP. Some of them can be very creepily timed, as if it truly is observing my thoughts, words and actions. I know it isn’t, but it feels like it.

The first time I slightly thought about it was after we got my mask fixed and the next day I got an email that said “Congratulations! You started your therapy!” But I figured that one was because the machine finally saw me use the mask for the full 7 hours.

But then they got weirder from there. One day, I was saying to Steve that I was worried that I wasn’t doing something right because I was still feeling sleepy in the day and he said Rome wasn’t built in a day. The day after that, I got an email that said “Did you know that people start noticing less daytime sleepiness after 3 months of therapy?” It was like it heard me and thought it should answer my question. Again, I’m sure the emails are well-timed, based on people’s progress and common points where people get discouraged.

But the weirdest was one morning, after I had emptied the water chamber and stood it up to air out, for no reason at all, it fell to the floor and came apart. Thankfully it was intended to come apart, but I thought I broke it. The next email I got from the app was entitled “Are you being kind to your CPAP equipment?” I nearly jumped. Did it see what happened? No. The email was all about how to keep it clean, and was reminding me of things to do to make things go smoothly.

Now, today I was worried I had broken my mask when I gave it a thorough cleaning a week ago. That must be why I’ve been more tired yesterday. Steve had to remind me that I have been stressed with all this Christmas-related chaos and that was probably all it was. The next email I got was called “How are you feeling?” and was telling me about reduced daytime sleepiness. Eek!

I have at least one piece of evidence that it’s not spying on me. I got an email that congratulated me on reducing my risk of causing a car accident now that I was less sleepy while driving. Um, I don’t think Santa is going to allow me to drive. He’s good but he’s not that good.

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