After months of exhaustion and forgetfulness, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. The doctor presented two treatment options: (1) CPAP or (2) Oral Appliance.
The CPAP is an alien looking device that provides Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, i.e., it blows air through your windpipe to keep it open. In my mind, it looks something like this. I did not choose this option.
After choosing the Oral Appliance, I was sorely disappointed to find out that it wasn’t a toaster or microwave because those are the only two oral appliances I already know how to operate. This device isn’t really an appliance at all, it’s just a fancy mouth guard.
As innocuous as it appears in the picture, this mouthpiece is actually quite monstrous. Molded to my upper and lower teeth, it pulls my lower jaw forward in order to open my air passage. In the morning, I have to realign my jaw by biting down on an impression. With my lower jaw jutting forward, I look like a bulldog when I sleep.
Even though I do this every day, I wonder about the wisdom of misaligning a major body part every night only have to put it back in place the next morning. Fortunately the “appliance” works because I can now breathe when I sleep. Not only that, I can proudly add another appliance to my repertoire of things I can operate.
Sweet dreams and may the farce be with you!