State of the sleep, September 26

Lindley, a fat white woman in a fluffy gray and white robe, is sitting on a bed with her CPAP headgear and mask on and her eyes closed.

My CPAP machine, which I’ve named Whistler, and I have reached a truce, more or less.

My sleep and energy levels are mostly back to normal, and I’m so grateful. That doesn’t mean I sleep perfectly every night, but it’s so, so improved from the sleep deprivation hell I went through last winter.

I settled on the mask design shown in the photo, which is working pretty well and doesn’t tear my face up except for one spot next to my nose that keeps chafing. It doesn’t hurt, but it looks weird and flaky most of the time. I also have significantly more acne in the areas where the mask and headgear rest, even though I’m diligent about cleaning and maintaining the equipment. Ah well.

I continue to find it both interesting and frustrating that no one is interested in exploring why my apnea developed right when I had major dental work done. Healthcare providers seem content to blame it on my fatness.

The treatment would be the same either way, and I’m not interested in having an “excuse” for my apnea (as in, “well, she’s fat but it’s okay because she got apnea from dental treatment, not fatness”). But it’s fascinating how providers simply aren’t interested in what actually caused this, and I’ll be marked down as yet another o* person who just can’t breathe right.

Sleeping on the couch in strange positions while my apnea was at its worst gave me persistent, annoying back pain, which I’m working with my care providers to solve.

Let’s dig deep.

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Hi there! I'm Lindley. I create artwork that celebrates the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside conventional "beauty" standards at Body Liberation Photography. I'm also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and the Body Love Shop, a curated central resource for body-friendly artwork and products. Find all my work here at