9-11-2018-New Meaning to the Date

I was substitute teaching today for a class of 5th graders in a public school in Batavia, IL. Shortly after lunch, at 12:30 PM CDT, the principal announced that we were having a “Lock-Out” and the building would be secured.  (Batavia has recently changed the names for its various security precautions and, as a substitute teacher, I have not yet been advised as to what the new names are or mean.)

The class and I automatically responded to the principal’s alert as though it were a “lock-down” (securing the classroom doors, retreating to a safe space where no one can see anyone from the outside.  The space we went to is a small office between two classrooms. I made sure the doors to both classrooms were locked and we stayed very quietly in the office space until the “all clear” was announced about 1:30 PM.)

We all experienced this as though it were a true “lock-down” with a possible intruder in the building, making sure we were not making noise to attract anyone to where we were. I reminded the kids to breath deeply and not to talk or move around.

Fortunately, we were always safe. There were no intruders in the building and the school was safe the entire time. We just didn’t know it until after it was over. There was some activity outside of the school and the police didn’t want anyone to enter the school until they had everything under control.  All that was handled at the administrators level.

All of us in the class experienced this as a true “lock-down” experience which we survived successfully.  (The kids all “clipped-up” on a behavior chart after the Lock-Out because they had done so well in that safe office.). The students recovered quickly.  While we didn’t talk about 9-11-2001, these students got a taste of that and of the experience students have gone through when bad things have happened in other schools. They were scared and the responded well to my instructions about staying safe and keeping quiet, breathing deeply and not talking or moving around too much.

On reflection, while I would have treated the Lock-Out differently if I had known that we could have continued classes and just not gone outside, I think erring on the side to keeping the students safe in a “lock-down” environment was a good idea in the absence of more information. From this experience, the kids know they can survive a “lock-down” situation, even one that lasts almost 50 minutes.

I went to the principal to “brag” about the students responses and learned that we had gone “overboard” in our response to the situation. The principal came down and spoke to the class as they were leaving their special for the day, letting them know that they had never been in any danger and that the exercise we had gone through was caused by some miscommunication.  I added that information to the feedback I had already sent to the permanent teacher and copied the principal so both would see what I had said about positive student response.

I debated about blogging about this experience and I feel that it is important, especially in this post-9-11-2001 and post-Sandy-Hook era. Students and teachers never know when they will need to face what this 5th grade class faced today with courage discipline, compassion, dignity, a sense of cooperation and caring for each other. It’s a blessing that everyone was always safe, though we didn’t know that at the time. They recovered quickly and with grace and we went on with our day, doing a read-aloud and going to the last special for the day before preparing to go home at the end of the day.

Sleep Apnea and CPAP-Dryout-Adapter

Sleep Apnea and CPAP Machines

Sleep Apnea is often caused by some kind of blockage of the airway and causes interrupted breathing during sleep. Think of someone holding their breath for a while, then breathing again. Sometimes people can have hundreds of “episodes” in one night. This causes wear and tear on the heart and other organs. An often prescribed solution is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This comes with tubing and either a mask or “nasal pillows.”


Rainout is condensation in the tubing of a CPAP machine. Most machines come with humidifiers. When the temperature of the air in the hose is warmer than the air in the room, condensation can form in the hose, causing water droplets to form and the wearer hears a gurgling sound. One quick solutions involve moving the CPAP machine to a position lower than the person lying down so the water goes back into the machine. (I’m not sure how good that is for the CPAP machine.) You can also wrap the hose with fabric to insulate it from the room air. You can adjust the temperature of both the room and the air going into the tube. You can purchase a heated tube which may eliminate the problem all together.

My experience

I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in 1994, and have been using a CPAP machine nightly since my initial diagnosis–except for occasional travel, etc. For me, the mask didn’t work well and I switched to nasal pillow. I am “positively addicted” to my CPAP machine. It helps me get rid of colds faster, gives me great air to breathe all night, and I really don’t sleep well without it.  Unfortunately, rainout comes with the territory.

I didn’t have too much trouble with rainout until summer hit. I don’t have my central air on and use fans in the bedroom. I stopped pre-heating the water in my humidifier. This summer I have had to change tubes as many as three times in one night because of rainout. On investigation, I saw that not all the water was draining from the tubes as they were left to dry during the day. That meant that my tubes already had moisture in them when I started using them in the night.

Having worked with a CPAP machine for so many years, I had some ideas on how to deal with rainout. Eventually, I went to Best Buy and purchased a $35 hair dryer with a cool setting.  On cool, the dryer can blow air into the tubes, drying them out. That was a good start. The extra challenge came that the blowing end of the hair dryer was much larger than the tubes, therefore the air wasn’t all going inside the tubes to dry them out.

I worked with that problem a little more and have come up with a practical solution that works for me. I have an adapter that fits into the CPAP tubes (of varying sizes). The adapter is about the same size as the CPAP Machine’s connection for the tube. Now I can direct all of the air from the hair dryer into the tube and can start with one end, then start from the other end, then blow dry the extension for the nasal pillows. This means I start out with dry tubes and can dry them again, as needed, whenever I want.

I haven’t moved my CPAP machine lower yet–I’m still not sure the impact the water might have on the machine.  I tried wrapping my tubes with fabric a few years ago and it wasn’t satisfactory. At the moment, I am happy with my most recent solution.


I’ll be happy to sell you an adapter and send it to you via first class mail for $9.99 plus tax.  Just click on the PayPal button to order.

Remember, you need to use this adapter with a hair dryer that has a cool setting or you may melt your tubes.   (You’ll need to subscribe to this website first. When you do, you’ll get a free gift.)

Joel Montgomery


$9.99 plus tax


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Adapter on a CPAP tube




       Adapter in use on CPAP tube with a hair dryer on COOL setting





Remember to use a hair dryer with a Cool Setting




I used one of the tubes I had dried out with the adapter and went 4.9 hours without any moisture in the tube. No liquid drained out of the tube when I removed it from the CPAP machine.


Update 2

Do not use this adapter with the newer, thinner, CPAP tubes. Even on a COOL setting the material of the tube may not support the heat of even a COOL setting.  (I melted my newest CPAP tube.) (I ordered replacement, standard CPAP tubes from Amazon.com)

The adapter is now available on eBay.

Watch the demo on this post.




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