Earlier this month was the 1 year anniversary of me starting to use CPAP.
During my sleep test I had an AHI of 63 and my oxygen desaturation was 75%. That's pretty bad. I started on CPAP as soon as I could, tried a bunch of different settings (CPAP and APAP) and many different masks until I found worked worked the best for me.
Every day I would pull the card out of my machine and plug it into the computer so I could scrutinize the data in SleppyHead. And worry over upticks in some graphs and my overnight AHI being 2.5 instead of 1.9 or whatever.
Every day I would come here and read people's success stories and wonder when I was going to start feeling better.
As time went on I found that I was checking SleepyHead every other day instead of daily, then once a week, then once a month. Monday of this week I had an appointment with my sleep doctor so I pulled the card out of my machine and found that the last time I had imported data into SleepyHead was in April.
When I see people posting here saying that they're giving up or are frustrated after a few weeks or months I know that was once them. But I never wanted to stop using CPAP, I just wanted to get back to "normal". Now I know that my life today is the new normal. I will use CPAP for as long as I have to because I don't want to be dead. I don't want to have a heart attack, or fall asleep while driving or any of the many other things that can kill me from having OSA. It's a little uncomfortable but I've learned to adjust and now just about every morning I wake up with the mask still on my face instead of ripping it off halfway through the night.
I do feel better, I'm not nearly as tired as I was at the end of the day. I'm not as forgetful as I was and feel that I'm sleeping better every night. I have found that I don't sleep nearly as deeply as I did, before you could drop a bomb in my bedroom and I wouldn't stir, now my wife gets out of bed to go to the bathroom and I wake up. I'm not sure if that's good or bad but it is what it is.
My advice to newbies is this: Hang in there. It WILL get better. You need to stick with the treatment and if you're having issues work with your doctor to sort them out. The people here on this board are wonderful and provide loads of support and insight into what you can do to increase your chances of success. Ask questions. Find a mask that is comfortable for you and works for you. Everybody is different, what fits my face may not fit yours so you may need to try a bunch of different ones until you find the best one.
Just don't give up. The effects of untreated OSA will kill you eventually!