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(07-23-2013, 11:23 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote: Why didn't the CPAP work? How long did you try it? How did the treatment work for you? Was it effective but you could not tolerate it?

It has been proven that high blood pressure is linked to a wide range of other illnesses and conditions. Such as hypertension. Taking your blood pressure meds is like mopping up the blood without closing the wound if you don't take care of the sleep apnea.

If sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and depression are the "only" conditions you have, you will not get disability. You may qualify for a temporary thing in order to help you get back into the work force but that is getting harder to do due to budget cuts. You may have better luck getting Medicaid at the county health services first.

The CPAP hasn't worked consistantly for me because I take it off in my sleep mostly. The times that it does work I can feel it in my lungs when I wake up. They feel kinda like they've been "cleaned out." I can't remember having the benefit of two nights in a row where it has worked. Also, I had a really bad sinus infection last September that I think might have been from using it.
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(07-27-2013, 02:30 PM)Jaclyn64 Wrote: The CPAP hasn't worked consistantly for me because I take it off in my sleep mostly. The times that it does work I can feel it in my lungs when I wake up. They feel kinda like they've been "cleaned out." I can't remember having the benefit of two nights in a row where it has worked. Also, I had a really bad sinus infection last September that I think might have been from using it.

All of the symptoms you described in your first message ... hypertension, insomnia, anxiety ... are known to be caused by sleep apnea. You've likely had it so long it's become the norm for you and this is your body's way of responding.

You are not alone. Many of us, myself included, are in the same boat.

Do not give up, your life depends on it. Put the mask on and fire up the CPAP machine whenever you can. Get yourself adapted to it so that it becomes the new norm.

If you take it off in your sleep, put it back on.

I know it's hard but persistence will pay off. It will takes months for your body to adjust to this new norm, but you have something on your side, which is the incredible ability of the human body to adapt.

If you don't do this you'll lead a miserable sleep-deprived life and die early of a heart attack or stroke.

You are fighting for your life.

There is a pay off. You will feel better and you will get your life back.

Apnea Board Moderator

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I am asleep when I take the mask off. Sometimes I will wake up with it wrapped around my neck. I don't wake up because of the sleeping pills.
To answer some other questions and give you guys some more info. I told you that I have lost 4 jobs in 5 years so I haven't been able to be consistant with seeing doctors. The doctor that did my sleep study and prescribed the CPAP told me someone would call me to set me up with the maching. I lost my job and the call came the day after my insurance expired. I could not afford $800 for a machine so I bought one used off Craigslist for $250. I can't find the paperwork for it right now but the name on it is ResMed "Escape." When I got insurance again I took the machine to the doctor and he set it for me. If I remember right it was set at 14. He had someone come out to the house and fit me for a mask. That was over two years ago. The insurance at my last job was really bad and I couldn't afford to follow up and now I don't have any insurance. So that's my biggest problem I guess. Is it safe for me to even be using this machine while I'm not under a doctor's care?
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where do you live? if you live in the US have you checked to see if you are eligible for Medicaid or your states version of Medicaid? In January, you will be eligible under the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). You can start signing up in October. Contact your County Human Services Agency if you havent already. As far as Social Security Disability, you may or may not be eligible with your health conditions. It all depends on a number of factors, how many quarters you paid into the system, when you became disabled from working, transferrable skills, education, age, along with exertional and non exertional capabilities, etc. I used to testify on Social Security Disability cases. So that isnt a forgone conclusion that you would not be eligible. There is also a benefit called SSI which is different and which you can apply for through your county human services agency (at least in most states). But who knows? If you start using CPAP and have the right settings and mask, you very well may be able to see so much improvement that you CAN work. See if a sleep doctors office can work with you on getting the appropriate treatment with some kind of payment arrangements, or see if you can get help through your local county agency. Good luck!
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Okay. This is a fact. You can't stay awake forever. Try a dramatic change in your sleep habits. Stay up all night whatever it takes. Then start your day with excercise. Then work yourself hard all day and do not nap. Take a nice walk at 9:00pm. Then read a book and aim for a 6 hour sleep time. If you cannot awake in the morning, this is actually a good thing. It means that you must figure out how long your body needs to sleep each night. If the answer is 9 hours, then do the above and adjust everything you do for an earlier bedtime and stick with that time at all costs. If that means an 8:00 bedtime, so be it. The bottom line. Adjust your bedtime to the amount of sleep you need and what time you must awaken.
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Some people find that it helps to get used to the mask by using it during the day for a couple hours while reading or watching TV.

If you have to, try repeating to yourself a few positive phrases out loud multiple times before or even while wearing the mask:
"It helps when I wear this mask during sleep."
"I can wear the mask through the night."
"I feel better during the day when I wear this mask all night long."

It might seem silly, but for some of us, the extra reinforcement from our conscious brains might be the trick to getting our subconscious to accept it so we stop pulling the mask off at night.

For now, don't worry about reaching any goals other than keeping the mask on and reducing large leaks. You may even find yourself nodding off while reading or channel surfing during the day.
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