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[CPAP] I'm FRREAKING out!
#1
Sad 
I started using a CPAP about a month ago and I HATE it. I just can't get used to it. When I try to put it on I start to shake and I hyperventilate. I totally freak-out and CAN't relax at all!!!!! I've been trying breathing relaxation exercises and passion flower tea (calming) but have had very limited luck. I keep calling the doctor's office asking for help but they just want to talk about how the equipment is adjusted and calibrated. I need someone to get inside my head and help me deal with this. I'm a nervous WRECK!!!!! I wear the mask as long as I can stand it but I end up just ripping it off my face and throwing it across the room. Then I can't calm down to get to sleep at all. HELP!!!!!
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#2
Welcome
Lorraine
You've discovered a great resourse to learn how to manage you sleep therapy.
(09-03-2016, 02:30 PM)Lorraine Wrote: I started using a CPAP about a month ago and I HATE it.

I hated it also, I hated the idea of it, I procrastinated trying it for many years, and then when I did start using it I felt worse of the first six weeks. It was months before I even took the device into my bedroom. I slept in my recliner with the mask on for part of the night and then went bed for the remainder.

But now 9 months later I am glad I did not give up and you will be too.

You'll hear a lot of stories from folks that are on the same journey as you! You will identify with many and their experiences and solutions will help you. Then you will also read some things that..................oh well, you know how people are.

Nevertheless, we are all here to help.We all struggle on this quest for the perfect night of sleep and many in the forum have found it. They will help you get there.

(09-03-2016, 02:30 PM)Lorraine Wrote: I just can't get used to it. When I try to put it on I start to shake and I hyperventilate. I totally freak-out

Just don't give up you can do this.

(09-03-2016, 02:30 PM)Lorraine Wrote: I keep calling the doctor's office asking for help but they just want to talk about how the equipment is adjusted and calibrated.

I takes more than a doctor, you need a mentor/friend and the forum can meet that need. Feel free to keep posting any question you have. Someone in the forum will help get you an answer.

Remember here in the forum there are no stupid questions
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(09-03-2016, 02:30 PM)Lorraine Wrote: I wear the mask as long as I can stand it but I end up just ripping it off my face and throwing it across the room. Then I can't calm down to get to sleep at all. HELP!!!!!

Wearing it as long as you can is a good thing. Don't worry if you need to take it off and sleep with out it right now. But take it off before you get angry the adrenaline will keep you awake.

Just try and use it a little longer each night. Small improvements add up over time. Small steps are less stressful. Over time you'll be able to wear it all night and be glad that you can.
Sleep-well

2004-Bon Jovi
it'll take more than a doctor to prescribe a remedy

Observations and recommendations communicated here are the perceptions of the writer and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.
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#3
Lorraine--I wonder if you have tried getting comfortable with the mask when you're not trying to sleep. During the daytime, you might try to simply hold the mask on your face by hand, not using the headgear straps and not even having the hose connected to the mask. Simply become familiar with the feel of the mask on your face. We all know, it's weird at first, but that will change over time. After you become relaxed doing this, you could then use the headgear (mask straps) to keep the mask in place.
Next step would be to connect the hose to the mask, followed by turning on the machine for a period when you're awake during the day.
The weirdness of the mask and blowing air is, believe it or not, something that you can get used to over time.
My thought is that getting in bed and starting to use your machine straight off the bat, has proven to be too big an obstacle. So, try taking it much slower and a step at a time.
David
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#4
Hello, Lorraine. Welcome to Apnea Board. Hi

Orangebear has given you some very good advice.

You can also use the cpap machine while watching TV or reading or whatever else you like and is calming for you. The idea is to help get you used to your cpap out of your sleeping environment and to help you maintain compliance. Compliance is usually, but not always, 4 hours of usage per night for at least 70% of the compliance period. It is better to err on the high side rather than the low.

Hang in there, you can do this. Cpap therapy can take a lot of getting used to. You have made a good start by joining this forum ask making your first post. The members here are a great bunch who will be rooting for you the entire time and are dedicated to helping with your journey.

Sleep well and best regards

"....respiration,—a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence...." Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens- 1837

I use FlashPAP to load data from a FlashAir III wifi sd card in my machine to my computer and display it with SleepyHead .
robysue's Beginner's Guide to SleepyHead
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#5
Lorraine--Here's another thought. You might find that a nasal mask or nasal pillows would be easier to get used to wearing--not so psychologically challenging as a full face mask.
David
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#6
(09-03-2016, 02:30 PM)Lorraine Wrote: I started using a CPAP about a month ago and I HATE it. I just can't get used to it. When I try to put it on I start to shake and I hyperventilate. I totally freak-out and CAN't relax at all!!!!! I've been trying breathing relaxation exercises and passion flower tea (calming) but have had very limited luck. I keep calling the doctor's office asking for help but they just want to talk about how the equipment is adjusted and calibrated. I need someone to get inside my head and help me deal with this. I'm a nervous WRECK!!!!! I wear the mask as long as I can stand it but I end up just ripping it off my face and throwing it across the room. Then I can't calm down to get to sleep at all. HELP!!!!!
Lorraine,

There are a couple of aspects to this.

1. "Strategy" by which I mean it's NOT all about just forcing yourself to use it, it's also about figuring out if there are options that will make it easier for you. Biggest examples:

A. Many people find mask selection CRITICAL and go through a few different masks to find one that works for them. There may be masks which don't make you feel as bad. Do you know if you must have a full face mask?

B. Settings can help. For instance, do you know if you have EPR enabled and if so at what level? That's an example of just one setting (EPR on and set to 3) which might make things a little easier.

C. "Practicing" when watching TV etc.

2. Knowing it will get better but can take a while.

It took me months to adapt. I'm one of the hard ones, most people adapt quicker. But the point is after an ongoing struggle, I finally reached a point where it became second nature.

Best of wishes and please post responses and questions so people can help. Knowledge is power - it can take hard work and time but it does get easier!
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#7
Hi Lorraine,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I know CPAP can take getting used to, but I encourage you to just keep trying to work through your problems with it.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and good luck to you.
trish6hundred
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#8
G-day Lorraine,

Did you choose a full face mask or did someone else choose it for you? When I had my sleep study, I freaked out when the sleep technician put the mask on my face and I literally ripped it off. I told her "I can't do this as I feel claustrophobic." Lucky for me I guess, she tried a nasal pillow mask next and while I did not really love it, it was better (for me) than a full face mask. Everyone is different and if one mask doesn't feel comfortable or right for you as a person, then don't be afraid to try something different.

Don't give up as now my cpap is essential for a good night's sleep. I would have trouble being without it.

Welcome to the forum and I hope you will post again and let us know how you are getting on.
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#9
Hi Lorraine,

You may find a nose mask less intimidating to start with, nasal pillows will probably cause you discomfort with the air blowing straight up your nostrils.

And for a start try wearing the full face mask while sitting in front of the television after dinner at night, not connected to the hose or the machine.

Then after a few days or a week, once you feel a little more relaxed to having the mask on your face, set up the machine and use it while sitting watching television for an hour or two.

From there it is a step to wearing it in bed, and another step to getting through a full night.

When I first started I made it to 20 minutes, then about an hour, then 3 hours..

Eventually I made it through a full night, and my best so far was a Saturday night with a Sunday morning sleep in of 11.5 hours. Cool

If you get up in the night for a wee walk turn the machine off, but keep the mask on and just disconnect the hose from it.. that is easier than trying to get the mask all comfortably seated again in the middle of the night.

And the mind can ultimately overcome any obstacle... you can do it too.
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#10
Bumping your min pressure up from 5 would help probably. Your probably feeling like you cant get enough air.
Im 2 yrs in to therapy but if I had to be on that low a min pressure id freak out too.
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