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CPAP Is a Godsend
#1
Full disclosure, I do not recommend to anyone the path I took in order to control my sleep apnea.

I will try to tell my story with as few words as possible.

I know for a fact I have suffered some sort of sleeping problems for at least 10 to maybe even 15 years. When I was married at 25 years old I was 5'8" 180 muscle bound pounds. I was extremely healthy playing several sports including baseball (semi-pro) and football. Right after marriage though I started gaining weight rapidly. I am now 46 years old and weigh 270 lbs. At about 32 to 35 years old my wife starting noticing that I would snore quite a bit and sometimes would stop breathing. I did not start feeling tired during the day until I was 35 to 37 years old. Just recently it got so bad that I would fall asleep in front of the computer or anytime I would sit down just to watch TV, almost instantly. The morning drive was fine but the afternoon drive I had to keep busy with a drink or eating seeds while fighting my sleep.

The final straw was something that happened at work. My boss had noticed these patterns during the day. At meetings I would fight the tendency to sleep. While driving with others as a passenger the same routine would happen. I thank my boss for setting me on the right course. He is a CPAP user and so is my division boss. We sat down to talk about it and it was the first time I had to admit I had a problem. I was in denial all this time knowing there was a health issue. I just chose to ignore it thinking one day I would lose the weight and go back to normal. My boss told me to get help not for the job but for my personal health.

So I scheduled a regular health exam with my doctor. The first one I have had in maybe 5 years. On the physical exam everything checked out fine except I did have slight high blood pressure. I explained the reason for my appointment and he asked for a sleep study referral. I thought this would be a quick process, not. The next morning I came in for a vampire appointment, they drew blood. A week later I came in for the results. My A1C was at .61 (doctor advised I lose weight), cholesterol normal, thyroid normal, everything else normal.

So now I wait for the referral. One week, nothing, two weeks nothing so I called the sleep lab in my town. They had not received anything yet, but the big shocker, they had no appointments until late October! I had to take matters into my own hands. I could not wait, I was desperate. I contacted a local medical supply company and talked to one of their respiratory experts. They recommended an auto CPAP with the ability to record results. All I had to do is convince my physician that this machine could do the same study, maybe even better, than a sleep lab. Well no luck there, the Dr. would not even consider it.

So I went ahead and bought and auto CPAP out of my own pocket with a mask. This is where I shorten the story Wink, I have used my machine without heating the tube and humidifier for two nights now. The first night my AHI was 2.0, 7.3 hours. My wife noticed that while on my side the mask would leak a little. The second night I changed the nose piece to a medium. Last night my AHI went down to 1.5 with 6.8 hours of sleep. My nose is a little sore under one nostril. I believe I have the headgear on too tight.

You know how I know this miracle machine is working? I have not fallen asleep while typing this letter.
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#2
Hi Cbarrios and Welcome to Apnea Board!
Yes, our health care system is amazingly slow, at least when it comes to sleep apnea. I went through the same process. It took about 4 months from doc. Appt to sleep study to actually getting a machine.

You are not the first person who took control and just bought their own machine. You sometimes have to do what's best for you. It sounds like it's working out for you.

Keep working with your mask. It should not be overtightened.

Next step, Download the free SleepyHead software and start tracking your therapy. There should be an SD card in your machine.

http://sleepyhead.jedimark.net/

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#3
(08-28-2016, 03:46 PM)OpalRose Wrote: Hi Cbarrios and Welcome to Apnea Board!
Yes, our health care system is amazingly slow, at least when it comes to sleep apnea. I went through the same process. It took about 4 months from doc. Appt to sleep study to actually getting a machine.

You are not the first person who took control and just bought their own machine. You sometimes have to do what's best for you. It sounds like it's working out for you.

Keep working with your mask. It should not be overtightened.

Next step, Download the free SleepyHead software and start tracking your therapy. There should be an SD card in your machine.

Thank you for the welcome.

I am actually surprised it has helped me this quickly. Yes the machine did come with an SD card. Hopefully I can find out if I have any apnia or hypoapnia episodes per night.

A little more info. My average pressure according to my machine is 12.7.
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#4
I don't know where you live or what your insurance is like, but if you can get into a sleep lab at one of the universities, there in Ca, you might get in quicker.

I know I got a referral and had my 1st sleep study within 2 weeks, then it took about 10 days for it to be processed. Then I had my titration study about 3 weeks after that.

Best of success and welcome to the club.. Personally, I'm using a 9 Iron! Oh-jeez
Warning: Eating chocolate may cause your clothes to shrink!
[Image: ry6XtE9.gif] <---- That's ME!
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#5
(08-28-2016, 04:11 PM)icyura10 Wrote: I don't know where you live or what your insurance is like, but if you can get into a sleep lab at one of the universities, there in Ca, you might get in quicker.

I know I got a referral and had my 1st sleep study within 2 weeks, then it took about 10 days for it to be processed. Then I had my titration study about 3 weeks after that.

Best of success and welcome to the club.. Personally, I'm using a 9 Iron! Oh-jeez

Thank you for the information.

I will look into the Universities around here. Unfortunately there is not much to pick from.

Also an update on the sleep study. I still plan on having one just to make sure everything else is ok. I just realized though that there is going to be a problem. I received my approved referral in the mail yesterday. The issue I have though is that I have to change insurance providers effective next month. So I would suspect that I need to start the process over again.
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#6
Just downloaded sleepyhead. It has the information I would ever need if not more than I would ever need.

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#7
Date Sleep Wake Hours
8/27/2016 23:29:22 06:40:28 06:41:49
Periodic Breathing 0.00%
Large Leak 0.00%
Clear Airway 0.45
Obstructive 0.15
Hypopnea 0.90
RERA 1.49
Flow Limitation 1.05
Vibratory Snore 1.64
Vibratory Snore (VS2) 3.73
Pressure Pulse 1.34
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#8
Good Job taking control. Get that sleep study when you can but it is no longer an emergency for you. Get a oxygen meter that you can wear at night also. Search this forum for information on them. Sleepyhead will merge the two data streams for a more complete picture of your sleeping body.
Just my personal opinion. My posts are not medical advice or a statement of fact. Please consult a qualified physician or other qualified medical personnel. Please comply with all applicable laws, codes, regulations, and protocols.
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#9
Hi Cbarrios,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
It's good to hear that you took the bull by the horns and got a CPAP machine. It sounds like you are off to a pretty good start, keep up the good work.
Good luck to you with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#10
Again thanks so much for the suggestions and welcome.

If I may bother you guys with a question.

Date Sleep Wake Hours
8/27/2016 23:29:22 06:40:28 06:41:49
Periodic Breathing 0.00%
Large Leak 0.00%
Clear Airway 0.45
Obstructive 0.15
Hypopnea 0.90
RERA 1.49
Flow Limitation 1.05
Vibratory Snore 1.64
Vibratory Snore (VS2) 3.73
Pressure Pulse 1.34

This was last nights results, simplified. My main concern are the RERA, and the actual snoring. Are those readings too high? Well I know my snoring is better since my wife does not wake up in the middle of the night worrying if a freight train is coming through the room. Actually it's the opposite, I love my wife by the way, she actually wakes up thinking something happened to me since I'm hardly snoring at all. She woke up 4 times the first night just to make sure.
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