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Failed! Failed! Again!
#1
Everyone is probably getting tired of hearing from me at this point. I know I'm getting tired of having to use the word "fail" in how things are coming along for me.

On Sunday night I slept maybe 1 to 2 hours, so yesterday I was a mess! All of the different things I've tried to help me sleep at night and use my machine or just sleep period have failed too (ambien, melatonin, ativan, sleepy time tea, and just trying to sleep).

I was talking to my son and he mentioned trying to use medical marijuana, as it's been shown to help with insomnia and getting better sleep. I guess at this point I'm just that desperate because like a big dummy I tried it. It didn't help me one bit! I just felt high and more stupid than I already feel.

I don't know what to do right now with myself. I have all of these suggestions of things to help my sleep quality improve, but it seems my body just doesn't want to sleep. I've tried taking naps today just to get some sleep, and I do fall asleep for a little while but end up waking up feeling super anxious with my heart racing. How is it humanly possible for me to not just fall out from exhaustion at this point?

How am I ever going to be able to determine if this machine will ever help me if I can't sleep? I am getting more and more cognitively impaired as the days go by. All day long unable to think clearly, memory impaired, making verbal errors consistently when speaking, and just an over all decline.

It feels like I'm in a no win situation: no sleep + no cpap= me just getting worse. I am feeling really depressed now. I wasn't at first, but now I am. I have been in bed for almost a week now. I haven't went anywhere, gotten up to clean, or anything.

I know this isn't a forum for people with depression or insomnia, but I don't know where else to turn. I feel like I'm losing brain cells everyday because of this repetitive spin on this hamster wheel. I just want to sleep..and use my machine.
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#2
I'm so sorry about the struggle you're going through. I'm certainly no poster child for CPAP as I take 10mg of Ambien under the tongue each night. But it does work for me when every other thing I've tried just works as a relaxant. Even 5mg of Ambien just 'relaxes' rather than induces sleep. But, I do sleep and I do get enough oxygen thanks to loving the oxygen-producing results of my CPAP.

I don't mean to overstate the obvious but you've got to get some minimum level of sleep happening asap or things can get (or already are) very debilitating.

I haven't been following your threads/posts, but I hope you've either got someone that you're working with that's helping perfect the settings/mask situation. If not, start giving a lot of specifics and the incredible user base (and those masters) will probably chime in to give you some good ideas.

Getting physical movement during the day, minimizing caffeine and cutting out alcohol entirely are my personal must-do's.
Sleep Apnea has given me a terrible memory. Please forgive me if I've repeated myself.
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#3

You might like supportgroups.com.

But maybe you are putting too much blame and pressure on yourself. You have issues, but they are not your fault. Not being able to deal with them effectively is not your fault. And you are not stupid (you found us, didn't you?).

I have said this many times, but when things overwhelm, the best course is to simplify. Identify what is important, and concentrate on that. Identify what is not important, and table that for now. What needs to be done is to understand. Figure out what is going on by attacking each little brick in the wall on its own little terms. Win the war by picking all the little individual battles that you can win, in order. Then just go win each battle in succession. It is like cleaning out an overstuffed closet; at first it seems overwhelming, but as you take each item individually and make a decision as to what to do with it, eventually the whole closet looks perfect before you even know it.

Here's an example. You seem overwhelmed by all of the various factors. Instead, lets take SA individually, and just stop thinking about everything else all at the same time. What was your diagnosed AHI? What is it on xPAP? That will tell you how your doing. Forget about how you feel and everything else, just get that number as low as you can using what you learn here. Get SleepyHead and learn how to use it to figure out exactly how you are doing and how to do better. You've got a whole community here that can help you with that.

Once you get that number to a reasonable level, pick another battle to win. You might be surprised at how simple and easy it is to not just throw your hands up. Little successes will spur more little successes, until you have a whole pot-load of success built up, and self-confidence grows each time you have a success. Even little failures are successes, because you learn from them. You grow. So don't be afraid to try.

Feeling sorry for yourself will not help; that will only tend to get in your way. Talk to your friends and family, but realize that they will be pulling for you longer and harder if they think you are pulling for yourself. You can only go to that "oh, woe is me!" well so many times before it runs dry. And you seem to already be aware that such wells can run dry, so now is the time to maybe try something else. Don't forget, we're your friends and family, too.

You haven't failed, Dawn; you just haven't succeeded -- yet. You can get there.
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#4
Dawn, you sound like me two weeks ago, including a trip to the ER knowing that I was breathing but feeling like I was not breathing.

I found I was dealing with two different thing regarding CPAP. The first was the actual events and the machine did work on those.

However I had no experience with CPAP and no way to understand what was happening or how to change it. I felt congested, and could not sleep. I would wake and rip the mask off, taking hours to recover.

I changed one setting at a time, one day at a time until I found out what made a difference. I am still not done, but it's better. I am sleeping 6 hours a night and waking 3-4 times a night, but it's better.

I suggest that you need to find out how you feel with CPAP and what you need to do to feel better with CPAP. For me humidity did not do much, but for others I hear it does. EPR had a big effect for me and the feeling of congestion/not breathing.

Hypopnea was what was causing me to know I was breathing and at the same time not feel like I was getting air. CPAP stopped that and replaced it with central apnea's, go figure. Now I am working on reducing those.

Don't give up! Take ownership of your treatment.
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#5
Dawn, when you see your psychiatrist next Monday ask him/her for a referral to a good CBT-I therapist. CBT-I is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. While you may need some medication help short-term just to interrupt the spiral you're in right now, you'll also need something that is empowering for you and can be a long-term practice/solution. There's good evidence for the effectiveness of CBT-I.

The Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM) website has a list of providers by state -- most are psychologists who are members of SBSM. I don't know how many are trained in CBT-I but it would be worth contacting a few of them to ask specifically about CBT-I providers in your area. There are a few SBSM providers listed in SoCal.

Also -- if your age puts you in the perimenopause neighborhood it would be a good idea to check in with your ob/gyn doc. Hormone changes starting as early as the late 30's or early 40's can really interfere with quality sleep and insomnia is a well-known issue during perimenopause. Might as well cover anything/everything that could be contributing to your struggles with sleep.

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#6
Believe it or not, but taking 150mg of Nuvigil every morning actually helped me sleep better in the evenings. I was having all the daytime fogginess, memory impairment, etc so my sleep specialist started me on Nuvigil before I even had my sleep study. It helped so much with all that but I also noticed I was falling asleep easier.
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