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First time Bipap User, years of suffering
Hi everyone,

I want to start off by saying I've never used a forum before so that can explain the gravitas of what I feel. I'm a 240 white male, quite muscular and athletic. I have been suffering with what my doctor believes is sleep apnea for the last 7 years or so and feel like a moron for not trying to get this fixed sooner. I've suffered severe depression and physical fatigue all while getting a doctoral degree, getting married and having 3 kids. I couldn't take the fatigue anymore and went to a doctor who suggested I had sleep apnea, got the study done and bam, was told I have moderate apnea, AHI of 20. I got a bipap machine and with a setting of 8-12 (epap/ipap) my AHI is now about 1-2 every night.

Sorry for the long winded intro but my main question is why do I still feel extremely tired everyday? I've been with this AHI every night for about 2 weeks now. Does it take that long to feel like a normal person again?

I wanted to thank everyone who will take the time to help, or even just give a shoulder to lean on.
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Hi there, welcome to the forum.

7 Years of untreated sleep apnea, took a long time to get to the bottom to absolutely need to seek treatment. By comparison it will take a bit of time to feel better from the treatment. Some feel better than others immediately, some take a month or longer to get back to feeling better.

If everyone thinks alike, then someone isn't thinking.
Everyone knows something, together we could know everything.
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Sleepy, if you read through the many stories here on the forum, you will find people that felt great immediately, those that felt good initially, than tired for a long time afterward, and some that took a month or more to fully recover. The key to success is not to just use the therapy, but to get very comfortable with it. Your profile shows you're using a nasal mask. Try the Resmed Airfit P10 pillows next time around for a lighter, quieter interface. Get a CPAP hose cover to make the hose warmer, softer and less medical looking. Keep working with your Sleepyhead software and see if there are any clues. If your residual events are mainly CA, then try a little less pressure support (12/9 or 11/8). This can be less disruptive to your sleep and result in better rest.

Are you on the BiPAP S or BiPAP auto?
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(11-12-2016, 11:33 PM)SleepyMersim Wrote: Sorry for the long winded intro but my main question is why do I still feel extremely tired everyday? I've been with this AHI every night for about 2 weeks now. Does it take that long to feel like a normal person again?
I've been around CPAP forums ever since I started 6 years ago.

In reading lots and lots of newbie stories over the years the anecdotal evidence is that most people start to feel some relief of the daytime symptoms by the time they have been sleeping full time with the CPAP for about two months. A few people start to feel better in a few weeks, and a few people, like me, take as long as 6-12 months to really start to feel better.

To be fair: Most people with extended adjustment problems like I had have real problems learning how to sleep well with the mask on our nose. And if the data doesn't look good or leaks are a problem or you're not using the mask all night long, it will take longer.

Your AHI is very good. So if your leaks are under control AND you are using your machine all night, every night AND you are not struggling to get to sleep or stay asleep during the night, you probably will start feeling better some time in the next couple of months.

You also write:
Quote:I've suffered severe depression and physical fatigue all while getting a doctoral degree, getting married and having 3 kids.
Keep in mind that if you are still putting in long hours on that PhD, you're still going to be tired. But hopefully not as tired. Good luck with the dissertation by the way.

Same thing with the kids: Three kids, particularly if they are all under 5, are going to make you tired. It's what kids do: They suck the energy out of their parents. It does get better once they're in school. Or at least until they're teenagers. Smile

And it's worth pointing out that when there are things going on in your life that are going to cause some fatigue anyway, the improvement you get from xPAP can be subtle enough to miss it at first. In other words, a lot of people never wake up one day saying, "Gee I feel GREAT". Rather, they notice that slowly but surely, they're less tired during the day. Their mood is better. They no longer dread getting up in the morning. Their morning headaches (if they had them) are gone. The number of night time trips to the bathroom is reduced, often to 0 trips. And at some point several months after starting xPAP, they start to realize that while they've yet to have a single "Gee I feel GREAT" morning, they are now feeling pretty decent most days and much better than they were before xPAP.

Questions about SleepyHead?  
See my Guide to SleepyHead
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There could be more than one issue going on. Resolving the apnea may not resolve everything.
* Depression is known to cause a general fatigue for many people.
* Having a family, especially with young children, can be very demanding.
* Now that you aren't working on the dissertation, you could be feeling a sense of loss or maybe a need to re-establish an identity other than student.
Please organize your SleeyHead screenshots like this.
I'm an epidemiologist, not a medical provider. 
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We can all second guess him, all day and all night, and twice on Tuesday. However, the short reality, for now, is after just two weeks, there's no reason to think it's anything beyond he needs some more time.

I was personally (and I don't share too much, too often), in a really bad way. I have no idea how long I went untreated but I was at the point of falling asleep anywhere, at any time, no matter what. My wife would of a very long time, would yell at me, and think I was joking when I'd fall asleep in the middle of a conversation at the dinner table while trying to eat my dinner. Fatigued is not even remotely how I felt. I was completely and utterly exhausted, always, all the time, no matter how much I slept. I was in really bad shape.

I took to pap like a fish to water, was the best thing ever for me. First day I slept through the night I felt like a new person. I had some setbacks, and that new man feeling didn't last until I ultimately got in the groove of things but it did come back, and it stayed.

I caution you to not look for any answers yet, and not go on the worry treadmill as to why else you might not yet be feeling better and give it some time. It's not yet time to worry. My answer the other night was brief as I was pressed for time, but really, relax, see how you feel at the 1 month and 2 month markers. I also have a busy life, and sometimes I'm tired, but this now tired is far different from the exhaustion I felt, this is normal, you'll know the difference.
If everyone thinks alike, then someone isn't thinking.
Everyone knows something, together we could know everything.
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Wow, thank you everyone. I really needed those replies and they've lifted my spirits. I use the nasal pillows or a Wisp mask, sometimes with pillows just dry the heck out of my nose even when humidifier is cranked up. I usually sleep pretty well with the Bipap, i only wake up maybe 2 or 3 times when I use it other than 50 times before I started. I'm done with school and am into a steady groove with work but man am I tired of being tired. Although I will say that there are starting to be certain days where I wake and up and feel normal. To me that is only having to drink one morning coffee and being functional the entire day.

3 little boys all 5 and under is the main reason I need to have more energy than the average person. These kids will suck your soul, haha. Thank you everyone, hopefully in a few months i'll be a new man.
As for sleepyhead, i barely have any leaks and i do have 2 or 3 CA events a night. Most events are OA or FL but even then I never get higher than 2 on the AHI score. Oh, it's a Bipap auto.
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Hi SleepyMersim,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
You have a good attitude toward your therapy and that will go a long way to getting better sleep.
I wish you good luck on your CPAP journey.
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With all due respect, a little psychological observation. One, your physiology and psychology is tuned to note the differences in conditions, not the similarities. So you may not even recognize how well you are doing because you have established a new norm. Two, you need to beware of "confirmation bias." That is, you will see what you expect to see and if what you are expecting is being somewhat fatigued, that is what you may feel. As noted in the answers, there are any number of factors that might affect your condition such as anemia (lower oxygen carrying capability of the blood) or you might be desating (lower oxygen levels during the night). Then again, you may wish to check your thyroid as that can cause fatigue also. What I suggest is a full medical workup with a physician who is also a diagnostician. Check any drugs and OTC (Over-the-Counter) supplements for side effects and interactions.

Or, like others have noted, it takes time and not everybody gets out of bed in a perky state. I know I don't. Especially with odd hours and no light cues in the morning.

Best of luck.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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Thanks for the input Srlevine. I had a full blood and endocrine panel. According to my PCP all levels are totally normal. My VitD was on the lowest end of normal though. Other than that everything is fine blood wise. Blood pressure and blood sugar are also always fine. All of my symptoms were basically fatigue and cognitive, such as great difficulty memorizing new info. That is not good in my life at this point since I'm only 31 (not that it's ever good). I have a doctoral degree in Physical therapy and Physiology. I'm throwing that in there just in case there are any other healthcare professionals on here who have anything to chime in with.
Again, I'm very happy I found this forum. The info has helped quite a bit. My AHI has been 0.8 every night since I found out about this board.
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