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Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
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JPDTrek Offline

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Post: #1
Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
It's 10:04PM on a Tuesday night.

The respiratory therapists just said "good night" and closed the door, leaving me in bed with marks on my scalp, electrodes covering my body, and the surprisingly uncomfortable monitor on my right pointer finger.

Hi, folks! I've been lurking around here for the past week or so... After being scheduled for a split night sleep study. The wealth and diversity of information here is overwhelming - so many thanks to the staff and members for making this such an informative and overall HELPFUL community.

I'm in my late 20s... But all my life I've just been exhausted. No sleep has ever been enough... Ever. I always wake up feeling groggy and it's a struggle getting have any motivation. Just this year I've started with the waking choking spells, and my partner tells me my snoring has gotten to be awful (not that it hasn't always been, he said). Also - I've gained about 60 pounds in the past three years... And became pre-diabetic in November, despite an active and rather busy lifestyle.

I live in LA, but I'm actually on a long term assignment for work in Montreal. After researching, I finally decided enough was enough - time to see a doctor. I actually scheduled with a maxillofacial (spelling, anyone?) surgeon in the area that specializes in sleep apnea care. I had an appointment within the week, which was last Wednesday. Within 6 minutes of arriving (and completing my questionnaire), I was already having X-Rays and a 360 skull scan completed. 3 minutes later these were displayed on a monitor in my exam room. Technology wins that one.

The doctor came in and reviews my scans. Apparently he teaches here as well, and said that my obstruction, even awake and sitting, was one of the worst he'd ever seen... So he wants to anonymously use it for class. That aside... Combined with my symptoms and images, he was quite certain that SA is my issue. And truthfully, after years of tests... I really am hoping for a solution.

Continuing on... I mentioned that I'm quite the difficult patient. As of this Saturday, my assignment is completed... Then I'm on a five day trip back to LA, and I'd love it if any required machines would be available before my departure.

He took me to reception and made it clear that I was to have a study done in enough time to go. When the receptionist stayed there may not be any appointments available, he said "get someone in to do it." Having a medical advocate like that was so new - but man, it was really cool.

So here I am, wired up. I have to say - the one thing I did NOT read was how much drawing was needed on ones head. Oh boy!

I'm hoping this is a tale of success and recovery... And I hope you don't mind coming along for the ride.

Looking forward to meeting you all!
JPD
07-26-2016 09:18 PM
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GrammaBear Offline

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Other Comments: Type 1 diabetes - using Tandem T-slim insulin pump, Dexcom G4 CGM

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Post: #2
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
Welcome to the forum and may I say you've made the right decision to seek treatment for your sleep apnea. You have your whole life ahead of you to enjoy. Don't wait until you are old, like me, before you enjoy a good night's sleep with a cpap machine. I was 63 before I sought treatment. Best wishes to you.
07-26-2016 10:22 PM
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DariaVader Offline
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Other Comments: diabetes II, Thyroidectomized, Primary Immune Deficiency, and the list goes on :P

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Post: #3
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
Welcome

Will be waiting to hear the outcome!

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
07-26-2016 10:37 PM
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chill Online

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Post: #4
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
Welcome JP. I am looking forward to the rest of the story.
07-26-2016 11:43 PM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
Welcome JPDTrek

Glad you found us!

OpalRose
07-27-2016 05:45 AM
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JPDTrek Offline

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Location: LA

Post: #6
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
Thank you guys so much for the warm, welcoming responses! Smile Means so much to have that sort of support!

WELL - It's been an interesting evening and morning.

When I arrived, I noticed that the temperature was beyond warm --- about 74 degrees. I let the lab tech and the student observer know that I usually sleep when it's super cold (around 65 degrees)... and while we all tried to make the air conditioning work... It did not. The whole floor was warm. In fact, the temperature increased as they were setting up.

Alas, it made for quite an uncomfortable evening. I fell asleep almost immediately for about 15 minutes because I was so exhausted, but then I was awake. And awake. And awake.

At about 1:30AM, I looked at my phone to check the time and text my partner an update (since i was wide awake anyway)... as soon as I got my text off, the lab tech came in, asked me to turn off my phone, and left. She was super polite... but... 'Twas sad.

So, I laid there. Hot. ... hour after hour. Tossing. Turning. Totally unable to go to sleep. And what was worse --- i knew that if I didn't present symptoms in the first 4 hours they weren't going to test the CPAP. More than 4 hours had passed and I had not slept... so there goes the increased anxiety.

I eventually fell asleep around 4AM... and they came to wake me around 6. No machine --- and they told me I didn't present symptoms during the early analysis period. I was beyond disappointed... But what can you do? I went home, showered, and immediately fell asleep (in my nice cool bedroom).

I woke up around noon, rushed to work... and wrote a nice little two page fax to my Doctor explaining my concerns (with a whole paragraph about how much I appreciated how quickly he and his staff were making things happen)... I said that he and I both agreed this was extremely likely and that I felt the test was skewed because of the temperature... and that I was really not looking forward to repeating the entire process in the States.

So, an afternoon of worry ---- Is it all in my head? Do I have to do it over again? Am I way off base?

And then I called to follow-up. He took my call immediately and asked med to hold as he was on the phone with the lab. He said they should have the full results tomorrow... But the lab informed him that I did not sleep for most of the night, but when I did, I presented with severe sleep apnea. He said he's writing the prescription tonight and will make sure I have an appointment to fit and pickup a machine and mask within the next 48 hours.

So many mixed emotions ---- First, gratitude at such an efficient medical team; Second, relief that there is an actual diagnosis and that I (as well as my partner) am not (are not) crazy and that there is care available; and Third, anxiety about learning a whole new way of life.

Looking forward to feeling better and learning as much as I can!
07-27-2016 03:54 PM
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richb Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
Hi JPD. Welcome to the Apnea Board. You can do lots of reading here but be sure to let us know how you are doing.

Rich

Apnea Board Member RobySue has posted a Beginners Guide to Sleepyhead Software here: http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...SleepyHead
07-27-2016 03:55 PM
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eseedhouse Online

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Post: #8
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
(07-27-2016 03:54 PM)JPDTrek Wrote:  But the lab informed him that I did not sleep for most of the night, but when I did, I presented with severe sleep apnea. He said he's writing the prescription tonight and will make sure I have an appointment to fit and pickup a machine and mask within the next 48 hours.

Many if not most people can't sleep properly during a sleep study, and I was one of them, but for different reasons. Fortunately they don't need all that much sleep time to diagnose, especially in severe cases.

The staff where I had my study could use better training in helping people prepare and helping them get to sleep. In my case I's been sleeping in a recliner for a year waiting for the test and no one told me I could raise the hospital bed to make it more like my normal sleeping positions. So I slept maybe an hour or so all told. BUT the staff are obviously overworked because they have such a long waiting period, and also of course it means a night shift for them.

Ed Seedhouse
VA7SDH

I am neither a Doctor, nor any other kind of medical professional.

Actually you know, it is what it isn't.
07-27-2016 04:56 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
Hi JPDTrek,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I wish you much success as you start your CPAP therapy and I look forward to hearing more from you as you go on this journey.

trish6hundred
07-27-2016 07:25 PM
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JPDTrek Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Hi! My Sleep Apnea Journey...
(07-27-2016 04:56 PM)eseedhouse Wrote:  Many if not most people can't sleep properly during a sleep study, and I was one of them, but for different reasons. Fortunately they don't need all that much sleep time to diagnose, especially in severe cases.

The staff where I had my study could use better training in helping people prepare and helping them get to sleep. In my case I's been sleeping in a recliner for a year waiting for the test and no one told me I could raise the hospital bed to make it more like my normal sleeping positions. So I slept maybe an hour or so all told. BUT the staff are obviously overworked because they have such a long waiting period, and also of course it means a night shift for them.

While it makes me sad you also had a rough experience - it does me some relief that I wasn't alone in my experience! It's hard to walk and give a list of sleeping requirements without sounding rude and needy ----- but the sleep study is so important. It's not just as easy as konking out so they can get their readings.

Oh well, guess that's a whole other discussion about medicine in general. Thankfully, though, the study was the only negative part of my experience.
07-30-2016 04:43 PM
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