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High anxiety and discomfort
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #11
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
(04-13-2016 07:21 PM)Tikka Wrote:  About 3 weeks ago I stopped using the machine because my nose was stuffy and I could not catch my breath while on therapy.

You'll either have to find a way to tolerate CPAP therapy or resign yourself to an early death preceded by a miserable sleep-deprived life. It's your choice, but no one can help you unless and until you commit to using the machine every time you sleep, all the the time you are sleeping.

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04-14-2016 01:32 PM
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tmoody Offline

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Post: #12
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
It's a funny thing. In nine years of CPAP therapy, a stuffy nose never prevented me from using the machine. There were nights when I wondered how I'd manage, I was so blocked, but once I put the mask on, I'd open my mouth airway for a while and let the air blow through. For some reason, this had the effect of clearing my nasal airways in a half minute or so, and I'd be good to go for the night.

In fact, I have the impression that the continuous pressure actually helps to keep things clear and less stuffy, once I get it going. It doesn't cure the cold, of course, but I remember waking up with worse congestion in the days before CPAP.
04-14-2016 02:01 PM
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palerider Offline

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Post: #13
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
(04-14-2016 10:58 AM)Possum Wrote:  Some folks don't like it because they believe it increases the chances of an obstructive apnea occurring at the beginning of inhale, before the pressure goes back up, but I have never had an issue with that.

the mechanics are thus, suppose you have someone who has apneas at 10cm or lower.

their pressure is 12cm.

they turn epr up all the way to 3.

when they exhale, their pressure drops to 9, since EPR doesn't raise pressure till you start to inhale, their pressure is at 9, and they have an OA.

therefore, it's something to be mindful of.
04-14-2016 02:01 PM
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Cudos Offline

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Post: #14
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
(04-14-2016 01:32 PM)Sleepster Wrote:  
(04-13-2016 07:21 PM)Tikka Wrote:  About 3 weeks ago I stopped using the machine because my nose was stuffy and I could not catch my breath while on therapy.

You'll either have to find a way to tolerate CPAP therapy or resign yourself to an early death preceded by a miserable sleep-deprived life. It's your choice, but no one can help you unless and until you commit to using the machine every time you sleep, all the the time you are sleeping.

I am new to Apnea, 14 AI was my score. I admittedly know next to nothing at this point about treatment. But I find the above comments nothing more than fear mongering by someone who may have forgotten what its like to be a newbie.
I too have ripped off my mask from gasping after and hour in the thing. I am one week in to it and cannot get past the anxiety.

I can walk around all day with it on, I have laid in bed watching TV for an hour with no problem. The problem for me is I am a "very" shallow breather, even as I type this I have to remind myself to take deep breaths.
Now imagine as I lay my head down, as soon as i start to drift off my breathing has shallowed right out and I end up gasping for a breath.

I can calm myself and try again, I can breath in the mask so long as i am awake. The suffocating feeling and anxiety is scary as hell and I have no control once so ever over my shallow and pausing breathing unless I am fully awake.

My shallow breathing causes me to take a deep breath which in turn forces a deep breath out in to the mask which along with that awful feeling you get in your gut if you've held your breath too long is a repeating theme all night long, one after the other.
until I just can't do it one more time and off comes the mask.

My RRT has adjusted pressure up the wazoo, but until something is done to correct the way my Autonomic Nervous System works the mask for me feels impossible.


So the suck it up or die message above aggravates me.
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2016 02:55 PM by Cudos.)
04-14-2016 02:49 PM
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robysue Online
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Post: #15
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
(04-13-2016 07:21 PM)Tikka Wrote:  About 3 weeks ago I stopped using the machine because my nose was stuffy and I could not catch my breath while on therapy. Adjusting the humidity higher made me panicky. This week I got nasal pillows, and things were fine in the office when I tried the new mask on. But at home, with humidity from the machine(and a brand new heated hose), I feel like I am breathing through wet socks, and am not able to fall asleep. The humidity on the machine is set quite low.
Have you tried turning the humidifier completely off? You can still put water in the tank and that will add a tiny bit of humidity to the air in the tube. Or you could simply not use the humidifier at all.

Quote:I'd really like to make this work, and learn cope with a higher humidity to help with congestion.
Noses are funny. Some love extra humidity and some hate it.

Seriously, some people find that too much extra humidity creates congestion issues or makes their congestion issues worse. You might find that you have fewer issues with congestion if you turn the humidifier completely off.

Quote:I am starting to feel extremely anxious about going to bed.
This is what your main focus right now needs to be. Any kind of "comfort setting" that makes you more anxious can just be turned off, at least for the time being. Since even a tiny bit of extra humidity and heat is making you feel like you're trying to sleep in a swamp, try using an unheated hose with no humidifier or with water in the humidifier and the humidifier turned off.

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04-14-2016 03:36 PM
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JSL747 Offline

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Post: #16
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
(04-14-2016 02:49 PM)Cudos Wrote:  My shallow breathing causes me to take a deep breath which in turn forces a deep breath out in to the mask which along with that awful feeling you get in your gut if you've held your breath too long is a repeating theme all night long, one after the other.
until I just can't do it one more time and off comes the mask.

My RRT has adjusted pressure up the wazoo, but until something is done to correct the way my Autonomic Nervous System works the mask for me feels impossible.


So the suck it up or die message above aggravates me.

check your PM
04-14-2016 04:13 PM
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robysue Online
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Machine: PR Dreamstation BiPAP Auto
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Other Comments: Papping since September 2010

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Post: #17
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
(04-14-2016 02:49 PM)Cudos Wrote:  
(04-14-2016 01:32 PM)Sleepster Wrote:  
(04-13-2016 07:21 PM)Tikka Wrote:  About 3 weeks ago I stopped using the machine because my nose was stuffy and I could not catch my breath while on therapy.

You'll either have to find a way to tolerate CPAP therapy or resign yourself to an early death preceded by a miserable sleep-deprived life. It's your choice, but no one can help you unless and until you commit to using the machine every time you sleep, all the the time you are sleeping.

I am new to Apnea, 14 AI was my score. I admittedly know next to nothing at this point about treatment. But I find the above comments nothing more than fear mongering by someone who may have forgotten what its like to be a newbie.
As one of the more senior members around here, I want to second what you are saying. It is too easy for people to forget what it felt like to be a newbie. And sometimes people write things that come across a lot harsher than they mean to be.

Quote:I too have ripped off my mask from gasping after and hour in the thing. I am one week in to it and cannot get past the anxiety.

I can walk around all day with it on, I have laid in bed watching TV for an hour with no problem. The problem for me is I am a "very" shallow breather, even as I type this I have to remind myself to take deep breaths.
This may sound silly or counter-intuitive, but you may be trying too hard to get past the anxiety. What I mean by that is that you may be focusing so much of your attention on trying to figure out a way to adjust that you've started to worry about things to the point where the worrying is becoming counter-productive.

For example: Before you got your diagnosis and were told, "Here's the machine, use it and Sweet Dreams", how much time did you spend thinking and worrying about your daytime breathing? Before the beginnings of your CPAP adventure were you regularly finding that your breathing was so shallow that you had to "remind yourself to take deep breaths"? Or did you just go about your day breathing as you normally breath without thinking about it?

Here's the thing that a lot of people forget: Most people with OSA breath just fine during the daytime. Some of us are more shallow breathers than others are, but there's nothing pathologically wrong with our daytime breathing. We don't "need" deep breaths for our daytime breathing to be considered normal. So unless you have been diagnosed with a daytime breathing problem, relax and quit focusing on what your daytime breathing looks/feels like.

And here's another thing to keep in mind: Normal nighttime breathing is actually fairly shallow. It's very, very regular, but its not really all that deep. The size of the inhalations in normal sleep breathing is usually smaller than normal wake breathing inhalations. And the size of sleep inhalations is much smaller than the inhalations most of us take when we're doing really deep breathing while awake. (I'm thinking of "yoga" breathing for example or the kind of "deep" breathing many of us take when we are consciously trying to control our anger or frustration when we're really mad at something or someone.)

And the fact that our wake breathing is quite different from our sleep breathing sometimes means that the technique of using the machine in the daytime while reading or watching TV doesn't really help us get over that final hump of learning how to fall asleep with the mask on our nose. It can help when the problem is claustrophobia. But if the anxiety is coming from overly focusing on your own breathing and how the machine affects the way your breathing feels, then the daytime use of the machine might wind up making it even harder to fall asleep with the mask on your nose.

Quote:Now imagine as I lay my head down, as soon as i start to drift off my breathing has shallowed right out and I end up gasping for a breath.
What used to happen before you started CPAP? Were you even aware of your breathing when you were trying to fall asleep? Or did you just fall asleep without any awareness that your breathing had become more shallow?

I'm not sure I'm being very clear here. When you are drifting off to sleep, your breathing naturally becomes shallower. That's normal: Sleep breathing is both more shallow and more regular than wake breathing. And as the body transitions to sleep, the control of breathing is handed off from the voluntary nervous system to the autonomous one. And the CO2 level trigger for inhalation is reset: In normal sleep breathing, the body needs a slightly higher level of CO2 in the blood to trigger the brain to send "Inhale NOW" signals to the lungs and diaphragm.

Sometimes that handoff is a bit ragged around the edges. The breathing can become shallow enough to miss a breath or two (creating a sleep onset central apnea), but in a person with normal sleep, that missed breath or two is NOT enough to cause the person to wake up enough to notice. In other words, they miss a breath or two and the hand off in breathing control to the autonomous nervous system is completed and the person settles into real sleep.

Most likely before you started CPAP, that's what was happening to you as well: In the process of getting to sleep, you weren't focused on the breathing and your breathing got shallower and you maybe even missed a breath or two, but you transitioned to full sleep. (And then, of course the OAs and Hs started happening, which you most likely also slept through in the sense of not remembering them in the morning.)

But what's happening now is that you are so consciously aware of your breath all the time and particularly when you have the mask on that you are now noticing every little tiny glitch in your breathing. And worrying that it's a sign that there's something wrong.

So when that normal process of transitioning to sleep happens and your breath starts to become more shallow (and more regular), you only notice the shallowing out. And if/when you miss a breath or two (as your body is trying to reset the CO2 "trigger" level), the part of your brain that is focusing so intensely on your breathing immediately NOTICES the glitch and says "I AM NOT BREATHING" and that jolts you back into full wakeful consciousness and feeds the anxiety.

Quote:I can calm myself and try again, I can breath in the mask so long as i am awake. The suffocating feeling and anxiety is scary as hell and I have no control once so ever over my shallow and pausing breathing unless I am fully awake.
You are still in the stage of learning how to trust the machine.

You need to allow yourself to realize that once you are fully asleep, your breathing with the machine will be more normal than your breathing without the machine.

You may need to look into ways of dealing with the anxiety you are experiencing.

Personally, I think wearing the machine when you are awake is now at the stage where it is counter effective. In other words, it's making it harder, not easier, for you to get over the hump of learning how to sleep with the machine.


Quote:My shallow breathing causes me to take a deep breath which in turn forces a deep breath out in to the mask which along with that awful feeling you get in your gut if you've held your breath too long is a repeating theme all night long, one after the other.
until I just can't do it one more time and off comes the mask.
Here is my suggestion on what to do.

When you find yourself awake and feeling like you want to take a deep breath, take the mask off for just long enough to take that deep breath. Get your breathing settled back down and then put the mask back on. Try hard to NOT focus on your breathing. Have an ipod playing some soothing music in the background and focus your attention on something other than your breathing. Ideally if you can't get your brain to settle down and relax, get out of bed and wait until you are good and sleepy before masking up again.

Quote:My RRT has adjusted pressure up the wazoo, but until something is done to correct the way my Autonomic Nervous System works the mask for me feels impossible.
Pressure adjustments are NOT gong to solve your problem.

What MIGHT help is some cognitive behavior therapy. You need to learn how to NOT focus on your breathing when you are trying to get to sleep. It really is that simple. And that hard. Because one of the hardest things to do is to NOT focus on your breathing when you've got a six foot tube stuck on your nose that's following every breath you take during the night.

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04-14-2016 04:17 PM
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Tikka Offline

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Post: #18
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
Wow. Thank you all every much for the supportive responses, and please forgive my newbie ineptitude with replying. I am going to give all of the advice a shot - it is all practical, sensible and doable. I'll start with looking for EPR on my machine, and practicing for an hour before lying down tonight.

Last night was more successful with a setting of 2 for humidity and back to the plain hose.
04-14-2016 06:22 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Post: #19
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
Hi Tikka,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I know CPAP can take some getting used to and I’m sorry that you are having such a rough time of it. I want to encourage you to keep trying and don’t give up.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and much success to you.

trish6hundred
04-14-2016 06:31 PM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #20
RE: High anxiety and discomfort
Tikka,
When I first started therapy, I had a lot of anxiety over wearing a mask and being hooked up to a machine. I was so worked up over it, and didn't sleep more than a couple hours a night. Then when I went to see my sleep doctor, I told him how I felt. This is what he said: "Wear it everyday. Find a way to get used to it, and if you don't, you probably wont be here 5 years from now."
Now he took me by surprise, but I went home and thought long and hard about it and decided I would make it work. I had no choice. It may sound harsh, but it isn't meant to be.

Shortly after, I found this forum and never looked back. I wouldn't think of sleeping without my cpap.

One thing that bothered me was hearing myself breathe, so I ran a room humidifier and a fan in my room. You can also use what they call "white noise". I used one of my granddaughters teddy bears that played soft underwater sounds for about an hour. All of this helped me relax and be able to adapt better.

You will find what works best for you, but you have to make a commitment and realize that non use will affect your health negatively.
Best of luck to you.

OpalRose
04-14-2016 06:34 PM
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