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I'm worse now!
#1
I never had any trouble sleeping and was never tired during the day. I'm a truck driver and when I went to get my DOT physical the doctor said i might be at risk for sleep apnea since I was overweight. He wouldn't renew my medical card until I saw a sleep specialist even though I insisted that I never get tired during the day or while driving. Well, I went to a sleep specialist and even though I told her i didn't get tired she made me do a sleep study. I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea. She said I would have to use a CPAP machine or I wouldn't be able to drive, even though I NEVER GET TIRED. I had to do another sleep test with the mask to get my settings. It was the worst nights sleep I think I had ever had! Now, I have my CPAP machine and I'm miserable. I can't sleep at night, I'm uncomfortable and I wake up exhausted. Now I'm driving down the road in my truck yawning, feeling groggy, not alert and making a lot of mental mistakes because of lack of sleep. I was just fine before and now I'm a mess! It just seems ridiculous that I have to wear this mask and use this machine to be "compliant" and now I'm a bigger risk driving because now I'm tired. One night I decided not to use the machine and I got a greats night sleep and woke up refreshed and alert. I felt like I was back to normal! CPAP may work wonders for some people, but it's been a nightmare to me.
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#2
Sorry that you are having such trouble. Some folks start out fantastic from day one (the exception). Most others (like me) struggle with it for weeks and months. Granted that I have only been on therapy for seven weeks, I notice that I am not as tired as I was at first. My first two weeks were train wrecks. I would use the machine for barley an hour before I gave up on it for the night. Week three it was two and a half hours. Now at week 7, I have peaked at seven hours but sometimes will only put in a four hour night with it. Currently I take it as a challenge, and I am not about to be defeated. I will win. It may not be easy but I am determined to be more rested and lots healthier.
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#3
Hi Dsch73,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I'm sorry you are having such a rough time right now with CPAP therapy. It can take time and PATIENCE to get used to, that's for sure. The problem is that if you don't treat your mild obstructive Sleep Apnea, (OSA,) now, it could get worse and cause other problems for you down the road.
I know this is difficult for you but I just encourage you to stick with it and don't give up.
What you might do is to wear the mask and use the machine during the evening as you are reading or watching TV to help your body get used to this "new" way of sleeping.
Hang in there for more suggestions and best of luck with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#4
(09-21-2013, 04:01 PM)Dsch73 Wrote: I never had any trouble sleeping and was never tired during the day. . I had to do another sleep test with the mask to get my settings. It was the worst nights sleep I think I had ever had! Now, I have my CPAP machine and I'm miserable. I can't sleep at night, I'm uncomfortable and I wake up exhausted.

Can you share what makes you miserable when using your CPAP machine? Is it the mask? Leaks?

We might be able to offer some suggestions, etc. if we knew more about what makes you miserable when you are sleeping with the CPAP.

Sorry this has been challenging for you and I hope you stick with it as it is better than the possible alternatives once things get situated.
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#5
My statement will be heresy to many on this board, but if your apnea is mild it might well be treatable with an oral appliance and wearing a "bumper belt" or other device to keep you off your back at night. Perhaps you should discuss these options with your sleep doctor and test them out. Also consider a weight loss program. You might need just a little of this and little of that for acceptable numbers. That CPAP has made you a menace to everyone on the road is not good! Maybe you would eventually learn to tolerate CPAP, or maybe an innocent family would be killed first. You should find a respected sleep dentist to be fitted for an oral appliance.


(09-21-2013, 04:21 PM)xxl Wrote: Sorry that you are having such trouble. Some folks start out fantastic from day one (the exception). Most others (like me) struggle with it for weeks and months. Granted that I have only been on therapy for seven weeks, I notice that I am not as tired as I was at first. My first two weeks were train wrecks. I would use the machine for barley an hour before I gave up on it for the night. Week three it was two and a half hours. Now at week 7, I have peaked at seven hours but sometimes will only put in a four hour night with it. Currently I take it as a challenge, and I am not about to be defeated. I will win. It may not be easy but I am determined to be more rested and lots healthier.

During those "weeks and months" should the original poster take a leave of absence from his job or stay employed and put the public at risk of death in a truck/car crash?

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#6
(09-21-2013, 05:58 PM)me50 Wrote:
(09-21-2013, 04:01 PM)Dsch73 Wrote: I never had any trouble sleeping and was never tired during the day. . I had to do another sleep test with the mask to get my settings. It was the worst nights sleep I think I had ever had! Now, I have my CPAP machine and I'm miserable. I can't sleep at night, I'm uncomfortable and I wake up exhausted.

Can you share what makes you miserable when using your CPAP machine? Is it the mask? Leaks?

We might be able to offer some suggestions, etc. if we knew more about what makes you miserable when you are sleeping with the CPAP.

Sorry this has been challenging for you and I hope you stick with it as it is better than the possible alternatives once things get situated.

I suspect that he's miserable because he says he doesn't have any of the classic symptoms of OSA yet he's become trapped in a medical system that is requiring him to do something that makes him feel physically bad.

Now that he's been diagnosed, he's stuck.

My suggestion: do whatever you have to do to get through the compliance period, then do what you think is best for you.
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#7
@Dsch73: I see your CPAP pressure is only 7 cm-H2O. That's on the low end. Most folks here are at higher pressures.
I doubt you'll beat the edict. But, as was mentioned -- consider weight loss. It might get you cleared without CPAP.

Be sure to get a copy of your polysomnography report (sleep study); it might come in handy if you lose some weight and ask for another study.
That report will define what they are calling mild apnea. You have a right to that report!

BTW -- how do they enforce compliance with use of the machine? They readout the data card?

This is just my personal, non-medical, opinion. Mild sleep apnea may cause less sleep disturbance than the discomfort of CPAP.
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#8
(09-21-2013, 07:21 PM)justMongo Wrote: BTW -- how do they enforce compliance with use of the machine? They readout the data card?

The machine (at least my Resmed S9 Auto Set) tells me days that I have been compliant on the display and I am sure that it is recorded on the SD card. To be compliant, the CPAP has to be used at least 4 hours per day (and I think it can tell whether the unit is on and not being used during sleep)....Insurance companies look at this before they will purchase the CPAP machine if they are renting it for a period of time.
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#9
I understand that the sleep study is a totally miserable experience.

Also untreated sleep apnea tends to be degenerative with age as well- the older you get, the worse it will become, so even if your apnea is very mild now, it will get worse. the fact it was caught before you had the classic symptoms of tiredness, snoring, multiple non-breathing events during the night - frequently waking up choking for air, etc could lead you to think that therapy is un-needed - but view it as preventative treatment - believe me, you do not want to go through those symptoms - they really hurt and can do permanent damage! And being able to sleep without the cpap if the need arises is a great blessing - one you will probably loose without treatment.
I understand the need to deny that your body is not indestructible, but the tests also rate the oxygenation of your blood as well as breathing. Even if you feel rested you are suffering damage during your sleep

So, you have a choice - embrace it or fight it.

If you wish to embrace it we can offer all sorts of ideas on how to tune the therapy so you can get a restful nights sleep with cpap, or other alternatives that may satisfy the medico's enough.

Fighting it - well, good luck and I really hope it works for you.


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#10
I'm just a light sleeper. With the straps around my head and the hose in my way, it's just hard to get comfortable when I'm used to burying my head in the pillow. I sleep on my side and it's a big adjustment not to sleep the way I've slept all these years. I'm constantly waking up because I'll feel uncomfortable. I'm breathing fine with the mask and it doesn't leak. I have a clock that projects the time on the ceiling. If I wake up and see that I've had the mask on long enough to be compliant, then I take the mask off and turn off the CPAP machine. I then can finally get a restful sleep. When I first started using the CPAP my wife told me to be optimistic. She said "Maybe you'll have even more energy than you do now." But that hasn't been the case. I was never tired before and had no trouble sleeping, now I'm exhausted and yawning all day. I've even started drinking coffee in the afternoon to try to get rid of the tired, groggy feeling I have. I NEVER drank coffee in the afternoon before. The only reason I'm doing this is I have to if I want to continue to drive, even though I've never been tired driving, but now I am. I am going to see a lawyer next week to see if anything can be done to get me off this machine, since I think I'm a greater risk driving now. I told my wife that I shouldn't even be driving as tired as I am, but that's what they want me to do and I'm compliant. I'm just not mentally alert from lack of sleep.
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