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Looking for sleep apnea options
#1
Sorry this is a bit of a rant.
I'm a large (athletic guy) with severe obstructive sleep apnea.
I'm a heavy equipment operator. Before I knew I had sleep apnea I couldnt figure out why I never got any sleep. After falling asleep behind the wheel a few times and flipping my car I was diagnosed with sleep apnea.
In an overnight sleep study they found I stop breathing 85 times per hour and they set the pressure on my cpap to maximum.
The first time I used it I felt like it was the first time in my life that I had ever slept.
Like night and day.

Anyway... I hate the thing. It's only slightly better than the potential of dying yet I cant sleep without it.
Now i've been unemployed for a couple years and cant afford to have it repaired... It still works I assume but it's held together with duct tape :p

Imo I think tue whole sleep apnea industry is just a massive lame money grab. All the expensive equipment that breaks down and tirns obsolete so quickly.

But the sleep apnea i'm sure is a real condition.
The treatment is like a drug and the fear of death keeps us hooked.

Now... Why I hate it so much. I am VERY active. Or I was (sorry it's difficult to talk about this without wanting to swear a whole lot)
Now... I cant just randomly travel or lose myself in the wilderness for weeks at a time like I used to live for. I cant visit people or crash at someones house... I've tried and everyone gets upset at the racket of the machine... I have no chance at a relationship... The times i've attempted a relationship they always freak out at the noise and air from this machine.
(Dont get me wrong... Its a dead quiet machine but when your sleeping a pin drop is loud and a cpap in the room might as well be a hurricane)

The "specialist" said "it doesnt make a sound, and you will learn to love it"
I wont even use the colorful language I want to say to that...

I wear earplugs to sleep... Before the cpap the sound of a mouse farting could wake me up.

Its uncomfortable, it's horrible and I use it religiously... I'm teathered to this nightmare for life, just so I can live, what life is that?

Over the years I have searched every possible option.
Surgeries, I would do this in a heartbeat BUT none of it seems permanent or really effective.
Ive looked at some of those super small cpaps. Any good?
I wanted a dental appliance (waaaaaaaaay to expensive) I tried a snore gaurd from walmart... Eliminates the annoying machine but doesnt really help me breath.

Are there any other options or am I resigned to a life of living death? It crushes my soul.

Now lmao... Rant over. I have a question:
I am going to start living and hiking and traveling again BUT theres no way I will drag this machine with me.
I wont sleep, I will be sick... The way I was before the machine. Is there ANY other option? Is there any surgery or small discreet device that actually works?
Or am I doomed?
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#2
Welcome! From what I have read the dental devices are only useful for mild to moderate sleep apnea. The dentist that I talked to (a sleep/dentistry researcher) also said that over time they make your bite change so that you can no longer chew normally. That was a deal killer for me, I much prefer the mask. My Dreamstation is small, light, and quiet enough that the idea of travelling does not bother me, but weeks at a time in the wilderness would be hard to swing.

I hope you find a solution that allows you to live the life you want.
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#3
The small CPAPs are noisy. Just for world travel and staying in hotels, most machines are universal Voltage and line frequency.

There are people who camp with CPAPs. You take your unit and figure what size battery you need at your pressure, without the humidifier, and lug it into camp. For extended stays, you have to figure out how to charge your battery. If you have a Sherpa, then lug in a solar panel to charge it.

Please take this in the kindest terms: If the worst thing you face in life is having to use CPAP, then you are lucky.
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#4
my wife reckons the machine makes a lot less noise than me snoring!

I've always slept 'like a rock' but wonder if you should try to desensitize yourself by getting rid of the earplugs and introducing noises during sleep, maybe those serendipity type CDs playing quietly. If you're in the wilderness it's not quiet at night... usually all sorts of creatures are out and about making a racket! How do you go then?
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#5
G'day Species, welcome to Apnea Board.

Like many things in life, CPAP is a trade-off. On the one hand there are the health benefits, which I'm sure you're aware of. On the other hand is the need to breathe through a hose and all the complications which come with that. If your AHI was 85, then the upside of health benefits (or alternatively the inherent dangers) are really serious considerations. The inconveniences of using the hose aren't really that great. Most of us manage to have loving relationships and travel without too much difficulty, so I wonder if there's something wrong with your machine / set up which is causing you additional difficulty?

You refer several times to the noise your machine makes as causing complaints from other people - it shouldn't be like that and I think your machine may be faulty or else a really old model. I've had three machines from two different makers and all of them have been very quiet. SWMBO can't hear my machine from the other side of the bed.

It would help if you could tell us what type of machine you are currently using (make and model). Also if you want to share where you live - different places have different insurance / medicare / subsidy systems. People might be aware of a way to get hold of an improved machine at low or nil cost, depending on your circumstances.

CPAP shouldn't be an impediment to a loving relationship. You can do all the things you would normally do, then just slip the mask on and press the button last thing before going to sleep. If your partner loves you, this will not be a problem. But if you make a big deal about it, with all sorts of negative vibes then he/she will pick up on your attitude and the machine will be a problem.

Travelling by car or plane shouldn't be an issue - I take mine everywhere, including overseas. It's one more thing to carry, but so what? It weighs less than a couple of bottles of duty free booze. Camping is another matter entirely and I don't have an answer for you there. But there are quite a lot of threads on Apnea Board where people have discussed the available alternatives. As Mongo said above, there are some very compact machines available, but they have mixed reviews and it seems they're pretty noisy. Also, there are various battery options - depends on where you're going and how you're travelling. Long distance hikes lugging the machine and battery are obviously going to be a problem. If you're only away from mains power for a night at a time, you might just decide to do without CPAP for that one night. It's not ideal but apnea is a chronic disease and (probably) won't kill you in one night.

I hope you get some answers and come to embrace CPAP for all the positive things it does for you, not resent it as you do now. Like I said before, it's a trade-off but (for me anyway) the health benefits outweigh the negative.

Sleep-well


DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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#6
I was diagnosed in 2006 and used a Resmed S8 Compact until last fall. The thing wasn't super quiet, but it was certainly quieter than, say, a window air conditioner. It got a little noisier over time. Also, I got interested in getting a smaller machine for travel purposes, although the S8 Compact really wasn't that bad. That led to my discovery that my initially severe obstructive apnea (AHI=42) had morphed into complex apnea. I hadn't been back for a checkup during those nine years.

I know.

Anyway, I don't believe a CPAP machine is an obstacle to a loving relationship. I do understand the feeling of being tied to the machine though. I don't know whether your forays into the wilderness tend to be long or short, but if they're only a few days at a time, I think you could do what I used to do when I took short weekend trips: I bought one of those anti-snore mouthpieces and left the CPAP at home. The mouthpiece doesn't fix the apnea, and can make your jaw sore after a couple of days, but it does reduce the obstructions somewhat. And if it's just for a day or two, you can put up with the bad sleep; you won't be using it long enough to have a sore jaw. I found three days was about my max, but that was generally long enough.

Back then, I think part of it was just vanity. I didn't want to be seen lugging a CPAP around. At some point I gave that up and started bringing the thing with me wherever, and felt a lot better for it. I even started to enjoy the CPAP smalltalk in airport security (some airports send all the CPAPers through a special queue), comparing models, etc.


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#7
Hi Species,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
You might look at a different machine if yours is that noisy. My machine is very quiet.
Much success to you and hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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