New User Introduction
Hello, everyone, glad to be aboard. I have gathered lots of information from this site over the last few months, and look forward to even more.
A brief intro: I am a 51yr old male, Air Force Veteran. Probably about 40 pounds overweight. The nature of my job, both prior to and since my AF retirement has me working shift work, for the last 30 years. Unfortunately I change shifts on a day to day basis, not weekly or monthly. According to my wife, I have had Sleep Apnea for the last 15 or 20 years, which has worsened considerably the last few years as I put on more extra weight. During the times I lost weight, it appeared to reflect positively on my symptoms, as they lessened in severity.
I finally became concerned enough myself to have a sleep study done June 3rd. The experience was not a pleasant one, as many here have said, and although I apparently gave the techs enough info to work with, I experience no REM sleep and not much sleep at all. I received my machine and mask the beginning of July. Tricare paid up front, not rent-to-own, along with my co-pay. No need to report back with compliance, etc. More about the equipment later. It was fairly hard to chase down my report, and I finally got my hands on it last week. It was a shocker to say the least. Now if it could only shock me into successfully using it!!
Anyhow, here are some of the numbers:
Total Sleep TIme 143 minutes (Pre-mask N1 sleep 59.4% - N2 40.6% - N3 None - REM - None)
( Wearing Mask N1 36.9% - N2 46.3% - N3 16.9% - REM - None)
AHI was 123.4 (Most apneas were OSA, about 10% were CSA)
SpO2 Nadir was 79% with 10.1 minutes <85%
CPAP was titrated to 11cm with a Total AHI of 11.6. SpO2 stayed above 90% during mask wear.
ECG Arrythmias noted with/without mask, sustained tachyrcardia, isolated PVC's.
Interestingly, Restless leg movements increased during mask wear.
AHI scores slightly lower when I slept on my side, but not significantly.
Scary stuff!!! I have not seen too many AHI's on the forum higher than mine.
Regarding my equipment, (hopefully showing up under my info) I got the PR System 60 Plus "Brick" that only records usage and is not compatible with any other software. It did come with C-flex which I like, and the heated humidifier, also cool. They have it set to 11 with a 30-minute ramp from 4. I also like that feature so far. My mask is the PR ComfortFull2
FFM and I feel like I have been able to get a pretty good fit and seal on it. I bought a hose hanger thingie which allows me to turn around in bed without major mask leakage issues.
So.....I have had it a few weeks now, and have only used it 7 or 8 times. The most I have been able to wear it so far was 3 nights ago when I wore it for 45 minutes, and then, a few minutes later, for another hour. Why such a poor job?
Because I have not been able to sleep with it on yet. And (although I know this is WRONG thinking) being a shift worker, I feel that even a few hours of poor sleep is better than none. And regarding the poor sleep, it usually does not seem that bad to me. I only wake up 3-6 times per night, have dreams, and feel at least somewhat rested in the morning. My poor wife knows otherwise though as she is privy to the numerous SA events that are hurting my body even if I am "sleeping" through them. Yes, I am also claustrophobic, and that is an issue, although, gladly, the mask is becoming less "alien" to me, and most of the claustrophobia I feel is when the machine is running full blast. At that point it feels hard to regulate my breathing with the air pouring into my mask. I am a mouth breather, with a slightly deviated septum (surgery NOT recommended) who has always felt like I don't "move" enough air through my nose, and am more comfortable augmenting it with mouth breathing. I was very worried about having panic attacks, but got over that pretty quickly.
I DO NOT want to give up on this. (Having not really started!) Knowing my apnea is bad enough that I actually probably need an EVEN HIGHER setting scares me, but so far it is hard to tolerate the 11cm.
I just want to get some sleep with the mask on. And slowly get more.
In the meantime, I am going to ramp up my attempts at losing weight, something I have a little more control over.
Thanks for listening, and glad to be here!!