Newbie checking in with questions!
Hello all. It's my first post here at the Apnea Board, and this place seems to be worth its weight in gold for sure. I've learned so much being here for only a few days. Looking for people's opinions on my story and also if anyone else has gone through the same thing!
So long story short, been going back and forth to doctors for literally years. Now I'm only in my early 20's. Used to be an avid weightlifter and very active and was looking forward to competing in collegiate athletics. Loved olympic weightlifting, etc etc, you get the picture. Noticed a few years ago that my recovery started getting worse over time. I always had the mentality of "you can never work hard enough", which is the best way to dig yourself into a hole, especially in olympic weightlifting. Also played football since I was little. Recovery started getting worse and I thought I was overtraining. Then, exercise intolerance got worse as time went on, and eventually I had to stop lifting and running simply because I didn't have the energy. Became "lactose intolerant", more so intolerant to lactose products because I don't get the typical (ick) symptoms of lactose intolerance...it just makes me tired and my ears get red and hot (immune rxn). So, kept visiting doctors back and forth complaining of general fatigue, exercise intolerance, etc. I've had bouts with lyme disease so we thought it was that for a while, been treated three times now. I thought it was simply overtraining, so kept taking time off to recover and get back after it. It worked, but not for long. Things continued to go downhill. GI tract was slow, and I could tell that my metabolism was slowed down. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell that you take longer to digest foods.
So, needless to say then I finally went to an endocrinologist, got a thyroid scan and found a goiter. Then, my endo was convinced that I DIDNT have hypothyroidism even though I was almost convinced that I did. Combine vitamin/mineral deficiencies from excess stress on the body, excessive working out, etc. By the way, I started struggling with depression on top of this too. Even started going to a psychologist because my doctor suggested it and thought it was all in my head. Part of me is thankful, as being a firefighter and EMT for around 10 years now, I was able to dig out some deep dark issues that I didn't even know existed. Anyway, I digress.
[Edit: forgot to mention that in my research I was starting to think that as a result of my overtraining, that I had overworked my adrenal glands and had either adrenal insufficiency or fatigue. That really worried me. Got a series of tests which checked out at the endo, didn't make me feel any better physically or mentally, but ruled that out].
Anyway, endo placed me on Levo, smallest dose to see if it would help things. Not much got better at all in terms of exercise intolerance, etc. Fatigue still there. Finally, my doctor got the idea to do a sleep study, and what do ya guess happened next? Found out I had moderate OSA with an AHI of over 20...well go figure. I was on the money with overtraining years ago, except I couldn't pinpoint why, and it's so simple. It was lack of sleep! I was relieved, but still frustrated with my symptoms, including the apathy, lack of concentration, brain fog, etc. It took me another month or so to get the titration study done, and they found my sweet spot between 12-16.
Pulmonologist put in a STAT order to get me my CPAP and associated equipment, and it still took well over a month to get my hands on the equipment. As I'm sure others have experienced, Apria is not the best out there. I'm satisfied now that I got what I needed though. I requested a ResMed S9 with humidifier and ResMed Mirage Quattro FFM since that's what they used for my titration study. I'm overall pretty satisfied, still learning how finicky the quattro can be and learning a lot from members around here. Also taking 4000-5000IU's of vitamin D a day since I have always had low vitamin D and I've seen there is a connection between OSA and vitamin D deficiency. My AHI went from 20 untreated, to 4-5 during the titration study, now down to 0.4-1.12. Last night was the 1.12, starting to struggle with large leaks since everyone seems to have a different opinion with the Quattro, some say barely tighten at all, others say tighten enough but not too much to not use the cushion, other say cinch it down. Just looking at the numbers, I'm very satisfied. The first night was magical, I woke up with a euphoria that I haven't felt in a while. Ever since then, none of that. But, I feel that my brain fog is slightly dissipating. Don't know if it's a placebo, but after years of sleep fragmentation, it is refreshing to wake up and not say "yeah I just slept 8 hours but felt like I slept 3".
In terms of the athletes out there -- how long until you started seeing an improvement in your workouts? Anyone else experienced overtraining which was actually caused by OSA? Can anyone speak on vitamin D deficiency or other vitamins/mineral deficiencies? Obviously sleep is so important with recovery from exercise, any thoughts there?
I'm very happy to have found a place like this, it seems like there are few people who understand what it's like to live with sleep apnea, except for those who have it. I think it's one of the more underdiagnosed conditions and probably responsible for a lot of health problems which are not well understood in the medical field as of yet. It has been a struggle being in college, with a fairly active lifestyle but living with a condition that I didn't even knew that I had, which maybe took away some great opportunities that I could have had, if I only knew sooner. I'm going to take some time to continue reading the success stories for encouragement. Thanks for taking your time to read!
(This post was last modified: 01-14-2015 01:38 PM by sleepy_1012.)