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Newbie checking in with questions!
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sleepy_1012 Offline

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Post: #1
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.)
01-14-2015 01:33 PM
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Sleeprider Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
Interesting story and unusual that a young person in good physical condition ends up joining this group. Sorry I'm not going to have much input on your exercise questions, but I think that will come around. Are you certain you have a need for a full face CPAP mask? I would think that you might be a good candidate for nasal therapy if you can train yourself to avoid mouth breathing at night. It would really help with leak issues and make lifestyle changes easier.

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01-14-2015 01:54 PM
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sleepy_1012 Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
(01-14-2015 01:54 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:  Interesting story and unusual that a young person in good physical condition ends up joining this group. Sorry I'm not going to have much input on your exercise questions, but I think that will come around. Are you certain you have a need for a full face CPAP mask? I would think that you might be a good candidate for nasal therapy if you can train yourself to avoid mouth breathing at night. It would really help with leak issues and make lifestyle changes easier.

Yes, I think with better sleep and overall better recovery that things will come back in time. Evidently there is a population of athletes out there especially weightlifters with large necks that suffer from OSA. Doesn't help that my sleep doc already said I have a narrow airway. Maybe I was choking myself all along without knowing it?

I was given a full face mask since I told my sleep doc that I didn't know if I breathed through my mouth when I slept. My dry mouth that I woke up with last night leads me to believe that I do. I actually just ordered the Quattro FX so that should hopefully come in soon. I'm excited to get rid of the annoying bar in front of my eyes so I can actually read and do things if I need to while adjusting the mask or laying in bed.

Surprisingly enough, I don't really mind the full face mask, it took a few days of adjustment but other than that it's pretty easy to deal with.
01-14-2015 05:03 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
Hi sleepy_1012,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Wow, you have an interesting story and it sounds like you have been through your share, and hopefully things start to get better for you.
Much success to you as you continue your CPAP therapy and adjust to it.
Hang in there for more answers to your questions.

trish6hundred
01-14-2015 05:24 PM
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Sleepzilla Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
Hey, sleepy_1012 - Have your workouts improved? If so, how long did it take? I'm new to this forum and to CPAP treatment. (Only a week in.) my sleep numbers look good, and I feel like I'm getting more restful sleep, but my workouts exhaust me. I'm a cyclist, and what used to be an easy ride just kills me. (Feels like overtraining.) Did you experience anything like that?
03-09-2015 08:42 AM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
sleepy_1012,
Your story is very interesting. I wont give advise about exercise, unfortunately I've been a couch potato for quite awhile. It's never too late for us older folk, right?

I never realized how many young people have sleep apnea until I went for an overnight sleep study. It isn't just college age. There was a 12 year old boy in one room and a 9 year old girl they were testing. The girl was a gymnast since age two, and the boy was active in sports. I was sort of acting like a big baby until I saw these kids! Unsure

Just want to wish you well with your therapy. This is a great forum and you will get help if you need it.

OpalRose
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03-09-2015 12:20 PM
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eseedhouse Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
(03-09-2015 08:42 AM)Sleepzilla Wrote:  (Only a week in.) my sleep numbers look good, and I feel like I'm getting more restful sleep, but my workouts exhaust me. I'm a cyclist, and what used to be an easy ride just kills me. (Feels like overtraining.) Did you experience anything like that?

Why don't you back off on your sessions until you can do them without exhausting yourself? Your body seems to be telling you that your current level is too much right now. I suspect you are indeed over training.

Ed Seedhouse
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I am neither a Doctor, nor any other kind of medical professional.

Actually you know, it is what it isn't.
03-09-2015 01:51 PM
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Sleepzilla Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
Thanks, Ed -

That's the thing, I have cut down on both the number of rides and the intensity. I was just wondering if others have similar experience. I still have lots to learn!
03-09-2015 11:32 PM
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DariaVader Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
It might take you a while to feel "caught up" on sleep. You have been starving for it... patience, young padawan Bigwink

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
03-10-2015 12:42 AM
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Evpraxia Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Newbie checking in with questions!
sleepy_1012,

SO glad you finally got diagnosed and are being treated!! Yes, Sleep apnea can be debilitating and deadly.

Re the exercise: I don't exercise per se, but I do physical work for a living and my energy level is starting to come back. Give yourself some time to allow your body to heal the damage done by SA. Easier said than done for a "young person" who is used to being a go-getter exercise person.

Evpraxia in the Pacific Northwest USA
Diagnosed: 44 AHI when supine, O2 down to 82%
Treated since 20 Sept 2014:: 0.7 AHI, Settings 7-15, EPR on Full Time at Level 3
Better living through CPAP/APAP machines!
03-20-2015 02:06 PM
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