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[News] 'CPAP Machine Changed My Life'
#1
'CPAP Machine Changed My Life'

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter


(HealthDay News) -- Joann Becenti awoke with a start -- shocked to realize she was behind the wheel of a moving car.

Fortunately, she was able to guide the car safely to the side of the road and no one was hurt. But Becenti's sleepless nights could have cost her her life.

"It scared the hell out me," said Becenti, who lives in Gallup, N.M. "I knew I'd been tired a lot. I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat, but I didn't know why. My husband told me that I snored at night and it seemed like I stopped breathing sometimes, but honestly, I didn't really think anything about it. I didn't suspect sleep apnea, and I certainly didn't think that was why I was so tired during the day."

Her near-accident was just the scare she needed to get her to go to the doctor. He told her he suspected that she had sleep apnea.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor sent her to a sleep lab to have an overnight sleep study. During the sleep study, Becenti was quickly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. She was having at least 15 episodes every hour during which she was completely deprived of oxygen for more than 10 seconds at a time.

The sleep specialist then hooked up a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine and let Becenti sleep the rest of the night attached to the machine.

"I woke up the next morning feeling rested and wonderful, even though I hadn't gotten a full night's sleep," she said.

Becenti got her own CPAP machine to use at home. Although she liked the way she felt in the morning, she said the face mask was uncomfortable and the dry air from the CPAP machine seemed to aggravate her asthma symptoms.

After explaining this to her doctor, she said, he was able to quickly solve her problems. Instead of a mask that fit just around her nose, she got one that covered her nose, mouth and part of her face. In addition, she was able to add a humidifying element to her machine so that the air flowing through would be warm and moist.

"CPAP changed my life," Becenti said. "It immediately changed my level of awareness, and I work better and live better since starting treatment. Plus, it's just nice not to be so tired all the time."

Her advice to anyone considering sleep apnea treatment?

"Just do it," she said. "Don't be concerned. The initial phase of the sleep study was uncomfortable, but it's just one night. And even though it took some adjustments, I have a mask that's comfortable for me now, and I wake up in the morning feeling good," Becenti added.

"For the first time in my life," she said, "I can get out of bed without feeling like I need to crawl back in for another couple of hours of sleep."

fair use from:
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/new...ed-my-life


The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material available is intended to advance the understanding of Sleep Apnea treatment and to advance the educational level of Sleep Apnea patients with regard to their health. Sometimes included is the full text of articles and documents rather than a simple link because outside links frequently "go bad" or change over time. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this post is distributed without fee or payment of any kind for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this post for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
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#2
Had the sleeping behind the wheel one time. I was 17-19 years old and woke up in the wrong lane on the highway looking dead at an 18 wheeler head on! I took my car offroading! That has never happened again. I'm not going to say I have never pulled over and napped, but I've never allowed myself to fall asleep behind the wheel again!
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
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#3
I made the driving while sleep mistake before I was diagnosed. I don't care that I didn't kill myself, but I believe God's gift to me was that I never had an accident and hurt someone else. The guilt over that would be terrible because I knew I was not safe behind the wheel. Luckily I share a car so the days when I didn't feel safe to drive my roommate could drive me. I would load up on Red Bull and 5 hour energy which would give me 30 minutes of alertness.
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