Welcome to the forum.
Quote: What happened to the wonderful refreshed feeling you're supposed to have when you wake up?
Many of us NEVER experience "the wonderful refreshed feeling you're supposed to have when you wake up" just because we're using a CPAP. The reasons why are many and varied, but they all boil down to some version of this:
CPAP does not fix bad sleep. CPAP fixes only one thing: sleep disordered breathing.
If the only
cause of your bad sleep
is sleep disordered breathing AND using a CPAP does not increase or trigger problems with insomnia or restlessness or excessive wakes AND the damage your body had incurred from OSA is not too extensive, then yes, CPAP can fix all your sleep problems and you can wake up feeling fantastic. But most PAPers don't actually wake up with a "wonderful refreshed feeling" every single morning. And many PAPers don't wake up with a "wonderful refreshed feeling" on most mornings.
But---(and it's an important but) we do wake feeling better
than we used to pre-CPAP in some kind of measurable way.
For me, sleeping with a PAP means I wake up with a lack of pain in my hands and feet. Seriously, that's about the only identifiable difference I can directly attribute to CPAP after 3 solid years of PAPing. But not waking up with pain in my hands and feet is a small, but significant improvement even though I only feel a tiny bit better at waking----i.e. I'm less cranky in the morning because I'm in less pain, even though I don't feel wonderfully refreshed. Just as important, no hand and foot pain means that the level of chronic inflammation in my body has significantly decreased, and that's important for my long term health.
(11-04-2013 09:42 AM)ppowers Wrote: Started using CPAP with S9 autoset about 1 year ago. Very compliant with use.
I have not felt good one single morning from using CPAP. I still feel anxious, slightly nauseas, and somewhat short of breath. I can't give up as if I do not use CPAP, I am profoundly affected upon waking up with apnea. (emphasis added)
Later on in your post you say your AHI is consistently below 1.0. This means that your CPAP machine is doing its job: You are no longer having dozens to hundreds of apneas and hypopneas each and every night. Your sleep breathing has stabilized. That's all the CPAP can do for you.
And next look at the statement that I've italicized: Can you describe how you feel when you wake up after NOT using the CPAP? And then describe how you fee when you wake up after using the CPAP? Is there even a small, positive difference when you use the CPAP? If so, you need to focus positively on what CPAP is achieving for you and build on that.
But the fact remains: You are still anxious, slightly nauseous, and short of breath. And you're not waking up feeling particularly rested in the morning. So it's time to start trouble shooting on what kinds of things might be causing the ongoing problems.
Some questions to get you started on your quest to feel better:
1) Are there problems DIRECTLY caused by using the CPAP?
Is your mask uncomfortable? Does the exhaust flow bother you? Is there too much air coming through the mask for you to breath comfortably? Is there too little air coming through the mask for you to breath comfortably? Do you have problems with leaks? Do you wake up with a dry mouth or dry nose? Do you feel as though the mask or hose impairs your ability to move around in bed? Do you feel as though the mask prevents you from sleeping in your preferred sleeping position? Does the noise bother you? Obviously these are the problems that you'll get the most advice on how to fix in a forum like this.
2) Do you have sleep problems OTHER than OSA or CPAP adjustment problems?
How long does it take you to get to sleep at night? How often do you wake up during the night? When do you go to bed? When do you wake up in the morning? How regular is your sleep schedule? Fragmented sleep has all kinds of causes other
than OSA. Now that your OSA is under control through the use of your CPAP, you need to consider what else might be causing fragmented sleep. If your sleep is fragmented for any reason, then you won't feel at your best in the morning.
3) You say that there is some heart damage from the years of undiagnosed OSA, but you also say you "don't know to what extent" your heart is damaged.
Some of the on-going problems you are dealing with might be caused by on-going issues with the heart damage. While minor heart damage can be asymptomatic in some people, other people can have some pretty serious symptoms with relatively minor damage. Shortness of breath is a common symptom of congestive heart failure (CHF), and CHF is strong correlated with undiagnosed OSA. Have you been seen by a cardiologist? It's important for you to get the appropriate testing done to establish what kind of heart damage has been done and how much damage has been done. Once the type and extent of the damage has been properly diagnosed, a treatment plan can be developed. Treating the damaged heart should alleviate any symptoms that are being caused by the heart problems and that should make you feel better.
4) What other health issues do you have besides the OSA and the heart damage?
Any other known medical issues?? Keep in mind your symptoms could easily be caused by something OTHER than undertreated OSA or CPAP adjustment problems. If you have other known medical conditions, is it possible that any of the ongoing problems are symptoms of those conditions becoming worse? Is it possible that some of your ongoing problems are being caused by side effects of prescriptions medicines that you are taking to manage other health conditions? If you take any medication on a daily basis, you should talk to the doctor who prescribed it and ask whether it might be causing problems with unrestorative sleep, anxiety, nausea, or shortness of breath. (These are all fairly common side affects for many medications.)
5) When was the last time you had a thorough general physical exam?
If it's been a while since you've had a physical exam by your PCP, you need to have your whole body checked out. Things your PCP may need to do some testing to rule out include: Thyroid issues; low vitamin D level; asthma; daytime COPD; serious anxiety problems; etc.