07-30-2012, 10:08 AM
(This post was last modified: 07-30-2012, 10:09 AM by bwomble.)
I was lucky and my first sleep study was a dual study. So I didn't have to wait for a second study. When they found that I had severe sleep apnea they went right on to the next test. In that first sleep study I had 72 incidents in an hour. I had a second sleep study a few years ago and I only had 60 incidents per hour in that test.
How is CPAP therapy making a positive difference? Well, I sleep some now and before I didn't. Previously I would roll from right side to left side and back. I'd wake up aching over and over. Every morning I had a headache. Now I sleep on my back and I sleep for a good while with no tossing and turning. As someone else said, I had the choice of CPAP or death so it was an easy choice.
I think I'm a lot less grouchy now because being miserable 24/7 does not improve a person's attitude. I've been using a CPAP for 15 years or more now and I wish I didn't need it but I'm very glad that I have it. Hopefully that makes sense.
Thanks to ApneaBoard for this facility, it was very useful before registration, in helping me to decide what machine to get.
But beginning at the beginning, I had been getting progressively more and more tired since about November 2011, which I put down to excessive work practices, and stress overload from work. Week after week I continued to be tired, and it didnt seem to matter how much sleep I actually got - I reckoned I had just built up a sleep debt that I wasnt managing to catch up on, but could carry on functioning until...
We were down at a friends house one Friday night, playing with his blood pressure monitor, the outcome of which was a first thing Monday morning to my GP to check if the results were really as bad as they looked. I was immediately put onto Blood Pressure tablets, and sent for blood tests, which indicated a high cholesterol count as well, but didnt show anything up as a cause for the fatigue.
He suggested Sleep apnoea as a possible cause and referred me for a sleep trial, the result of which was a CPAP trial, and ongoing treatment. This all happened over the last couple of months, and now, I use my own machine every night, and am feeling the benefits.
I am now back to work, and functioning on all cylinders, and so very glad that I found this resource, and had a GP who was pro-active enough to think about the causes of my problems.
During the test they set me up with a fixed pressure of 8cm, which was giving me AHI in the 1.5 to 3.5 range. However, as they had rented me an S9 Autoset, after two weeks, I asked if we could change it to the Automatic mode, and was fascinated - they set me up at 6-16mm and my AHI has not yet exceeded 2.0 - I have even had readings as low as 0.3, and my HIGHEST has been 1.5!
I had issues with the nasal pillows (broken skin on the right nostril which refused to heal), and changed to a nasal mask after one month - which brought about swelling to my nose and a feeling of sunburn. Putting the humidifier temperature up seems to have fixed that too, and the future is looking as rosy as it can through a lump of plastic on the face!
Anyways, enough for now - I have a lot yet to learn, and if this is not the place to learn it, then I don't know what is.
Thanks to everyone for some great product reviews / comments and advice, and hopefully, I will be able to add my own experience to the mix over the coming months and years.
Thanks for sharing your stories, bwomble
Apnea Board Administrator
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
Hey all. Well a relative newbie, (4 weeks and counting) but I thought I would post.
I was a basket case for at least two years and getting worse before a new doctor decided to have me take a sleep study. I was forgetting things, leaving work early, going home in a fog. Couldn't keep up the house, no energy for anything. I would go to bed at 7:30 and wake up tired. Had nightmares, got heart and blood pressure problems.... the works.
Then the sleep study. I had 73 AHI episodes an hour, and NO rem sleep for the first part of the study (4 hours). After they put the machine on me, I had about an hour of REM and major reduction in AHI.
The two weeks I had to wait for the machine were excruciating, because I wanted things fixed... now.
The machine basically worked for me from the get-go, with some intermittent problems that I am still working out. AHI is .8-1.0. But the biggest difference is that most days I have a brain again. And my blood pressure read (one week after CPAP) the best it read in over a year. I am off of one anxiety med, and expect that I will be off of most of the rest in time.
The only issue - or should I big issue - is what I think is insomnia; basically, not falling asleep as I want to. This is not a new issue. I'm working on meds for that and getting new relaxation tapes that I hope will help.
I have lost five pounds without trying, and my attitude towards life is so much better. I am thankful every day that my new doctor saw through my symptoms and had me test this out.
Five weeks in - went from 80+ AHI to <3. Time from mask-on to sleep less than 5 min average. The thing is like a soporific; it actually puts me to sleep. First few days using I slept for 10+ hours plus afternoon naps, now back to a steady 7.5 per night. No more daytime naps needed! Using Mirage FX mask/headgear - I find it so comfortable! No pillow (usually don't use one anyway) sometimes makes a leak, but a leaky mask makes my nose cold so I awake and readjust, then right back to sleep. I am a data center architect so need my full faculties for work. Nice to have my brain working again, hope that in coming months my body will benefit from repair/recovery I have been missing. Waking blood O2 went from 92 to 96. With nasal mask I sleep with mouth closed now - no snore, no sore throat, no more nosebleeds, better oral health with less dry mouth.
O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum’d chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?
2 Henry IV (3.1.7-16)
Not really a success story unless you count my first eve. Slept on the couch last night as that keeps me more stable than tossing in my bed. (like it better anyhow). First time with my CPAP. Sorry, but I do not know all the terminology as of yet...will study/read. Didn't wake up! What?!?! Well I did wake at 5:30am instead of 6, but WOW! I feel very different. I feel calm. Normally I am somewhat jittery and irritable. I am a little lazy right now (hours after waking) but in a much clearer way. I can think much more accurately. Hard to explain. I also have a diagnoses of adult ADHD. This seems to be NON present right now! Could it be....could it possibly be sleep apnea and not ADHD?! that I was also diagnosed with? The mask is the over the nose type and I was not bothered at all. I liked it! I liked the air pushing its way into my lungs. It calmed me. I didn't have anyone at the house last night and was really curious if I snored. (I've scared everyone off, or annoyed them, lol) I may have a much different posturing later on, but my first night presents today to me feeling so different. Calm, but not tired, alert, and like serotonin does when it's at a higher level, happy. Hope this continues. I saw a lot of people posting having a difficult time with the masks, being uncomfortable etc. I am so sorry. I hope they find a way. I hope this is not just a common thing, ie; "Masks being tolerable in the beginning but wearing on folks as time goes on", but I actually, no kidding enjoyed it. I suppose mentally it may be in some part because of the excitement of a possible answer for sleep apnea for me. We'll see, I'll have to revisit this post much later and see how much contrast there is. Sorry if this post is premature, but I am overjoyed today and just wanted to share my ONE day success. Thanks for reading.
I can certainly understand your excitement Chopins11th, It is early days for me too as last night was my 5th night on a cpap machine, but I am feeling much better and I know I am getting better sleep. I now wake up feeling alert and energetic. My AHI readings for the past 5 nights have been very encouraging, first night was 1.7, 2nd night 0.3, 3rd night 0.0, fourth night 0.7 and last night 1.0.
My partner has not been woken up by my snoring since starting the cpap therapy and was also surpised by how quiet my S9 is. Even our chihuahua has gotten over his initial fear of seeing me in my nasal mask and I haven't experienced any problems with wearing it so far.
This is a success story I posted in 1998 on another forum. I guess it has to come with an asterisk because I'm struggling once again at the moment but I had a good 15-year run. I'll beat it again this time and be free once again - bet on it! Don't give up!!!! I wish you the best!
I've been scared to death to make this post; afraid that the changes I've seen will not last; afraid of yet again building up false hopes and afraid of being plunged back into the twilight world in which I've lived for the last 2 years. The changes seem real enough though so here goes.
History in a nutshell Sleep lab results in June of 96 showed I had OSA with 107 events/hour and, at no point during the night, did I sleep for more than a minute. CPAP worked beautifully for a period of 2 weeks at which point the results became quite inconsistent. Doctors at the sleep center did not recommend surgery for me and did not recommend a dental device. After 2 months of trying different antihistamines and decongestants to make the CPAP work, the sleep center threw in the towel and said, "We can't help you."
From August of 96 up to February of this year I was entirely unsupervised and the quality of my sleep continued to deteriorate. In October of last year, it became so bad that I was no longer capable of running my corporation and have been living off my savings for almost a year now. Results of a second sleep study in Feb of 98 showed 120 events/hour and I was referred to an ENT. The ENT, noting that I have very narrow airways, recommended 2 surgeries: a Submucus Resection of the Inferior Turbinates and a Nasal Valve Augmentation using ear cartilage. My postings on both of these procedures should be available through the search feature here.
OK, those of you who have been following my tragic little tale here have heard me repeatedly stating the the air from the CPAP didn't seem to be getting past my nose. I have implored the doctors following this board to respond - only one of which ever did. Oops, getting sidetracked here. Prior to giving the go ahead for the surgeries, I insisted on first ruling out all non-invasive procedures that may have been overlooked. My ENT consented to allow allergy testing to be performed even though no one - not my ENT, my primary care physician or myself - suspected I had any allergies because I showed no symptoms. The test results showed that I exhibited a moderate allergic reaction to all 13 substances I was tested for! My ENT proposed no treatment of the allergies but instead wanted to push forward with the surgeries. Upon hearing this, my primary care physician prescribed Allegra for the allergies.
I have had wonderful nights sleep for over 3 weeks now. The CPAP is now doing what it's supposed to do. I no longer feel like I'm breathing through a straw in the daytime, I've been awake and alert for the first time in years and I've been dreaming up a storm. I feel a bit like a Rip Van Winkle waking up to see the wreckage all around me of what was once my life. Everywhere I turn there are things piled up and left undone. I now have the energy to do them though, and have accomplished more in the last 2 weeks than I did in the prior year.
I am hopeful and jubilant and yet not taking this for granted. I am driving forward on the medical front for all I'm worth trying to ensure that my OSA will remain controllable yet I'm so, so afraid of backsliding. Though it's based on an entirely different condition, watching the movie Awakenings yesterday rocked me to my core.
Though I'm feeling cautiously hopeful, optimistic, relieved and so much more, my anger over the incompetent and negligent manner in which my treatment was handled is rising and is but a half step behind. I intend to fully indulge myself in that anger and blast everyone involved in the mishandling of my case, perhaps I'll even persue stronger measures, but right now I just don't have the time. I'm too busy rebuilding my business and my life. What I lost in income over the last 2 years is considerable. What I lost in terms of friendships and lost opportunities is immeasurable.
My reasons for posting all of this are twofold. The first is purely self-serving. Posting this on a public forum is helping me in ways I can't even express. Just as importantly though, perhaps even more importantly, it is for everyone for whom CPAP therapy has not worked or is not working. It is my hope that by relating what happened to me, you will not lose hope, that you will find the determination and the strength you need to see this fight through until the doctors find an answer that allows you to breathe and sleep once again.
Lastly, I want to take a moment to thank those who stood by me and continued to believe in me throughout this ordeal. I wish to especially thank my wife without whose love and support I'd never have made it this far. I love you dearly, sweetie.
I am not a regular forum participant. I started on cpap when cpap started in the early 80's. I still have a Respronics sleep easy cpap with a hand written serial number in my basement. My wife is happy about all the things I have in the basement. Ha! Although there have been a number of challenges along the way I have done relatively well. I still go to work 9 years after the normal retirement age. I play tennis . build and fly RC Airplanes and have other hobbies. I seem to have avoided major health problems normally associated with sleep apnea.
One of my earliest problems that I can remember is mouth breathing. I was told that my treatment was working anyway but I knew better. I finally thought about it and did the math and figured out that cpap does not work when you breath or leak from your mouth with a nasal mask. Since then I have done ok. It is a good idea to get more than one opinion when you have a problem to solve about your treatment. A forum is a good way to get more than one opinion.
Newbie to the forum.....
I had been on a Medical Industries America Sleepap C-1000 after being diagnosed with OSA in the mid 90's or so. I ran into trouble trying to replace needed supplies when I discovered that I needed a prescription to replace even the simple things like mask, hose, etc. I became a bit frustrated after my doctor insisted I have a new sleep study in order to be prescribed supplies, so I became a bit frustrated. (It makes no sense to me whatsoever to need a prescription for simple replacement supplies!!).
After an extended period of 6 months or so of letting my CPAP therapy lapse, I finally broke down, made some time and went for the new sleep study. Nothing particularly new in the findings, but I have resumed my therapy on a new ResMed S9 AutoSet. This, after researching new equipment here on the forum.
Being out of the CPAP equipment loop for some time, things have come a long way in equipment and home monitoring! 3 days in to my resumed CPAP use, I once again feel fantastic-------well-rested, refreshed, and wide awake. (Just like riding a bicycle.....heheheh.....) I have a bit of catch up to do with the monitoring software, but this aspect of CPAP therapy makes it all the more interesting, and helps to keep me pro-active in my own care and treatment.
To all who have been been putting off a sleep study or treatment, I say, don't hesitate! You likely will feel much better, likely function much better, and likely ward off many of the nasty things that sleep apnea can cause down the road!