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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Welcome to the Apnea Board method115!

Glad you are adapting so well. We are here if you need any advice or help.
OpalRose
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OSCAR Chart Organization


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.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Almost a month ago, I woke up in the middle of the night in afib.  I'm 43F and I'm relatively okayish health, though I need to lose some weight that I put on in the pandemic.   This probably what led to my airway getting smaller, looking back on it.   I get to the ER and I'm cardioverted and I'm immediately asked if I have sleep apnea, to which I answer I don't know but maybe?  They said I should look into it because 70% of afib is undiagnosed sleep apnea.   I also have Stage 1 (and sometimes 2) hypertension that is somewhat difficult to control but there seems to be nothing structurally wrong with my heart or kidneys.

I did a sleep study and found out that I have borderline mild/moderate sleep apnea (AHI 14) but my oxy saturation dropped to 74% at one point in the night.   This snapped everything into place for me.   My actual airway obstruction isn't overly severe (I'm naturally a side sleeper who prefers a higher pillow loft) but my oxygen saturation probably went crazy low the night of my afib and it kicked off a hypertensive crisis and sent me into afib.

I always thought maybe I had sleep apnea but I've had severe allergies for most of my life and I live in an area of the US that is very prone to mold.  I would wake up with sinus migraines at least a couple times a month and I would generally attribute that to my allergies.   Turns out?  No, probably not.  Allergies may contribute but the headaches were more likely due to oxygen not getting to my taxed and exhausted brain.   I haven't had another afib event (and hopefully not another) and some of that is a beta-blocker but I think I'm on the right track.  I don't know if I'll ever be cured but I at least don't want to die in my sleep.  The irony is I know 2 people who have died due to undiagnosed sleep apnea who were young (47 and 52) and in relatively good health.  I just assumed that my feeling tired all day was just not being a very good sleeper due to insomnia.

I just started CPAP this week and while I don't notice a marked difference, yet as I'm still adjusting to the machine and which is contributing to falling asleep and staying asleep easily.   But my scores went from 14 to under 1 in a week.  More interesting to me is that I'm noticing that slightly strung out, anxiety jangled background feeling in the morning was probably the knock-on effect of my body having multiple adrenal events a night and that's probably what's also contributing to my blood pressure being difficult to control (there are some diet and lifestyle changes that are happening here too and I'm down 15lbs already) because my body has spent the last 10 years in a subtle state of hormonal panic.

It's nice to not feel that in the morning, especially since you don't really recognize it as such when it's happening.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Thanks for sharing this story, Rootkit. It's great you had an ER doctor who thought to ask about sleep apnea, and I'm glad you were able to start PAP therapy so soon afterward.

You've already noticed one subtle effect of starting PAP treatment, and as you get used to the new experience, I feel sure you'll feel better and better. It can be gradual, so be patient.

If you'd ever like to ask the community here for help, I hope you will. You might want to look into the Oscar software, which takes the data on your SD card and converts it into a wealth of charts and graphs that can give people here a basis for asking questions and making suggestions.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Years ago I had been on CPAP using nasal pillows at 17cm to treat my oxygen desaturation when sleeping.  I can't remember the actual number of my FiO2 from the late 1990s but I remember thinking if I had been my patient (I was a RN) at the time, I'd have had me transfered to the ICU.  Hence the killer pressure.  It was tough on my nose but it worked for me.

Then I had a gastric bypass and lost a bunch of weight.  Eventually I was taken off CPAP and didn't need it for several years.  But over time, I developed a significant peripheral edema that was both uncomfortable and made getting my shoes on difficult.  My primary care physician suggested I might benefit from CPAP therapy although I didn't snore.

I had a tough time with the second sleep study but they finally got enough data to come up with a new working pressure: 8 cm.  About a week later I had my new CPAP machine and was in business.  I had a difficult time tolerating my pressure at 8 cm because I felt starved for air, ripping the mask off frequently during the night.  Finally I took matters into my own hands and (Google is my friend) found out how to adjust the pressure up, which I did to 10 cm.  Eureka!  I got pretty good scores with that and my AHI ran 2-3.

My biggest problems were pulling the mask off more than twice during the night and not getting in a total of 7 hours each night.  Why didn't the CPAP offer me my total time while it was running?  If I wanted to make sure I'd gotten in 7 hours it was at the cost of turning off the CPAP and losing a point on my score each time I did it (after the original two times).

My solution:  I bought a small digital timer that sits right in front of my CPAP.  Every time I turn one on, I turn the other on as well.  Every time I turn the CPAP off, I turn off the timer as well.  POOF!  There was my time, right in front of my face, anytime I wanted to see it.  My scores went from high 80s - low 90s to 100 at least four times a week, and never less than a 98.  And I had 2.1 events per hour last night.

And the peripheral edema which started all of this?  Gone.  My shoes fit again.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
What a great story about taking charge of your own treatment -- doesn't hurt that you're an RN!

If you ever feel like using the Oscar software, I wouldn't be surprised if people here could help you reduce your AHI even further. But if you're feel good, there's no reason to stress about that.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(05-03-2021, 02:09 PM)Dormeo Wrote: If you ever feel like using the Oscar software, I wouldn't be surprised if people here could help you reduce your AHI even further.  But if you're feel good, there's no reason to stress about that.

I'm open to suggestion.  I did install OSCAR on my desktop and downloaded about 15 months worth of data into it this afternoon.  I have no idea where to go from here.  I just started stumbling around the forum today.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Look at the links in my signature for help in understanding OSCAR.
Crimson Nape
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com
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Useful Links -or- When All Else Fails:
The Guide to Understanding OSCAR
OSCAR Chart Organization
Attaching Images and Files on Apnea Board
Apnea Helpful Tips

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.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
You can also start a thread in the main forum by posting a typical and recent daily chart.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
This is more of a progress report than a success story.  At the time of this writing, I’ve been using CPAP for mild to severe apnea for 63 days, and a member here for a little over a couple of weeks.

It all started when my wife asked me to ask my doctor about my snoring, which has been going on for years.  I have had sinus problems (stuffy nose & drainage) and allergies my entire life, and attributed the snoring to those problems.  Apnea was never on my radar (5’ 10”, 155#, decent physical shape).

Made an appointment with my GP, and he ordered a sleep at home test since Covid-19 was rampaging through the country.  Got the results back, and I was set up with a local DME to get a CPAP machine.  

The DME spent some time fitting me with various masks.  Since I tend to sleep on my side and am primarily a mouth breather due to all this nasal congestion that I have had all my life, I ended up getting a Dreamwear full face/hybrid mask and a new Philips Dreamstation.

The first night was horrible as I had a sinus attack, couldn’t breathe, and felt that the machine was trying to blow me up like a balloon.  It didn’t help that I sounded like Darth Vader on a bad day (at least to me).  The pillow I had kept pushing the mask around & losing the seal, so I probably spent a quarter of the night on my back (the worst thing I could probably do).  My AHI for the unrestful night from the upper level of Hell was 16.2 (from the DreamMapper app).

Ordered a CPAP pillow from Amazon that had some adjustability (Lundberg) for side sleepers, and spent another night fighting the machine waiting for it to arrive.  The second night was better - AHI of 11.4 - and I did get a little more rest as the sinuses settled down somewhat. 

Received the pillow, and it definitely helped!  AHI dropped to 6.6, but still having mask leaking issues, and started to play around with adjusting the straps. The AHI’s dropped for the rest of March to an average of 2.7 with a high of 4.4.  While the AHI’s were down, I wasn’t getting much rest - kept having to get up for restroom breaks and mask adjustments due to leaks.  

The first part of April saw my AHI’s jumping up & down and hovering around 5 - not the direction to head in!  Starting to become frustrated & exhausted.  Up to then, adjusting the mask meant tightening it up, putting more and more pressure on the face and head.

I started to look around the Internet for help.  The group at Fakebook wasn’t much help, although it did lead me to a couple of other groups including this one.  And I was so happy to find this group!!

After reading several posts on mask adjusting, I loosened up the mask, and had one of the most restful nights with a low AHI - 1.5!!  This was very important to me as I was headed to surgery for Carpal tunnel.

After the surgery and having time to recover, I started to look over my notes & log and did not see any consistency with the numbers.  I also noted that if I had an AHI night above 3.5, I felt a little foggy, above 2 I was OK, and anywhere below 2 I felt really good.  There had to be reasons for this, and this forum was once again a Godsend - OSCAR.

OSCAR opens up an entirely new world.  There is data reported by OSCAR that is far and above what the DreamMapper app reports.  I put a SD card in the machine and gathered data for the next couple of weeks.

Having some detailed data in hand gave insights as to what was going on.  Add to that the wealth of knowledge & posts on the Forum, and advice by the various members led me to a conclusion that I need a neck support for positional apnea.  Ordered the Caldera Neck Rest, and it’s arriving today.  I’m hoping that this will eliminate the wild swings in the numbers I’ve been seeing, and get some consistent sleep & rest.  

This treatment is a process, and this forum and its members have been an invaluable resource for information and advice on that treatment.  Anyone using this forum, new or seasoned users of CPAP machines, will benefit to get better apnea treatment and use out of their machines.

To the visitors new to this forum - you’ve found one of the best places to get your questions answered.  For both new and old visitors, OSCAR is an absolute must to understand how your body is responding to the treatment.

The Administrators, Moderators, Monitors, and all the other Members here do a fantastic job not only keeping the board & wiki running, but advising & answering questions.  OSCAR is one of the slickest software packages I’ve seen for reporting data. 

Folks, OSCAR alone is worth a donation to this forum.  Please give to keep the lights on and OSCAR up to date.

 Thanks
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
This is such a wonderful post, Tom! You make so many important points:

We don't all fit the apnea stereotype.
Most of us need help and support to make PAP treatment work.
A community is a boon.
Oscar rules.
And it's a process.

Here's to a long string of excellent nights!
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