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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Hi everyone!

I’ve been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and received my machine about 15 days ago. Other than some minor fitting issues the first night, I’ve had great luck with my therapy. My AHI has been hovering around 2 since the first night (down from low 70s during my sleep study), and generally I’ve had no issues adjusting to the CPAP life.

I’m looking forward to learning more tips and tricks of the trade Thanks
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Sounds like you're off to a great start, DeepBreath. Welcome to Apnea Board.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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Smile 
As I've read through many posts from others, I should do the right thing and post my own story. I'm a 63 yo male and I've had a Resmed S9 Elite and the H5i humidifier for around 2 years.

I was constantly tired and my wife told me I was a very noisy sleeper, and that she thought I was stopping breathing at times. She persuaded me to go and get a sleep study done. They found I had 42 events per hour and recommended a CPAP machine. I hired a Resmed S9 for a couple of months to check it out and found it made a huge difference. I felt I had woken up from 5 years of sleeplessness.

I then purchased my own S9 but found after a few months that it did not seem to be working so well. Points I found that helped to restore it to best operation were
  • washing the mask and taking it apart, ensuring that all parts were clean and dry before reassembling
  • replacing or cleaning the air filter about once a month - depends on how dusty your environment is
  • making sure I was reasonably clean shaven, to improve the fit of my mask
  • making sure my mask fits well, even trimming nose hair to avoid creating leaks
  • washing out the humidifier every few days and cleaning it

I had been started at 9 cm H20 but after the trial the clinic raised it to 11. This seemed to create leakage problems around my mask, so after finding out how to adjust the pressure I reduced it to 9, then later increased it to 10 while monitoring the numbers. The number of central events seemed lower on the higher pressure, but the AHI did not seem any better.

In winter I found I had to use the heated tube. I had to experiment with the temperature to find what worked ok for me.

As I sometimes go camping in the mountains I bought the Resmed battery pack. It runs all night - without the humidifier - on one charge. I tested it at home and found with the humidifier running, the battery was flat after 3 hours. I have used it for camping on about 6 occasions in the last year and while expensive I thought it was worth getting a good night's sleep.

My wife comments that I no longer snore at all and that I stay awake on a long trip when she is driving. This is a big change.

I think our bodies react in different ways to CPAP so our individual "mileages do vary". What works for me might not work so well for someone elese. Also I think it likely that we adapt to CPAP so the setting that works for us initially may need to be reviewed and reset periodically. We adapt to different temperatures and humidities so we probably adapt to air pressures in sleep too.

I often open my mouth while sleeping, and that simply makes the CPAP fail to work at all, with all the air going in via the nose and going out the mouth. I tried a simple chin strap but it did not seem to help and the design did not impress me - the strap does not oppose chin movement at all. It stops my chin from falling off my face but doesn't stop my mouth opening. So I use a short piece (about 2") of light tape, made by 3M and called Micropore, just enough to provide some resistance to the mouth opening. It is very light and very easy to remove when needed. It makes the CPAP effective and that makes my wife and me happy.
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Keyclix, this makes me smile!Smile I assume your wife is sleeping better too.

Just curious, what temp and humidity did you settle on with the heated tube? And do you have the Climateline or the ClimatelineMax?

Thanks for posting this and keep up the good work!

(01-16-2013, 06:47 AM)keyclix Wrote: As I've read through many posts from others, I should do the right thing and post my own story. I'm a 63 yo male and I've had a Resmed S9 Elite and the H5i humidifier for around 2 years.

I was constantly tired and my wife told me I was a very noisy sleeper, and that she thought I was stopping breathing at times. She persuaded me to go and get a sleep study done. They found I had 42 events per hour and recommended a CPAP machine. I hired a Resmed S9 for a couple of months to check it out and found it made a huge difference. I felt I had woken up from 5 years of sleeplessness.

I then purchased my own S9 but found after a few months that it did not seem to be working so well. Points I found that helped to restore it to best operation were
  • washing the mask and taking it apart, ensuring that all parts were clean and dry before reassembling
  • replacing or cleaning the air filter about once a month - depends on how dusty your environment is
  • making sure I was reasonably clean shaven, to improve the fit of my mask
  • making sure my mask fits well, even trimming nose hair to avoid creating leaks
  • washing out the humidifier every few days and cleaning it

I had been started at 9 cm H20 but after the trial the clinic raised it to 11. This seemed to create leakage problems around my mask, so after finding out how to adjust the pressure I reduced it to 9, then later increased it to 10 while monitoring the numbers. The number of central events seemed lower on the higher pressure, but the AHI did not seem any better.

In winter I found I had to use the heated tube. I had to experiment with the temperature to find what worked ok for me.

As I sometimes go camping in the mountains I bought the Resmed battery pack. It runs all night - without the humidifier - on one charge. I tested it at home and found with the humidifier running, the battery was flat after 3 hours. I have used it for camping on about 6 occasions in the last year and while expensive I thought it was worth getting a good night's sleep.

My wife comments that I no longer snore at all and that I stay awake on a long trip when she is driving. This is a big change.

I think our bodies react in different ways to CPAP so our individual "mileages do vary". What works for me might not work so well for someone elese. Also I think it likely that we adapt to CPAP so the setting that works for us initially may need to be reviewed and reset periodically. We adapt to different temperatures and humidities so we probably adapt to air pressures in sleep too.

I often open my mouth while sleeping, and that simply makes the CPAP fail to work at all, with all the air going in via the nose and going out the mouth. I tried a simple chin strap but it did not seem to help and the design did not impress me - the strap does not oppose chin movement at all. It stops my chin from falling off my face but doesn't stop my mouth opening. So I use a short piece (about 2") of light tape, made by 3M and called Micropore, just enough to provide some resistance to the mouth opening. It is very light and very easy to remove when needed. It makes the CPAP effective and that makes my wife and me happy.

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(01-16-2013, 08:07 AM)SPOUSE Wrote: Just curious, what temp and humidity did you settle on with the heated tube? And do you have the Climateline or the ClimatelineMax?

With the heated tube I understand the resmed sets the humidity automatically for the temperature chosen. I vary it between 23 and 25 C. I think I have the Climateline.

Whenever I have a series of nights with a dry mouth, I figure something has changed and I move one of the settings. Either I've managed to open my mouth for a while or I have the temp wrong, or the humidifier has run out of water. I keep a bottle of water near the bed so I can top it up without making too much noise or going into the bathroom. The light from the S9 is sufficient to do that.

I had a problem recently where I had the humidity setting at 6, and the machine shut down after a few hours, with an error message saying there was a fault in the humidifier. This only occurred on hot nights and I have fixed that by cutting the humidity setting down to 4.5. I think the humidity is controlled simply by heating the water in the humidifier and because of the very dry and hot air in the bedroom those nights, it was trying to heat up the water too high. It is a hot summer here...

The other thing I have done is to route the tube from the Resmed via a point above my pillow, so that the tube cannot fall onto the floor. This helps reduce sleep interruptions due to the tube trying to pull me sideways out of the bed, or making it difficult to move around a bit while sleeping, which we all do. Smile
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Hi all, glad to see this board.. I need help on some issues... but first...

OK, my story, after retiring (I'm officially a geezer) I found myself falling asleep while driving. Told my doctor who sent me in for sleep study.

My first night at the lab was awful. I didn't sleep very well but when they gave me the results it was startling. They wondered how I was still able to function the results were so bad.

My next sleep study only a couple of days later was with the machine. I went to bed at 10pm and woke at 6am on my own and thought I had only slept for a 1/2 hour. (I had to tinkle) I was amazed at the difference.

I was quickly given a prescription and sent off to get my machine and have it set to 17lbs.

While I hear of many who have problems adjusting to the machine I have never had a issue at all. I now have 2 machines (1 for backup) and I won't go to bed without it. I really think it saved my life.

That's my little story...
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(01-16-2013, 06:47 AM)keyclix Wrote: So I use a short piece (about 2") of light tape, made by 3M and called Micropore, just enough to provide some resistance to the mouth opening. It is very light and very easy to remove when needed. It makes the CPAP effective and that makes my wife and me happy.

That's great that your therapy is successful.

I hope that you can still breathe through your mouth if there's an emergency and the CPAP machine quits. Full face masks have an anti-asphyxiation valve in case of this type of emergency.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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My story starts back about 10 years ago when my primary doctor suggested that i get a sleep test. Then i just rejected the ideal never thinking that this was me. About three years later and failing badly I went and had one...If I remember my AHI ws over 120....that was late 2005. Then I got a Respironics C-Flex Auto and got sleep like had never slept. In about 2006 with pain all over and stiffness in my arms and legs my primary doctor diagnoed my having fybromiala. Still sleeping well but waking up every couple of hours from aches and pains for the next couple of years till the middle of 2007 when I started having to rest just walking to the rest room at work. Six months later I have a 4-way heart bypass. Wonder of wonders, my aches and pains disappeared...Because of that I am thinking my aches and pains were heart related. Coming forward to the middle of last year still using the Respironics machine I started month breathing and had to start using a chin strap. Just this month I got my primary doctor to write me a new prescription for a new machine. I ordered myself a Resmed S9 Autoset. Wonders again my mouth breathing has stopped. This makes me think that the C-flex of the original machine failed and was what begin causing my mouth breathing. Sleeping today with very low AHI below 1.0 with very little leakage using a Resmed Swift pillow mask.

Today I am sleeping great and exercising four or five times a week on the Concept 2 indoor rowing machine while still working my day job. I am 62 and have lost 100 lbs from 2007 to about two years ago.
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Welcome slwiser1 to Apnea Board! That's a great story. Congratulations on your new lease on life. None of your success would have been possible without CPAP therapy. It's likely that it has saved your life. Sleep apnea is very punishing to the heart and arteries.

I'm trying to loose 50 lbs. I've been on CPAP therapy for just over a year now, I'm 57 years old, and have gained 50 lbs in the last 25 years.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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My diagnosis of Moderate Sleep Apnea came after my heart went into Atril Fibrillation in October 2012. My Cardiologist immediately began to pursue Sleep Apnea as a possible cause. I went through the overnight oximeter test, then followed up with a split test at the Sleep Lab, where they monitored me without anything until 2:00AM, then applied the mask at that time. I had no idea that I had a problem like that. My husband has been on CPAP for 1-1/2 years (with a “brick”). He has had no follow-up at all. It’s too bad I didn’t get on the Forums for his sake, because I have learned so much reading through all the questions and comments and problems.

I was given a Fisher & Paykel Icon Premo, which has been a pretty nice, quiet machine. I was also put on 2 liters of oxygen along with the CPAP since in the Sleep Study I didn’t quite make the oxygen level they like to see. I have had some problems with masks, but for me there was no question about being compliant. I ended up using the Quattro FX full face mask which is the same mask my husband uses. He never has a problem with leaks like I have had; I guess the mask likes the shape of his nose and face. In the beginning, I was waking up every hour to hour-and-a-half, but I am adjusting and am sleeping for longer periods of time, for which I am grateful.

If you ever had problems like that with your heart, that is more painful than dealing with the idiosyncrasies of CPAP therapy. I started CPAP therapy on November 27, 2012, so I have been on it for almost two months. After the first skirmish with AFib on October 9th, there were three or four more times that my heart would flip back into AFib. However, the last time was on December 15th and that lasted only a few hours instead of a few days. Since that time as I continue the CPAP therapy, my heart has stayed stable. This is true even though I had to have Rituxan treatments once a week beginning on December 28th 2012. Routinely, the prior Rituxan treatments would cause my heart to have frequent episodes of arrhythmia; however, this four week series has not bothered my heart at all. I am so glad that it has stayed in Normal Sinus Rhythm during the entire four-weeks of treatment. That is success. (Note: I finished with chemotherapy in June of 2011 for Follicular Lymphoma and am now in remission. The Rituxan infusions are to build up the immune system so that I can stay in remission. I have one more series to begin in June).

After I had been on CPAP therapy for about two weeks, we had to call 9-1-1 for me to be taken to the hospital in the most severe pain that I have ever suffered—so much that I couldn’t even get out of bed. An MRI showed that I had a bulging disk. The doctor started me on steroids, but nothing they did helped. Surgery was accomplished on December 17th and the next day I was able to get up and walk, though very slowly and with a walker. It was wonderful never-the-less.

My husband brought my equipment to the hospital and I was compliant even while in the hospital except for the day of surgery. I was brought back to my room at 8:00PM that night and I just wasn’t up to dealing with CPAP therapy, but the Respiratory Therapist assured me that was okay since I was on oxygen and was being monitored.

I recently had my follow-up from the sleep doctor, and while we were less than thrilled with the consultation, he told me I was doing great. I had the Home Medical Company send me a copy of the readouts which I took to the doctor; he didn’t spend much time looking at them. I had asked him to explain them to me, but that never was done. As far as I can tell from the readouts I sometimes have apneas and hypopneas at 5, even on occasion up to 7. I have not been able to figure out how to get to the daily readout from the machine itself—as you might tell I am not a techie.Oh-jeez I can see from reading here that I am going to have to become one, though.
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