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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
AshSF, that was a very good followup post. Thanks. Lots of people arrive at a point in therapy where they stagnate, and are not getting refreshing sleep. Continuous fixed pressure has a place and should not be overlooked.
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Well thanks to your guys help I am doing ok! I had a cpap for 15 yrs, never could sleep with it. I bought a Resmed auto. And with a lot of help from you guys, and a lot of reading the site post, I was down to AHI .02 to AHI .8 very constantly. The odd bad AHI 3.8 night.
Then the air swallowing hit. I mean air….. I was worried about rupturing my tummy. I cannot even describe the air belching.
I found out, by searching the site, I had an EPR. Mine was turned on, set to one. SO I set it to 3 and seem to be 100% free of air swallowing!! The Draw back is I snuck up to 3.2 ahi. I am going wait a week and slowly bring the min up from 4 to 6 and leave the max alone at 12. So I am coming up to a year in April with the new cpap and it has changed my life. I can drive without putting my truck in park at red lights ( I fell asleep and crept through a few red lights ). I can go all day without a nap!! Yea! I can have a conversation and not mix up all my words. I can climb a ladder without seeing stars. I was getting bad before I came here and got the new auto set cpap. I honestly thought I was dying. Who knew I needed sleep???

The true professionals on cpap machines are on this site. They are way more helpful than any MD or sleep therapist.

Good job guys. You did what no medical team could do. You helped me get my AHI under control.

Now if someone could only tell me why the first few months no one or anything could wake me up until I hit seven hours of cpap use I would happy!! I kind of suspect I just zonked out because I never slept before in my life. Oh, I am low on vitamin d, I take the tablets, just like everyone else here. Also when the machine and me are one with the low AHI I lose weight without trying. When The AHI creeps up I gain weight real fast! Like everyone else here.

I am not a morning person.
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A quick update on my progress. I struggled for years on nasal sprays, and then CPAP came along (finally). My life changed. Instead of dragging myself through the days, I woke up super refreshed the first day. An awakening someone called it, and it was. Then... ups and downs. Adjusting to masks etc. All in all, pretty good results initially, except, much later I started waking with swollen (bulging) eyelids, there were leaks, and many rotten days.

What bugged me most was the software, cheerfully declaring all was terrific.
Near zero AHI throughout the months. Nothing to indicate something was wrong. Leaks in required range. Blasted liar Wink

I use the resmed P10 nasal mask. A few weeks ago, I realised it was not doing the job (for me!). Others rave about it, but one of my nostrils kept being blocked. I was sliding back, dragging myself through many days once more, except for some fluke days where I woke up refreshed and energetic.

One night, I realised the mask sagged a little under the weight of the hose. Lifting it a millimetre or two made a huge difference, i.e. both nose passages freed up and I got way more air. The (far too basic) headgear of the P10 does not offer much control in adjusting matters. The straps were also stretched out. Tying a knot in one of the two straps settled that. Still, the front of the mask did not tilt up the small distance required to free up my air passage. I tied a new ribbon over the bridge of my nose, connecting it to the two side straps of the mask, giving it the little lift it needed. Surprisingly, the ribbon does not slide down my nose during the night. Some extra adjusting is needed after that, by pulling straps and making sure they don't shift (achieved by the chin strap which acts like an extra piece of headgear).

Ever since, I wake up fully refreshed, have energy to burn. The difference is astounding. I'm big into sports again.

Downside (of course there is one): all this DIY strapping makes for a tighter fitting mask, but also strap-marks all over my face in the morning. Couldn't care less, but with a better headgear, this might be avoidable.

The technical tips may be ill described and not be of use to many (everyone's different), but the lesson for me has been: keep making small adjustments till you find out exactly what makes the difference between a bad night and a great one. The effect of adjusting your gear can be amazing, despite the software telling you all is terrific.

I hesitated to post, since, you know: ups and downs are the rule. But the positive effect has been pretty consistent, so I dare to declare it a moderate success.
Before APAP: [Image: DARTH-VADER_zpsa57946df.png]

After APAP: See avatar: R2D2 for the win!

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle"
--Ian Maclaren

I don't snore! I just make creepy noises so the aliens know I'm not someone to be messed with.
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PS. I agree with Sleepster: I never had a problem with number 1 (full compliance) and, unless my machine is off, I have an AHI consistently close to 0 so Sleepster's number 3 (low AHI) was a breeze as well. Number 2 is recently under control (leaks). I would add 2' to this: for those of us who don't have both nostrils free while on APAP (the pressure should see to it that this is the case), try to adjust matters till both nostrils are free. Getting more air, implies (in my case at least) a heck of a lot more energy the next day. I don't think it's down to leak control alone. I breathe deeper and better with both nostrils freed up.

Before APAP: [Image: DARTH-VADER_zpsa57946df.png]

After APAP: See avatar: R2D2 for the win!

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle"
--Ian Maclaren

I don't snore! I just make creepy noises so the aliens know I'm not someone to be messed with.
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If I remember right, you're already using the "large" size pillows? I know in my experience I don't think I'm inhaling/exhaling without a struggle when I use the medium pillows. But using large, I'm good to go.
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That's right, I'm using Large. Again, had a great night sleep. The adjustments seem to work.

Maybe I need XL Wink
Before APAP: [Image: DARTH-VADER_zpsa57946df.png]

After APAP: See avatar: R2D2 for the win!

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle"
--Ian Maclaren

I don't snore! I just make creepy noises so the aliens know I'm not someone to be messed with.
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It took 3 - 4 days to get use to this followed by 3 days of blissful uninterrupted sleep. Don't hit the snooze button any longer just get
up and get going. AHI shows 3.7, sleep test was 41. Oxygen level
dipped to 70% during sleep study, wish there were a way to see
what it is now.

Next up will be ResScan software.

Great board bty, learned more here in 15 minutes that chasing around
the web for days. Good Show....
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Greetings from Oz!
I've had OSA symptoms for around 10 years, and was finally diagnosed this year after deciding to commit to doing something about it. I found as I started down this path that there were a few people around me - from relatives to collegues who are on CPAP, and just talking to them helped me feel more confident that this was not only the right thing to do, but that it would, despite the initial pain, be worth it. My joining here is just an extension of that feeling that I'm not alone, and that there is a point to it.

My biggest success so far has been no more complaints from my partner about my now non-existent snoring, which alone is worth the small fortune in specialist fees to get to this point (Health Insurance here doesn't necessarily cover all of this). I've just completed my first month using a rental machine, and I've just "downgraded" to a refurbished ResMed S8 that was cheaper than the rental I'd need to pay until I can afford to buy something decent (health insurance... hmmm).

The first months' data is something I'm still wrapping my head around (and will make more sense when I see my specialist next week), and it'll be a while before I extract data from the S8 Dinosaur, but once I can get a card reader for it, I'll know how I'm going with the machine change.

My next goal will be a full face mask - my sinuses are prone to causing me all manner of hell, so my compliance with a nasal mask has been up and down. Currently using a Wisp - actually the X and XL masks depending on how congested I am. The more congested, the bigger the mask (and leaks) before I'm comfortable. I had started out with nasal cushions, but being a side sleeper with a deviated septum and dodgy sinuses, I often couldn't exhale. I suspect a full face as a backup might help get my compliance up (though it's pretty good at an average of 7 hours per night). Once that's under control, I'm sure that everything else will start to fall into place.

My coffee intake has halved, my blood pressure is down, I'm not wanting to crawl under the desk when I get to work and I have a fraction of the headaches I used to. Despite the never ending financial drain, so far it seems to be working. If nothing else, the significant other has stopped complaining (and she's a nurse, so you know how much of a drilling I get about the health issues with OSA), so CPAP has brought some peace into our lives... for both of us Smile
I still feel that there is a long way to go, but I recently had to endure a couple of nights without CPAP. If nothing else told me it was working, that did!

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I found this board because my initial testing from 15 years ago and not being aware enough to know I might need a new machine by now led me here. I am in the process of getting a new machine after taking a five day home test.

I went through a horrible nightmare that lasted probably 7 years. It started slowly. I had trouble falling asleep. By the time I finally sought help, I was getting about an hour of sleep per 36 -48 hours. I never considered I might have sleep apnea and I wish that people would understand that insomnia can indeed be caused by apnea. It manifests in different ways.

For me, I felt like I might actually drop dead from lack of sleep. I was in my early 40s. I was talking to a cousin about my sleep problems and she told me I probably had sleep apnea and walked me through finding a doctor to find out. She has narcolepsy and apnea and though not an expert, she knew a heck of a lot ore than I did. I thought that people with apnea didn't have trouble falling asleep, only staying asleep.

I was recommended to a sleep specialist by my family doctor. He agreed to set up a sleep study (thank god I had insurance then). I went to the hospital for an overnight study. It was a bit uncomfortable and they didn't really tell me much except they did come in in the middle of the night and put a mask on me. I had to come back a week later for another over night study. I was so exhausted all the time that I couldn't really even think logically enough to ask for a printout of my results or what they meant, etc.

All I remember is that what they told me didn't make sense. The number of times I quit breathing in an hour was more than 60 and I didn't see how that could be possible. How could you quit breathing every single minute?

I got set up with a medical supply group and went for my appointment. Luckily I had a very helpful clinician who himself suffered from sleep apnea. His numbers were even worse than mine. The first mask we tried caused an allergic reaction (skin) so I had to take it back and opted for something called nasal pillows.

The first night I slept with the machine, it took a little bit of adjustment. I had to put a strap around my head to keep my mouth closed because I sleep with my mouth open. And at first it seemed kind of scary. I made myself relax and remembered things the clinician had told me. He had suggested putting something over the headboard to cushion the tubing so it wouldn't make noise and or wear the wood. I found a dance sock made of wool and have used that ever since.

I've heard some people talk about really dramatic changes in their lives with cpap therapy. Mine was a bit more gradual than that but it didn't take very long at all for me to start actually sleeping 3 or 4 hours, then 5 or 6 and so on. I couldn't believe it. Could it be that simple? How did I not understand that severe insomnia really is a symptom of sleep apnea for some people?

I would never sleep without my cpap machine now. I can't even imagine trying to. It really has changed my life. When I was only sleeping an hour every couple of days I was working full time, raising 2 children by myself and going to school full time. I thought I had insomnia because of stress, etc. No, I had stress because of insomnia which was because of sleep apnea.

To anyone who thinks they can't get used to a mask or sleeping apparatus, give it a try, seriously, don't give up after one night or two nights or even a week. You will be surprised when you realize just how much you were missing before. My thinking is clearer too by the way. Or was until I needed to get new gear. Unfortunately for me, the medical supply people who provided me with equipment went out of business. I couldn't find another one because I didn't know how to look and I let years go by before doing something.
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10 years ago, I finally went in to get a sleep study because I had trouble just getting through the day, and would fall asleep as soon as I got home at 6pm. My AHI was 134, which my pulmonologist said was, 'kind of scary', and indicated that basically I was getting at best, the equivalent of 2 hours of real sleep each night. I started using a CPAP and immediately experienced dramatic results, in terms of my wakefulness and alertness. It took me a while to find a mask that worked well, and after that I have used my machine every single day.

I only recently got a 21st-Century machine (Respironics System One Auto) and was able for the first time to view my data (via SleepyHead), which shows that I never have an AHI of greater than 1.0 . I also received qualitative confirmation of how well my CPAP works when we visited Pemba Island, off the coast of Tanzania. This is probably about as close as I have ever been to the End of the World, and one thing they don't have at the EOW is electricity. I brought my trusty CPAP battery, but it died after two days, and didn't recharge well off the little generator that they used for lighting. And just to exacerbate the problem, I went SCUBA diving. The diving was great, but during the mid-day interval between dives, I fell asleep on the beach, leaning against a large rock. And, when it started raining hard, I didn't wake up. So, my fellow divers had a field day taking photos and videos of me sitting in the pouring rain, with water cascading off the brim of my baseball cap, like a miniature waterfall. It made me think about how to rig up a CPAP machine that used a SCUBA tank for air pressure, instead of an electric air pump. As soon as we got further from the EOW, I plugged my CPAP in, and became revitalized overnight.

I don't know where I would be today without my CPAP machine; I'm sure that I probably wouldn't be able to hold onto a demanding job that required attention to detail for at least 8 hours each day.
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