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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
G'day RobbieGW, welcome to Apnea Board. It's an unfortunate fact that around 50% of all CPAP users give up within 12 months. You've been going for years despite the problems, and that speaks wonders for your dedication and perseverance. A good attitude and a strong support network are essential.

Could I ask you to start a thread in the main part of the forum, and I'm sure people will be able to give you some dedicated attention to get you on the path to recovery.
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Hello Everyone.

I recently was enrolled in the VA (Veterans Administration). During the initial evaluation I told the doctor about my trouble sleeping at night. She said this was probably related to sleep apnea and recommended a sleep study. I said okay but I had really no idea what this would entail and said why not.
Prior to this my only exposure to Sleep Apnea was during a High School field trip to New York I shared a room with one of the other chaperons. He made a point to say that he had to use the machine for Apnea and it may be a little noisy. I didn't have any idea what that was about and I thought to myself, poor guy having to lug this machine around all the time. Well the machine was a little noisy and wondering how could his wife stand the noise.
That was in 2004 and my impression of that still lingered when I went for the study, that I would end up with one of these noisy contraptions.
So, I went to the study, looked like I was blessed by the Flying Spaghetti Monster with multi-colored pasta hanging off my head and tried to go to sleep. Mid-way through the sleep the tech came in and said yes I have Apnea and fitted me for a Nasal pillow. I felt a little depressed that now I have to use one of these noisy machines. After all was said and done I went home with an Airsense10 machine.
First night I slept on the lazy boy so as to not disturb the Mrs. To my surprise - no noise. I started to feel a little better with the idea. That night I slept a lot better didn't wake up in the middle of the night and felt pretty good actually. The next few nights things were looking better but was having trouble with the Nasal Pillow. I discover after reading the manual that the straps were upside down. Well that made a difference.
After a couple of weeks I started to get a sore along the edge of my nostril and was about to give up. I called the number of the VA help line and afterwards they set me up with a new nasal mask, which I got two days later. I took it out of the box and thought "Great I'm going to look like a cross between Bain and Darth Vader with a screw post on the top". Well I got used to it and it works pretty well.
Being a bit of a techy I thought I would use the modem feature and see what the feedback results were. Getting this little feature and being able to see what was going on in terms of mask fitting, hours used and so on really help. Over the last two months of usage my average is 95% with a 0.5 event per hour as opposed to 14 events per hour!
Overall I'm feeling less tired and not wanting to take a nap after work. Also I sleep through the night the majority of the time. Sometimes I wake up and wonder if it's working and I just open my mouth and the air rushes out and I feel okay about it working.
Do I plan on keeping up with it? I think so it's a small price to pay. My wife was a bit concerned that this was just a novelty until I left it off one night and she said I snored like a banshee and said put the mask back on.
I think my only question for the forum about this: I tend to sleep on my stomach a lot and finding a way to sleep that way not causing the seal of the mask to break is a bit of a fiddle, any ideas?

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(07-01-2015, 10:23 PM)Sleepster Wrote:
(07-01-2015, 09:32 AM)MobileBasset Wrote: I learned that PS 6 generates CAs so I turned it down to 4, and I learned IPAP 10.5-11.3 is my sweet spot.

I'm glad it's all working out for you. You are a great example of patient empowerment. We cannot get effective treatment for this affliction without it.

By the way, you are the only person I know of besides me that has CA's induced by too high of a PS. I too cannot tolerate a PS much larger than 4.

What does "PS" mean? I can't find it in the Acronyms list. Newbie here.
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PS is pressure support.
In this case it is the difference between the exhalation pressure and the inhalation pressure on the BiPap machine. A BiPap machine allows you to set 2 different pressure levels for exhale and inhale. The difference can be quite large and is very helpful for those who require a high CPAP pressure that can make exhaling difficult.
if you can't decide then you don't have enough data.
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Finally! After 6 masks and numerous changes, my numbers have dropped for the first time. My AHI is down from 18 to 30 to 7.1 thanks to all the help and encourage from this board. I purchased a Wisp mask, eucalyptus oil, and changed my pressures and ramp/ I learned to read my Sleepytime graph and understand the numbers. For the first time I am sleeping 8 hours and have no leaks.
It was a frustrating journey of trial and error since May of last year. I was having major air leaks, waking up smothering, blocked nasal passages and during the day, I would fall asleep if I sat down for any length of time. Now I am at a flex of 3. The humidifier is set at 4. Now I understand more about my condition and treatment and feel in control. My ramp is at 10 for 5 minutes and a pressure range from 11.5 to 19 with an average of 13.5. I use the eucalyptus oil before the mask is on and read a bit before I fall asleep.
I started at a ramp of 4 for 20 minutes with pressures set at 10 using nasal pillows. Changes were introduced slowly,and I began to see some progress over time. I stopped referring to my torture machine and began a short meditation of positive thoughts as part of my night time ritual. This appears to work for me. I received more information and realistic help from the members of this board than from my MD. Thank you Thank you thank you. Smile
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That's got to be the best story of perseverance I've ever heard, calliopy. No wonder so many people throw in the towel, but you are proof that it's worth the effort. Now you'll be able to get the sleep you need to be able to enjoy life, and you'll live a longer and healthier life, too.
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I figured this would be a good first post here.

I always knew I wasn't sleeping well. I would routinely need 10 hours of sleep to feel "normal". I didn't think anything of it at the time besides just being young (late teens early 20s). When I got married, my wife knew I snored but started to get concerned when she noticed that I stopped breathing during the night and would start gasping for air after "holding my breath". I never knew that sleep apena even existed so we just brushed it off as bad dreams or something.

Fast forward 5 years. I had gained quite a bit of weight (about 100 lbs) and my snoring was unbearable now to my wife. She also noticed that my breathing issues happened pretty much all night instead of periodically. About a month before my sleep study I got to the point where sleep was nothing to me. I would pass out at night, but wake up 10 hours later feeling literally like it was time to go to bed. If I was sitting, I would fall asleep. I could barely drive and was on the verge of getting kicked out of my university classes for falling asleep and interrupting the professor with my chainsaw snoring. I couldn't even do the things I loved anymore due to the weight gain and complete lack of energy. I used to play hockey 3 nights a week and couldn't even muster up the energy to go to a game and watch. It was awful.

After a light intervention from my wife and in-laws, I got a sleep study done. At this point I knew what sleep apnea was (from researching it) and KNEW that I had it. The first of 2 sleep studies confirmed it and the nurse there said it was the worst case of sleep apena she had seen in the 3 years she had been there. I was having something like 16 instances an hour, all night long. I was asked to come back for my 2nd sleep study so they could try out cpap therapy.

I came back the next week and had my first taste of cpap goodness. They stuck the mask on and gave me the usual words of encouragement saying it was going to be uncomfortable (etc etc) but at this point I didn't see another way out. I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. They woke me up 4 hours later and I still remember the feeling vividly. It was that feeling that you got after you slept and it felt better than I could ever explain in in this post. It was the best feeling I had ever felt in my life. This was only 4 hours of sleep though. I was desperate at this point and actually begged the nurse to let me borrow or buy a cpap machine before I left. This was the start of my downfall..

My study made it to my doctor who decided to take an entire month to send it to the health care supplier. 2 weeks after my sleep study I remember my insurance calling me telling me where the supplier was and I drove there within minutes. I got in and tried on a mask and they showed me my machine. I needed these supplies more than I needed anything else. After the sleep study I got really really depressed and angry because I knew how bad I felt, I knew there was something that would fix it, and I realized I had to jump through hoops to get that fix. The nice lady at the health care supplies desk ran my info and...... they didn't have my prescription yet. I was so close. I lashed out in anger to the lady and broke down crying in the store (pretty sad seeing a 28 year old man in the middle of a health care office crying). She said she would call my doctor and call me the second they have the Rx. I was literally rock bottom in my life. I thought I was going to die before I got my machine.

A few weeks later I got the call and drove as fast as I could to get the machine. I went back to my house and went directly to sleep at 4pm thinking I would "catch up" waking up at 7am the next morning. I actually only got 8 hours of sleep, but woke up literally feeling the complete opposite of rock bottom. I was on top of the world and I can't even start to put to words how it felt getting actual sleep. The kind of sleep where you wake up and feel like you slept.

Ever since then, my cpap machine/mask and I have been on great terms. I don't get that amazing feeling anymore, but I wake up after 8 hours of sleep feeling refreshed and ready to go. My professional life has improved 100x, I lost weight without any other changes in lifestyle, my wife noticed that I was the person that she married years back physically and mentally. Literally every aspect of my life has improved since going on CPAP therapy.

Thats my story.
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Good story.
if you can't decide then you don't have enough data.
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I had a similar experience but thanks to all the reading I had done on this forum prior to my sleep study, I was not surprised. My solution was to go directly to the MD office and get copies of all the information needed by the DME, and took it right back to them that same day. It still took a month from my sleep study to get my equipment, but I am in love with my Airsense 10 and Dreamwear nasal mask.

There were steps to adjust to sleeping in astronaut gear, of course. Although AHI was not too bad, I had lots of central apneas, and excessive large leaks at first, due mostly to mouth breathing/snoring. So I requested a chinstrap. Still too any leaks. Requested new mask. The Dreamwear was the turning point. Started trying to sleep on my side more. The graphs tell the story.

I feel like I'm getting my brain back, more every day. I am dreaming so REM sleep has improved. Once again I can garden for hours without feeling wiped out. I expect to lose some of the excess weight that has crept on to this body for the past 10 years. This is an awesome resurrection experience and I say HALLELUIAH1

My sincere thanks to the service this forum provides...a gold star to all you brilliant folks who share positive encouragement and education with us newbies.
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I have been using CPAP for a few weeks now. It has made a big difference in my daytime drowsiness. Not sure I have the optimum mask yet with the P10 but is is good enough for now. My take test AHI was 27. With my CPAP with AHI has been as low as 1.5 and as high as 3.4 bit seems to be averaging about 2.2. I do wake up a few times mostnights and i would like to improve that.
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