When I started on ResPro Auto Star CPAP, I couldn't believe how different I felt a few weeks after starting my treatment. After reading the problems that some other people on the forum have had, I feel lucky. It just took a couple of weeks to get used to the blast of air in my face (my pressure is 12cm). I probably used the ramp feature for less than a week.
All my co-workers and friends have commented on how much better I look. I have lots of energy, my headaches are gone, and I have no problems with fatigue and concentration. I have lost 12 pounds since starting on CPAP.
As other people have mentioned in other posts, the type of attitude you have when to start your CPAP journey can make a big difference. So keep your thoughts on a positive note and good luck!
:Banana: :Banana: :Banana:
04-23-2016, 06:44 AM
(This post was last modified: 04-23-2016, 06:48 AM by holden4th.)
I think I'm ready to write this now. I've been a member of the forum for a few months and it's been invaluable.
I suspect that I've had OSA for a number of years. The symptoms became more pronounced after my triple bypass at the beginning of 2013 and I was thinking that I should be feeling better with new coronary plumbing but I was feeling worse, more fatigued, than before I had the surgery.
Move along to late last year and my cardiologist quietly suggests a sleep study. Duly done in early November and two weeks later a diagnosis of OSA with an AHI of 57. So on to the titration where I think I only slept for about 90 minutes. Prescription for a CPAP set at 13. The rental company did me a huge favour in giving me an auto machine though it was set to CPAP 13. Less than a week later I've gone overseas with the machine (F&P Icon Auto) and the P10 nasal pillows. Even though I was based in one place this was a disaster and eventually I put the machine away. I just couldn't get to sleep with it. What I didn't realise that, as a mouth breather, as soon as I started to nod off the air escaped through my mouth and of course I woke up.
Back home was better but not much. With AHIs in the 20s to 30s obviously something wasn't working. Then VOILA! I discovered this forum. I asked heaps of questions, downloaded the clinical manual and turned my F&P into an APAP. AHIs came down into a range of between 9-12 so progress, but still not good enough. I also got a Dreamwear nasal mask which I love. I experimented with a chin strap because of mouth breathing then settled on a soft cervical collar. I'm hoping to lose this when I think I've trained myself to keep my mouth closed
Using what I had picked up from other members posts I realised that expiration was a problem and the F&P didn't cater for that in any way at all. So back to the DME asking for a Resmed. NO! You don't have a prescription. That was easily solved. Went and saw my GP, explained the problem and asked him to write me a prescription for APAP. He freely admitted that I appeared to know more about all of this than he did and assumed that I wasn't going to do myself any damage and the prescription was produced.
So back to the DME with a prescription and I walked out with the Resmed S9. The first night I used it was the turning point. Pressure setting of 10-15 with an EPR of 2 and the numbers came tumbling down. For a few weeks they were under five and just recently they are so close to going under 1.0 I'm waiting for that milestone.
Now do I feel better? The changes are interesting. I do start to flag (get tired) as the day goes on, but I get up with a clear head and that bodily feeling of fatigue (like carrying a grand piano on your shoulders all day) is not there. I've also noticed that my demeanour has changed. Things that used to bother me (and shouldn't have) I now think "so what?" I no longer sweat the little stuff - unless I don't use my APAP for a night. Overall the difference using my Resmed is quite marked and I'm a much happier person.
I'm not there yet but it will happen and much sooner than I originally thought. I feel I should sleep more than 8 hours a night but my early mornings (I'm a swim coach) preclude this happening. I feel that I need to wipe off my sleep debt but that's going to take a while.
One interesting point regarding blood pressure. I've been on BP meds since my CABG. I went to the hospital for a check up last week and recorded a BP of 113/73. The doc was bit surprised and asked me how I was taking my BP meds. It hasn't changed so maybe APAP has already helped in this regard. Also, my three nightly trips to the bathroom are now down to one. All positive indicators of change.
I read that 50% of those prescribed CPAP don't carry on. I think that I've been lucky and that I'll be able to carry on with this vital therapy.
Boomer, November 1956! Suspected I had Apnea due to my snoring. I could snore when wide awake if I was relaxed enough! Could also fall asleep at the drop of a hat except when standing. Got fired in 2008 because I couldn't stay awake at my desk. Employer had no sympathy. Started driving commercial over the road and my company said we could get a free sleep study and if necessary free equipment in 2010.
Sleep Latency was 7.4 minutes with REM Latency to REM at 121.5 minutes after sleep
onset. Sleep Efficiency was 83.3%. Sleep Stage Disruption (as percentage of total asleep
time) is as follows: stage one- 9.1; stage two- 71.5%; slow wave sleep- 1.9%. A total of
310 arousals were recorded. The arousal index was 53.6; the respiratory arousal index
Loud snoring was recorded. A total of 3 Obstructive apneas, 0 mixed, 139 Hypopneas,
and 0 centrals were recorded. This gives an apnea/hypopnea index of 24.5.
Tachy-brady arrhythmias associated with obstructive events were recorded.
Lowest oxygen Desaturation was 82.3% with a mean oxygen saturation of 92.6%. The
oxygen Desaturation index was 24.5 events per hour. Percentage of sleep time with
Oxygen Desaturations below 90% was 1.6.
Started with a Resmed S8 Autoset and Resmed full face mask. Hated the mask and got a nasal mask. Pillows would not stay in place and I spent more time adjusting the mask than I did sleeping. Went back to the full face and learned to live with it. Now I'm totally comfortable using it
My S8 died a couple of weeks ago and my sister-in-law had a PR BIPAP S/T that her husband never used, and gave it to me to replace my S8. Beggars can't be choosers! Set it up to match the S8 and have been using it for a couple weeks now and though I miss the Auto of the S8, it's working out ok.
Since May 2010, I have been more rested, don't fall asleep any more. no more snoring and I don't stop breathing. I'm a happy camper!
05-04-2016, 11:46 AM
Hello everyone! When I saw this thread I just had to add my story because CPAP saved my life.. I am finally ME again! I have felt so terrible waking up exhausted for so many years. I was a cranky old B*%@H most of the time. My poor family was suffering due to my irritability and honery behavior. I was a real pain.. I know I was! But I finally got a sleep study done at my doctors encouragement. And yes, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, no surprise there! I really liked the dreamwear mask so I went with it. The whole experience was very expensive because I didn't have insurance at the time, but I luckily was able to buy a machine that a friend from chruch wasn't using any more and bought a dreamwear mask from [commercial DME link removed]
. My first night with the dreamwear was a great night sleep! I felt alive for the first time in years! And with more practice using my CPAP I got even better sleep. Sleeping with a mask strapped to your face isn't an easy thing to get used to but I did after a few weeks and I now feel rested every morning. My family is very grateful too! Yay CPAP!!
To maintain our status as an educational organization, the only commercial links allowed in this forum are to CPAP-related manufacturer websites. This is stated in the Apnea Board Rules with details given in the Commercial Links Policy section.
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Four weeks in, about to meet sleep doc for 30 day followup, so putting my thoughts in order.
First thing to say is that, although I am apparently lucky in that the initial mask is working for me, I really would not have been able to make it work without reading the experience of people on this forum. Here are some of the lessons I take away already.
1. Cleaning equipment is much more important than I was initially advised, especially so if you live in a mildew friendly environment, near the ocean in my case. Upper respiratory tightness and shortness of breath really worried me, but went away after vinegar treatment. I learned from you guys that wiping down everything daily is not enough, so now I am religious about washing daily, emptying the humidifier daily, and disinfecting weekly. I think the docs worry that if they emphasize daily cleaning it will hurt compliance, but for me it was the opposite. I would have been forced to stop if I had not shifted into a more rigorous cleaning regime.
2. Mask does not have to be tight in order to seal. I have a big head and lots of hair (including facial), and the head gear has to be expanded even beyond the max, otherwise I get bad sore on the bridge of my nose (nasal mask). I learned from you guys about loosening, and also about using a little piece of surgical tape as an extra padding. Again, compliance would have been impossible without the tweak. Thanks!
3. Hose works better if it comes from above. Initially I put the machine on the floor (trying to hide it from my wife, who found the whole contraption much too similar to hospital ventilation in intensive care, freaked her out). Now I put it on the bedside table and loop the hose over the headboard. I learned that from you guys. Again thanks! (Wife has now adapted also, since no snoring, but also no gasping, and a more alert and less grumpy spouse.)
4. Tracking data helps. I haven't yet downloaded sleepyhead, though I expect I will (I live on my laptop already). But I did enable the MyAir feature on my Resmed Airsense 10, and rather look forward every morning to checking my numbers. It's like a little reinforcement mechanism, confirming your felt experience. During the mildew episode my AHI numbers spiked, confirming that something was wrong and incentivizing me to search for answer. Last five nights I have been under 2 every night. (I was 25 before, so only moderate, but after only four weeks I am also sleeping two hours less, and not napping during the day, hence my screenname!) Working for me, most definitely.
5. Adjustment is cyclical. The very first week my numbers were great, but there have been two noticable multiple-night spikes since then. I learned from you guys that the body just needs time to get used to the treatment. After only four weeks, I suppose I am not yet fully adapted, but my body seems to be craving the CPAP, like it knows what is good for it. It reminds me of yin yoga. When you start, it is very painful because you are opening areas that have been closed for a long time, but with time the body learns and begins to crave.
6. Dream adjustment to normal takes time. Initially I think my body was catching up on years of REM-deprivation, as I had very vivid and very physical dreams, including nightmares. Over time that has calmed down, probably to something more normal. I think I learned about this symptom from one of the sleep information sites I found, the NIH sight on "Understanding Sleep". I found it quite helpful to learn a bit about what sleep is for, as a way of emphasizing the positive.
Anyway, it was a long journey to get here. Lots of stupid snoring solutions that didn't work, then an ENT doc, then home sleep study, then an overnight titration study, and finally the prescription for machine. It was a long journey, but I feel like I finally am doing the right thing for myself. I started yoga when I realized, at about 40, that I would soon be a cripple if I didn't address the issue; I could not touch my knees but today at 56 I can step on my palms. Similarly, I started CPAP when I realized that what I thought was just a personal need for extra sleep was actually a symptom of a problem that was getting worse and worse with age. Say what you will, CPAP works a lot faster than yoga!
If I have to use the machine for the rest of my life, I guess that will be okay, because it does help a lot. But having experienced a month without apnea, I am also incentivized to try to lose a bit of weight (it was either that or didgeridoo!). At 5'11 I am 190 lbs, so my goal is 180 by the end of summer. I learn from you guys that probably ten pounds will not cure apnea, but only lower the pressure I need. Since I am on 7 cm only, I am mainly looking to get to the point where I can skip a few nights when I am travelling on business (about one international flight a month) since I want to travel as light as possible. But that's just a goal, not a necessity.
Friday I meet with the doc, who will download the detailed data. Probably that will inspire me to learn how to download and interpret myself. I'm finding the whole thing pretty interesting, opening up a whole dimension of life, mind-body connection, that is new to me.
"a more alert and less grumpy spouse" LOL
I guess my story is successful but is more of a journey. I was diagnosed 1991. My wife at the time knew something was wrong, taped my "stop breathing" at night and we went to our GP. She sent me to a specialist and I went to Hornsby for a sleep study. The specialist said I was the second worst case he had seen, I was on 15 Cm. I was having 99 episodes an hour and my blood oxygen was dropping into the low 50's. I could not drive for more than 30 mins and would fall asleep mid conversation in the middle of the afternoon.
I woke up on the train one morning with a paper airplane on my lap - it had writing "Please don't sleep, you snore like a chainsaw".
The machine changed things instantly. I was so bad I had no problem getting used to the brick (the machine was huge, a Sullivan, and had no fancy extras like the modern CPAPs. The brushes used to burn out every 8-9 months and I had to drive to Glebe, leave it there for a week (they would give me a loan machine) and start again.
I now have a ResMed S9 APAP, I have lost a lot of weight and was last tested at 8.5 Cm pressure. It seems I may be close to the point where the CPAP is no longer necessary. As used to it as I am, I would love to not need it. I camp regularly and the silence of the bush is not the same with the quiet whir of my machine. I do have batteries and things so I can escape for a while.
So, if you need one of these things, that are worth their weight in gold. If you don't, happy days. If I ever can come off the CPAP I will forever appreciate the relief and life it gave me.
I have been at this sleep apnea thing for years now and success is very slow. It took six months on my first machine to positively impact my energy level. I have two other sleep disorders, night terrors and REM sleep disorder. The machine I just got put on will treat central apnea that they think I have had all along. This Resmed 10 st machine forces me to breath every six seconds and took awhile to get use to. I still have problems falling back asleep after 2pm as the pressure , even with the ramp is a bit much. I'm in a nightmare period now so it is taking away from whatever the sleep machine is doing for me. I lost 50 pounds, but it had no effect. I will loose 50 more to be at an ideal weight , but doubt it will impact my sleep. I wish I could get faster results but I can not. I am very high in hours per night of use. I will continue to plug along!
I am new to this forum. I have been using CPAP machine for the last 3 months. I bought a F & P Icon Auto and the unit has been flawless in terms of performance. I have been diagnosed as having severe AHI of up to 81 times in one night. Doc said this is severe. My experience on Icon CPAP has been great. My AHI has dropped to the currently level of 2 and at times below 2. I downloaded Snorelab and my sleep score has also improved to 2 or 3 instead of high 107 at one point. My wife has told me that I don't snore anymore and at times if snoring is presence, it's mild compared to previous times before CPAP is used.
My life has changed since CPAP being used. I am more alert during the day and while driving. Energy level is also higher. I don't feel tired during work and can last till the evening with much improved alertness and focus on work.
I travel frequently and recently I have bought a Dreamstation as it is thinner and fit to the travel bag conveniently. I still love my Icon though and has always been a work horse in any environment.
IMHO, this is a life changing product and I strongly urge anyone who has doubt about using it to try out.
Since being diagnosed with severe sleep apnea about 10 months ago, I was prescribed a CPAP and have used it ever since. While it took some getting used to, there's no doubt that it has changed my life for the better, and probably even saved it.
For around 25 years my wife would occasionally mention that due to my waking up gasping for air or her claiming that she could tell I stopped breathing during the night, she thought I should be tested for sleep apnea. I rationalized the gasping for air as probably something I ate that might have been too spicy but I had no explaination for my supposed stopping breathing. Nevertheless, I put it on the back burner as "something I ought to do one of these days." For those who might be wondering if I'm one of those guys who discounts what his wife says, nothing could be further from the truth. This had nothing to do with that, but mostly due to my stupidity. For whatever reason, I did decide to get tested, and the rest is history.
It took some getting used to and I had to learn how to use the machine but I started to notice results almost immediately: the gasping for air (which is perhaps the most unpleasant feeling I've ever had, as I swear that I thought I was going to die) stopped. That alone was worth the price of admission. Instead of having a stuffy head when I awoke which usually took 3 or 4 hours to clear up, I awoke with a clear head, which to me was a miracle. I used to think "that's just the way I am," as I'd been this way as far back as I can remember.
Having given this a lot of thought, I feel that my undiagnosed sleep apnea has affected me throughout my life, both physically and mentally, but I got a second chance. My sleep doctor explained about severe sleep apnea and its effects, including how hard it is on one's heart. Having had one heart attack, I don't want or need another. Did it cause it? Probably not, as it's one of a few probable contributing factors, and I was an expert at abusing my body in any number of ways and having a deep love for anything which was bad for you. But that's another story.
A nurse told me a story about a physician who also has sleep apnea and he told her that in his opinion it's THE MOST undiagnosed disease. I tend to believe that, as it's very subtle and "As long as I wake up, everything must be alright." My own opinion is that many who pass away in their sleep might be victims of this disease. In any case, I feel blessed to have it diagnosed and in remission; just like my heart attack, I got a second chance and intend to make the most of it.