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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
New to this forum.

Currently age 35. For years, maybe since teenage time, I feel lethargic during the day, had concentration issue while studying and needed coffee during my examination time. At my height, I would have 10 cups of coffee during my undergraduate examination period. I never thought about sleep apnea or even know what it is.

While serving in the military (maybe about 6-7 years ago), my bunk mate said that I snore, then stopped breathing for a good 30 seconds or so, then choked and resumed breathing again. He was so scared when he told me that he really thought I was going to die. One of my friends' girlfriend shared with me about sleep apnea but I wasn't too serious about it.

In Jan 2015, my weight hit 100kg briefly, causing a concern to me. In 2015 Jul, while traveling with a few colleagues for an overnight trip, my room mate complained jokingly that my snoring nearly killed him and he couldn't sleep at all. He was outright honest.

2016 lead me to doing something for myself, I arranged for a sleep test and it had a waiting period of 5-6 months. Thank God someone else cancelled the appointment for the sleep test and I was able to bring in forward much earlier, but it was on my birthday. The result of the sleep test indicates that I have severe OSA with AHI of over 33. I was advised to go for a trial or rental of the Auto CPAP machine and see if it helps. I bought the Dreamwear and Amara View full face mask online which is much cheaper than the local vendors (note that I am not from USA and local insurance does not cover CPAP equipment), rent the Resmed S9 Autoset. It feel great and i do not feel the need for coffee nowadays to keep myself awake. I drink coffee nowadays for leisure and when I need to be at Starbucks to do some work.

The rental was just a month back but I am feeling good from the good sleep. I ordered the cheaper Dreamstation with humidifier and heated tubing online and got it shipped to my country for almost a third of what the local vendors are selling. I am surprised that I don't have much issue adjusting other than the first 2 days using the Dreamwear nasal mask as I am used to keeping my mouth open when sleeping.

Currently I am 86kg, down from 93kg from 4 months ago. The CPAP machine gives me encouragement to manage my health better with better concentration and energy level. Along with my diet, I hope to reduce my weight to 75kg or lower in the long run to improve my odds against high BP, high cholesterol, heart issues as well as fatty liver issues. I may or may not be off the CPAP, but it does give me another shot for a healthier life.
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I am the typist for my disabled veteran husband. He has been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in his home state of KS over ten years ago, but when he came to NYC when we married we discovered that his sleep settings and mask were all wrong. He had a sleep study here that indicated a more detailed study which showed that he was at the wrong pressure to treat the apnea, and that he probably never had proper therapy for it. He was using a nasal pillow and was opening his mouth during sleep. Over time, he would go into very low oxygen at night, which contributed to cognitive loss and daily migraines, so our saga for a proper mask was suddenly very very important. We are discovering that with a pressure of 12, it is much harder to fit a mask with no leaks. He was using the full face Amara mask with liners because silicone breaks his skin out. So we have solved the first part of the problem for the most part, and are now trying to find a more comfortable mask. He has complicating factors of Sjogrens Disease, asthma, and fibromyalgia. He also has a short, trimmed beard. With his skin problems, he can't shave it all off, but we keep it pretty short. He is now trying the SleepWeaver Anew full face mask and the microfiber feels super on his face, but leaks badly. We are hoping to get some tips about how to help it. He is 66, and has had bad cognitive loss we are finally identifying and working to reverse whatever damage we can. With a small oximeter we bought, the great news is that when he makes it through the night, half the time, he awakes with a level of 97%. He has reduced his heavy duty painkillers by almost two thirds. His brain is already doing better. It's a long road, but one that is more successful every day. I have learned so much on these boards about fitting the masks that he wanted me to be a member and give him a voice on this forum. These boards are so very useful! We are so glad to be a part of it.
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Eat-popcorn like Three years ago I was told by the doctor that I needed a sleep apnea test.  On my way to the test I was talking to myself saying this is stupid and a waste of time.  I was sure that they were not going to find that I had sleep apnea.  The hospital staff was very kind and before long I was all hooked up and ready to sleep.  
About an hour into the test the nurse woke me up and said they were going to go ahead and put me on the actual machine.  She said that I was having too many episodes and there was no reason to go any further.  Half asleep I said ok and went back to sleep and didn't move again until the nurse woke me up.  I felt so great - it was the first time I could remember not waking up with a headache.  I use my machine everyday usually for 8 hours.  People ask me how I stand the mask and my reply is, if you accept it you don't move around so you don't even know its on you face.  Went on a trip with my sister and she couldn't believe how still I was and no snoring.  Can't, rather won't, live without it now.  
When I told the doctor that I was tired all the time I had no idea that I would this machine would save my life.
I had told the doctor I felt like I was dying inside and am so thankful for the machine. Mine is a ResMed with the humidifier and  Thanks
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Great stories folks!!!

There are actually at least 3-4 CATEGORIES of reasons to use a CPAP/APAP machine:

  1.  Avoid being tired and groggy the next day (mental clarity, functioning) as well as avoiding headaches (some might separate this into two groups).

  2. Long term health benefits -- avoiding organ damage or giving your body a chance to repair existing damage

  3. Prevent snoring (mostly helps you partner)

  4. Because you just plain sleep better

Many people overlook #4 or actually feel like it is the opposite but with the proper mask (P10 for me) and the proper technique (actually nothing very special is required as a minimum) then one can actually ENJOY USING THE MASK and #4 becomes reason enough alone to continue to always use the mask.

For those achieving reason #4, the mask is no longer a burden but becomes and actual pleasure, much like the Nirvana of finding the "Perfect Pillow". 


I would wear the mask fo reasons #3 and #4 even if #1 and #2 didn't exist.  I love my mask and love wearing it.

FYI:  For host management technique (side sleepers), I believe the "small whip hose" on the P10 needs to go STRAIGHT down the body to about the upper waist (just below the ribs) with no kinks, bends or tensions -- this is just about to the junction with the main hose.)
Then if turned away from the machine, it turns 90 degrees and goes over the waist fitting just below the ribs so that ones arm doesn't press it into the side (noticeably), and then directly off the best to the machine WITHOUT being trapped under another pillow.

When facing the machine, the hose starts the same way but since it doesn't go 'over the body' it should be trapped under a body pillow on the front side so the waight of the host will not pull on it and the whip portion will stay snuggled up to the body until about the belly button.

Back sleeps can just use this facing the machine method with the hose lying on the breast bone down to below the ribs and being trapped under a machine side pillow.

Seriously, I taught my wife to do this on night #1 for her and she has never had a minutes trouble using her mask 24/7 the last 2+ years.

No need for fancy "host management" and it is easy to move around or turn over -- just slip the hose under or free of the body pillow on the machine side depending on direction of turn.

Also, if you hear any whistling or other significant noise or feel any wind or 'nose flutter' from your (P10) mask then YOU HAVE A LEAK -- stop that!

A properly worn (P10) mask makes no noticeable noise and produces not noticeable wind (a slight 'oozing' right in front of the grill sis the only real external sign the thing is even working).
Sweet Dreams,

Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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(02-10-2017, 12:02 AM)herbm Wrote: 4. Because you just plain sleep better

Many people overlook #4 or actually feel like it is the opposite but with the proper mask (P10 for me) and the proper technique (actually nothing very special is required as a minimum) then one can actually ENJOY USING THE MASK and #4 becomes reason enough alone to continue to always use the mask.

I agree completely. I would add that adaptation is the crucial part of achieving this level of success. The human being, and all creatures really, have this amazing ability to adapt. I think many people don't achieve success with CPAP therapy because they don't allow themselves enough time to adapt.

Once adapted the entire apparatus of CPAP therapy does become comfortable. It may not be as pleasurable as not having sleep apnea, but it is much better than struggling with the torture of sleep apnea. One advantage that a person with sleep apnea has over a person without sleep apnea is a regulated flow of climate-controlled air into the body. But we have to put up with the hose. All of this is of course not relevant to us because we are all people with sleep apnea, so for us CPAP therapy offers all the benefits you mentioned.

I suggest we start a new thread in the Main Forum to continue this discussion so we can reserve this thread for success stories.
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It took a while to find right mask (Nuance Pro) and get the setting right for me, but now, I have gone from getting up 8-10 times a night, to only 2 last night, and I hardly notice the mask now.  I was surprised, because my sleep study did not show apnea, but did show Sp02 dropping to below 85% intermittently. Wasn't sure CPAP would work, but it has really made a difference. My AHI last night was 2.1. Smile
Old man, new machine. Better sleep! Thanks
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My problem was I was getting up 8-12 times a night and going to the bathroom.  I thought it was a bladder problem, as I had bladder cancer 20 years ago, successfully treated with BCG (a kind of chemo) and had no recurrence. My Urologist even said "Are you getting up to go because you have to go, or are you going because you wake up?"  I didn't consider Apnea, as I do not snore (confirmed by wife.) After waiting some time, I went ahead and took an at home sleep test, which showed my AHI at .5, so no apnea, I thought. The sleep specialist noted that my SpO2 dropped below 85% several times, which coincided with my waking. He suggested I might still benefit from CPAP.

Anyway, long story short, I got a Phillips Dreamstation Auto, and a Wisp mask. First night was rough, as I had it on fixed pressure (13). The software showed and AHI of 14!

Moving ahead 3 weeks, I got it set up on auto, 6-15 pressure, and got a Nuance pro nasal pillow mask. What a difference. Last night, for the first time in years, I only woke once. Dream mapper shows AHI 1.2. This is about typical for last 2 weeks. Been using CPAP 100% of the night, and sleeping better than I ever had. like

Just for curiosity, I ordered the CMS50F SpO2 monitor, which should come today. I want to see how the SpO2 levels are doing.

I do have COPD, but learned diaphragmatic breathing in Pulmonary rehab, and still in my Tai Chi and Aikido classes. Back about 15 years ago I went from 233 pounds to 170, and hold there. Where I could not walk to the mailbox without stopping to catch my breath, now I hike regularly 3-5 miles, and do Tai Chi and Aikido, work out at gym, etc. Even at that, until CPAP my sleep was interrupted. During day, even with exercise, my SpO2 is between 94-97%. It was only at night, when I would go to sleep and start breathing shallowly, that it dropped.

Anyway, good thing I started. A bit late (I will be 73 in April), but better lated than never! Rolleyes
Old man, new machine. Better sleep! Thanks
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I guess I have a partial success story ... back in 2009, while at the ENT doc with one of my kids, I asked for an appointment to address my snoring. I was tired all the time, driving home was a bit of a crapshoot as I'd be drowsy and fall asleep. Not good.

Some background ... I've always snored. I first noticed my snoring in college, when I weighed a measly 125 lb. The dorm had suites, so I had my own room ... the building was pretty utilitarian, made of cinder block, so my room was a bit "echo-y." When I got married, my wife jokingly mentioned how she wanted to smother me with a pillow because my snoring was so bad. When she was pregnant, I gained a bunch of weight, topping out at 235 lb (not from 125 lb, though, as I steadily gained weight after college(!)). I did get down to 200 lb with diet and exercise ...

Anyhow, I finally decided to go for it. Visited the doc, who prescribed a sleep study. Did the study, they found I had something like (I forget the numbers) 17 "events" per hour where I didn't breathe for 45 seconds. That was a bit of a shocker. I received a Philips Respironics M series, which seemed to help my general fatigue. In 2010 the CPAP supplier called me to let me know I could get a new machine, which I did, a REMstar Plus with C-Flex (model 250). For a while my compliance waxed and waned, in the summer, when I was hot, I tended to avoid using the machine. In the winter, when it was cold, I'd always use it. That was then ... in the last year or so I've been much more diligent about using it. There are periods when I don't use it ... like dry camping in my travel trailer ... and I definitely notice the negative impact on how I feel.

About a week ago I read an article that mentioned how regular CPAP users often need their machines adjusted to increase the pressure. Hrm. I dug around a bit and found this forum. Wow. Awesome stuff, and awesome sharing/self-help. I asked for a copy of the Clinician's Manual for my CPAP (thank you sleepyhead), and using the instructions on this site, yesterday I adjusted my CPAP pressure from 8 to 8.5. It appears that my current device is not a data logging type, which is very disappointing to me. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the data logging machines, the software available, and the user support community. Just fantastic.

I have a followup with the ENT on another issue, and I'm going to ask about the CPAP. If I can get a new device, I'd like a data logging model ... maybe even an auto-PAP.

In related news, I'm a big podcast listener and have been paying extra-special attention to podcasts that discuss sleep hygiene. One thing I adapted (that I heard on "The Art of Charm" podcast) is upon waking, drink about 1 liter of room-temperature water (to replace that lost overnight). Wow. What a difference it's made.

On a related note, I listened to a 2-part interview with Tim Ferriss (on "The James Altucher Show" podcast) that was pretty damned good. I decided to buy Tim's "Tools of Titans" and learned about the Chilipad. I haven't purchased one yet ... but I'm seriously thinking about it. I'm beginning to think it's time to overhaul all of my sleep practices ... CPAP and all.

Warm Regards-
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You would do great on an auto CPAP, and if you can move up to the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset, you would not believe the difference, and flexibility. You have been at this probably as long as I have, and yet your journey is just beginning since you have never had a data capable device. I believe in it so strongly, that if insurance would not cover you, I would encourage you to just buy it.

One thing to keep in mind. When insurance pays for a machine, they reimburse for HCPCS code E0601. The supplier (DME) gets paid the same whether they dispense a basic brick like yours, or an auto CPAP, so they have an obvious financial incentive to give you the cheapest one on the shelf. Most people never know to ask for anything better. If your primary doctor is willing to manage your sleep apnea care, that is much easier than using a specialist. He can prescribe auto CPAP and any replacement must meet that requirement. The best thing you can do in the meanwhile is try to obtain the clinical record of your original sleep study and a copy of your current prescription. These can continue to provide proof of medical necessity for future replacements without a sleep study. I got mine from 2008. It may take some digging into archives, but getting this old record can really help you.
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(03-01-2017, 08:07 AM)dosco Wrote: In 2010 the CPAP supplier called me to let me know I could get a new machine, which I did, a REMstar Plus with C-Flex (model 250).

Hi Dave. It's been more than 5 years so you're again eligible for a new machine. This time get a good one.


Let's start a new thread if we want to continue this discussion.
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