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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
I started using the CPAP 11 months ago. Should probably be using it for at least a couple years before that, but I resisted as much as I could.

I was falling asleep during video conferences, at my desk at work, in the middle of a live conversation between two sentences, driving (had to give up driving on roads), standing up (fell a few times). It was also affecting my health as my weight was increasing even with diets, blood pressure was high even taking meds, so was collesterol and other minor issues. My memory, famous with people that know me well, became poor for recent events. I had to sleep during lunch hour just to be able to function in the afternoon. I would never sleep more than 3 consecutive hours without waking up.

Climax was on a long weekend on which I had a cold. I spent 4 days alternating between being asleep and being awake every couple of hours, and each day I was more tired than the day before.
On monday I just could not go to work. I finally gave up and went to see a doctor.

I got my sleep study done and got my CPAP 3 days later. The day I got it I really slept, for the first time, in a very long time.

11 months later I lost 30 pounds, still taking meds for high blood pressure but now it is never high, my collesterol went down almost to normal, I never fall asleep anymore, my memory is back to what it used to be and I can drive for 6 hours on the road without even considering asking my wife to take over, like I used to do. Realy a life changer.

It was a very expensive device. Paid around USD 2000 for it in Brazil. Healthcare plans don't cover it. It is also, I must admit, a very unpractical thing to have to use and maintain. Nevertheless, knowing what I know now, I would pay twice the price if I had to and I would deal with twice the hassle of using and cleaning it, if I had to.
Even if I disregard how much better I feel, dealing with the other health issues that apnea was causing would have been more expensive and more anoying than the CPAP.

I now recommend to any friend that mentions problems to sleep or being too tired, or sleepy: go get a sleep study done and if you need a CPAP, just get it as soon as you can.

I want to thank everyone in this forum, because it helped me with so much valuable information to get my sleep right. And as I now know, nothing is worth more than my sleep.
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Thanks for posting that encouraging message, lsantinelli.. Coffee

I too had issues when driving, but probably not as bad as you described.  Man, that not only affected your health long-term, but you could have gotten in an auto accident and ended your life prematurely.   Shock-2

Congratulations on getting your sleep apnea under control.

Amazing
SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
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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Imediate improvement of my sleep. I have been using my trial Phillips APAP for a week and can hardly believe the results. I did a sleep study at Monash hospital in Melbourne, my AHI was 57.2 which Is pretty bad  I am still learning so I dont fully understand the jargon and the numbers but I do know that already I now sleep almost all the way through the night. I have problems with my mouth dropping open but I am sure that I will find a way to overcome this. AHI after a week is 8.2
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Neil, the important metric you want to look at on your trial machine is the pressure. At this point, you should consider increasing the minimum pressure to be equal to your nightly average pressure. These statistics are available on-screen or by using SleepyHead. Using the auto pressure range of 4-20 is not the most effective use of that machine. Glad you are feeling some relief.
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Well I'm 318 days in to CPAP use, and I'm well within compliance requirements to continue to hold my commercial driving licence.. so I'm happy.

I just need to get serious about sorting out my power supply for my motorcycle camping trips now.

[Image: SGP%20data%2020170413_zpsag3hvqtm.jpg]
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Last night I had my best night ever, although short in time. A zero AHI!!

[Image: bKSoDfqm.jpg]

I had to arise early after 4 hours for unrelated reasons but I awoke this morning feeling fine!  I drove my wife to have cataract surgery at 6 AM.  I sat for 2 hours waiting for her while I read and watched TV.  I never fell asleep! That is unusual.  In the past I would have slept in the waiting room.

I feel like I am getting normal sleep for the first time in many years.  I feel very happy and successful to have come this far.  

My path has been long.  My original AHI was about 44. I used CPAP for about 28 years. I switched to a BiPaP machine 17 months ago to help a mixed obstructive/central apnea.  I found the Apneaboard group about 6-8 months ago. I started using SleepyHead software. This group's members helped me adjust the machine to the best levels, eliminating all obstructive apneas.

Then I was still having many central apneas.  With encouragement from this group, a couple of months ago I switched to an ASV machine which almost eliminated the central apneas.

Again, tips from forum members helped me reduce those remaining central apneas leaving only hypopneas.

About a week ago using SleepyHead I realized excess mask leakage was associated sleeping on my back and with increased hypopneas.

So I started using a back bolster to stay on my side.

I then had 3 nights in a row of AHI < 1 followed by last night when I had an AHI of Zero!!

Keep up the work to find machine settings and mask that work for you.   It is worth it!!  Ask for help when you need it, from your doctor.  But sometimes you will get more considered replies here than your doctor has time for. I have told my pulmonologist about my contacting the group and he is familiar with it.

Working together with him and this group, with my studying appropriate information mostly referenced by this group has created my successful outcome.

Thanks to everyone! Thanks Sleep-well
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I was diagnosed with AHI of 77! Was asked by a colleague to see a Dr when I told him about loud snoring and frequent temptations to take a nap in the afternoon. Was scared to put a CPAP machine but the risks were too high. I bought a Resmed AirSense 10 and has been on it for 12 days now ! First day - it was amazing; i never felt so fresh. I am addicted to it but still putting mask every night bothers for few minutes but the discomfort is worth it !!

I started looking at apnea board as I was diagnosed and within few days felt like I have questions to all my answer! Thanks to the board - my mask was a perfect fit - had some sores on the first day but then board told me that you are putting it too tight !

this is a great place; I never put my reviews or share experience online but this made so much of a difference that I am excited

" Answers to all my questions" --  I am so excited Smile
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Congratulations! And I agree, this board has been incredibly helpful and I feel the same way
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I started CPAP therapy in 2008. I was returning from vacation and unbeknownst to me at the time went into atrial fibrillation a few days later. I still remember it like it was yesterday I woke up gasping for air and felt my heart jump. I went and got my cuff and checked my blood pressure and it was really elevated I couldn’t get back to sleep.

I had picked up bronchitis on the way home from a cruise on the plane so I was really congested and taking Sudafed (the good kind) and Mucinex which is why I grabbed the cuff cause Sudafed is really bad for blood pressure I went to work and over the course of the day I started having problems breathing and was fatigued.  It got so bad I couldn't walk 10 feet without gasping for air. I was still really congested and figured hey maybe I have pneumonia and went to the urgent care center and they did an EKG, and came back and said “What hospital do you want to go to?” and I responded “ None!!?” and they said the ambulance is on the way your heart is in atrial fibrillation going up to 220 BPM. 

Looking back I was not really aware of the pulse because it is beating so fast and irregular it actually feels like you are skipping beats. I had always exercised and you could feel a strong pulse but these were really weak partial beats since the heart beats so fast the chambers don't have time to fully load or pump 100% so it's a weak pulse. I have for some time worn a fit bit to keep an eye on my HR and well as many other features

On the way to the hospital they gave several IV meds to try and bring it back into normal rhythm, which did not work. To make a long story short, they had to shock my heart to get it back in rhythm. I asked the cardiologist what caused it and his attitude was they didn’t know and the important thing was they got it back normal. It was several months later my primary care doctor told me I needed a sleep study because it could have been the cause. I don’t remember my events but the tech at the sleep study told me if it got bad they would put the mask on me, and of course they did at about 2 am.

My sleep specialist told me during the follow up that I qualified to be a navy seal jokingly because there were periods of up to 3 minutes I stopped breathing in references to navy seals holding their breath for 3 minutes. I was athletic all my life and was a competitive weight lifter body builder and had for the past several years start seeing changes in blood work and fitness levels even with dietary and exercise adjustments. I was always tired nodding off in meetings at my desk, always had the fog, I had stack full’s of notebooks that I used both at home and at work to write down tasks and meetings and anything else I might need because I would be in a fog all the time.

I had frequent visits to the gastroenterologists and been on acid blockers and had a lot of damage to my esophagus –even at one point requiring tonsil removal because the excessive gastric reflux stomach acid caused them to get infected. I drank tons of coffee and diet sodas (causing the acid reflux), and took tons of sleep meds over that time to help me get deep sleep. Nothing worked. I even went to an urologist because I was getting up to use the bathroom 20 times a night. As I would later find out I was just going to the bathroom, because I was waking up because of the apneas. I kept detailed journals of my exercise and lifting and looking back at them regressed greatly in physical size, strength, and shape.

I felt like I was 70 years old. My first sleep machine was a REMstar? and it was terrible compared to the ones we have today. It blew 17 the whole time you had to breathe against it, not like the sensing systems we have today. I noticed an instant change in how I felt and within days the fog was gone I got great sleep dropped the tons of coffee and got off the acid blockers stopped the sleep meds and felt like superman. My blood work changed dramatically over the next few months and I lost weight and all my exercise sessions were off the charts. I never dreaded the afternoons or driving home.

What brought me to this board was a cry for help as some know by reading my thread my S9 ResMed elite was malfunctioning and I had been 4 days without it, I got replacement from a co worker of mine and all is returning to normal, but those last days with out I was dead to the world – fog, falling asleep at my desk, no energy, drinking coffee nonstop, dead in the gym waking up 20 times a night again etc.

A subtle reminder to me on how dependant I am on the CPAP and have secured a back up for and when if ever my new one goes down.

I know many people that don’t use their machines and some have even had the surgery to get of CPAP’s but mine is something I look at as not a burden but as a way of life. I never thought of it at the time but remember Reggie White dying at 43 in his sleep from complications of untreated apnea, so as most know these machines save and or extend not only our lives but the quality of life itself.
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Thanks for your story and when I read that you stopped breathing 3 minutes, that constitutes a dangerous sign, any longer, your brain wouldn't get enough oxygen either to keep you alive or possibly cause you to be in a vegetation state.  Fortunatley , you done your homework and kept meticulous records.  The newer machine that you have is something I would like to get to monitor your sleep, REM and times when you stop breathing and the number of seconds or even a minute.  In my case, living near Seattle, WA, allergies are so bad for me and the worst part is it wakes me up for the little sleep I get, nose running like a faucet (exaggerating the faucet part..Smile  and causes me to choke, the whole mask is wet and it feels like I could be drowning for all the fluid.  When I lived in Las Vegas, NV, desert country, extremely dry and very hot during the summer month's which last about a half of a year, never have I experience this severe of an allergy.  Two and a half years ago, I moved to the Seattle area but within the last year, my allergies started to get worse.  About six months ago, it started getting pretty bad and now within the last three months, it is severe.  I have also developed COPD and emphysema.  Now I cough more, hoarse at times, sneeze a lot, graveled voice at times, nose constantly running and dripping if I don't catch it and just plain feel miserable.  As you know, Washington State on the Western side of the Cascades is extremely moist and rains a lot here.  We are surrounded by water everywhere.  Now, I really don't know what to do with keeping my mask on and drying my nose.  I have taken over the counter allergy meds in pill form and sprays.  None seem to help that much and even use the humidifier on the CPAP to warm up the water reservoir and that still doesn't help.  What you say is that you lost weight and eat sensibly, keep in good fit which has really helped you.  I know that I am overweight some, not obese but I love my food.  Now I am contemplating to be careful what I eat and try to lose weight.  I have been to Weight Watchers and other program but even though you lose weight, for some reason I go back and put the weight back on.  The main problem for me is learning how to use your mind to help you lose the weight.  It is really a mind set.  Without the support, it doesn't work.  When I went to WW, there was support as I went to meetings.  I tried the online WW and although you have the materials to do it, the incentive was not there, called procrastination.  I am really good at that and the result is depression for not only the weight but from chronic pain over most my body and when you hurt, it takes a toll on you.  I am not a young person in age as I am 78 years old.  I know your body slows down and can't do the things I want to; even clean house.  So, you let it go until you have no choice but to clean house.  My house isn't dirty but cluttered.  Depression will stop me from doing the things I need to do.  It is just easier to sit around not doing much.  I am always on the computer which I love to do; sometimes for hours at a time.  My doctor who was recommended by my new insurance is Medicare Advantage which is a HMO kind of medicine.  Fortunately, I was recommended to go to a care center who does not believe in traditional medicine but more of a holistic approach for the patient to help themselves.  I think that is rather good.  I get to spend an hour with the doctor and really talk about these situations.  Who spends that much time with a doctor?  Generally unheard of.  Well, anyway that is my story.  What I need is advise on how I can keep my CPAP pillows on so I don't pull it off all the time.  If I can control my allergies, that would be a plus.  Maybe I can get 6 or 7 hours sleep a night and not between 2-3 hours.  How can my body be configured for the next day with little sleep.  Being always tired is no fun.  I have used a full face mask but still the allergies take it's toll.  I am going to talk to my doctor seriously about and she what she can do.  So, take care and thanks for your response.  Hope to hear from your shortly.  Pleasant dreams.

Mel
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