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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(02-20-2012, 11:20 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: [note: parts of this thread were copied over from our old forum (thread started in March. 2011) For brevity, only posts of personal stories have been copied over here.  Posts of greetings and comments and CPAP advice have not been copied to this thread.]

Thanks to one of our Master Members, this thread was created to encourage new CPAP users.

If you have a CPAP success story, please reply to this post and tell us:

1.  How is CPAP therapy making a positive difference in your life?   What impact has it made upon your health & happiness?

2.  Have you had any problems with CPAP that you solved with a positive outcome?  If so, what did you do to solve the problem?

Welcome to Apnea Board - let us know how CPAP has helped you!


Hopefully, I am logged on with my new password, if not, I will try again. My story is having sleep apnea for 10 years and treated with CPAP, BiPAP machines and never felt like I had a good nights sleep. For the past 2 years, I was using the Res Med Air Curve 10 with settings of 14 E9, BT 12, ST Mode and my AHI's were in the 40-50 range and feeling sleepy all day long.
Several months ago, I was changed to a Respironics BiPAP machine auto SV  ADV  60  with settings  of  Max IPAP 25, MAX EPAP 10, MIN EPAP 10, MAX PS 8, MIN PS 4, RISE TIME 3, FLEX 3, B.U. AUTO and have reduced my AHI's to the lowest ever, they range from 1.1 to 11.0 and the net result is I feel good again. QUESTION ?  Are AHI"s the only result to determine how you feel ? If not, what other settings must I monitor ? Thanks !   :thanks:
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
G'day Kazzman, and welcome to Apnea Board. It's good to see that you're getting your therapy under control.

Kazzman Wrote:QUESTION ? Are AHI"s the only result to determine how you feel ? If not, what other settings must I monitor ?

AHIs are the primary measure, but it's possible to have a low AHI and still not get restful sleep. The first question to ask is "How do you feel?" If you're waking refreshed and without a headache, and you're bright and alert through the day, then that's the main consideration. Other things to watch are mask leaks - the machine can't correctly diagnose or treat apneas if the leak goes over the red line. This could give you a false low AHI. Persistent leaks below the threshold can also disturb your sleep, especially if they blow into you eyes or cause "face farts". Also, keep a look out for periodic breathing or Cheyne Stokes Respiration.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
It was a dark and stormy night, or should I say snore'y night being woken by an elbow from a beautiful woman.

My journey into understanding I had SA started with an elbow from my beautiful wife in 2014 telling me I was snoring and to turn over. Over the following year, I experienced growing fatigue and insomnia to slowly peak to no energy at the end of the day and crashing into sleep. I remember waking suddenly about once a week with a racing heart, and a growing sense that in the mornings that I had not slept. My snoring had progressively worsened to a point where my wife was regularly moving to sleep in the spare bedroom which was not right in my book. I tried nasal dilation strips anti-histamine nasal spray and sleeping in the spare room when I was last to bed. I knew I was suffering from sleep deprivation from my experience with our 2 children and 2 hour sleep intervals over a years for our youngest.

My journey to a diagnosis of SA started by going to a GP to check why I was snoring so much. I thought my broken nose and deviated septum was the cause, and after some discussion with my awesome GP I booked in to see an ear, nose and throat specialist to look into it. I met with the ENT specialist and discussed my broken noses (3), failed rhinoplasty (80% block on one side), snoring and then discussed nasal and throat surgery, booked in for a CT scan to check for physical issues. The scan came back clean and nose surgery was suggested by the ENT Doc, who happened to be a surgeon. Hmmm - more info for me please. We settled on a sleep study to get more info.

The study came back with SpO2 min of 87%, AHI of 25.9, longest apnoea of 26s, longest hypopnoea of 58s => Moderately severe positional obstructive sleep apnoea.  Being a science dude I had experimented using nasal strips during the study, applied at the start and removed at 2am. and they appear to have made things worse?!  The technician was not surprised they were not effective.

Looking back I had gained 5kg (11lb) over that fateful year and was suffering from sleep deprivation and oxygen deprivation as it turns out.

My journey to a treatment came through a set of rental trials of constant pressure and variable pressure devices and masks. That week my AHI dropped to 0.6 and I woke refreshed and clear-headed.  I found this wonderful site, and gained confidence through greater understanding and purchased ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet for Her and DreamWear Nasal Mask.  That week AHI stayed at 0.6 (RDI 0.82), and RERA was 0.87. 

My AHI is now 0.4 with av pressure 7mmHg, (RDI 0.5). The numbers only paint part of the picture, I can think clearly again and wake up refreshed.  I'll add some notes onto the mask reviews when I'm not a 'New Member'.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea in 2009. Before I was diagnosed it got to where I could barely walk 100 yards without totally giving out and my heart rate going out of sight. During my first sleep study, I did not get through the night before they came and put a CPap machine on me. Since then I have improved, but I still get very sleepy during the day at times. The doctors had me on several different types of sleeping pills trying to help. Finally just this year they took me completely off of sleep medicine. My problem was that I was having hangovers from the sleeping pills lasting throughout the day. I am sleeping, but still I am getting a little of the tiredness feeling during the day. I think that sometimes sleep medicine works differently on those of us that have Sleep Apnea or maybe not. This is just what I experienced from them. Maybe some of my fellow sleepers on the sleep medicines will find this helpful.

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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Up until September 2016, I was always tired and sleeping through the day. At night my husband was shaking me and yelling at me to wake up. 
We decided a sleep test was in order.
I was a little surprised by the results. I was having 30+ events per hour. Obstructive slightly higher than central, the longest 33seconds, average 21 seconds.
I had been off work for 6 years and in active due to a torn Achilles so I have put on a lot of weight which I have no doubt added to the problem.

My life has certainly changed for the better since starting treatment. I’m more active and happily back at work. 
My apnea’s are now below 5ph, some nights, less than 1ph.

Needless to say, my husband is sleeping much better as well.
Happy couple. ?
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
I am 70 years old and had a sleep test about 5 years ago. I was diagnosed with mixed sleep apnea, an AHI of around 50. Between my sleep doc, respiratory therapist and equipment provider I got almost no useful assistance in sorting out masks, pressures and machines. I had zero confidence in my "sleep doctor" who was a retreaded psychologist. He had no interest in working with me so that I could optimize my pressure settings. The sleep center I used was a joke and seemed to be only interested in maximizing their insurance payments.

I did my own research online and found this forum which helped a lot (particularly Pugsy's pointers).  I am fortunate and do not need to rely on insurance/medicare to pay for my machines, masks, filters etc.  I buy what I need online now.

I have 2 auto adjusting machines, a ResMed S9 and a Respironics System One. After significant trial and error I discovered (with some help from Pugsy) that the auto adjusting algorithms for each machine are somewhat different and I need to use different pressure settings on each machine to get good results. My AHI is now pretty consistently between 1.5 and 2.5 with almost all of the events classed as hypopnea. Typically I show 1 or none OA and 1 or 2 CA each night. I get 7.5-8 hours of sleep each night. I have gone from using a full face mask that looked like the old diving helmets to using a Respironics Dreawear nasal mask. I have gravitated to pressure settings of 5-11 (S9) and 8-10 (System One). Recently I decided to try running my machine in standard CPAP mode and after a bit of experimenting have landed on a therapy pressure of 9. My results have become more stable and slightly better (lower AHI) than in the auto mode and I feel like I wake less frequently in the middle of the night.

I am glad I went through this process because I need to understand stuff, but I am more persistent and analytically oriented than most. I would expect that most folks presented with the awful assistance I received from my sleep care providers would have given up long ago.   I don't know how representative my experience with lousy sleep medical care is, but from what I can tell I don't think I am the only one who has experienced this.

I encourage others to become knowledgable and proactive in adopting PAP therapy and to stick with it because it really helps.   Thanks Sleep-well  
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(Sorry for my English, it's not my native language)

I was diagnosed with apnea in October 2016, and received my Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset shortly after that by the end of October. Initialy I had an AHI of 46, when I started with the Resmed it went down to 9, and after they changed the pressure to vary between 9 and 14 the AHI is now down to 1 on average over a six month time period.

The machine changed my life, I have more energy, sleep better, and to my surprise, the acid burn in my stomach that I had for decades after eating spicy food disappeared completely.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
So, I realize my success is probably a bit too early, but I figured I would share.

After previously trying and failing, my new year, new attempt has been off to a better start; 100% compliance and AHI dropping under 3. But beyond that, even at just a week and a half, I have already noticed major changes. I no longer get up to pee 2-4 times a night (I haven't slept a full night in a year). I long find myself drifting while going to work (yeah, that was scary), and find myself already doing better in daytime drowsiness and staying awake. I am not quite feeling blown away rested, but I know that will come as I let my body heal. And I am really hoping I can take this start at turn more of my life around; I am now a divorced father, and ill do everything I can to be there for my little girl.

I am hoping I can keep this story update, and share more success as time goes on..
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
I have spent the past few days reading every post on this thread, and want to thank everyone for posting their experience. So much so that I felt compelled to create an account and post my experience thus far, although I'm still a fledgling Smile.

About 10 years ago, I hit some major health issues in my life (I was about 30) that went undiagnosed despite numerous tests. Basically, I could describe it as severe burnout which caused physical issues, inability to exercise, panic and anxiety, inability to handle stress, orthostatic intolerance, low testosterone, etc. One word to describe it might be dysautonomia. I spent many years trying to get my health back and to some degree had some success, to the point where I could exercise and work, albeit something was still not "right". About 6-7 years ago, I suspected I had sleep apnea and attempted to have a sleep study done. Unfortunately, I could not sleep in the lab and they diagnosed me as not having apnea - a false negative in my opinion, but I did not have insurance and was paying out of pocket and could not afford to have it done again.

Fast forward to December 2017, and I decide to try again. I have insurance now, and it popped into my mind that I should have this checked out again. I was still concerned about not being able to sleep in the lab so I email my doctor and explain my concerns, and ask him to just Rx me a CPAP machine. He refers me out to the sleep study / respiratory department anyways. When they call me to schedule, I express my concern with not being able to sleep in the lab. They go on to explain that that was the old technology, and they now have the equipment for me to do it at home. They describe over the phone what it entails, and a light bulb went off. This just might work!!

I proceed the first week of January, attend the orientation, and get the sleep study equipment. I do the sleep study, and return it the next day. Results were provided on the spot, and lo and behold: I have moderate sleep apnea. I can't remember the numbers off hand, but it was about a 20-25 AHI, with up to 80 seconds of not breathing at night multiple times. O2 was down to low 80's/upper 70's. Not good. They give me a ResMed AutoSense 10 to try for a few nights, which I did. After the trial it was a no brainer, I tell them "Order me the machine".

Fast forward to Monday of this week (Jan 22, 2018) and I have my own brand spanking new ResMed AutoSense 10 in my hands, and there is no turning back. I've been at an AHI of .6-1.6 all week, and just need to figure out this face mask comfort zone. I also have nasal congestion that I need to get resolved; so far I'm using the nasal strips and occasional spray to get through that hurdle.

I'm excited to see what the next 3-6 months brings, I'm sure I'll be pouring through the forums to educate myself as much as possible.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Well, here I am, a newbie, newly diagnosed, and not doing too badly at all.  I appreciate the opportunity to tell my story on what appears to be a great resource and community...bravo!

I developed atrial fibrillation (AFib) in June of 2017.  It came on suddenly during a telephone call with Revenue Canada.  Stress related.  Long story short, after MIBI stress test, ECG, and sleep lab for two visits, I have severe apnea.  Heart's normal, so at least I came away with that.

For those new who are trying to get a feel for their circumstances and reading here, I had no symptoms prior to June.  No irritability, no headaches, no sleepiness during the day, and I didn't have to get up to urinate at all.  I have been a fit runner and cyclist all my adult life, including being competitive. My cardiologist, in addition to the other tests, said I would have to attend a sleep lab to rule out apnea.  The lab results were 5 episodes an hour with O2 level down to 85, with 30 down to 90%, and I was diagnosed with severe apnea.  Imagine my surprise and dismay.  As you probably know, AFib and apnea are strongly correlated, although the association hasn't been determined yet...what leads to what, or if they are truly related in some way other than happening concurrently often in patients. 

Within five months I went from a fit and smug 65-year-old male to a pill-popping, mask-wearing and somewhat insecure old guy. I hope I can find some sympathy here?  Too-funny

I am at the end of my trial period, have returned to the lab to confirm titration and fit, and my prescription is for 5-8 cm H20.  I must choose a machine for my personal use.  The loaner was a ResMed AS-10 which I found to be a good machine.

I am using a nasal mask, but found that my jaw sagged and the machine would blow a gale out my open mouth just as I began to fall asleep. Sleep was horribly elusive the first couple of nights.  I opted to use surgical tape, the water-proof kind, across my mouth.  Some might be put off by such a thought, but it has allowed me to sleep well.  I got used to sleeping in awkward places and unusual circumstances in my military career, including in a full-face gas mask.  You can adapt to anything when the need is great or urgent.

Before I close, a tip: if you haven't tried the taped mouth technique, and have trouble adjusting to the chin strap...or don't want to wear one, try it.  Just use enough to cover at least 1 full cm past the corners of your mouth, but a bit more would be better, say 1.5 cm.  When you apply it, puff out your cheeks, mouth sealed, and press the tape into your lips, and all around your mouth area firmly.  That way, the tape will adhere and seal well when the APAP/CPAP inflates your cheeks...or wants to.  This, too, is something you can get used to.  I fact, as I know I am near sleep, say that first startle, I open my pharynx and relax my tongue and succumb to that weird bulging mouth.  I fall asleep that way and sleep just fine.

Greetings to all.
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