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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
My first posting, an introduction....

I had sleep problems for decades before a doctor suggest a sleep test seven years ago.

I had been referred to an anxiety disorders unit, specialising in panic attacks, in 1992, because I was waking at 2 or 3 in the morning with adrenal rush (bladder, brain alert, agitation, sweating, etc) but they declared I was not having panic attacks but had a sensitive brain, firing off at everything. 

I was prescribed various things, including stilnox and amitriptyline, for sleep problems. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Also with Meniere's. Which is generally treated as a peripheral disease, remedies poor, but also as a frontal lobe/limbic problem. And of course, crapped out, yawning, to quote Paul Simon, declared by some to have anxiety and depression, some practitioners angry that I did not fit their diagnosis and treatment perspectives.

When referred for sleep test I woke around 2am, dreaming of being in a meeting where suddenly all eyes had turned to me to explain something. Awake with a bang. I could not get back to sleep, was sent home. I had in fact had a 50 second apnea event. My brain had taken itself to some imagined event but the cause of flying out of sleep was rising adrenalin to get me awake when not breathing. 

I first used a Fisher and Paykel apap machine, ordered out of the US to Australia because of price. I ran into problems after a few months, the machine made the situation worse. My own opinion was that I now had central apnea. I did not return to the sleep specialist, an hour's drive away, working as a pediatrician too, always very late, also a deeply depressing and cynical person. I ordered from the US a Redmed VPAP Auto (how disappointing it is that the Resmed products, Resmed an Australian company and inventor, are 2 or 2.5 times  more expensive to buy here compared with from the US). I set up pressure settings and have not looked back. Magic. (My perspective is that the CPAP, APAP and VPAP machines prices must be based on marketing advantage. I wonder if everyone would do much better on VPAP at CPAP price, and sales would double and disadvantages people might find access.)

I worked through a number of different mask options, no one at the outset telling me about pillows. Fancy nasal masks worn by people in ads, looking as if they are about to be candidates for vice president. Excellent mask but a movement in the night shifting it out of line, to jet icy air in the eye for whatever length of time—wake with eye feeling like you've been a dog on the back of a truck for an hour at 100mph. 

I have found the Resmed Airfit P10 the ideal. Concerned that it might put excessive upward pressure on septum, after nose operation last year, I tried a couple of other absolutely latest pillow systems... which for me did not work. The pipe from top of head did not work for me as I get headaches if bald head not covered by beanie.

For travel, also to leave at second address, I bought an Apex iCH Series Auto several years ago because it was said to be very small and light. But the power supply is heavier than the elegant desktop item! It also tipped me back into the problems earlier with APAP. At present my wife is experimenting with the iCH with success, having had a rising pattern of snoring and nightmare. These cease.

For me, if I fall asleep without the VPAP pillows in place, I almost invariably wake with violent headache. Not least if I wake at 4am, return from bathroom and think I can get that extra zizz without the mask... to fall swiftly into bliss and wake at 6.30 in very unpleasant state. So I am dependant on my VPAP. A better addiction than some others!!

-----

Thanks to the administrator who replied instantly today to my request for clinical manual for the iCH machine. I have made a small donation.    Thanks
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
denniswa, your story sounds depressingly familiar and I feel for all you've been through. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy how you presented it. it sounds like you're managing pretty well after all and despite the obstacles.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
I posted some data in the forum so this will be my second post. I think my story is very similar to many others. My wife complained about my snoring for years, but I never "felt" bad or felt like I was having a problem sleeping. Like so many others, I did the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach and that was a terrible idea.

About 3 months ago, things started to go sideways in a terrible manner. I woke up around 3-4 in the morning and it felt like my heart was racing and my head was cloudy. It would last for about 5-10 mins and things would calm down and I'd eventually fall back asleep. It happened once and things were fine for about 2 weeks. Then, it happened again and it lasted longer this time. I mentioned it to my primary doctor and it said my vitals looked good but if it happened again, go to the ER. 2 days later, it happened again. I went to the ER and when I got there, my HR was 105 and my BP was 175/100. I was there for about 10 hours and they did a few EKG's and a Echo stress, among other things. Everything came back ok, so that was a relief, but I knew something wasn't right. The ER doctor recommended that I see a cardiologist, an ENT, and a sleep doctor to try and uncover what was happening. 6 days later, I had another event in the morning and I didn't feel right all day so I went to the ER again and like last time, my HR was over 100 and BP was 172/105. They did EKG's, CT scans, blood work, tested for clots, etc. but again, nothing was a red flag.  

My cardiologist reviewed everything and didn't see any concerns from a heart perspective but agreed that I needed a sleep study and to see an ENT. The ENT ordered all kinds of tests - inner ear, allergy testing, MRI of head and neck, and ultrasound of the carotid arteries. The allergy testing was a hot mess, I'm allergic to all kinds of grass, trees, mold, etc., but the other tests were all negative for issues. In the meantime, every day sucked. I was sleeping terribly, I couldn't focus on everything and I was a wreck.

Next was the sleep study and it was the key to everything. My AHI was a 37 the night of the testing and I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, and when they did the next test with the CPAP, my AHI dropped to around 6. Given the severity of my apnea, they put me at the head of the line, worked with my insurance, and got me a machine in 2 days after the study with the CPAP.  

Now, I've lost about 25 pounds, I'm on allergy shots, and I've been using the Dreamstation for about 45 days with 100% compliance. I can't see myself sleeping without it. My AHI is around 4.5 on average and I feel much better. Not every day is great, but the "off" days aren't as often and aren't near as bad. Now, I'm focused on better understanding apnea, the data each night, and working to get my AHI even lower. I can't believe I was so dumb to ignore the signs (and what was my wife was telling me), and I got to the point where it was literally trying to kill me. My heart being in good shape was the main thing that saved me. Someone with heart issues may not have been able to withstand the stress I was putting on my heart and body each night. I lost that 25 pounds over a 7 week period during the worst part of this as I could barely eat and just felt terrible 24/7.

On the good side, I'm taking this experience and using it as an opportunity to warn others about the dangers of sleep apnea, and the toll it can take on your life and the lives of the people around you. It's nothing to mess around with and it's not going to just fix itself. I'm just happy I'm still around to convey that message.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
My life this past year:

AFIB   ==>  Sleep Study  ==>   Sleep Apnea  ==>   CPAP

CPAP = NO AFIB

(insert apnea board learned tweaking)

CPAP = NO AFIB

oops, No CPAP last night ==>  AFIB

Always CPAP  ==>  NO AFIB!!!

No AFIB = Live longer....
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Welcome Howtosleep!

You're the flow-chart type, looks like, eh? Too-funny

I like simple, concise success stories like that. Well-done
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.




#apneaboard
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Hi folks, introduction...

I've had sleep issues before but it was 13 years ago when I decided one day I could not drive to work (55mi), just had this slight out of body feeling like the world wasn't real and I was TIRED.  Ended up doing a lab sleep study and they diagnosed me subclinical sleep apnea, 7/hr I think.  Told me to lose some weight.

Ended up using an anti-snore pillow ever since.  Now 2 months ago, I commented at work during a weekly team meeting how dead tired I felt, and I know I've been up 10lbs since my normal weight the past 5 years.  A coworker suggested I get a sleep study done (and raved about how good he feels on CPAP), so I asked the dr and they said my insurance would only cover a home study first.  The home study (ARES system from SleepMed) was a substantially easier experience than the lab study I did 13yr prior.  They just told me the following week I had tested positive for sleep apnea and they suggested CPAP.

I had done a little google searching to see what's out there in terms of machines.  Resmed's Airsense 10 looked very nice but fancy.

I arrived 2 weeks ago to pick up my CPAP, feeling that exhausted out of my mind sensation only apnea sufferers probably know, to a technician showing me my new... Airsense 10 Auto.  I was impressed and happy with that.

First night with CPAP was a little awkward, kept feeling distracted by how the motor noise changes slightly with your breath, but my first impression the next morning was how "sharp" I felt.  Still groggy (and I've yet to kick that) but much more aware of what's happening around me, more mentally "there" and no longer feeling like a passenger in my body.

Second night I tried earplugs and ended up removing them 2-3 hrs into sleep, the earplugs were too uncomfortable.  I've become progressively more comfortable with the mask and machine and I'm good with it now.

It took a few days but I started to notice remembering some elaborate "full length dreams".  Now I have 2-3 of them every night.  I don't jot them down (would probably wake my wife scribbling in the middle of the night) but I'm happy I have them as I may have gone months without any dream I could remember.

I asked the dr a week later how bad my apnea was, they said 16/hour.  Not severe but enough to drive me bonkers apparently.


I purchased a 32GB SDHC card this weekend and installed it.  Have 2 days of full data and downloaded OSCAR to peek at it.  AHI is <1.0 most days.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Hi spirilis,
Welcome to Apnea Board!

Thanks for sharing your story. Your AHI of <1.0 is excellent for just starting out.
If you need help with anything, just post out in the Main Forum.
OpalRose
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com

OSCAR Chart Organization


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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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(05-13-2019, 05:42 PM)spirilis Wrote:  my first impression the next morning was how "sharp" I felt.  Still groggy (and I've yet to kick that) but much more aware of what's happening around me, more mentally "there" 

That's a metoo, it was the most splendid experience I've encountered on the first day of my journey.  The awareness, the presence, that simply feels extraordinarily good. It kicks you (positively) off your feet, just to feel so alert, to know being a part of the world again.

Mike

PS: I've also noticed that my beard, hair and nails grow more slowly. My metabolic functions seem to relax, so there's more energy for awareness and the like.  Also in the first two weeks things are literally slipping out of my hands.  Anyone else?
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(03-12-2018, 11:23 AM)b.e.wilson Wrote: Hi Everyone. I'm new here.

Got my machine on Friday, and spent Saturday and Sunday in a "sleep debt" funk, just tired all the time. My PCP said this would happen, and described it as parts of my body were shutting down when they became oxygen starved, which now would stay awake and burn energy. Not sure how to think of it, but I'm getting over it. Feel way different, too. Like I have all the energy I need, but can finally just sit and rest--no more fighting to stay awake during the day. It's nice.

I'm experimenting with settings, and have found that I do better with FLEX turned off, and program instead a fast breath turnaround time (Ti =1). Lots still to learn, but thanks to the Board I got right on top of reviewing my night's sleep (EncorePro 2) and figuring new settings to help.  Last night was 1.3.

I got complex apnea when I moved to Texas in my 20's, then moved back up to altitude (4750 ft). OSA normally, CSA on CPAP, so I'm on an ASV machine.

Bruce

After a year my AHI is down to 0.3 almost every night. Thanks, forum! Thanks
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(04-27-2019, 09:39 PM)denniswa Wrote: I first used a Fisher and Paykel apap machine, ordered out of the US to Australia because of price. I ran into problems after a few months, the machine made the situation worse. My own opinion was that I now had central apnea. I did not return to the sleep specialist, an hour's drive away, working as a pediatrician too, always very late, also a deeply depressing and cynical person. I ordered from the US a Redmed VPAP Auto (how disappointing it is that the Resmed products, Resmed an Australian company and inventor, are 2 or 2.5 times  more expensive to buy here compared with from the US). I set up pressure settings and have not looked back. Magic. (My perspective is that the CPAP, APAP and VPAP machines prices must be based on marketing advantage. I wonder if everyone would do much better on VPAP at CPAP price, and sales would double and disadvantages people might find access.)

That is odd... APAP imo should be the gold standard over CPAP.
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