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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(06-20-2018, 08:04 PM)DaveL Wrote:
(06-20-2018, 07:53 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:
(06-20-2018, 07:35 PM)igarza Wrote: Been using a CPAP for about 7 weeks now.  Was able to use it all night from the start. 18 cm with a nose pillow does require a chin strap to keep the pressure in.  Before the CPAP I couldn't stay awake during the day.  My toe nails were discoloring similar to the signs of congestive heart failure.  I could not sleep lying down without feeling like I was being smotherd.  Now I pretty much sleep through the night.  My toenails have grown out clear.  I am alert during the day.  Having a leaf blower up your nose is not normal, but the results are worth it.

Igarza, try substituting a soft cervical collar for the chin strap, and I would say the leaf blower is normal after over 10  years.

Thank you.  I'll try the soft collar! 

You're looking for a comfortable fit and good jaw support.  The Dr. Dakota Stop Snore has been pretty good. Just to prove the point, as you sit comfortably in a chair, just place your hand along your jawline, thumb on one side, forefinger and hand on the other, and let it support your jaw from your chest.  You should immediately see how this keeps your mouth comfortably closed and prevents the obstruction from flexing your neck.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
I'm. Fascinated with the idea of using a cervical collar.
I just want to see one first. My neck is large. 17-1/2 inches

(I bought a travel collar intended to support my head in the car or while flying. I wanted to use it at night instead of my chinstrap. It didn't work. )

I had a sleep doctor from h--- for about 12 years. He's retired. Thank heaven. I hope I find a good one now.
Compliant for 30+ years

Information on Apnea Board Forums or on apneaboard.com should not be considered as medical advice. 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.  Sleep-well

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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
If you check on Amazon - the American one, not sure about the Canadian one - for 'The Eliminator Sleep Aid' or 'Dr Dakota's Stop Snore' you can see pictures of one that fit under the chin with a strap around the back. Others are foam all the way around with Velcro to hold it on. I got the second kind from Starkman's in Toronto, and I may go the Eliminator soon. It looks more comfortable.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Hi there,

I've created an account just to share my big thanks to the forum community (for a TON of useful info) and share my story. 

I've been snoring very loud for my whole life. I am 38 now, and too heavy (at about 100kg), but I've been snoring just as bad when I was 20 and 40kgs lighter. I never made much of it and got used to sleeping alone as my wife prefers to sleep in a separate bed - and can't stand my snoring. I also remember feeling asleep most of my life and being able to fall asleep in any place, regardless of noise or ambient light, in less than a minute. As I've recently learned, these are all telltales of apnea or other sleep disorder. 

And so, a few months ago I went to see my doctor but this being the Netherlands I was told to just lose weight and stop thinking about 'artificial solutions'. OK. I tried that, lost about 10kg in a few months but that did not help one bit. I am using "SnoreLab" app on my iPhone to measure my snoring periodically and for the past year my average was about 185 (out of 200 points possible, 25 being the norm). Losing 10% of my weight changed nothing, snoring wise. Really, literally nothing. 

Since I'd anyway have to pay about 450 EUR in deductibles to get the sleep study, and try to convince my very unsupportive doctor, I decided to skip that and just got myself a machine. Got the Dreamstation with a fairly compact nasal mask called Whisp - and as unlikely as it seems it was a success from day 1. Well, the first night I spent an hour trying to fall asleep, but as of the 2nd day I actually enjoyed wearing the thing and the 'easy breathing' feeling it provided. I started with the pressure set at 13 and in the few weeks of usage tweaked it to 14. Have basically no leaks, even while sleeping on the side, AHI hovering around 5 and I feel a Whole Lot Better. Did I mention I am no longer snoring? My "snore score" in "SnoreLab" app dropped to 30 - which means about 2-3 single loud snores a night, and have started waking up about 1.5hrs earlier than usual, feeling completely rested.

Now, I am sure a sleep study is in order and the pressure might be suboptimal. I am actually afraid to tweak it, since I feel very good and I don't see much point in trying to push the AHI numbers even lower. But, knowing that CPAP helps, I intend to approach my doctor again and get the sleep study and a prescription for a machine. (I anyway need two, as I live between two countries and travel a lot).  

At this point, I am starting to observe other changes in my body. As someone here wrote, I can *smell* the differences in body chemistry. My urine and sweat started smelling differently. I got more sexual drive and mental alertness. I consider this the best spent money in years. 

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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
new to this board after reading some recommendations on a good sleep apnea community to follow. glad to be a member Smile

it's a long road but definitely changed my life so far even with just a couple of weeks of use. friends have been telling me i snore and even just choke/stop breathing in my sleep and i knew then and there it's time to get the possibility of sleep apnea checked out. took a very long time to finally get a referral to do a sleep test but found my AHI was 37, which is nowhere near as horrific as some of the other ones i've read on the internet so far that go into the 100's but still severe enough on the AHI scale and obviously severe enough where i feel like i'm lightheaded, hungover and irritable at work everyday.

so finally around june i got the official diagnosis, and got set up with a free trial of a respironics system one, which definitely made enough of a difference for me to go grab a dreamstation of my own off a reputable supplier on the web. learning to sift through the data via use of sleepyhead is now my next challenge.

i can say though this has made a damn significant difference so far in my life. i feel less of an urge to pass out in the middle of the day for naps, i feel more focused at work in general.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
While I have been using a CPAP/BiPAP for 17 years, I am new to the forum. I found it while trying to see if I could change the setting on my fairly new ResMed AirStart 10 because it appeared to be set for 4 psi when previous units were set at 10 psi.  It turns out that the 20 minute ramp starts at 4 but goes to 10 which I hadn't seen because I was asleep by then.  LOL  I also found I could change my mask settings and ramp settings as a user without going to clinician mode.  Turns out this unit is affectionately referred to as a "brick" even though it has an SD card and records minimally compliant data.  This is not a problem to me as my original bi-PAP, lovingly referred to as Darth Vader by my wife, is fully compliant. I only use it in our RV where in resides on a closet shelf so she can't hear Darth, but I could get reports from if needed.
Speaking of "if needed", my prescription expired after 10 years (WTH?) and Supplier #1 Commercial Link Removed wouldn't send replacement equipment. I had to undergo a $8000 sleep study to get a new prescription. It turns out that I could have skipped that had I just given them the bi-PAP to review.  
I spent the first 15 years with nasal masks which I found difficult to adjust the leaks out of and I found mildly claustrophobic.  I later tried nasal pillows and found them to be a big improvement IF I got the right one. The first by Aloha worked well but was difficult to install in the dark because of complicated straps. A second was a down level model that had no strap adjustments and made a sore in my nostril because it was too tight. A third of the same make had adjustable straps and has done well. The nasal pillow has solved nasal congestion problems for me and doesn't feel like my head is trapped in a mask. I use a nasal mask on occasion for a break.
While I don't recall feeling much better after starting CPAP, I can't stand to be without one now. I got a 12V power cord for the bi-PAP in the RV so it runs off the RV battery and works at Walmarts, state parks and campgrounds with power issues. Many CPAPs use 12v but come with a 110v brick that steps down to 12v, so if you RV or want battery backup, check to see if a 12v adapter is available for yours.
My bi-PAP came from Keene Medical Supply and was very expensive. Replacement masks and 2 subsequent CPAPs have come from Supplier #1 at more reasonable prices. Commercial Link Removed. Please review the Supplier list at top of page for how to refer to Suppliers.

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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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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Sorry ahead of time for the long post
I went in for my annual DOT physical on 4/10/2018. I felt like absolute crap. I was embarrassed to death of my weight and really not that shocked that my blood pressure was 160/95. That's even with taking 200/12.5 mg a day of b.p. medication, Losarton.
The DOT physician only gave me a 90 day medical card and said I needed to do a "sleep test". The DOT has recommended (not mandatory) guidelines which can trigger a certifying physician to require a test for sleep apnea. My age, BMI, BP med and 19" neck size fall under those guidelines.
I protested the sleep test requirement to my own personal physician who asked to see me the next day. After testing me on the EPWORTH scale & making a couple of other observations he determined a sleep test was not necessary. However, after consulting with the DOT doctor, they decided a nocturnal pulse oximetry test would be a compromise.
Well, the results were NOT what I was hoping for. My doctor indicated the test revealed my blood oxygen saturation levels were at times desaturating below the norms and recommended I do an in-home sleep test. Mind you, I am ultimately having to pay for this testing out of my own pocket due to limitations on what my insurance company will & will not pay for. However, that's a whole different subject.
The doctor recommended me to a local sleep lab facility who informed me that I could start with the in-home device first for only $775.00! So, I did a little research and discovered there are scores of companies who provide (using the same testing device) the same service. I ended up using a company who is sponsored by an organization I'm a member of for my vocation. The cost was $225.00! That's right, $550.00 less.
Sounds like a racket to me...

Turn the page. I had the home study test done on 04-22-2018. With a "MILD" AHI score of 9.4, the horse was out of the barn! "You have to go on a CPAP...the likelihood you ever get off it is not good." Yeppers, that's what my PA-C told me. Nice, eh?

So, on the APAP I went in order to become DOT "compliant" and keep my livelihood intact. You know, we gotta pay those bills!

It's been sort of a bitter/sweet experience. I mean, adjusting to the mask, etc., hasn't been that big of a deal. I can't really say I feel SO MUCH BETTER like others have testified after going on CPAP therapy. I believe my crappy physical condition and the way I felt when I went in for my DOT physical in April was mostly due to how much weight I had gained, poor eating habits, lack of exercise and being on an ineffective B.P. medicine. I've had a turn around with regards to those things though.

Today marks completion of week 15 since I hit the reset button. A button I hit prior to going on the APAP machine. I have lost 58 lbs since. My physical condition is beginning to improve, including my breathing, blood pressure average, etc. My B.P. average for the past 15 weeks is down to 117/71. I really can't say that I'm sleeping any better because I really didn't struggle with sleeping, snoring and what not before all of this started. 

I can say that my AHI reading since going on the APAP is down to 0.73. In addition, my SpO2 numbers look good and the frequency of oxygen desaturation during the night are now negligible according to the readings I'm getting from the nightly recorded sessions of the pulse oximeter I wear every night now.

So, it becomes an issue of what came first for me, the chicken or the egg?  :thinking-about:

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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
(07-29-2018, 12:17 PM)UncleScotch Wrote: I really can't say that I'm sleeping any better because I really didn't struggle with sleeping, snoring and what not before all of this started. 

It is strange how our bodies adapt. You were unaware that your sleep was being disrupted because even though we wake up repeatedly during the night, we sometimes have no memory of it. This is why the data is needed.

Sleep apnea deprives us of the rest we need, making it a struggle to function when we're awake. We consume more calories because we need the extra energy. We don't get the exercise we need because again, we lack the energy.

Glad to hear that you are doing so much better now. Treating sleep apnea means not only a longer life, but a life worth living.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Thanks, I'm sure the benefits will ultimately outweigh the inconveniences this whole thing has brought into my life LOL.
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RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Yes, Scotch, it is strange because many who go on apparently life-saving therapy using PAP report no discernible improvement to their mood or their sleep, and they find they still feel dull, foggy, and sometimes even worse after starting PAP.  I started therapy eight months ago and don't seem to have lost weight or improved my sleep.  But I do have to admit to getting more REM, and that is so very important for apnea-sufferers.  If your sleep is better in that way alone, and it's likely given your weight/mild apnea combo previously, you are probably going to have to stick around for a bit longer.  Too-funny
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