Hi again Lauren
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: 1. What type of sleep apnea do you suffer from?
Primarily OSA with very mild CA
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: 2. How long have you had sleep apnea?
At least 15 years, but only firmly diagnosed two years ago.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: I've found that symptoms of sleep apnea often go unnoticed by the person who has it because they don't realize what they're doing while they're asleep.
That is very true - often the first indicator of the problem is the sleeping partner being driven from the room due to the volume of the snoring or concerned due to the odd breathing pattern of the patient while sleeping.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: 3. What symptoms did you have that lead you to find out you have sleep apnea?
I felt tired all the time, fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon, was cranky, irritable, and suffered from hyperacusis, which can happen due to lack of sleep. I also started having heart problems and elevated blood pressure, and had a psychotic break due to lack of sleep. This last bit isn't as dramatic as it sounds, in more or less means I went overboard and did a bit of a nutty on a certain situation, driven by the lack of quality sleep.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: I've also found that in order to be diagnosed with sleep apnea, you have to have a sleep study done.
Correct. You cannot receive a CPAP device without an Rx from a doctor. It is a controlled device because of the danger to patient should he use it wrongly or improperly adjusted.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: 4. Have you had a sleep study done? If so, what was that like, how long did it last, where was it done? Anything you can tell me about that experience.
I was lucky, in that I could insist on having a home study done as first line of diagnosis, rather than an in situ sleep study. For me it meant taking home a portable monitoring system, applying the necessary electrodes, monitors and harnesses, and going to sleep. The next day I could turn it over to the hospital for immediate analysis. Since I had a pretty straightforward case, it was not felt that I needed further study, and a device was prescribed right away.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: 5. What do you do to treat your sleep apnea? Do you use a CPAP mask?
I use a Automated CPAP device, which regulates pressure as needed, and nasal pillows, which insert into the nose and are very light and easy to wear.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: 6. If you use a CPAP, how do you like it? Did you have a hard time adjusting to it when you first started using it?
No, I was one of the lucky ones - I took to it the very first night - no real difficulty at all.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: I've read that there is a surgery called a tracheotomy, that can help fix sleep apnea problems.
6. Have you had that surgery? Would you ever consider having it?
Lauren, any surgery is a last resort, and choosing to live with a Tracheostomy is a very severe method of dealing with this situation. If you dig around this site, you will find me discussing the pros and cons of this surgery at length, and on the whole, I advise against it unless it is absolutely necessary. As hard as it is to adjust to the mask for some, maintaining the health of the affected region of a Tracheostomy is far harder, and I would caution anyone considering it to fully inform themselves of all the downsides of it, and the downsides are numerous.
(10-29-2013 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: Thanks!
Good luck, and let us know how your paper turns out - in fact we would welcome if you would post it here, or a link for members to see it.