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questions for a college paper
1. So first I'll ask, what type of sleep apnea do you suffer from? Complex
2. How long have you had sleep apnea? Over 10 years
3. What symptoms did you have that lead you to find out you have sleep apnea? Woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
4. Have you had a sleep study done? I’ve had six.
Most of the studies were inconclusive because I could not sleep, but when I did, it was obvious that I have sleep apnea.
5. What do you do to treat your sleep apnea?
CPAP (unsuccessful the first time)
Sleep propped up.
Oral appliance
Now, using CPAP again.

6. If you use a CPAP, how do you like it?
I hate using the CPAP, but it is better than anything else.
Adjustments were easy.
I've read that there is a surgery called a tracheotomy, that can help fix sleep apnea problems.
6. Have you had that surgery?
Had UPPP surgery; it did not work for me.
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(10-29-2013, 08:31 PM)laurend Wrote: 1. So first I'll ask, what type of sleep apnea do you suffer from?moderate OSA

2. How long have you had sleep apnea? Diagnosed in August 2010. Probably had it for about 5 years before being diagnosed.

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.
3. What symptoms did you have that lead you to find out you have sleep apnea? At time of diagnosis I had no identifiable daytime symptoms in terms of daytime sleepiness. As a middle aged menopausal woman, my fatigue was ascribed to menopause and my hand and foot pain was ascribed to minor arthritis. Hubby noticed me snoring softly at times and was not bothered by that. In last two years before diagnosis, hubby started noticing that I would stop breathing at night for alarming periods of time. Hubby did not report me gasping at night. I never woke up gasping or short of breath. I did wake up telling hubby that it felt like I slept with my hands and feet in fists all night and with a lot of hand and foot pain. I have had chronic headaches since childhood and it was difficult to notice that I may have been developing OSA-headaches in addition to migraines, tension headaches, and sinus headaches.

I've also found that in order to be diagnosed with sleep apnea, you have to have a sleep study done.
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. 4 sleep studies done between August 2010 and February 2011. Two more sleep studies done in July 2013.

Sleep studies are not particularly comfortable, but they're not uncomfortable either. It's just very difficult to sleep with all the wires attached to you.

The first titration study was the worst night's sleep I think I've ever had subjectively: The mask was uncomfortable, my nose hurt worse and worse every time I woke up, and aerophagia started on that night. I woke up exhausted that morning and had to go to work as a college prof directly from the sleep center without a shower and with the goo still in my hair and it was the first day of the semester. I looked like a zombie.

My second titration study was for a BiPAP. That night was one of the worst nights of sleep I've ever had objectively: My sleep efficiency was 26%. I woke up at the end of the first sleep cycle and simply could not get back to sleep. I thought I got back to sleep several times, but the data showed otherwise. (In the morning, when I filled out the questionaire, I said I thought I got about 3 1/2 to 4 hours of sleep; the data showed I got a bit less than 2 hours of sleep.) The bilevel titration was promising enough in the sense that my stomach could better tolerate the biPAP (less aerophagia), but the insomnia data was enough to finally prompt me and my sleep doc at the time into understanding just how badly out of control my CPAP-induced insomnia had gotten.

The sleep studies this summer confirmed that I (still) have mild-to-moderate OSA, that PAP controls the OSA very well at my current (low) pressures, and that I still have severe sleep maintenance and sleep onset insomnia problems in spite of lots of CBT-for insomnia work in the last three years.

5. What do you do to treat your sleep apnea? Do you use a CPAP mask? I use a PR System One BiPAP Auto in a narrow auto range with a Swift FX nasal pillows mask to treat the OSA.

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? I dislike the machine intensely even after using it every night for the last three years. But it beats waking up with serious hand and foot pain every single morning. To give you an idea of the kind of pain I experience when I don't use my BiPA: Clench your hands as tight as you can and curl your toes as tight as you can back towards your heels and hold your hands and feet in that position for as long as you can----at least 15-30 minutes if possible. I would wake up on some mornings and have to physically work on uncurling the fingers of my hands. The pain would be moderate to severe for an hour or more each morning.

I had an extremely tough time adjusting to CPAP. So hard the doc switched me to BiPAP to see if that would be any easier. The first three months were hellish. The next three months were a bit better. Starting CPAP induced a severe case of insomnia that has never fully resolved itself. It took over a year before I was "sort of comfortable" with the idea of going to bed each night. I still dread bedtime on a lot of nights. Even so, the insomnia is not as bad as the hand and foot pain was pre-CPAP.

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?
I have never considered surgery and at this time I have no intention of considering it. Trachs require a lot of work to maintain and keep clean. And UPPP surgery has too high of a failure rate.

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Q1. Obstructive sleep apnea.

Q2. I have had sleep apnea for probably 40 years. My original medical diagnosis was in 1988.

Q3. My symptoms were excessive daytime sleepiness, nightmares os being choked or drowned, headaches almost every morning, frequent Sleep Paralysis ( becoming awake but unable to move or speak), rising blood pressure, falling asleep while driving, snoring all the night, frequent spasms of struggle during sleep to regain breathing..

Q4. I have had several sleep studies (5 that i can recall) over the last 25 years, all ordered by certified sleep medicine doctors. All my studies were single night spent in a hospital sleep lab. All involved wearing a facial cpap mask and being wired with blood pressure, EKG, EEG, breathing monitors, wired up with a big array of connections. It was never painful or unpleasant, and the technicians were always efficient and polite. In every cas I was interviewed by the doctor before the testing, and he reviewed the test findings with me face-to-face in a week or less after testing.
My initial testing occurred at a world famous center before sleep apnea testing migrated to small cities.

Q5. I use a nasal facial mask every night with a CPAP machine. I have had a long period of using a BiPAP machine, but now am on straight CPAP.

Q6. I am very satisfied with CPAP and I did experience a lot of difficulty with the mask during my first year of treatment. I find the masks and machines now much superior to what I began with in 1988.
re Tracheotomy- I have never had that surgery and would NEVER consider it.

And finally, I regard apnea as a very serious health issue, and urge everyone to take a determined approach to testing and treatment. I use my machine every night and have traveled all over the country and world with my equipment.
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