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cindyY
Unread post  Post subject: My journey to CPAP  |  Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:24 pm

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:34 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Southern California
PAP Mask: AirFit P10, Swift FX, Swift FX Nano, Eson2
PAP Machine: Resmed AirCurve 10 VAuto in S mode
Humidifier: Integrated set to 5 @ 81F; ClimateLineAir heated hose
Pressure Setting: IPAP 19 EPAP 15

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I want to begin by saying this is for someone who thinks they might have sleep apnea, or their loved one might have it. I hope it helps someone. Sorry if it gets a little non-linear.



To start with, I think I have probably had sleep apnea if not my whole life, then since I was a child. I was always tired, more than seemed appropriate, even though I was kept very busy with sports and other activities offered at my local park, as well as school and all the requisite schoolwork. I also snored, even as a child and through my teens years. I have always struggled with my weight, again, even though I was kept very busy and active. My father and his side of the family seem to have sleep apnea, I even think now that my grandmother died from complications of sleep apnea. She had kidney problems, and I think ultimately died from a heart attack, I believe in her sleep.

I heard about sleep apnea in the 90s, I think. I remember thinking that this is what my father does, I would hear him snoring through the wall, if we were home alone during the day, he would fall asleep on the living room couch and I would count the seconds when he stopped breathing between snores. If I thought it was too long, I would go to wake him up, but he inevitably started snoring again before I got to him. My father was big on natural remedies and I believe he was trying to cure himself. Sadly, he has since passed from prostate cancer, but that's later in this narrative.

I think I had a conversation with my husband in the mid to late nineties, so I was somewhere in my 20s, and he told me I occasionally stopped breathing in my sleep. I wasn't overly concerned at the time, I was still in decent shape, although I was gaining weight, still had low to regular blood pressure, wasn't waking up during the night, so I didn't feel like there was a reason to worry about "occasionally" not breathing.

I turned 30 in 2002, and I had put on a lot of weight, even though I was working out. I developed allergies and what I now know is chronic rhinitis, and started waking up at night, I would fall right back to sleep usually, but I think this is where sleep apnea went from what was probably mild to moderate. My father died in 2006 and I was experiencing what I felt was a natural depression before and after that, but, looking back, it was probably also partly the start of mental exhaustion, the depression lasted a few years, then started to ease off. I have had bouts of depression through my life, nothing drastic, just a general malaise and unwillingness to do anything.

A year after my father died, I started working in a different department, one where I would go in at 4:30am. At this point, I was waking up once a night to use the restroom, so I would go to bed around 8pm, wake up around 12 or 1am, then get up for work around 3am. Needless to say, I was feeling very tired. I worked in this position for a little over 3 years, but I didn't feel really suited to it, and was tired of waking up so early, so I went back to the department I had come from, and I hoped things would improve for me.

So we're up to 2010. I started therapy in 2017. In the interim, I was getting gradually more and more tired, I was starting to forget everyday words, I actually was afraid that I was getting early onset Alzheimer's. I started waking up more often to use the restroom during the night, I would sweat through my night clothes almost every night, I had brain fog all day, I would fall asleep at the drop of a hat, I would even drive home, fighting to stay awake, then before getting out of the car, I would take a 5-10 minute nap. My weight has pretty much stayed around the same, not good, until this year when I gained another 10 lbs, my blood pressure got really high, for me, I would wake up 3 -4 times a night and want to cry when the alarm went off in the morning. On my days off, I would get up in the morning, and then take a nap around 3 hours later. It was getting ridiculous. I actually became so sleep deprived, the week before I got my equipment I hallucinated that someone was at work when they absolutely were not. I swore I talked to him and I am actually surprised they did not take me out of work to take a drug test, they thought I was crazy.

What I didn't realize was that waking up to pee and night sweats were common occurrences with people with sleep apnea. If I had known just these two symptoms, I would have gotten checked out by 2010, or more probably around 2012, I procrastinate. But at least I would have known what was going on before I started feeling desperate. When I had my women's annual exam last year, my doctor told me my blood pressure was too high and I needed to make an appointment with my PCP and discuss options with her. So when I got home, I looked up reasons for high blood pressure, and there was sleep apnea. So when I went to my PCP, I told her I thought I had sleep apnea, and this was probably why my blood pressure was high (it fluctuated and wasn't always high, I bought a home bp test unit). She asked me a series of questions and determined to refer me to the pulmonary care department, I had the appointment with that doctor, who gave me the same list of questions (the Epworth Sleepiness Scale), and referred me for a sleep study. I had a really good experience with the sleep study, except I couldn't tolerate the nasal pillows or nasal mask, I didn't think I could keep my mouth closed and wasn't offered a chin strap, so I was stuck with a full face mask and had to tell myself I wouldn't suffocate, it would provide air. It was like a mantra going through my head until I fell mostly asleep.

I felt so good the next morning, I could not wait until I had my next doctor's appointment and we got the ball rolling to acquire my equipment. I started doing research online, found Jason's YouTube videos, FreeCPAP.com, and of course, this forum. I also found cpap.com and started looking at the different machines and masks that were available and started thinking about what I would like.

Since starting in mid-April, I have found that I prefer using a nasal mask over the full face mask. I don't think my face is suited for a full face mask, I can't get a good seal unless I really tighten the straps and that causes pain. I still mouth breathe some, but I am taking steps to correct it, and I would rather have 30 minutes or so of reduced therapy in 7-8 hours of sleep than to suffer through loud leaks and being uncomfortable the whole time. I have recently started using nasal pillows, and of course, I have the same mouth breathing issues, but so far, I am adjusting to the pillows.



If you've read all of this, you probably know too much about me now, but I wrote this in the hope that if you or someone you know has been suffering through any of these symptoms, please see your doctor and begin the process. It seems like CPAP is overwhelming at first, but in actuality, it becomes routine very quickly, and because you have more energy during the day, the few minutes it takes to take care of your equipment is a non-issue. Wearing the mask is not as big of a deal as I was afraid of for many years, I always knew I would end up on CPAP, I just didn't realize I was suffering from sleep apnea symptoms all along.


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TheLankyLefty
Unread post  Post subject: Re: My journey to CPAP  |  Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:31 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:22 am
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PAP Mask: Practically tried them all.
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Pressure Setting: When testing, I use APAP with a range of 5-10

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Read this a couple days ago and really like it. It's a good message that's worth "getting out there."

Thank you for sharing!

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Pappy
Unread post  Post subject: Re: My journey to CPAP  |  Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:21 pm

Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:30 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Oceanside California
PAP Mask: AirFit™ F20 Full Face (and AirTouch™ F20 Full Face)
PAP Machine: ResMed AirCurve 10 ASV w/ Heated Humidifier & AirCurve 10 ST
Humidifier: Fisher & Paykel HC150 Heated Humidifier -And- ResMed Heated Humidifier
Pressure Setting: To the MOON Alice!

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Hi Cindy,
As a man who was ordered to have 2 different heart surgeries I did NOT need by brain dead cardiologist I began my own quest on Google in 2009 to try to understand what I really needed. Medical bills were piling up, I was having trouble holding my job and my life was literally falling apart. But instead of making this about me, I just wanted to say you NAILED it with things I said when first discovered were tied to OSA. Getting up over & over & over to pee in the middle of the night & often not able to. I later read it is simply the human brain doing whatever it HAS to do to wake us up and start breathing again! So I go to the latest cardiologist and asked if sleep apnea could be causing the hear troubles I was having and then if so, maybe I really did NOT need this "emergency Pacemaker surgery"? He jumps up and yells, of course! That's it. THAT could explain the (whatever the Hell he said? I went blank) and then I decked the guy...So, a sleep study for me and here I am with you.

So MANY little things to tell us and we just make excuses and go on with our lives. Anyway, I wonder about chin straps? Have you found one that works for you very well? If not, I know one that I PROMISE you will work but they cost a fortune. I have 3 of them but oh man are they HOT as in make you sweat if weather is warm. And when you see it, you will have your very first panic attack ever:-) I sure did but hey, it WORKS! And you will never sleep so well without it, and you will HATE the warm weather but will be happy for the first time in your life when it comes to sleep. I will PM the info to you so I don't spam. They cost a fortune but once you see it and the mattress like fabric they are made from you see the quality and honestly know where the money is. No, I am NOT connected to him in any way, we just met through all of our common health problems. This poor man has been carved up almost as bad as me. Nobody g=has been chopped u as much ass me but he sure tried to make it a contest! :( His commercial I suppose it would be called that is just an awful commercial but if you get past that, he is just a very honest old guy like myself that this World beat up on and like me, he will NEVER quit and go out fighting, kicking with both feet and swinging with both arms. I respect this guy SO much. And nobody alive, NOBODY could be half as afraid to try his chin strap as me. I won't go into it, but if I can do it, anyone could. The kicker is, this horrifying contraption f his is amazing It is SO comfortable it is actually "comforting". If you ever buy one, call him and ask him if he still has his money back guarantee? He will likely call you back, he is a one man business and inventor type.

Another thing, ask him if he still makes a small size for women who are petite and all that jazz if it applies. Do you sew? If you are an expert at it, I am pretty sure this material can NOT be cut & sewn but if you find out it can be, I can send you one of mine to try and if needed you can cut it and sew it to fit? But be warned this is like a mattress material and OVER 1/4 inch thick. But oh SO soft. I actually used to fall asleep just putting it on. It really did "comfort" me that much. Sounds corny but once you wear it you will never look back. Maybe not? we are all SO different? Let me know. I will PM you his info. And yes I KNOW how silly & unpolished his video is. But he is just an old guy like me and filming in his bedroom. You will NEVER laugh after you wear one!
Mike

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cindyY
Unread post  Post subject: Re: My journey to CPAP  |  Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:14 pm

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:34 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Southern California
PAP Mask: AirFit P10, Swift FX, Swift FX Nano, Eson2
PAP Machine: Resmed AirCurve 10 VAuto in S mode
Humidifier: Integrated set to 5 @ 81F; ClimateLineAir heated hose
Pressure Setting: IPAP 19 EPAP 15

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Thanks, Mike. I ended up just taping my mouth shut- and you know my husband just LOVES that- and that has been working for me. It is the easiest solution, especially since now I only need it when I am EXTREMELY tired or my allergies are messing with me, like today. I probably won't be able to use the chinstrap you are referring to if it is that hot. I seem to have developed an allergic reaction to my own sweat and break out into hives when I get overheated, but I'll take a look at it, and I appreciate the info and the offer.


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