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Mile High Sleeper
 
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recovery - how long does it take?

Postby Mile High Sleeper on Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:53 am

I'm asking partly for me and mostly for articles I want to write on not giving up and recovery time for my blog http://smart-sleep-apnea.blogspot.com. I was struck by GoofyUT recently saying it took him 6 months to get his therapy in order, and that he hated the first 4 months. I'm at the 9 month mark and still struggling with mask problems and AHI. Although I've experienced enormous benefits, my life still isn't back to normal. What has been your experience? How long does it take?

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CPAPopedia Keywords Contained In This Post (Click For Definition): AHI


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Last edited by Mile High Sleeper on Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mile High Sleeper Gal
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. - Albert Einstein

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. - Mother Teresa

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jum001
 
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Postby jum001 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:12 am

I'm not sure what my "normal" state is. I suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea for so many years (read decades) and have made so many changes in my life recently (moved, retired etc) that it's hard to quantify what is or is not related to the treatment. All I can say is I canot remember a period in my life when I was happier or more content.

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inacpapfog
 
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Postby inacpapfog on Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:17 am

"Recovery" is such a subjective issue.
For me, finding an acceptable means to make it through 1 hour.....1 night....1 week.....1 month...seems like each stage was part of my recovery!
Basically, I found a suitable (could tolerste the night with it on) mask after about 3 weeks.
Finding the right machine (from cpap to auto) was easier, 1 week!
Feeling less sleepy, more energy --was something I felt from the actual titration night!
And the last 20 months have simply been a journey of tweaking everything to improve comfort, accuracy and effectiveness!


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DreamStalker
 
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Postby DreamStalker on Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:47 pm

I too think that "normal" is too hard to define.

As Jum101 points out, how do we know when we were normal? I don't think OSA just suddenly happens one day and before that evrything was normal.

I know I have been snoring since I was twenty and yet I was not diagnosed with OSA until over 26 years later. I do recall that around 5 or 6 years ago my health issues began to snowball and I just chalked it up to growing old ... it may have been that is when I began to notice the consequences of 20 years of untreated OSA ... I don't know.

Perhaps the better question to ask is how long does it take before you are satisfied that your treatment is as good as it will ever get?

- roberto
Thanks Snoredog, GoofyUT, rested gal, GoofProof, Wulfman, NightHawkeye, snoregirl and all of the others.
From 102 AHI to 0.4 AHI for over 10 yrs now :)
What's permaculture? Go here -> http://www.geofflawtononline.com/videos/

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Vader
 
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Re: recovery - how long does it take?

Postby Vader on Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:28 pm

Mile High Sleeper wrote:I'm asking partly for me and mostly for articles I want to write on not giving up and recovery time for my blog http://smart-sleep-apnea.blogspot.com. I was struck by GoofyUT recently saying it took him 6 months to get his therapy in order, and that he hated the first 4 months. I'm at the 9 month mark and still struggling with mask problems and AHI. Although I've experienced enormous benefits, my life still isn't back to normal. What has been your experience? How long does it take?


It is probably different for every idividual.
I was diagnosed as "likely" having sleep apnea about five years ago. I didn't go for the study, because to me it didn't seem severe enough to have to wear that "horrible mask" that I had heard of.
My youngest brother had problems with apnea.He opted for a surgical procedure that he nearly died from. The surgery didn't do any good, and unfortunately he didn't try CPAP therapy. He died in his sleep about a year later due to his apnea.
Needless to say, this scared the hell out of me, and I've been on CPAP therapy for about four months. I'm feeling MUCH better. My BP has dropped considerably, my pulse is lower, I've lost weight, I've got more energy, I don't feel sleepy during the day. My wife doesn't worry anymore (and actually sleeps in the same room with me again) my kids, and GRANDKIDS like to tease me about my Darth Vader mask, .....what is there not to like?:lol:
I'm totally committed to this and I expect the future to improve even more.


____________________________________________________________________


"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream.
Wandering by lone sea breakers, and sitting by desolate streams.
World losers and world forsakers, for whom the pale moon gleams.
Yet we are movers and the shakers of the world forever it seems."

- Arthur O'Shaunessey

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DreamStalker
 
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Re: recovery - how long does it take?

Postby DreamStalker on Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:42 pm

Vader wrote:
Mile High Sleeper wrote:I'm asking partly for me and mostly for articles I want to write on not giving up and recovery time for my blog http://smart-sleep-apnea.blogspot.com. I was struck by GoofyUT recently saying it took him 6 months to get his therapy in order, and that he hated the first 4 months. I'm at the 9 month mark and still struggling with mask problems and AHI. Although I've experienced enormous benefits, my life still isn't back to normal. What has been your experience? How long does it take?


It is probably different for every idividual.
I was diagnosed as "likely" having sleep apnea about five years ago. I didn't go for the study, because to me it didn't seem severe enough to have to wear that "horrible mask" that I had heard of.
My youngest brother had problems with apnea.He opted for a surgical procedure that he nearly died from. The surgery didn't do any good, and unfortunately he didn't try CPAP therapy. He died in his sleep about a year later due to his apnea.
Needless to say, this scared the hell out of me, and I've been on CPAP therapy for about four months. I'm feeling MUCH better. My BP has dropped considerably, my pulse is lower, I've lost weight, I've got more energy, I don't feel sleepy during the day. My wife doesn't worry anymore (and actually sleeps in the same room with me again) my kids, and GRANDKIDS like to tease me about my Darth Vader mask, .....what is there not to like?:lol:
I'm totally committed to this and I expect the future to improve even more.


Sorry about your bro man ... real sad story but I'm sure your family appreciates that you took the opportunity to benefit from the loss ... an unfortunate but successful motivation for your PAP treatment.

- roberto

Thanks Snoredog, GoofyUT, rested gal, GoofProof, Wulfman, NightHawkeye, snoregirl and all of the others.
From 102 AHI to 0.4 AHI for over 10 yrs now :)
What's permaculture? Go here -> http://www.geofflawtononline.com/videos/

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Vader
 
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Re: recovery - how long does it take?

Postby Vader on Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:06 pm

DreamStalker wrote:Sorry about your bro man ... real sad story but I'm sure your family appreciates that you took the opportunity to benefit from the loss ... an unfortunate but successful motivation for your PAP treatment.


Thanks very much for the thoughts and condolences.
And yes, you are correct that my family really does appreciate that I'm taking control of what could otherwise be a potentially dangerous situation.
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"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream.
Wandering by lone sea breakers, and sitting by desolate streams.
World losers and world forsakers, for whom the pale moon gleams.
Yet we are movers and the shakers of the world forever it seems."

- Arthur O'Shaunessey

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Last edited by Vader on Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bookbear
 
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Postby Bookbear on Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:17 pm

This creeps up so slowly on most of us, its really hard to compare. And it seems like a good number of us do not have the overnight miracle transformation that some do with cpap therapy. Its a gradual change, and hard to quantify. I can say that for me, there WERE two almost instant changes.... my acid reflux stopped cold as soon as cpap therapy started and hasn't been back since, and I stopped snoring completely. And I stopped getting up two and three times a night to get water or to take a bio-break (G) in the first week. Otherwise, its been a gradual improvement...feeling a bit better week by week, noticing that I wake more alert and less fuzzy, needing fewer naps and now three months into the cpap life not needing any. Still waiting for the vastly increased energy to kick in, but I am content, and I KNOW that this is better for my long term health. My wife greatly appreciates the lack of snoring!


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rested gal
 
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Postby rested gal on Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:26 pm

In this topic, Perry gave his description of recovery:

http://www.cpaptalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=6234

Perry wrote:Which brings up the question of "What is feeling good?" Here are how I define the recovery and treatment process as I experienced it.

"Walking Dead" is where most of us start at. That is how a person with severe OSA problems feels before PAP. You seem to sleep very well - but am always tired, cannot think hardly at all, and can barely function well enough to eat, bathe, do a basic job (with not a good performance), and usually come home to die in front of the TV and sleep (you can sleep at the drop of a hat). Life is no fun at all, and you can be extremely frustrated because you know that something is wrong and you used to be able to do better. Your personal relationships sink to all time lows. You are probably so far out of it that your "other" in life may seek others for intellectual level or intimate companionship so that they can have a life at all (The best time to tell your “other” that you love them or care for them is before someone else tells them – I suggest that you do so daily – starting right now: even if you are not in the “walking dead” zone).

"Basic Treatment" is the next step. In my case this happened first on CPAP, then on AutoCPAP that was set-up totally wrong for me. All the sudden you feel much better. You start to notice that there is more to life than you have been experiencing lately. You now find the energy to do things in the morning you really should have been doing all along like flossing teeth, or some house cleaning. But you still cannot think clearly like you used to, while your job and personal relationships improve a little, you still come home from work exhausted, and retire to the TV or recreational reading because you don't have the mental energy to do anything else.

It is amazing how well you feel compared to before - but you still don't have the energy that you remember (or that you see other people with). Naps are still needed if you are to function at all throughout the day. Often it takes a couple of months – but there comes a point where you know that you are not where you should be.

I will note that most sleep Dr’s are satisfied once a person progresses from Walking Dead to Basic Treatment. They consider you a success, and are not likely to provide much support past this point. My personal experience is that I was better off dealing with a family Dr to move beyond this point as I was dealing with other health issues.

"Advanced Treatment" may follow. Here your feel so tremendously great compared to before. Life starts to be good again; you can see that there is a future (especially in the morning when you get up). Your sleep seems to be under control, you have the opportunity to do things in your job and personal life that you could not even imagine before. Mentally you can start to think of several different things early in a day. But you still feel run down in the afternoon (this must be normal you figure) and look forward to bed each night.

"Mental Zest" is where you want to be, what happens when treatment is really working well for you. All the sudden your mind and life is free again. You typically wake up feeling great, can do multi-tasking of different mental task (which really helps your job and personal life), and have energy all day. Can stay up much of a night if needed - with energy and mental involvement - without major effects on the next day. You can see how to make life great once you solve those problems that accumulated when you weren’t feeling so well (and some of those problems can be major issues to solve). You finally realize that this is what normal life should be. You may recognize at this stage that this is how you felt when you were a teenager. As long as you have a positive attitude about yourself and life - you are ready again to take on the word…

It took me years to get to the Mental Zest stage. I would like to claim that I can stay there. Pollen season knocks me back to the Advanced Treatment, and excessive work hours can easily knock me back to the Basic Treatment Stage (simple exhaustion). Proper diet, nutrition, and exercise are also required to keep you at the Mental Zest stage.

May each of you have a safe and quick journey to “Mental Zest.”

Perry
S9 VPAP Auto - S9 Auto - BiPAP Auto - 420E auto - Everest 2. ResScan, EncPro & SL3.
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ALL LINKS by rested gal:
http://www.cpaptalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=17435

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Postby Grimace on Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:48 pm

Vader, I'm sorry about what happened to your brother. I finally got treatment after my mother heard me sleep one night and told me she didn't think I was going to wake up the next morning, so I can relate, at least a little.
Anyway, I'm one of the lucky ones as far as cpap goes. The first night I used the machine was the best night of sleep I had since I was a teenager. It took me a few nights after that to get used to the mask, and about another week to fully recover from the level of exhaustion and sleep deprivation I was suffering under, and after that it's been cake.


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byront
 
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Postby byront on Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:49 pm

I honestly think that I have had sleep apnea for most of my life, don't ever remember waking up alert and ready to go. First class during high school was a case of constant nodding off and struggling to stay awake. Driving to work in the mornings during my 20's was just about the same. The nodding off in the mornings soon disappeared, but never the waking up in the morning feeling more tired than before I went to sleep - I always had to force myself to get moving to overcome it. So, along with most of the previous posts, I am not really sure what normal feels like. But I can say that I feel much better! I still don't have the drive that I would like, or feel that I should have, and still get tired in the afternoons. But then again the sleep apnea complicated my life in so many other ways that I can't really attribute everything to lack of good sleep - I'm sure that stress and some depression are still weighing me down. As far as recovery time, I'm not sure that I will ever completely recover - BUT, I can tell you that whatever recovery I am going to receive started immediately, day one! I'm less than 2 months on my APAP and already it has become so important to me that I wouldn't think of going anywhere overnight without my 'sleep gear'. In fact, since I now have the software, I have been thinking about doing a split night just to see the comparison (it's been over 5 years since my sleep study) - but I'm reluctant to because I'm afraid that the time off of therapy is going to do me in, and there is NO way that I want to experience waking up like that again. To better understand this maybe I should go over the recovery I have experienced. First off, and 1st night on the APAP, I didn't get up to visit the bathroom - not once, all night long! That was unusual, and completely unexpected, because in my mind I had already attributed the 3 and 4 nightly trips to the bathroom to my age. What a wonderful surprise. Also, since I have been on therapy I no longer get the splitting day long headaches I used to get about 4 days a week, which has also helped me wean off the ibuprofin that I know I was taking far to much of. I had an idea that these were caused by the apnea but had no idea that they would disappear so quickly and completely. I have woke up with two headaches since on therapy, but mild in comparison. Again, another very welcomed change do to sleep therapy. Two very positive life altering events - which is why now my 'sleep gear' always goes where I go. I have to admit that I was initially disappointed in the energy level department. It seems that after my sleep lab I had a dramatic boost in energy that I have yet to experience. After reading up on it here at CPAP.com, I now realize that I most likely have a tremendous sleep deficit that has to be accounted for, and the energy level will likely grow as that is paid off. Also, I should mention that I have gained a large amount of weight since my study, and I am sure this is also effecting my energy level. To be honest, I think I was expecting a cure all, and now realize that's not the case, but it has been one heck of a start so far! I do have to say that I have noticed more alertness in the morning when I wake up and if I want to take a nap - I actually have to work at it, and have had very little success. Prior to therapy all I needed was a place to set my butt. The noise, surroundings, time of day... - none of that mattered, I was out in a flash - and would frequently wake myself up because I was snoring so loud. Now everything has to be just right, and then it's still a struggle to fall asleep. In closing I would have to chalk up all of my current success to my ability to have done the necessary research via cpaptalk.com and people like yourself, rested gal, and so many others that are so graciously forthcoming with information, responses, and links to discussions and solutions to the many questions and problems that arise. I used to also attribute a large portion of it to having been directed to a successful interface by a caring internet retailer who changed my direction in that regard. But I recently discovered that another big portion of my comfort and success was due to my choice of APAP verses straight CPAP. I had read on a few other posts that some have been getting better AHI numbers by switching to straight CPAP mode after using the APAP mode to determine their 90% pressure. I tried it and it was the worst night I have had since beginning therapy - very little sleep. With the software I found that most of my sleep time is actually spent at 8 and 9cm and very little at my 90% of 11.5cm. I sleep comfortably at the 8 and 9 level but not so at the 11.5 mark. If I had not purchased an APAP, I don't know if I would have lasted. So, in my case I believe that the amount of recovery that I have received is in direct proportion to my fortunate choice of equipment and the knowledge gleaned off of this site - cpaptalk.com. I know that many others have not been as fortunate, and I certainly do feel for them as I know how miserable it is without the therapy. But the bottom line is that if there are no other complications that are hindering the therapy - it does work! And the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences. --- OK, I'm done. And once I've submitted this I might even scroll back up to the top to see just how far off topic I got! By the way - thanks once again for the remarkable effort you are putting out Mile High Sleeper - your doing a terrific job! --- BT

P.S.: My Vibratory Snore is averaging 7.3 – I don’t know if that is good or bad. But - the neighbors say that they don’t hear me snoring any more :D, but they still complain about the sub-woofer :?. Gave em’ a choice – they said the sub-woofer could stay :wink: .


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Postby snorkleface on Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:52 pm

HI,
I have apparently had sleep apnea most of my 68 years but only diagnosed last January. My mother told me that my tonsils and adenoids were taken out at the age of 4 because the dr thought that was why I was stopping breathing at night. She said i had such a "cute snore" from then on. About 15 years ago I developed a cardiac arhythmia problem that I now suspect was the result of the continuing apnea.
I actually went to the pulmonologist for a chronic cough but one look by him at my paper work as a new patient and he sent me to a sleep study. I knew the morning after the titration that I had found the answer. I felt truly alive for the first time in my life. I am now a morning person for the first time ever. Even the colors of the trees etc are bighter and more vibrant. I must say I have taken to the whole process like a duck to water even though the mask searching has been an adventure. I find that a rebuilt, by me, Breeze has been my answer. At my 3 month follow-up I told the dr he'd have to kill to take the machine back. He laughed and said he was so glad we had found me help. So am I! At times it is an up and down experience but the ups are winning.

snorkleface



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