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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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DJSTEVEZ
 
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New Guy w/ Questions

Postby DJSTEVEZ on Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:56 pm

Hi All, my name is Steve and I've known I've had sleep apnea for at least 20 years. Early on my HMO assigned PCP didn't really believe in sleep apnea, and thought my "issues" were all blood sugar related. I kept asking for a sleep study, but he kept putting stumbling block after stumbling block in front of me to the point where I gave up. During the past 20 years I was more fit than not so the acuity was not as bad as it has been recently. My wife and mom made me promise that I'd get a sleep test before spring. After my insurance company denied a Rx for NuVigil, I knew I was out of excuses...and to be honest, I was happy to be out of excuses. The sleep test was a little weird, but I can sleep through just about anything so... I'm a full time psychotherapist and I'm generally not an anxious person, BUT the first time I put the mask on I kinda freaked and tore it off. The tech wasn't pleased, but he saw I was anxious and he worked with me. It took all my psycho-babble "self-talk" to stay with the mask the 2nd time. Once my adrenaline subsided, it wasn't really all that bad...and I drifted off to sleep.

Last night was my first night at home with the CPAP and the mask. Again I had to do a little self-talk to get through the initial "out-of-control" feeling that goes with putting the mask on, but I was able to remember what worked and it took less than a minute. After that, it was all good. I'm in my mid 40's and overweight. The mask isn't an option for me, if I'm going to live it wouldn't matter if I had to staple it on at night, it's got to happen. I'm already back at the gym, which once I get back into the swing of things, generally last for years. I'm very hopeful and I'm excited about what the CPAP machone can do for me. I've already seen what my sleep apnea has taken away and it's very clear what else is next to be taken. I know people have legitimate struggles with compliance, but as a Therapist, i also know there are those who with different diseases would kill for the prognosis a CPAP machine can bring for our disease. I view it as my lifeboat off the Titanic.

My question: I feel remarkably better today, but still have some sleepiness. Once compliance is achieved, how long till the sleepiness is gone?
please feel free to share your experience and provide any info or advice you think would be helpful for a newbies.

Thanx for letting me share, Best, Steve Z

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Mary Z
 
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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby Mary Z on Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:01 pm

Thanks for your post, Steve. I really can't tell you how long the sleepiness will last- it's different for all of us. Sorry I can't give you an answer. I like your attitude. Good luck. Keep us posted. Someone with more knowledge will respond.

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Matty332
 
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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby Matty332 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:07 pm

Hey Steve, I have learnt with my personal struggle (I have mental illness too which doesn't help things) that even if you feel weird in the morning like I was - you are still getting benefit. My 2 year constant hypertension dropped from 150/100ish to 120/80 after the first night although I felt TERRIBLE. Apparently all your cells were used to apnea and it freaks the whole balance out when you start getting treatment, some people feel better after the first night, some feel worse and then start to improve - some it takes weeks or months. Depends on you but you must always comply with the treatment and never take naps without the CPAP. It is good to get a followup sleep study at some stage with your CPAP to ensure the treatment is optimal.

Do you have memory and brain fog issues? This could be due to anxiety or hypoxic brain damage from the apnea's, apparently that takes about 12 months to almost completely heal for some people.

I have read some amazing stories on the net of people with things like asbestosis with 10 percent lung function who were disabled for years and on modern oxygen therapy, in and out of hospital getting Tracheotomies and then trying CPAP - and being as healed as they can be and dropping the oxygen and never needing to go back to the hospital again. This is in their 60's. It is an amazing new treatment and the tech is getting better each day because there is so much money in the industry.

It started out as little more than a vacuum cleaner set to blow, thrown down your face in the 80's - now look at how advanced it is.

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby chunkyfrog on Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:11 pm

Sleepiness: hmmm, it does vary a lot from person to person.
My sleepiness faded very slowly over several months; however, I immediately noticed small changes.
I stopped falling asleep at my desk, watching TV, in meetings, and even (gasp) driving.
No big rush of energy, but eventually I was not getting winded walking short distances.
I no longer felt like snacking all afternoon to not doze off at work.
I lost 8 pounds the first year without doing anything else different.

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby squid13 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:16 pm

Some people feel great right off the bat, but that I think is the exception and most like myself take awhile. I'm still new at this only 7 months but I feel better today than when I started and I'll stay with it cause I feel I have no choice. I've been 100% compliant 7 to 8 hours a night. I will say I have my bad days, but I think we all have those. Welcome to the forum.

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby ems on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:37 pm

Took several months to feel I was getting any benefit. I kind of noticed it in retrospect. Even though I still have issues, I do feel much less fatigued during the day.

It differs for everyone... many don't report feeling better for many months. Some people report feeling better very quickly.
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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby DocWeezy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:58 pm

Ditto on the "it's different for everyone" theme.

Another thing to keep in mind is that by finally treating your apnea, you may uncover other underlying health issues that were masked (or caused by) the apnea...for example, if your energy doesn't improve, you may discover that you have other sleep issues, or food sensitivities, or vitamin deficiencies.

The bottom line is: don't give up in your quest for more energy and to feel better. xPAP therapy is the only answer needed for some; for others, it takes more time and digging to uncover and fix other issues that may have been caused by years/decades of chronic sleep deprivation. Fortunately, now that you're on "the hose" you can begin to discover what's really going on.

Personally, I think it is impossible to fix/alleviate any health issues as long as we're sleep deprived, so getting tested and using your machine are the best first steps to find more energy. And here's hoping that you're one of those folks who were caught early enough and all you need is to use your beloved mask and machine every night!

Weezy

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby soundersfootballclub on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:13 pm

I have done well on CPAP since day 1. It took a while for my AHI to get down to where it is now around 2 most nights because I had to get used to the mask over time. I still get sleepy during the day, like to lay down for 20 minutes in the afternoon and just rest not necessarily sleep. I haven't found CPAP to be a miracle. I say I am about 50% better than where I was without it. It's great don't get me wrong but don't expect to start running marathons thanks to CPAP.

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DJSTEVEZ
 
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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby DJSTEVEZ on Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:11 pm

WOW! What a rocking community!
I never expected such a warm and elaborate response, much less so quickly. Thank you sincerely one and all.
I will be sure to take appropriate time to process all the great information and feedback.
I'm looking forward to being a positive and productive member of this community.

Best, -Steve

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby JointPain on Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:48 pm

Hi Steve and welcome to the forum.

Ditto to what everyone has said above.

It sounds like you have the mask claustrophobia under control, but if you need to, try wearing it for a few hours every day while awake to give your subconscious a chance to get used to it and accept it as the new normal.

Personally, I have severe claustrophobia issues and fortunately don't have to do the full face mask. (The first time I had an MRI, I was screaming to get out within seconds of being pushed in and was shaking like a leaf after I got out. They had to cancel that session.) I could cope most nights with a nasal mask, but I really like my nasal pillows, even if I have to wear a chin strap.

Perhaps something to consider a bit down the track.

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby Newbie Woman on Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:36 am

Hi Steve. I was one who had good results early on, but I find the sleepiness comes back from time to time. You feel so rested when you wake up and a few hours later you'd kill for a nap.

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby jandi on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:31 am

Ditto - feeling a bit sleepy again and headaches are returning, though nowhere near as bad. Booked in to have my machine checked in a month - for the first time ever (ie in 5 years). I have actually never had it set up - I just "plug 'n played" for all that time!

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby Matty332 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:20 am

@Jandi, sounds like the machine might need maintenance. I was told after about 5 years they may lose efficiency without a service.

@Jointpain, Man I am not claustrophobic and have issues with the freaky MRI machine! You can hear the magnetic generating machinery loudly clicking and whirring repetitively when your head is inside the MRI head hole. It is like loud, otherworldly techno music. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby brock5ga on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:06 am

Matty332 wrote: Depends on you but you must always comply with the treatment and never take naps without the CPAP.


Why must you never take naps without CPAP? I am 4 weeks in now and I haven't dozed off until this past Saturday, after a hike in the woods with the dogs and family. Granted, I dozed on the couch watching TV, and awoke covered in sweat, which I haven't done during the night since the treatment. I wouldn't think a doze during the day would hurt, as long as you are compliant at night and getting the benefits of the treatment? Just wonder what the theory is behind this with me being new. Thanks.

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Re: New Guy w/ Questions

Postby Pugsy on Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:35 am

brock5ga wrote:Why must you never take naps without CPAP? I am 4 weeks in now and I haven't dozed off until this past Saturday, after a hike in the woods with the dogs and family. Granted, I dozed on the couch watching TV, and awoke covered in sweat, which I haven't done during the night since the treatment. I wouldn't think a doze during the day would hurt, as long as you are compliant at night and getting the benefits of the treatment? Just wonder what the theory is behind this with me being new. Thanks.


Because when you nap...your sleep apnea is still a problem and you still stop breathing and all the bad stuff that happens to your body at night will still happen during the day with a nap and still cause your body to stress. You don't get leftover gold stars from nighttime use that will prevent events from happening during the day with a nap without the machine.

If you sleep whether at night or during the day you should use the machine.

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