Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:52 pm

Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by grizfan » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:15 pm

So, a little more than 5 months in, and I thought I'd post an update. Like a lot of people, I had a bit of a rough start, but reading through these success stories really helped for me, so hopefully, others might get a bit of encouragement from my experiences.

A few tips. First, set small, realistic goals for yourself. Adjusting to your new machine will take time. For me, It was a few days before I even moved my CPAP machine into my bedroom. First steps were to just get used to the mask and the pressure, so I kept it at my home office desk. Started with a goal of 20 minutes wearing my mask, and worked my way up to 30 minutes, an hour, etc...
I started to feel more comfortable with my mask, but still had a hard time falling asleep. I was just too 'aware' of the mask and machine, and couldn't relax. So, my sleep doc prescribed some Ambien. After that, things got a lot easier. I also read up on sleep hygiene. This really helped me. I no longer try to read or have any screen time in bed. I'm also more mindful of when I eat, and try not to eat at least an hour before bedtime. Also, over time as I've grown more comfortable with my mask, I've been able to slowly work my way off of the sleep meds, now only using 1/2 a pill if I'm having problems falling asleep.

I do find it strange that I'm able to precisely measure my sleep, but that has proven helpful. Anything less than 6.5 hours, and I'll definitely be dragging the next day, while 7 to 7.5 is the ideal. But, even 5 hours is manageable with my machine.

Generally speaking, things keep getting easier, and my machine and mask are becoming more normal. I didn't experience the overnight miracle, but over time, I'm doing a LOT better. I used to have a lot of sinus infections, colds, etc... those are a thing of the past. My energy levels are much better, I can stay up with the family until 10 or 11 on work nights, get a good 7 or so hours of sleep and wake up around 5:30 to 6:00 feeling ready for the day. My blood pressure has improved a lot (had been creeping up over time) and I'm now at 100/70, and my weight is starting to drop as well.

So, please be patient with yourself. Keep chipping away at using your machine; try to get a little better each night. Having problems? Talk to your sleep doc. Keep pushing on that until you start to see the results you want.

Machine: DreamStation CPAP Machine
Mask: DreamWear Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: DreamStation Heated Humidifier
Additional Comments: DreamStation Auto CPAP DSX500H11
DreamStation Auto CPAP DSX500H11 with humidifier, DreamWear nasal pillow mask


Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by Truckman » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:36 pm

I was in my late teens or so when I discovered I had a severe snoring issue - my friends told me about it - I admit I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle - excessive drinking, eating, partying, etc but by my mid twenties when I was married that all tapered off.
My wife at the time was always disturbed by my snoring because she could not sleep, I found that I would get tired more easily at times but did not associate that issue with snoring. Ten years later and the marriage was over, snoring and fatigue were worse partially because of stress.
By that time I could not drive anywhere for more than 30 minutes or I needed a nap, basically during the day whenever I stopped moving or sat down I would fall asleep. Sleeping at night was always a struggle to get air no matter what position I slept in, I would wake up just exhausted. My dentist fitted a mouthpiece which repositions the jaw while sleeping but that did nothing for me at all
That was in the late 90's and I watched a news report on tv one day that explained what sleep disorders were and immediately related with my own struggle. At that time they referenced a ear, nose, and throat specialist in Edmonton offering lazer surgery to remove the uvula and increase air volume while breathing (similar to Uvulopharyngopalatoplasty). This was a two part procedure where the Uvula was first removed then after a healing period of months or a year would be repeated to remove extra tissue.
During the first few minutes of the procedure, which was performed with local anaesthetic while I was totally alert I immediately noticed my breathing was easier. The procedure was quite uncomfortable and at a certain point he had to stop. That is why there was a two part surgery. Recovery was very difficult because of pain and inflamation and it took about three weeks before I had some level of relief even with prescribed painkillers and antiseptic mouthwash. Eventually a huge improvement in my sleep was noted and my snoring disappeared. I felt very much alive and alert and generally well. In time I returned for the second stage of treatment and suffered through the recovery in the same way again but noted a further improvement.
For the next ten years I was exercising regularly and was generally in very good physical condition but after getting married again my priorities changed and I gained some weight. That and reaching about 45 years old seemed to hit me at the same time and my snoring eventually returned as severe or more as ever. Blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels all were elevated and my doctor initiated tests to diagnose root causes. I had various blood tests, a heart ultrasound, then visited a heart and lung specialist for a lung capacity test, then took the CPAP system test machine home for evaluation. I should also say that I tried the head strap available which holds your mouth closed while sleeping but it did absolutely nothing for me. My wife of course had a difficult time sleeping because of the noise and worrying that I might stop breathing altogether.
The results revealed that I was having more than one obstruction per minute and my blood oxygen was dropping to less than 60% multiple times per night. My doctor explained that it was known for people to die in their sleep as a result. The respiratory center rep was amazed at the data and used my results to explain worst case scenarios to other patients.
I was next sent to the sleep lab in Edmonton for further evaluation and even after only sleeping with the CPAP test machine for 5 hours I felt revigorated. When I received my machine from our local respiratory center I was given two masks to try - the nasal mask and a full mask. I did not like the nasal mask because I am a mouth breather and my nose felt dried out in the morning. Also, if my mouth fell open while sleeping the air rushing down my throat sounded like a jet plane. So for me the full mask was the answer.
Getting used to the mask was the next hurdle and difficulties are common with people because the mask is not natural for the human body. I fought with the mask for two months before I could sleep a full 7 or 8 hours, but I persevered because I was determined to gain the benefits. I have met numerous people who gave up because they could not used to the mask. My wife also had more sleepless nights because I was absolutely quiet sleeping and that frightened her after years of noise. But getting up three or four times to urinate a night reduced to almost none.
After some months I noticed that I was gasping with the mask on and realized that my lung capacity had improved and I needed more pressure to sleep comfortably. The respiratory center advised that another sleep test would have to be performed before adjustments to air pressure could be done which I did not agree with even though that is normal procedure. After some Google searches I found the secret handshake that CPAP machines have to adjust pressures which I studied carefully and bumped my pressure up until I slept comfortably again with no ill effects.
I have had my machine for over 5 years now and eventually stopped taking my blood pressure and cholesterol meds as my levels and blood sugar dropped to normal. I should say that my sleep apnea condition has a genetic factor as my father suffered with the same symptoms for years also but I could not convince him to be diagnosed and treated as he thought he was used to it and was not motivated to address the problem. I know several people who claim genetic factors in the issue, a coworker who is 20 years old and not overweight who has recently been diagnosed - his father has had a CPAP machine for some time.

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by satansoft » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:42 pm

Catnapper wrote:I believe it would help me, and maybe other newbies, to hear the success stories. Something along the lines of before and after would be great. I would particularly like to hear about the moment that made you realize that you were better.

I want to write my own success story one day soon.

Joanie - Catnapper
I'm sure that success is just round the corner for you Joanie...

Quick version of my story - I was fit and healthy, and cycled to work, and played regular sports until around 2000, then I started to feel lethargic and the cycling and sports fell by the wayside, friends noticed that I would nod off mid conversation while sat having a cup of tea. I could have 12-15 hours sleep and then still feel tired all day. It got to the point where I was hallucinating, trying to put cups down on invisible coffee tables etc. I got to the point where I decided enough was enough, I thought I had Yuppie Flu (M.E.) so visited my doctor, and the hospital got me to wear a Pulse Oximeter overnight, and an overnight hospital sleep study followed, I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea and was informed that I had stopped breathing approximately 88 times overnight, although the bed being as comfortable as a concrete slab didn't help... I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation around the same time.I was set up with a home CPAP machine and after a week or two the difference was amazing. I felt lots better through the daytime, so much so that I could embark on a fitness regime to take off the weight I gained due to lack of exercise caused by the A.F. It's now 15 years on, and I wouldn't be without my CPAP machine now... I sincerely hope it will change your life Joanie like it did mine...


Additional Comments: Not sure if my model is the Elite or the Escape, they both look the same, I need to dig out my documentation.

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by tphi31 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 3:34 am

reading everyones stories is very encouraging

for me getting diagnosed was the hard mind was so foggy i had a hard time even explaining my symptoms to the doctor, i didnt think that it was anything sleep doctor did a complete blood count and saw my white blood cells, red blood cells, and hematocrit were all high so he referred me to a hematologist...the hematologist decided to do a bone marrow biopsy which, to say the least, isnt a pleasant procedure to have done..the bone marrow biopsy came back normal so he referred me to a pulmonologist who referred me to have a sleep study where i found out i had only on my 3rd day using the cpap machine, but i can already tell the difference when i wake up, i didnt realize how tired my body was...getting to sleep is an adventure in itself, but once i fall asleep i wake up refreshed and dont feel as foggy as a did a few days ago...still feel drained at the end of the day, but i guess thats because i have a lot of sleep to catch up on


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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by amyfb » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:58 pm

I'm three days in with my machine and sleeping like a baby!

It's a dream come true - I've been sleeping poorly for nearly ten years and wish someone had suggested a sleep study nine years ago.

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by Catnapper » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:59 am

I started this topic 10 years ago today. I want to thank everyone who responded with success stories. I love to hear them. I believe lots of people have been helped by reading them, including myself.

Catnapper - Joanie

Machine: PR System One REMStar 60 Series BiPAP Auto + Heated Tube Humidifier Core
Humidifier: PR System One 60 Series Heated Tube Humidifier with Heated Tube
Additional Comments: Encore Pro Analyzer, Padacheeks, ComfortSleeve

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by ckeith » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:17 pm

Success !

Intractable Insomnia - Now under control & getting better
I awaken around 5am and can get back to sleep around 7am
I can now get 8-9 hrs of broken sleep - Way better the 1 or 2hrs I use to get

No more Hallucinations
No more Atrial Fibrillation
No more Acid Reflux attacks

Incidents down from 41 to 1.5
Oxygen Saturation up from 78% to near normal
Blood Pressure average down from 185 to 130

Thank You CPAPtalk !


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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by SpartanBert » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:42 am

My first post...I am about 7 weeks in. Looking back, for about the last 3 years I was having a gradual decline in sleep quality, with the last 6 months being really bad. The typical waking up and gasping for air, going to the bathroom 3 times a night, occasional heart racing and anxiety too. Felt exhausted all day. Since starting, so far so good, I am having many of the usual issues with the mask at night, getting used to it being on my face. Some nights I will wake up and the mask is off, hung up on my bedpost, the machine turned off and I have no recollection of doing any of that. When that happens, I put the mask back on and turn on the machine to get back to it. Other times I just can't get comfortable with trying to sleep on my side and the mask leaks, but I am working on that with different pillows, trying to find the right combination. I had a hard time falling to sleep early on, but that is starting to get better. I still haven't slept through the entire night, but I am starting to get 4 hour strethces more consistently. Even with all the adjusting I am going through, the worst night sleep with the machine is WAY better than what I was getting before cpap. I have more energy, don't feel exhaused in the afternoon, and not nearly as grumpy at the end of the workday. No more racing heart rate, no more bathroom visits, no more anxiety at night when gasping for air. Almost immediate improvement in blood pressure as well.

I use the dreammapper app for the smartphone, and my next step will be to use the sleepyhead software. I have embraced this as what I need to do to live a healthy and productive life. If using the machine is what makes me feel better, then I am going to do it. I can't wait for when I get a full night in!

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by CDG » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:43 pm

I have had one wonderful improvement: my emotional outbursts have quieted, and I am so grateful for that. I'm only into therapy just over two weeks, and some days have been better than others. One day, about one week ago, I felt as if my mind and body were rewired and ready to take flight. It was a great feeling. On most of the other days, however, I'm still struggling with mental & physical fatigue to varying degrees. My AHI is bouncing around, averaging close to 20. (Sleep study measured 29.) I had hoped for more improvement by now, but I understand it can take some time.
One of the things I believe about my struggle is that stress is impacting everything about sleep, especially my breathing. I will be adding acupuncture to help with this, which in turn will hopefully help me to have much better sleep.

Machine: AirSense™ 10 AutoSet™ For Her CPAP Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: DreamWear Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Sleep study in done 8/2016, AHI 29. Got equipment 10/5. Changed to Dreamware nasal mask on 10/31

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by BossaBruce » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:26 am

I've been using a CPAP machine for only four days. Sleep test showed that I had a mild case of apnea however a recent bout of atrial flutter ( started at 3 AM when I was sound asleep ) led to this decision to use a CPAP machine.
I am using a ResMed air sense 10 CPAP machine, along with a nasal cup on some kind of a swivel connector. When I picked up the machine and went through the basic use instructions with the sales person it seems pretty straightforward. There was a lot they didn't tell me.
Night one I spent 2 1/2 hours trying to tolerate the machine with a semi clogged nose breathing frigid cold air, gasping for breath through my mouth. Eventually I ripped the damn thing off my face shut the machine off and fell asleep on my own.
The next day I found this website and started checking articles and posts. The most helpful thing I read was a post about learning to breathe through your nose was the most difficult adjustment for a mouth breather. I also saw some really good posts about using breathe right nasal strips to keep your nose open. The third thing I saw a post about heated humidification. Heated air, what?
I have year round mild allergies that I lived with most of my life by breathing through my mouth because my nose is congested. No one (including the doctor) told me I have to breathe through my nose with this type of CPAP mask. In terms of heated humidification I'm not sure why that wasn't discussed during the demo session so I feel a little let down by my doctor and the CPAP sales person who gave my demo.
Armed with this new information I approached night two with breathe right nasal strips and I read the user manual to see if there was a way to heat the humidified air. There was. I got four hours asleep with the machine On.
On the third night I got 4 1/2 hours asleep with the machine on.
Last night was Friday night and I was able to sleep in this morning and I managed eight hours and four minutes asleep with the CPAP machine on. I can't determine if the CPAP machine is making a difference in my life yet but I'm managing to live with the CPAP. Time will tell if it helps me.

Machine: AirSense™ 10 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: Wisp Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear - Fit Pack
Additional Comments: Software ap: MyAir for Air10 by ResMed


Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by Mcquestion » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:21 am

A few short weeks ago I started using a CPAP machine and I love it. I don't wake up with a headache any more.

According to the sleep test I did, I used to wake up 30 times per hour, or about every two minutes. Anything over 5 is bad so I was considered a "severe" case.

The first week I used it I went down to waking up 3.1 times an hour. The next week it was 4.1. The difference was immediate and refreshing. I wake up clear eyed.

I don't always have a good night's sleep, but that's not due to the machine. No matter what, I don't wake up feeling like my brain is wrapped in gauze any more. It feels great.

If I can make one suggestion, get a mask that has the hose attachment on the top part of the mask, on the upper strap, not a hose that attaches to the nose area. I much prefer this so the hose isn't draped over me at night.

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by kbh209 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:31 pm

I thought I'd post here since it has been a few months since I last gave an update. I have come to love my CPAP machine, it truly does give me the best sleep every night. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night with a sore throat (or blood on my pillow case). It was a struggle though, it took me at least 4.5 months to get used to it, but in the end it has fully paid off. My roommates fully appreciate the usage too, as it does help keep things more on the quiet side.

I am going to be messaging my provider to let them know that I am still snoring with the CPAP machine, perhaps it's time to raise the air just a bit, I'm not sure.

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by AmyR » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:55 pm

I've been using my CPAP for almost a month now. At first it was difficult - they set the pressure really high with a wide swing. I'd tested as 57 interrupts per hour. But the high pressure was blowing the mask off my face, couldn't keep a seal. So they reduced the top pressure a bit. Though the following week they added the "inhale push" which had a different noise which is really irritating combined with insomnia. Attaching the hose to the top of the headboard was a big improvement - stops hose management from being a concern. And finding out that I could turn off the machine while taking a restroom break was helpful. Some nights are good now - waking fewer times, waking up rested in the morning. One aspect of the insomnia has been a baseline fear about what happens mentally when I am ready for sleep but sleep is delayed. I think the apnea could have been part of that, though I had no idea I had apnea, on some level my body has known. I have PTSD and being ready for sleep is "prime time" for negative thoughts to find their way to the surface - therapy has helped that, but I was assuming that the potential was part of the level of fear I was having when unable to get to sleep. If the apnea is a stronger cause for fear, then it should eventually fix the insomnia and if I work out and lose some weight, I might eventually be able to stop using the machine. But for starters, I just want more good nights. I have been good about wearing the mask and using the machine. When I was waking up a lot, after 4 hours I would take it off. Now I am willing to leave it on until closer to time to get up. The skin along the mask line is a little irritated now, so I may have to change the material of the mask, otherwise, it seems to be working for now.

Insomniac with a Facemask


Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by seemybook » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:43 am

Before CPAP I was falling asleep spontaneously during work, several times a day, without even knowing it! I didn't believe that was happening until a co-worker took a picture of me---what an awakening! I had a long drive home on the freeway, and one day I nearly drove into the cliff because of dozing off without knowing it. Incidents like these told me I had to do something about it. I have been on CPAP every night for 4 years now, and I am so grateful for it because it changed my life dramatically. Before CPAP, on some days I could not drag myself out of bed, I was so exhausted. Now I wake up much more refreshed. Some days I bounce out of bed! I know CPAP can be uncomfortable, but keep trying different masks because there are plenty of styles out there, and one is bound to fit you properly. That will make a huge difference right there, when you find one that doesn't constantly wake you up with squealing air leaks. I used to wake up with water dripping on my face during the night---so I bought the heated tube which solved the "rainout" problem. When I put on the mask, I don't think negatively about how uncomfortable this is going to be all night. Instead, as I put on my mask, a sense of calmness comes over me, because I know I won't be abruptly waking up during the night in a panic with my heart racing. I had a huge sleep deficit from all the years I had sleep apnea but didn't know it, so it took quite a while for me to feel astoundingly better with the CPAP. I slept 9 hrs a night trying to catch up. There was no huge AHA! moment when I realized I was getting better, it was more of a gradual awakening.

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Re: Newbie would like to hear success stories, please.

Post by georgepds » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:53 pm


I've used mine for ~8 years.

Before CPAP I'd need to take an afternoon nap at work, and on the commute home... no more I'm wide awake. I once parked my car in front of light post at McDonald's for a short commute nap. About every 10 minutes I'd wake at the wheel with a light post in front of me, thinking , Oh No.. this is it. I really don't miss that experience

In the beginning I had a lot of problems getting used to the mask. For me, tracking my progress using software was the key ( I'm a bit of data nut). After a while, I just got used to it. I'd no sooner hit the sack for the night without CPAP than I would without changing from my street clothes.

I'm a bit older now, and if circumstances don't give me a full 8 hours at night, I'll even use the machine for a nap. It guarantees I wake up rested

As to the more serious problems associated with apnea ( stroke, heart attack) I've managed to avoid them, that sounds like success to me