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Old 12-03-2007, 01:29 PM   #1
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Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

For those who have sleep apnea and use(ed) a CPAP machine, does it make a huge difference the next day? Do you feel refreshed, energized and so on?

I am considering getting tested for sleep apnea but still weighing the pros and cons..

 
Old 12-03-2007, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

YES!!!!!

My whole family would fight anyone that tried to take our CPAP's away! My son (age 5) stopped growing as a result of his severe sleep apnea. He has been on his 8 months.. and has grown five inches since and is back in the 95% again.

I actual dream and feel rested again. My husband has ceased to wake up with the blah achy.. must go back to bed feeling. If we miss using our CPAP's one night we know it. We also stay well now. CPAPs have stopped the chronic infections because now our body hits all stages of sleep responsible for boosting and caring for our immune systems and metabolism.

Get the testing done. And use the CPAP as prescribed or look to surgical correction if applicable. If you do not feel rested you may need a slightly higher pressure than assigned. I operate at four higher than prescribed. My husband is one higher.. and as my son has grown we have had to increase him 2.5 points.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:29 AM   #3
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

Hello joebloggs.

I am now on my 3rd week of using my CPAP. My burst of energy has been hit and miss but it's believed I may need more time than others to see a difference. And, I have other health issues that could cause my affects with CPAP to differ from someone elses.

I am finally starting to dream, I have only had 3 or 4 dreams in the last 2 years so I find this significant.

I can't say I like my CPAP but it's something I have to do for my health and my life.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:10 AM   #4
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

Dito Snoopy.

You have to get enough sleep on your CPAP for it to have the full effect, but four hours sleep on a CPAP is better than four hours without it. My husband requires 8.5 hours to feel rested. Before the CPAP he was sleeping 10-14 hours and still wanted to sleep more.

My son 5 requires 12 hours a day on his CPAP, but that is right smack in the middle of the 11-13 hours recommended for his age group. Beware my son minus his nap on the CPAP.. ugh! Before the CPAP he would sleep 10 hours at night waking at least 3 times and take a 3 hour nap. Given that sleep cycle.. the sleep study he had showed for his ten hour night.. he only had 4 hours of quality sleep and her never hit the 4 and 5 stages at all. Crud! No wonder he was a little monster. On the CPAP he is a jewel until he grows. We can see the signs in his behavior and adjust the CPAP accordingly. Sleep apnea is genetically dominant if a parent has it the child is likely to have it and can be evaluated as early as 6 months. Some recent studies are showing a possible link between SIDS and childhood sleep apnea.

I am good after six hours on my CPAP.. any less and I am dragging. More? It is hard to get more.. but I have slept 7-8 hours on occasion and that is nice. Waking up after the required sleep time is met is nice. You pop up awake and aware with out hours of prodding and nagging by the alarm or your significant other.

On another note: For the spouse or child unwilling to wake... I have found keeping a quart container of frozen BBs/marbles that can be dumped under the covers to be the best incentive for getting out of bed. Those buggers chase you around no matter where you roll.. and do not make the mess cold water does. Learned that one from my mother while I was in high school.

It is important to maintain good sleep hygiene in addition to treating your sleep via a CPAP if it is needed. Look to the stickied post for a laymans recap of the sleep hygiene guide my MD passed on to me.

Sincerely,
MG
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Last edited by mkgbrook; 12-04-2007 at 07:16 AM.

 
Old 12-04-2007, 07:21 AM   #5
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

I honestly feel no better at all, and I WAS stopping breathing a lot 21 times an hour and snoring like you would not beleive my husband recorded me and I was truly horrified that that was me it was so loud and so deep and ugly sounding I am glad I don't snore any more at all, I am as quite as a church mouse now but I have my own issues with my equipment. I have been wearing my mask for a month so I might need more time to feel better. They say you should feel better within a week, and I am still waiting for that day. If you have apnea, its the right thing to do is to get tested and get a CPAP. This can kill you, regardless if you feel better or not, you need to do it if you have apnea. Don't delay.

Good luck. do you have insurance? mine did not cover it, so I can give you some tips on how to save money if you need it.

SS

 
Old 12-04-2007, 07:30 AM   #6
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

slipperyslope,

Have you had your thyroid tested. Sleep apnea is a side effect of hypothyroidism and while the CPAP will stop the events.. it will not fix fatigue, muscle aches, migraines, weight gain.. and a slew of other issues an underactive thyroid causes. This is just a thought. You have sleep apnea.. but could the continued fatigue be due to something else.. the answer is yes.

For women.. thyroid and low ferritin, vit B12, vit D are the main culprits in causing chronic fatigue and pain. The blood work abbrevs needed to get the proper thyroid lab work done are TSH, FT3, FT4 and TPOAb.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

Yup I had my thyroid checked just 4 months ago and it is normal so I can't blame it on that. thanks for the idea though.

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Old 12-04-2007, 08:08 AM   #8
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

What was "normal"? Having Hashi's and being hypoT and having to fight for treatment i hate the word "normal".

In many cases MDs are not up to date with the most recent change to the thyroid TSH scale and I haven't met a lab yet that is up to date. Most still use the 20 year old 0.4-5.5 or 6.0 scale some are closer to the ten year old recs of .45-4.5.

Since 2002 0.3 - 3.0 is normal and it is under consideration for refinement to .3-2.5. Currently 2.5 or higher is considered hypothyroid dysfunction, especially if you have one of the AI's. There is also subclinical hypoT and Hashimoto's disease were the TSH is normal, but the T4 and T3 blood concentrations are too low to maintain proper body function. So unless you have a copy of your blood work and they tested your TSH (this should optimally be approx. 1) and tested your FT3 and FT4 (not T3 and T4) levels and they are in the 50-80% range.. do not rule out the thyroid.

How about your B12, Ferritin, and Vit D? Did they test these?

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:05 AM   #9
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

I LOVE my CPAP. Can't sleep without it. It took a while for me to pay down my sleep debt and get used to the whole machine thing, but I like being able to breathe all the time - not just during the day. I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and while it did cause some level of fatigue, a simple thyroid supplement took care of that. I also have been diagnosed with scleroderma, which like lupus can make you fatigued but doesn't have anything to do with the fatigue caused by apnea. By the way, I have been on CPAP for several years now, even went camping with it.

 
Old 12-04-2007, 10:46 AM   #10
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

I am sure my MD would no what normal is vs abnormal. I don't get the numbers of a test if the Dr says its normal, but it was normal and I see a regualr internal medicine Dr, not a hololistic so I know my thyroid is normal, I also had it checked at the hospital 3 weeks ago.

 
Old 12-04-2007, 12:19 PM   #11
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

The CPAP has but 5 hours on my day. It may have to be adjusted before you get all the benefits. My first CPAP was in 2001. I just went to my sleep specialist this month and he lowered the pressure after a new sleep study. My new machine will be here Thursday and I am hoping for a even better sleep.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:54 PM   #12
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

I hope my experience won't discourage anyone from trying it themselves, but to be perfectly honest I HATED the CPAP machine. I'm a frustratingly light sleeper, so I saw a specialist and did the sleep study thing. They said I had sleep apnea, so I did a second study to see how I'd manage with the CPAP. It was quite possibly the worst night I've ever had. I was awake most of the night, and by the time the study was winding down, I was completely exhausted and begging them to unhook me from the machine early. I did get quite a bit of rest after I manged to drive home. I told them as much on the written evaluation, but when I went back for a follow-up visit with the doctor, they "couldn't find" the study results and pushed the machine on me anyway. I can't help but think the paperwork would have shown how detrimental the CPAP machine was to my getting any rest.

I did try the machine for a few months with different masks, including the nasal pillows, which was actually the most comfortable. The biggest problem I have with the CPAP is that it's constantly blowing air in, so I feel like I'm fighting with the machine every time I exhale. It felt impossible to breath normally, let alone relax, so I was either up most of the night, or I woke up to find that I had yanked the mask off in my sleep. I honestly believe that the doctor and suppliers that called to push the accessories were trying to sell machines, and since the insurance is paying for it they can push harder. I repeatedly told them it wasn't working, and they were determined to have me keep trying. I ultimately refused to use it anymore, and have been taking Ambien ever since. I don't mean to scare anyone, and I don't doubt that it works wonders for some people. But for me it was an experience I don't plan on revisiting.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 12:14 PM   #13
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

I have been using a CPAP for about a year. I feel no difference. My first sleep study showed mild/moderate apnea with obstructive, central and mixed apneas. My second study a year later showed no apneas (with the CPAP) but now it showed alpha wave intrusion and my sleep was not any better. What the heck...

Lamac

 
Old 05-24-2008, 03:19 PM   #14
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

HOW DID YOU GO CAMPING WITH IT? If you needed a generator to use it this would not work at our particular campsite in Yosemite. The noise of it would both other campers throughout the night.

 
Old 05-28-2008, 10:09 AM   #15
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Re: Your experience with CPAP.. does it make a difference?

My apnea was diagnosed in 2003 after a sleep study showed I stopped breathing over 200 times per hour. I must admit it took a lot of getting used to, but after I was switched to a different, much more comfortable mask with nasal pillows, it became much easier to use.

My original apnea diagnosis showed me "waking" up, but not to a full level of consciousness, so I was not aware of the impact on my sleep, other than the fatigue and other ailments I was suffering. Once I really got into using my CPAP, I began to notice I was not quite as tired (although, since I have fibromyalgia, it is hard not to feel fatigued...) I now notice, much more often, when I am not using the machine, that I wake up, gasping for air....even during a daytime nap.

Being an insomniac, it's difficult to have this appendage on your face when you're trying to fall asleep, but I would not be able to stay asleep without it. I am much more used to it now and take it with me if I am sleeping anywhere away from home.

I know that there are some battery backup's available for CPAP machines, but I don't know much about them. People who live in hurricane-prone areas have to have them since they experience extended power outages. I'm sure there is info out there about power options.

A good friend of mine recently went on CPAP and has experienced a total transformation of his daytime energy levels. It took about two weeks before he realized it, but now he knows the lack of quality sleep was really impacting him. Unless there is another underlying problem (ie thyroid, fibroymyalgia, etc.), the CPAP should help in most cases.

One of the things that really helped me get accustomed to the CPAP machine was the "ramp up" feature. This is on most machines, and allows the user to reduce the air pressure for a period of 15-30 minutes so you can fall asleep. After that, the regular pressure kicks back in, but you should be asleep by then. I don't need it anymore, but I used it for a long time while I was getting used to wearing the mask... for more than 6 months, as I recall.

Good luck!
Blessings,
Tex

Last edited by TexMom85; 05-28-2008 at 10:12 AM. Reason: addl info

 
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