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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

CPAP Newbie Checking-in!

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Pandora
Private Snorer
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:11 am

CPAP Newbie Checking-in!

Post by Pandora » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:19 pm

I'm at the beginning of my diagnosis/treatment journey, so thought I'd start sharing it here.

I'm 32, female and significantly overweight. For the last few years my partner has been concerned about my snoring and breathing, sometimes even recording the chocking and breathing stoppages of sleep apnoea. I was too embarrased to go to the doctor, convinced they would simply tell me to lose weight.

Unfortunately I started to suffer increasingly from excessive daytime sleepiness. I gave up watching films or tv because I'd fall asleep. I had to nap very regularly in laybys and services when driving. I started to fall asleep, very briefly, in meetings that were actually interesting/exciting, and found it very hard to concentrate. I'm always on the edge of tears for no good reason and can get a bit grouchy which isn't like me at all.

Eventually my boss started to ask questions. I did what I should have done well before that and went to the doctor.

My doctor agreed with probably sleep apnoea. She also did a blood test and diagnosed severe anaemia which explained some but by no means all of my symptoms so she referred me to the sleep clinic. She told me that the waiting list was months and months long and that when I was seen all they'd do was tell me to lose weight and come back in a few months which obviously left me feeling a bit down about the situation. I was struggling to cope with work and a minimal amount of personal life… trying to lose weight while feeling like that seemed very daunting.

Thankfully, her dire advice I have found to be unfounded. Yesterday was 6 or so weeks after my initial referral, and I went to Gloucester Royal Hospital to pick up sleep test equipment. This morning I dropped it back, and after a quick wait for them to review the data got the results.

The sleep test showed I woke up 470 times last night, which averages 60 incidents an hour. Once that'd been explained to me, I was immediately set up with a CPAP and mask. Being a mouth breather, I've been given a Philips Respironics mask with gel surround that covers my nose and mouth and also sits on my forehead. I've also been loaned a variable CPAP for a week, and have an appointment next week where the data from that will be reviewed and I'll be given a fixed pressure machine. I've already got a consultant appointment in December to review how things are going. So far I'm really impressed by the service I've received from the hospital.

It was also explained to me that I should see this as a treatment for life, and that losing weight will by no means guarantee that my apneas will stop.

To be honest at the moment I feel relieved and excited. I was worried that the sleep study would show that nothing was really wrong, and I'd be back to the drawing board on sorting out my tiredness. As life is frankly a bit crap at the moment given my levels of exhaustion, and their partial extension to my partner due to my unsociable noises when I am asleep, I was really hoping this would be the problem as it seems to have an effective treatment solution in a cpap.

I'll be interested to see how I find it tonight!

Pandora
Private Snorer
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:11 am

Re: CPAP Newbie Checking-in!

Post by Pandora » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:46 am

I had my first night with a CPAP last night, using a Philips Respironics Amara Mask (full face, gel cushion) with a Philips Series One (variable CPAP, on loan for a week to work out what pressure to set up my own fixed pressure machine apparently).

I feel AMAZING, despite taking a bit of time to get to sleep and waking up a few times to faff with the mask / turn the pressure back down to settling pressure.

The mask fit was really good, I couldn't feel any leaks when I slept on the right, and just had to adjust it a few times when I rolled over. I didn't go to the loo overnight - it's been years and years since I've been able to say that. My boyfriend happily reported that there was no snoring, and I got over 8 hours on the CPAP. No idea what my AHI is yet, but I have set up the sleepyheads software so will try and find out later.

I feel mentally alert for the first time in ages. Instead of waking up with a bleary desire to snooze the alarm clock I pinged out of bed like the old me. Really excited about how life is going to be now, if this is one night looking forward to what I'll be like once I've made up for my sleep debt :D

Pandora
Private Snorer
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:11 am

Re: CPAP Newbie Checking-in!

Post by Pandora » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:51 pm

Just downloaded my data, API of 0.3 last night :D The machine seemed to settle at 13.9cmH2O and there were only two periods of about 40 minutes each when any significant leak was recorded. So all in all the data looks good and I feel awake and fantastic!

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Sleep2Snore
General Snorer
Posts: 2870
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:20 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: CPAP Newbie Checking-in!

Post by Sleep2Snore » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:14 pm

You have done the right thing and already feeling better for it.
Keep in touch and us informed, yes, we do read them.
Good luck and may it continue to be a good experience for you.
Any questions, please ask.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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