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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Keep a diary here. Everyone can read your post ... it is _not_ private. Post things you feel may be useful for others to read.
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Mr Mouse
Major Snorer
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:14 pm

Well Guy's & Gal's where do I start ?, I guess this would normally be at the beginning.

But to be honest I really don't have a clue as to exactly when that was, now I'm willing to bet that the majority of people on this forum couldn't answer that question accurately either.

According to my wife Anne I have probably been a heavy snorer on & off for the past 20 years, the only respite she has had from this was at one point when I managed to get down to 13 stone 7 from 19 stone 7 for a year or so. I'm afraid to say that I'm presently back up to an all time high of 20 stone, but now I'm on cpap & slowly feeling better I hope to do something about this again.

I suppose my journey to diagnosis started with a visit to my GP at Anne's request, in order to seek some help over my snoring issues & at this point it was purely because I was keeping her awake every night.

I had pretty much attributed all the symptoms I was experiencing down to a mix of medication I'm taking in order to keep my blood pressure & cholesterol under control, but I was later to discover they were down to having severe obstructive sleep apnoea.

When I got up in the mornings I was still very tired & it was almost as if I hadn't slept at all, even though I didn't remember being awake all night. For the past 8 months I have been having to get up & go to the toilet between 2 & 4 times a night, that's mostly over a 6 hour sleep period !.

I was feeling tired at work & would fall asleep at my desk if taking a coffee break, I was having a nap at lunchtime whilst sitting at my desk which could last between 20 to 40 minutes. My boss & colleagues at work would never wake me up & just let me sleep until I awoke on my own, I have to say I'm very lucky & they have all been very understanding & supportive. Having got through the day & driven myself the 25 miles home I would have a bite to eat then fall asleep mid evening whilst watching the telly, when I woke up at any random time between 11pm & 3am I would go to bed.

Then bingo you wake up & it starts all over again !, when it came to the weekend there was so much I wanted to be getting on with as I have plenty of hobbies & interests to keep me busy. But I found that most of the time I was too tired to do anything much at all, Here Endeth the Symptoms !.

So it transpired at this point that my dear wife was at her wit's end, so in order to give her some respite I offered to sleep on the sofa for the night. She couldn't get a duvet & pillow on the sofa quick enough !, this worked well for her as she got the first good nights sleep she'd had in a long time. I found it to be quite uncomfortable & I don't think I slept very well at all, Anne decided that until we could get something done about my snoring this was the way forward & I have found myself on the sofa every night for the past 5 months now. This is I'm sure just one example of how sleep apnoea can effect peoples relationships, even now I've had my cpap machine for 2 weeks she is still reluctant to allow me back into the marital bed.

So it was off to see my GP to discuss the snoring issue with him, all he had to offer was to suggest I lose some weight & sleep in another bedroom to my wife. I explained that I would love to lose some weight but was not prepared to starve myself & didn't have the energy to take on the sort of exercise regime that was required. I also explained to him that as we live in a 3 bedroom house & still have 3 of our 5 children living at home there wasn't a spare room available, so the sofa was the only option. He dismissed my problems & said he couldn't help me, I was also having severe muscle pains at the time which I was convinced were down to a mix of medications he had put me on to reduce my blood pressure.
I had confronted him over this as well & got the same response, couldn't possibly be an issue go away.

It was at this point that I requested to be able to see another doctor of my choice at my practice, once I saw my new GP he was much more open to discussion & agreed to work with me to sort out the medication issues. I'm now on a mix of medication that is keeping my blood pressure & cholesterol under control with no noticeable side effects, I'm an engineer by trade so severe muscle pains were a huge issue for me as I spend most of my day working with my hands.

I decided at a later appointment with my new GP to approach the snoring subject again, he was great he asked me a series of simple questions (not the epworth test) & at the end explained what he thought was going on & said he would refer me to Papworth hospital.

Two weeks later I got appointment & was sent home with the bit of kit that measures your oxygen levels overnight, I took it back the next day & they looked at the data. At that point they said it was inconclusive & that they might call me back for further tests, I got another letter about a week later asking me to go back. This time they sent me away with another piece of kit that you strapped across your chest for the night, it had a finger probe a couple of small tubes that went up your nose & a belly & chest sensor & one more which you stuck to your neck. I took it back the next day & they checked the data by downloading it to see if they had enough info, they did so I was sent home to wait for the findings.

It took 3 weeks for the letter to arrive with my diagnosis, it was Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. The tests had shown that on average over a 1 hour period I had stopped breathing 86 times, I must admit that seeing both this figure & the diagnosis in black & white freaked me out a bit !.

This was the first time anyone had mentioned sleep apnoea to me, strangely enough 2 days before the diagnosis letter arrived I had another letter from Papworth inviting me in for an overnight sleep study in a further 3 weeks time.

But at this point I had my diagnosis, strangely enough I was able to take some comfort in the fact that there was a real problem & was looking forward to starting treatment of some kind.

Sorry if this seems a little long, but that's the story of my diagnosis.

And the moral is ?, never give up just find a good GP.

Cheers,

Gerry. :D

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Mr Mouse
Major Snorer
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:43 pm

So with my appointment letter in hand & my holdall packed it was with some trepidation that I headed off to Papworth for my sleep study, it was Saturday the 16th March & I had been asked to arrive at 1.30pm.

I was slightly bemused as to why I had to be admitted so early in the day for an overnight study though, it would appear that they like to settle you in & for you to familiarize yourself with the cpap machine in plenty of time.

A short while after being admitted to a ward a nurse came round to see me, I was issued with a Resmed S9 cpap machine & showed how it worked. We fitted & adjusted the mask (full face) & it was suggested that I might like to have a lie down on my bed & try out the machine, I was encouraged to have a nap if possible to try & get used to the mask.

The afternoon wore on the ward filled up with the other 3 victims, oops patients. I watched some telly, the evening meal arrived which was very nice even if the portions were a tad on the small size. Conversations were struck up with my fellow playmates, one of which was a newbie like me & the other 2 were old hands who were in for review.

The evening passed in pleasant conversation until we were encouraged to try going to sleep by the staff around the 10.30pm mark, I think it took me around 20 or so minutes to achieve this.

I think I did a reasonable job & only had to get up once in the night to go to the toilet, this I consider to be a result in itself. I gather that the staff were monitoring my progress & adjusting the machines settings accordingly, I was woken up around 7.30am the following morning & told that I would be discharged with the machine after the consultant had been to see me for a chat.

I got up & readied myself for dispatch, breakfast came & went as did the tea & coffee trolley with some frequency. Late morning as promised the consultant arrived for a chat, he said they were pleased with the results that were collected & that they were happy to discharge me.

They started my machine off on the lowest setting of 4 & adjusted it up to 14 during the night, this reduced my reading down from 86 times an hour to just 18 !. He explained that I would be sent a follow up outpatients appointment in approx 6 weeks time, when attending this I would be given another monitor to bring home to wear overnight as part of a follow up study.

Then I was released back into the wild with my new toy !, I must say I was exited by the prospect of further adventures.

Gerry. :)

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Mr Mouse
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:19 pm

It's now been 2 weeks since I was let loose with my cpap machine, I must say apart from 1 or 2 issues with the mask I'm getting along just fine with it.

It seems to be easier if you sleep on one side, but this is not an issue for me as I pretty much do this most of the time anyway. I think this developed as a habit through trying to keep facing away from my wife as much as possible, in a vain attempt at keeping the noise down by directing it away from her.

Having the machine has made such a difference in respect to visiting the toilet in the middle of the night, I used to have to go between 2 & 4 times over a 6 hour sleep period. Now I can go straight through a whole 9 hours without getting up once, this alone has made an enormous difference to my sleep.

I must be getting good quality deep sleep now, as I know nothing that happens between going to sleep & waking up. I haven't had a single dream since starting on cpap, I'm beginning to feel a real difference.

When I wake up my head is much clearer than it used to be, I'm not swimming through fog for the rest of the day. I feel as if I have more energy than before, I'm not dozing off at work any more & don't need a nap at lunchtime.

Now I won't say I don't feel tired at all, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Cpap has made a huge improvement to my life in just 2 weeks, my goal now is to get back to exercising as I would like to lose some weight again as I feel this can only help matters.

Now that I have begun to get my head back into the right place again I plan to look at starting to eat a bit less & a bit more healthier things, this I hope combined with more exercise will be my way forward.

Gerry. :)

PatsyFagan

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by PatsyFagan » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:59 pm

Hi Mr Mouse ..... congratulations on joining this exclusive club!!! :lol: Your symptoms will be familiar to many of us who find this forum and so well done for scaling the dizzy heights of the 'mysteries' of CPAP. Seriously, it is such a relief when you finally get a diagnosis of OSA and thank you for sharing your own voyage of discovery. :)

Good luck with the weight loss too.

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Mr Mouse
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:12 pm

Hi Patsy,

Thank you for your words of encouragement, it's good to know there are people out there who understand.

Especially if you are receiving little in the way of support or encouragement at home, which is what I have found to be the case myself & within other forum posts.

Partners seem very quick to point out the snoring aspect with regards to how it effects there own sleep patterns, but don't seem to consider the effects of the snoring on us.

We must be getting lots of sleep right !, otherwise why would we be snoring so contentedly.

Gerry. :?

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Mr Mouse
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:36 pm

Well I must say that I've been having a few leakage issues with my full face mask this week, which drove me back to trying the nasal mask again. But try as I might I just can't seem to get on with it & soon found myself swapping back to the full face one, I have a medium size Resmed Mirage Quattro.

on 3 nights this week I have woken up with air leaking from the mask & blowing into my eyes, the air escaping has also made an awful farting type noise which wakes me as well.

I have tried washing the mask & paying particular attention to the membrane seal, making sure it is clean & oil free. I have even taken to washing my face just before fitting the mask in an attempt to remove any oil from my skin, the mask only seems to leak after it has ramped up to its full setting (currently 14) & the only way I have found to achieve a seal again is to tighten the straps even more.

Someone on the forum suggested adjusting the mask whilst lying down which I tried last night & this seemed to help at first, at some point the leak returned though. I managed to get over the problem by adjusting the forehead support dial to push the mask tighter into my face just above my nose, I then had to tighten the lower straps further.

The mask then felt quite a tight fit but didn't seem to leak again, I think I slept right through after this & for once the mask didn't leave a mark on my nose.

Here's to a good nights sleep right through tonight without requiring adjustments, watch this space to see how I got on.

Gerry. :)

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Mr Mouse
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:49 am

Well I must say that last night was a bit of a disappointment, as I woke up 3 times as a result of air leaking past the mask again. The only way I could get it to seal again was to tighten both sides of the upper & lower straps even more, I'm beginning to wonder if my head shrinks overnight.

Once again all seemed fine to start off with & I'm convinced it only leaks after it's ramped up to the maximum it's set to, trouble is I'm now finding myself trying to hold the mask on tighter with my hand as well.

Any suggestions gratefully received !.

Gerry. :(

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Mr Mouse
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:09 pm

So last night I thought I would give the other mask one last try, its a ResMed Mirage Liberty. They also describe this as a full face mask, which combines a mouth cushion with nasal pillows.

I adjusted it up so it was quite tight, although I don't find it as easy to breath with this mask I wasn't woken up by it leaking or making noises.

So I will try it again tonight & see how I get on, if this one continues to be leak free then I will carry on with it.

Gerry. :)

scooterchick

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by scooterchick » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:23 pm

hi Gerry
I use the liberty mask too, its ok especially if like me you fall asleep reading lol, as i can wear my glasses and still read and use my mask, so it don't matter if i drop off lol.

Hope you continue to get on with the liberty


Gail

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Mr Mouse
Major Snorer
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:29 pm

Hi Gail,

I never thought of that !, since being on cpap though I haven't fallen asleep whilst reading at all which is great. Long gone are the days of dropping off only to find you get woken by the book you have just dropped, do you find your mask comfortable ?.

Gerry. 8)

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Mr Mouse
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:02 pm

Still getting on well with the Liberty type mask, no leaks now !. Only small issue is that my nostrils are a little bit sore, but that could be because I have the mask to tight as a consequence of the leak problems I was having. So tonight I'm going to try loosening the straps off a bit & see what happens, watch this space !.

Gerry. :)

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Mr Mouse
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:57 am

Set sail on last nights voyage on the good ship ResMed with my mask straps loosened off a bit, but sadly have to reveal that at some point during the night I started to get that sinking feeling as I woke up with a leak around the right nostril pillow.

At this point the only solution was to tighten up the straps again, I decided not to tighten them too much & this seemed to work. I think though that I might need to tighten up the straps a bit more before I go sailing this evening, we shall see.

I'm just wondering if my nostrils will eventually man up a bit & get used to the pillows, at the moment they are still a little red & are a bit sore.

Gerry. :(

Suse
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Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Suse » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:54 pm

I'm a nasal pillows gal and my nostrils did protest a bit when I first moved from a nose mask to the pillows. But they did get used to it and now I wouldn't be with any other mask. It's worth persevering! :D

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Mr Mouse
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:10 pm

Hi Suse,

Thanks for your encouragement, I will tighten the straps a little more tonight & hope to get to a point where it doesn't leak but isn't fully tight. I guess the skin around my nostrils is quite sensitive, I will persevere with it & get it right eventually.

Gerry. :)

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Mr Mouse
Major Snorer
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:19 am
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk.

Re: A voyage of discovery, by Captain CPAP !.

Post by Mr Mouse » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:20 am

Well tightening the straps that little bit more seemed to work last night, nostrils are still a bit sensitive at the moment though. Does anyone else have this problem ?, if so have you found a way round it ?.

Gerry. :)

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