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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Nodlads journal

Keep a diary here. Everyone can read your post ... it is _not_ private. Post things you feel may be useful for others to read.
Nodlad
Sergeant Snorer
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 1:11 am

Nodlads journal

Post by Nodlad » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:37 am

I'm fairly new here but would like to record my experiences on here as I head towards CPAP treatment in the hope it will help others as others have helped me in recent months. Its a long post but if you are here because you think you may have SA then it's worth reading.

Last month I was formally given the news that I suffered form sleep apnoea and had an AHI of 59.2, I was over the moon with this, not for some weird reason that I celebrate being ill, but for the knowledge that I finally had answers to a life of suffering and countless unexplained symptoms.

All my life I'd felt their was something not quite right with me. As a kid I was fairly active but did tend to burn myself out quickly and lacked stamina. In classes I was slow and often fell into an almost trancelike state which earned me nicknames like dopy or dozy. Into my teens I tended to sleep lots, I know teenagers naturally do sleep more but this was different. 12 hours a night at the weekends was not uncommon. I largely accepted this was just the way I was. Throughout my 20's things got worse and the 12 hour sleeps became more common, often to the extent where I was virtually rotating between working and sleeping.

In my early 30's I was diagnosed with borderline severe depression and put on medication and recieved 6 months of counselling, these made little difference to me and my quality of life slowly continued to deteriorate. All the time my weight was slowly creeping up. By about 35 I found myself visiting my GP with an ever increasing number of ailments from sleepiness and various aches and pains to headaches and blurred vision. Many tests were done including thyroid, kidneys, liver, testosterone, diabetes, and many more - all showed normal results and as they were done at different times my GP never put 2 and 2 together.

During last year things became progressivly worse. I was falling alseep regularly at work, my memory was deteriorating and I lost yet another girlfriend probably through a combination of snoring and percieved apathy from me towards our relationship. I had spoken with a few people about the possibility of sleep apnoea but knew little about it.

Crunch time came late last year when I fell asleep briefly whilst driving home from work. I was only out for a second or 2 but it was enough for me to change lanes and potentially endanger the lives of others had the motorway been busy. From there I went directly to my GP and insisted on an appointment, he took me in later that afternoon and we both agreed it was highly likely I was suffering from sleep apnoea. This left me with a dilemma as I work in a safety critical job and have a daily commute of 30 miles.

That night after watching youtube footage of sleep apnoea sufferers I decided to do a little filming of my own and set up a camera to record as I slept for my own peace of mind and to reassure myself that taking time off work was the right thing to do. What I witnessed the next day horrified me. For most of the video I witnessed myself stopping breathing for an average 20 seconds a time with about 5 or 6 breaths/snores inbetween. I was extremely restless with some kind of movement every few minutes ranging from leg and arm movement to rolling over onto the other side, I also appeared to be trying to wipe my nose regularly.

That was just over 6 months ago and I've been off work since. I was given a home sleep study, the results of which diagnosed Obstructive sleep apnoea. I'm due to start CPAP treatment in 2 weeks time and hope I can finally get the chance to start living my life to the full, God knows, I have a heck of a lot of catching up to do :)

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Sleep2Snore » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:54 pm

It's scary watching a film of someone with Sleep Apnoea!
The time they stop breathing makes you wonder why they are still alive.
Try holding your breath for the time you did in your sleep, you might find it impossible!
Thanks for posting your story so far, it always helps others :)
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Nodlad
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Nodlad » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:22 pm

Hehe I have tried holding my breath for as long and found it impossible! No wonder I feel like a burst couch every time I wake up.

Anyways, I'm 7 days away from my CPAP trial starting and I'm counting the minutes down, its like everything else doesn't matter any more and I just want it to be next Wednesday now! I feel like an addict craving his drugs, I do hope I'm not putting too much faith in this wonder instrument called CPAP :shock:

Last night I slept for 13 hours with only a couple of toilet breaks. When I woke I had the most horrendous headache, it took me half an hour from waking to actually climbing out of bed and now, having been awake for almost 2 hours, i feel awful, almost like i have a cold coming on. i haven't though, these symptoms are fairly common for me and often persist for days and even weeks at a time.

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Sleep2Snore » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:13 pm

The sore cloudy heads are part of the course, so is lack of energy and slow thinking processes and feeling run down.
Roll on next Wednesday.
When you do go and get your own machine, please take time choosing your mask, as this is where most if the problems are, don't accept the first one you are offered, have a look a a few and if you can try them for size.
If you breath through your nose, there are nasal masks and nasal pillows.
If you are a mouth breather you will need a full-face mask, there are quite a few to choose from and there are different sizes to try.
So take your time in selecting one, it will save you a lot of time and hassle later and also the clinics time as well (maybe) but make sure it is comfortable and a snug fit without pushing it on to your face.

S2S
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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Mr Mouse
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Mr Mouse » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:26 pm

Hi Nodders,

Foggy heads were one of the things I complained to my GP about before starting my treatment, I said to him it was as if I'd had half a bottle of whiskey the night before. But actually I hadn't had a drink at all, he explained it away as having a build up of co2 in the bloodstream. Apparently that's what happens if you are not breathing efficiently enough over night, some will describe it as a lack of oxygen as well.

After you start your treatment both of these symptoms should go away, with me they disappeared overnight !

Gerry. :)

Nodlad
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Nodlad » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:46 pm

Thanks guys, I really can't wait until next week, my symptoms have been particularly bad this week and I hope to get some relief soon :)

S2S, i've definitly taken on board the point about the masks, from my own research this appears to be where most issues arise. I am amouth breather (mostly because my nose becomes very blocked overnight) so likely will need a full mask.

Nodlad
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 1:11 am

Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Nodlad » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:43 pm

Well I've been for my appointment at the clinic and put on a 2 week trial with an APAP machine.

After spending a few hours dosing and geting used to the machine I managed to sleep 6 hours straight with the stats showing a green smiley face for leaks and an AHI of 1.5! I did still feel tired though after waking up and ended up sleeping another 6 hours without the machine. I think its going to take a while to get into a proper sleep routine but I am confident it will happen.

The pressure initially when i was dosing did take a fair bit of getting used to and woke me a few times. After my 6 hour sleep I woke feeling as though a truck had been parked on my chest all night although I was gobsmacked at how long i'd slept as it felt like minutes.

Its still early days although today I do feel a little brighter mentally and don't feel quite as worn out and run down as I usually do.

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Mr Mouse
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Mr Mouse » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:30 pm

Stick with it buddy & you will get used to it soon enough, its well worth it as you will find out.

Good luck,

Gerry.

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Sleep2Snore » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:44 pm

Try keeping the machine on if you go to sleep, even if you just go back to sleep.
It will take a while to get used to it and the more you use it the better.
Your chest will feel a bit sore as you are breathing against the pressure, which your chest muscles are not use to. They work by pulling in air and they contract naturally to expel the air, however, there is now pressure for them to fight and they have to work to expel the air. Some machines have a setting to help with breathing out, this may not be set in your loan machine. You will get used to it quite quickly though.

Keep it up, and use the machine every time you sleep of feel like dozing off.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Nodlad
Sergeant Snorer
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 1:11 am

Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Nodlad » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:39 pm

Thanks guys, I have been using the machine more and feel I am starting to get used to it.

Although I'm yet to have a full night of unbroken sleep, i am starting to manage up to about 5 hours undisturbed at a time. Last night I went to bed at 11pm, fell asleep about midnight and woke about 3.30am. I got up and stayed out of bed till i felt tired again (about 6.30) and slept until about 11.30. Altogether I think I slept about 8ish hours which is a big drop from the usual 12 hours! The chest pain I had before has gone and now the biggest issue I have is itchy skin under the mask. My AHI last night was 1.05, the lowest its been yet (for the 11-3.30 sleep alone it was 0.7) so I'm feeling very encouraged by this :D

When i woke up I felt good and brighter than i normally do. I had an appointment at 1230 to keep and actually turned up early for it, something I could never do before, even if I had plenty time I always turned up late for everything! I've now been awake almost 4 hours and although I'm starting to feel a little tired I don't feel sleepy.

I think I still have a long way to go but today I feel like the uphill struggle of my life has started to even out a little :D

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:56 pm

Your ahi is excellent and you are doing well, if you waken up, just try to go back to sleep. I used to waken up through the night, then have to adjust things, but always try to go straight back to sleep, well I had to, I had work in the morning.
But very quickly I got used to going back to sleep, and if I woke it was only to adjust things and straight back to sleep. My partner said I used to just open my eyes and adjust things and go to sleep again, well, I couldn't remember even wakening. :lol:
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:00 pm

You are getting there, it won't be long before you sleep right through.
Hope things keep improving like they are for you.

S2S
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Nodlad
Sergeant Snorer
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 1:11 am

Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Nodlad » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:35 pm

Well things are just going up and up this week! I'm now sleeping right through for an average of 8 hours a time without waking up and with absolutly no toilet breaks! After a week of perseverance and a few nights sitting 4 or 5 hours before falling asleep last night I slept comfortably at a normal time for probably the first time ever!

I went to bed about 11pm, fell asleep at midnight and woke around 8.30 this morning, my AHI was 0.2!!!

Still having a few small issues, most notably the itching/tickling under the mask, I've managed to dislodge the mask and even pulled the hose off a couple of times in my sleep through the week because of it. Compared with the benefits though, these issues are very small.

I am managing to stay awake all day now with little tiredness. My headaches, blurred vision etc have gone and I feel so much more alive! Mentally I have so much I want to do but physically my body just can't keep up which I've found a little amusing. I'm sure it won't take long for my fitness to improve lol.

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Sleep2Snore
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Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Sleep2Snore » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:52 pm

ahi of 0.2, WoW!

Looks as if you are almost there.
As always, there are a few niggling things.
There is always some little thing, but on the whole, it looks as if you are almost sorted. Does take a while to feel normal, except to us it feel almost super human as we are so used to feeling tired.
Well done, now time for the brisk short walks to build yourself up :)
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Nodlad
Sergeant Snorer
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 1:11 am

Re: Nodlads journal

Post by Nodlad » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:34 am

Well yesterday my 2 week APAP trial ended and I went in to hospital for my follow up appointment. They seemed happy with my results and said the treatment is definitly working for me. My Epworth score has gone from 17 down to 1 lol!

I was given my new CPAP machine which has been set at 14, this was quite a challenge for me last night and again I think it'll take me a few days to get used to it.

I did sleep well last night and managed to keep the mask on the whole night. When I woke my chest was again quite sore, similar to my first night on APAP, but i'm guessing I'll quickily get over this.

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