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Life with CPAP



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As part of my surgeon's process, the NP ordered a sleep study after mentioning snoring and daytime somnolence. Sure enough, I have added sleep apnea to my list of co-morbidities (also hypertension). Received my AutoPAP machine yesterday and gave it a whirl last evening. It's...going to take some getting used to.

For those with apnea, have you learned to adjust to sleeping with the mask? Have the benefits of the machine outweighed the mask? Were you able to follow the guidelines of sleeping with the machine 30 days prior to surgery and during your hospital stay?

I want to make it work. My sleep study test results showed an AHI of 26 and SpO2 of 71%, and I know proper treatment can aid in weight loss, lowering hypertension, etc.

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Hopefully you won't have to have it long. I'm pretty confident I would have been on CPAP before surgery had I ever gone in for a sleep study. Since losing weight, I know I sleep much better as I wake up feeling great. My wife and kids have also all commented on my lack of snoring since the weight started coming off.

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My wife is a light sleeper. My snoring would keep her awake all night long. She was becoming a nervous wreck. Within a few weeks after RNY surgery, my snoring came to an end. I would wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and find my wife hovering over me. She couldn't hear me breath and she was trying to determine if I was still alive.

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I know you only asked for males but ... I had to get a CPAP in January. It took about a month for me to get used to it. The first few weeks I lasted about 3-4 hours a night. The sleep technician said that was more than most people. I am more comfortable now and sleep on my side or sometimes on my stomach without a problem. I usually wear the mask until about 4:30am and for 5-6 or so hours now. They tell me that falls into the "compliance" area. They monitor mine electronically which can be a little Big Brother creepy at times. I went away for the weekend without the machine and got a text asking if I was having problems because I hadn't used the CPAP in 2 days.

I only have mild sleep apnea and although it hasnt been the miracle cure of all my ailments as I think my PCP thought - I do sleep better. I'm not as tired all the time. It's important you use it consistently - sleep apnea is no joke. Good luck!

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post-262753-14612718927694_thumb.jpg

I don't think anybody really gets used to this. But I am sleeping better. It's been about 6 weeks. I've had to switch pillows like 5 times to find one that works.

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When I first got my CPAP, I HATED IT! I could only sleep with it a couple of hours at best. Now I actually like the damn thing! I have severe sleep apnea and the quality of my sleep now is like 70% better I'd say. I actually can't fall asleep without it now! The rhythmic breathing it encourages and the gentle hum of the air pressure lulls me to sleep. It took awhile for my sinuses to toughen up and to not get tangled but you will get used to it! And hopefully you won't need it forever. My mask is a simple nose mask, nothing like the one shown. I just had to train myself to keep my mouth closed or the air would rush out my mouth and wake me up! Now the worst is leaks from around the edges of the mask. Pfffttt! If I keep it clean and replace regularly, it's fine.

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I have a love/hate relationship with it. I have the jumbo face mask one (friends and family have compared it to "Bane" on Batman. I think it's more Alien face-hugger, but whatevs, LOL. Freaking bulky and, ahem, not attractive.)

However, the damn thing DOES help a ton. I no longer snore like a wildebeest and keep my husband awake. My sinuses are fabulously cleared because mine hydrates the nostrils (TMI? LOL) so I don't wake up with a crusty nose, and I AM sleeping way better with it.

Having said all that . . . I can't WAIT for surgery, and the second I'm breathing/sleeping more normal, I'm going to throw it in the closet and happily ignore it I think.

Like a previous poster, I am monitored remotely for compliance. I need to keep it on a minimum of 4 hours a day, 5 of 7 days a week to keep the machine. After 9 months of good-girl usage I can keep it. Until then, they are charging my insurance $250 a month for the privilege of me using the darn thing.

I'm a number-cruncher/MFP/Fitbit tracking nerd, and the CPAP machine has a link where you create a user ID and can see your nightly results and get a score, which I like. 7 hours is the magic number to get 90-100. I average 5-6 hours a night. It tells me how often I had waking incidents, usage time, etc., etc. Kinda cool.

It DOES help. I was skeptical but going along with it for surgery compliance, but now I really do miss it if I don't use it at night. I feel about as sexy as a troll strapping the stupid thing on after kissing hubby goodnight, but what can you do?

P.S. I dangle the extra cord over my bedpost so it doesn't wrap around anything.

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I tried taking a nap today without it and either my snoring or inability to breathe woke me up. I swear i heard the snore though. Hopefully after this is over, i can go back to not needing a cpap machine

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I've been using a CPAP for 10 years. I don't even attempt to sleep without it at all anymore. I was hooked on it immediately. I've tried every kind of mask, multiple machines and other attachments to find out what works best for me. Its been an investment for sure but I've always looked at the expense as an investment in me. To keep me healthier and frankly to keep me alive. I'm a self-pay sleever and have looked at this expense the same way. I'm really hoping that with the weight loss that my pressure will decrease or even alleviate the apnea.

Edited by Reena 4/05/16

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For those with apnea, have you learned to adjust to sleeping with the mask? It took trying out a few masks before I was able to sleep through the night with the mask. I have settled on the ResMed Swift FX Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask.

Have the benefits of the machine outweighed the mask? Yes, my quality of sleep is much better with my Bi-Pap and I tolerate the mask well now.

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I've used a CPAP machine for about 25 years now. I don't remember sleeping one night without one since I started using them. I have a few machines that I use for home and traveling. Don't give up on the machine since it is a real life saver.

Try other types of masks if you are not comfortable with what you have. You can go to CPAP.com and see the different types. I have used the nasal pillow type mask since day one. I currently use a "Tap Pap" which I really like. No headgear to slip off at night.

I had my sleeve surgery on 3/29/16 and hope I too can give up the CPAP machine eventually.

Good luck in your Quest to lose the excess weight!

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I do notice the difference when I use it for five or six hours in a night, but doing so is tough. My unit is actually being replaced due to a whining/wheezing noise that's apparently the fault of a bad motor. Sometimes the noise doesn't kick in for a while, but when it does, I can't fall bask asleep, even while using earplugs.

The noise aside, I am trying to work through a few issues:

  • I can't seem to find a way where my mask doesn't feel too tight or doesn't let in air. Does the Nasal Pillow model sometimes relieve this?
  • I'll wake up anywhere between 2:30-4 and sometimes just can't fall asleep again with all that air blowing in my face. I'll turn it off to restart the ramp, but it seems like such a long time to fall back to sleep again.
  • When I do keep it on for a full night, I often wake up with cotton mouth, despite having the humidity on full blast.

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I use the nasal pillow mask and last about 6 hours a night. I sleep better (except last night) and am able to sleep on my stomach or either side without an issue. It can be uncomfortable at times but adjusting the head gear straps help.

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