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Health and Safety => Health and Safety => Topic started by: florida on August 14, 2017, 03:54:12 PM

Title: Sleep apnea
Post by: florida on August 14, 2017, 03:54:12 PM
The post about woodhaulers passing has got me thinking. Years ago I had acid reflux bad enough that I had to have surgery on my esophagus for a tear.  My doctor put me on antacids and a fairly strict diet. He also suggested I do a sleep study to see if I needed a CPAP at night. I resisted for years but he finally wore me down and I had one. They told me I was having up to 50 apnea (not breathing) episodes an hour and I needed to be on a CPAP.  I didnít believe them so went another 5 years until my doctor and I nearly came to blows over his insistence that I get a CPAP.  I snored pretty bad and sometimes would wake up choking so went in for another sleep study. They told me exactly the same thing when I went in for my follow up visit. I argued with the pulmonologist that my wife would notice me not breathing.

He changed the subject and asked me if I had ever known anyone who passed peacefully in their sleep. Of course I knew 4 or 5 who had gone that way and told him so. He told me that what had really happened was that they had suffocated so their heart was deprived of oxygen and stopped. He said the death certificate would always say ďHeart AttackĒ as the cause of death but it was apnea that caused the heart attack.  That sort of made me felt like my hair was on fire so went and got a CPAP the next week. Iíve used it for 5 years now and donít leave home without it. Iíve always been a poor sleeper and have been happy to get 4 or 5 hours a night. Using the CPAP now I go to sleep quickly, I donít snore, and sometimes on a weekend Iíll sleep 8 or 9 hours a night.
Of course Iím speculating but this may have been what happened to woodhauler.  Donít let it happen to you.  If you snore, sleep poorly  or if your neck is 18Ē around or more talk to your doctor. You may have apnea now without realizing it.  When youíre young and have toned muscles your body can restart your breathing cycle when you stop but as we age and lose muscle tone our ability to start breathing after weíve stopped gets worse until one night you just donít start again. It happened to our 79 year old neighbor just like that. Her husband stood by the bed and watched it happen but had no idea what to do.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: JV on August 14, 2017, 04:24:02 PM
I cannot stress this enough, please, if you are diagnosed with apnea get a CPAP unit if prescribed.  My wife was diagnosed with apnea but refused to wear the CPAP because it was "uncomfortable."  She passed away suddenly 5 1/2 years ago at age 66 with heart and lung damage.  There are newer units out there that are supposedly much more comfortable.  Don't pay the price because of the "inconvience."  Think of your well being and your family.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: florida on August 14, 2017, 05:16:23 PM
I'm really sorry to hear about your wife. She sounds like me until I got one. It doesn't really bother me although in a perfect world I wouldn't need it. My wife has had problems getting a mask that fits her well but she wouldn't give the machine up now.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: kderby on August 14, 2017, 07:33:57 PM
My wife calls it the snore-master.    I might get nose/throat surgery someday but for the last ten years I have used a C-PAP.  Insurance paid for it.  I could go get a newer model but I am practical and this old one works.  I really appreciate not having to struggle with sleep issues any more. 

What did they do in the old days?  They snored and then they died.  Modern medicine offers us a better chance for a healthy life.  Would you rather be healthy?  Nuff said.

KDerby

Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: samandothers on August 14, 2017, 10:42:41 PM
My wife has snored for years. Finally she had study which was a unit she wore on night here at home that recorded her sleep pattern.  She took it in and they read the data.  She now has a machine and the face mask is not what I invisioned it would be given what I had understood the old masks.

There is a circle of soft tubing that runs from her nostrils over each ear to the top of her head.  The nose piece is replaceable and sizeable and has holes at the nostrils.  At the top of her head is where the hose from the air pressure machine attaches.  The fitting swivels 360 so as she rolls at night the hose does not kink or bind.  It is an amazing machine and very quiet.  The tubing feeds air even if she compresses one side as the other side is open.  There is a strap from the tube around the back of her head to help hold it from sliding off.

 I use to sleep with ear plugs but no more.  She does not snore.  She sleeps longer and rests better.

As stated go and talk with a doctor if you feel you have symptoms.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Cedarman on August 16, 2017, 06:36:00 AM
Samandothers, ditto, including the line about ear plugs.  Thought I was reading about me and Jane.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: florida on August 16, 2017, 07:15:15 AM
As if to drive this home my wife texted me yesterday morning to tell me that a teacher she worked with for years died in her sleep that night. 56 years old, always thin bordering skinny, leaving an adoring husband and 2 kids who worshiped her. She probably had no idea she had apnea.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Sixacresand on August 16, 2017, 09:20:35 AM
I been  using one for ten years.  I call it the snore catcher. 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on August 16, 2017, 01:18:49 PM
My wife used to go sleep on the couch because punching me didn't stop the snoring! :D  Finally she made me go get tested when I was 49.  I was having 50+ episodes per hour, most up to a minute.  What the docs said was you heart repairs itself when you sleep (deep sleep).  My brain was never allowed to rest as it had to keep waking me to start breathing again.  Essentially, I was never sleeping.  I could be in bed for 12 hours "sleeping" and wake up exhausted.  I would dose off at traffic lights :o and meetings at work.  Within 1 day, I was a new person.  I could think and do complex math in my head again.  And the best part, I only needed 6 or 7 hours of sleep now.  That was 8 years ago.  I moved from a mask (nose and mouth) to "nasal pillows".  They are soft silicon plugs that fit my nose.  I am able to sleep with my mouth closed so they work well for me.  My unit runs off a 12v transformer so I can use it camping in my trailer running from the battery.  If I don't use it (afternoon naps on occasion), I wake up with a sore throat from snoring.

The doc said there were three main factors that predispose you to apnea - Hereditary, age and weight.  I can only control the last one and that is difficult enough! :D
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: LeeB on August 17, 2017, 09:13:55 AM
Since I lost weight I have been able to stop using mine. The weight does make a difference.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on August 17, 2017, 10:17:27 AM
My dentist fitted me with an oral appliance 3 years ago. My snoring has pretty much ceased and I don't have any trouble falling asleep at the wheel any more either.

Apparently there a few different conditions in this area and not every body can get the help they need from a simple an oral appliance but it sure works good for me.   
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Shotgun on August 17, 2017, 01:02:43 PM
Since I lost weight I have been able to stop using mine. The weight does make a difference.

With doctor's OK, or your decision to stop?
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: LeeB on August 17, 2017, 02:29:24 PM
Told my Pulmo that I was sleeping well and not snoring and that I had quit wearing it. She was ok with that. No problem with nodding off. I quit wearing 8-9 months ago. Wife has said I'm not having "spells" in my sleep. I went for a test with one of the home machines and they lost my results. I haven't gone back although I know I should.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: barbender on August 17, 2017, 02:35:01 PM
I've been using a CPAP for around 10 years, mostly for my wife's sake because I snore LOUD!! I don't feel a whole lot different whether I wear it or not, I don't think. I rarely get enough sleep so i'm always tired, anyways ::) I'm also around 275 pounds, should probably be at 230 or so (I'm 6'5"), it's kind of tough when I sit in a cab all day. But, I'm getting to the age (42) where I need to start taking my health more seriously. My Dad had his first heart attack when he was 47, his side is Native American and they have a lot of heart issues. They went from eating wild rice and venison (or starving) for thousands of years, the modern diet is pretty tough on them with cholesterol and lots of diabetes. My doctor wants to get me on cholesterol meds, I've been hesitant but it may be time. I can be very stubborn, I don't want my family to have to bury me before my time because of it.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on August 17, 2017, 02:42:17 PM
I just hit that 275lb mark myself...
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DeerMeadowFarm on August 17, 2017, 03:37:40 PM
I've been using one for 5 years or so. It's a love/hate relationship. It sucks having to depend on it, but the quality of sleep I get with it vs. without is unbelievable. I got to a point where I could fall asleep anywhere. I even fell asleep in a dentist chair while they worked on me! I had forgotten what it was like to dream; I wouldn't sleep long enough to get into REM sleep. When I first got it, I literally couldn't wait to go to bed so I could dream something! I just got back from camping at my BIL's property in VT. This is one of the times I hate having to use it as I haven't found someone who could help me find a way to use it "off-grid". I just bought one of those "Freedom Batteries" for CPAP but of course it was delayed and didn't come in on time for my trip. Do any of you camp off-grid? If so, what have you found to work for you?
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: gasman1075 on August 17, 2017, 03:51:16 PM
mine saved my life, lost a good buddy at 56 died in his sleep so my loving wife convinced me to have the sleep study. I stopped breathing during the study so many times they woke me up...I've lost over 40 lbs since then and don't use it all the time but I feel better when I do. When I get down to 225 I ( 55 more lbs to go ) hope not to have to use it all. Hopefully less beer and more exercise will keep me on the correct path.  My buddy owns a brewery ( 2 barrel nano ) and it is too close to home for me. I supply him with firewood and he supplies me with beer.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on August 17, 2017, 05:40:47 PM
Do any of you camp off-grid? If so, what have you found to work for you?

Get a site that has power :D :D :D

My unit has a converter that plugs into the wall.  It converts from 120vac to 12vdc.  So I fount the right barrel plug to fit my CPAP and put it on a cigarette lighter plug.  I installed sockets in my camper and it runs off the main battery.  If I'm "off grid" camping, I have a 200w solar panel that keeps my batteries charged in my pop up trailer.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: florida on August 19, 2017, 10:15:45 AM
ljohnsaw- A guy I know told me he had gotten a very small portable unit that runs 12 hours on rechargeable batteries. He says you can use it on airplanes and that he has started using it at home. Expensive but my pulmonologist told me last week insurance would pay for one if I wanted it. I haven't checked on that yet.

barbender- Please go get checked out. A friend of mind, a nuclear physicist in charge of the nuclear medicine program at a hospital, was the longest lived male in his family when he hit 43. He died at 52 but told me he wouldn't have lived that long if he hadn't worked in a hospital around doctors all day. A year before he died he had a stroke that took all of his short term memory.

Have you had your CPAP adjusted? You might not be getting enough air at night. I've said for 25 years now that what kills men is not heart disease apnea, cancer or any other health problem. It's our stubborn refual to go to the doctor and get checked out. Since my grandchildren came along I go to doctors at every twinge! Please go get some Lipitor and medical advice. Tomorrow could be too late.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: barbender on August 19, 2017, 11:07:58 AM
Florida- I did go in a couple of years ago and got a full heart check up with a stress test and all. Everything checked out good. I'm trying to be less stubborn as time goes on😊  My dad, as I mentioned, had a heart attack at 47. Got stints in his arteries, had another heart attack at 53. He got quadruple bypass surgery that time. Now he's going to be 60, and the Doc told him he's plugging up again. I worry about him. All that to say, I don't want to stick my head in the sand concerning my own health, with the family history. I am hesitant to get on meds, but will certainly do so, just weighing out the benefit/risk equation. You are absolutely right, a lot of men die from stubbornness, sadly. I don't want to be one of them. Thanks for the advice/encouragement.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on August 20, 2017, 08:38:19 AM
About 7 yrs with mine now.
Dont especially like it but better than dying in my sleep and keeping my wife awake with snoring..
My mask , nose and mouth, has a propensity to leak and wake me up sometimes.
I have facial hair but the leak occurs where no hair exists.
I am going to look into a portable unit for my use at my off grid camp.
Tried 2 deep cycle batteries and  converter, but they didnt last.
Oral appliance from my dentist runs from 700 to 1500 and not covered by ins.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on August 21, 2017, 10:30:36 AM
Any tips on cleaning the tubes and mask?
I soak in dish detergent, rinse them let drip dry.
Saw a ad on TV yesterday for some kind of machine that is supposed to clean them.

I bought a used spare off craigs list for Tenn so I don't have to keep dragging one back and forth. Mine was set at 7 by the dr. but the used one was at 6. Quick internet search and I was able to bump the new/used one up to 7.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: LeeB on August 21, 2017, 10:55:55 AM
Vinegar was the recommended cleaner in the paperwork that came with mine. Just be sure to let it dry completely. it will take your breath away if you don't.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on August 21, 2017, 12:30:02 PM
Hoses too?
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: LeeB on August 21, 2017, 02:37:28 PM
Yep, hose and mask. Vinegar is an antiseptic. Check on line for better deals on supplies. There is a place out of Houston that is fairly reasonable. I found I could never get more than about 3 months out of a mask seal. Strated leaking too much after that. The recommendation is to change them once a month.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: florida on August 21, 2017, 05:05:20 PM
Raider Bill

I rinse my hose and mask out every morning with hot water. Once a week or so I wash the mask real well with antiseptic hand soap.  My first mask lasted a year but my pulmonologists hair stood on end when I told him that. He told me the reason they send you all those supplies is so you use clean ones! I use a new mask about every 60 days and a new hose every 5 or 6 months.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on August 22, 2017, 03:54:51 PM
the tech that set mine up said that remember the reservoir is like a big petri dish and needs to be cleaned weekly..
 I clean mine once a week with dawn and very hot water as well as the tube and mask..
Let the tube drip dry.
I get a new set of mask and tube every 6 months and a new harness if needed. (insurance pays)
I saw that ad too Bill and have wondered about it.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Percy on August 22, 2017, 06:39:33 PM
I have a cpap machine. We call it the "Snork". I went with the nostril thing as opposed to the mask. Harder to get used to but less bacteria according to snork doctor. I use only distilled water in mine. Makes for less slime...
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Dave Shepard on August 22, 2017, 09:34:37 PM
I've been using a CPAP for around 10 years, mostly for my wife's sake because I snore LOUD!! I don't feel a whole lot different whether I wear it or not, I don't think. I rarely get enough sleep so i'm always tired, anyways ::) I'm also around 275 pounds, should probably be at 230 or so (I'm 6'5"), it's kind of tough when I sit in a cab all day. But, I'm getting to the age (42) where I need to start taking my health more seriously. My Dad had his first heart attack when he was 47, his side is Native American and they have a lot of heart issues. They went from eating wild rice and venison (or starving) for thousands of years, the modern diet is pretty tough on them with cholesterol and lots of diabetes. My doctor wants to get me on cholesterol meds, I've been hesitant but it may be time. I can be very stubborn, I don't want my family to have to bury me before my time because of it.

If you can control your numbers with diet and exercise, you will be much better off. Medications are a double edged sword. They can keep you from dying suddenly, but they can also keep you just alive enough to keep paying for the meds. That's not much of a life.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on August 22, 2017, 10:34:15 PM
I have a cpap machine. We call it the "Snork". I went with the nostril thing as opposed to the mask. Harder to get used to but less bacteria according to snork doctor. I use only distilled water in mine. Makes for less slime...

I didn't want to mess with a humidifier on my unit.  For the first week or two, I would blow my nose in the morning and produce a little blood.  Then all was good.  Only other time was when I went on a visit to AZ - the drier air there caused me to get a couple morning bloody noses.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DPatton on December 22, 2017, 07:37:19 PM
I have finally take the first steps in dealing with it!
After having lived with sleep apnea for years you guys have finally opened my eyes to just how serious and dangerous this condition is. I have all of the major symptoms and have been really suffering with a lack energy and stamina this past year.
 Iíve also been putting my dear wife through the hell of living with my over the top snoring. God only knows how many nights she has lay awake worried and praying I would start breathing again.
 Tonight I have brought home the ďHome Test KitĒ that will record my sleeping pattern and hopefully provide the information needed to start treating my condition.
 Thanks to all of you for your input on this topic within this post. I now understand why I need treatment and how it has been affecting me more than I ever knew.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ChugiakTinkerer on January 13, 2018, 02:28:04 AM
Good luck with the home test and hopefully with a long-term healthy sleep solution.  I started on a CPAP in 2001 and can't imagine trying to sleep without it.  It's my Magic Sleep Time machine.  I turn it on and I'm out within 5 minutes.  The new ones are so quiet.  My wife now has one and I cannot tell if she has it on, it is silent from across the room.  Well, at least to me.  I think my hearings going...  :D
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on January 13, 2018, 10:35:12 AM
I got a So-Clean machine. Bit pricey at$299 but  if it works all well worth it not to die from some mystery cootie.
Basically  you put your mask in close the hatch and it automatcally cleans over a 2 hour period. MAchine is set to start at 10am. This is changeable. There is a slight smell when you first put the mask on at night but it goes away. Smells like ozium, not unpleasent. Work soff activated charcoal.
Way I look at it, I've wasted more $$ on dumber things.
Time will tell.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: coxy on January 13, 2018, 06:58:29 PM
a few weeks ago the guy I work with in the winter had a seizer and when  it happened he ripped his shoulder joint through the socket so he ended up getting screws and a plate put in his doc told him sleep apnea will cause seizers in some people  :o :o he got tested but they didn't tell him whats whats yet they also told him they couldn't test him at home  I was told it was better to test at home in your own environment  so what is better home or hospital  my wife wants me to get tested also she says I my head is up on the pillows I'm fine but when it falls off I start gasping for air then some how I must wake my self up she says it happens 3-4 time a night  I only get 3-4 hours sleep been this way for about 10-12 years  I don't snore  sorry for the long post and jumping around 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: 51cub on January 13, 2018, 08:40:56 PM
coxy I'm going to say home is better. The one Dr kept wanting me to go to the hospital. I told him there was no sense. I can stay home and not sleep. The first time I tested I stopped breathing 105 times an hour. I'm on Autopap now. I can't say I get good quality sleep, but I don't get the headaches anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if they'll want you to test at the hospital, especially the first time, but I like it better at home
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: thecfarm on January 13, 2018, 09:19:46 PM
They had me all wired up when I went for the test. I was surprized the wires lasted the night.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DPatton on January 15, 2018, 06:05:16 PM
Ok, so the home test is the first step required by my insurance company. I did the home test in December as I previously posted and according to my Dr. I failed it miserably just like I expected. Because my results of the home test indicate a significant problem. The next step is to schedule an overnight stay study at the hospital.
 Well gentlemen all I can say is plan to get put on a waiting list for this study as the first opening my hospital of choice had was not until mid April. By changing hospitals I was able to get it moved up to February 14th. I thought that date would be excellent as It would provide my dear wife of 23 years with the perfect Valentines gift of having the bed all to herself (LOL) and would alleviate me from having to buy her a Valentineís Day gift. Well today the hospital messed that all up as they called with an opening for me tomorrow night (Looks like I will have to buy a Valentineís Day gift after all).
  So tomorrow I will do the hospital sleep study and hopefully get the results I need to know what can be done to help me achieve good restful sleep. I will keep you posted on what I find out. I appreciate your input on the different types of machines. Especially if they are quite as I like my bedroom so quiet you can hear a pin drop and so dark you canít see your own hand in front of your face.

Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on January 15, 2018, 10:06:21 PM
Especially if they are quite as I like my bedroom so quiet you can hear a pin drop and so dark you canít see your own hand in front of your face.
I like quiet and dark as well.  My late wife liked quiet as well.  The machines may be quiet but the air flow is not.  She liked the ocean and she said the air sounded like waves coming and going - just faint. 

My machine has an auto pressure adjust.  When you breath in, it boosts.  When I stop inhaling and during the exhale cycle, the pressure drops significantly so it is easier to exhale.  As soon as I hit the bottom of the exhale, the pressure boosts back to full.  So it has a rhythmic ocean sound - like those expensive white noise machines!

My machine has three buttons that are lit with a blue light.  Once the machine is "running", they dim a bit - but still too bright for me.  So I made a little paper cover that fits over the buttons to black it out at night.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DPatton on January 15, 2018, 10:45:23 PM
Sounds as if Iím likely going to have to get used to some noise and light from almost any breathing machine options out there  :(. I guess it will be an acceptable trade off if I am truly getting a good nights sleep for once.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on January 15, 2018, 11:29:16 PM
Easy to black out the light.  You won't hear the noise - it soothes you to sleep.  And you will be in such a deep sleep, it won't wake you!
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DPatton on January 17, 2018, 03:22:47 PM
So I did the in hospital sleep study split test last night. I got settled in and the hospitals sleep technician provide a through explanation of what to expect along with hooking up all of the sleep study equipment.  I even took a photo of myself with all of the wires, cables, and hoses hooked up to me, but I'm telling ya it is not worthy of posting here on the forum so that all of you guys can poke fun at me. ;) (I've seen how you guys pick on the forum goat and I want no part of it) ;D ;D ;D.

Anyway within a few hours the technician determined that my problem was severe enough (having stopped breathing 83 times in one hour :o) that he could then proceed to put me on their C-Pap machine and test me for proper C-Pap air pressure settings. The C-Pap machines mask and hose at first was not to cumbersome and I was able to fall right back to sleep. However as the night went on and he tested through the range of different airflow or pressures it certainly became less comfortable and at times even claustrophobic to some degree. But I managed through the rest of the night with only a few interruption's either because of the mask or because of a sensor wire pulling loose. 

This morning the sleep tech was pleased with the recorded results and even said that according to his data my quality of sleep was vastly improved while wearing the C-Pap. He will pass his data information on to my General MD so that he could examine the results and prescribe the proper C-Pap information and setting for my C-Pap supplier.

Hopefully I can find a supplier who can fit me with a more comfortable setup then the one at the hospital. I hear that some people just can't get used to the whole mask and hose thing :-\ but I'm certainly going to give it my best shot if it helps me improve my quality of sleep. I'll let you know how it goes once I get my own setup.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Roxie on January 17, 2018, 04:25:50 PM
I don't know why for the life of me they insist on torturing newly diagnosed people with the mask and head gear that is so uncomfortable and a hassle to get off and on.  NASAL PILLOWS have a soft head piece and your vision is 100% unobstructed.  You can even wear your glasses with them for those of us that love to drift off with a good book.


NASAL PILLOWS...don't take no for an answer. 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on January 17, 2018, 04:29:03 PM
Welcome to the CPAP club!!

Try to get nasal pillows. Simply a couple little do-dads that go on your nose and a head band.
Another thing I found that helps is to route your hose from above you. Just attach it to your head board as simply as you can.

Just read Roxies post. I too am a reader.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: 51cub on January 17, 2018, 06:32:05 PM
Here's hoping you get something that's nice and comfortable! It can be an awful frustrating thing to be so tired all the time
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on January 17, 2018, 08:53:46 PM
Wow, that sure sounds complicated.  My provider sent me home with a "learning" CPAP machine (looked just like the one they eventually gave me).  It was programmed monitor my sleep pattern (and let me have episodes) to see how bad.  Then it started adding pressure to figure out what I needed to sleep.  Took it back in the morning and the tech said he couldn't say if I needed a CPAP, the doctor had to look at the results.  But, he said if we call you today to make another appointment, you will be getting one - they did and I did.  That was 9 years ago.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DPatton on March 06, 2018, 08:40:31 PM
Update,

As I said in post #40 I have been waiting for my Cpap from the medical supplier. My Drís office tried working with three different suppliers before one would finally call them back and work with my insurance provider. So it took six weeks for me to get a machine. (If I did my job at this pace I would be looking for a new employer) but anyway I finally recieved it this past Tuesday and have been sleeping with it for a week now.

I took all the advise very seriously about nasal pillows. I insisted on trying them out along with several other styles of masks during my fitting and training  session. Turns out I felt the nasal pillows was the best fit for me, as all the other masks seemed to either make me feel claustrophobic, unable to exhale, or wouldnít seal around my facial hair. Now that said, my prescribed pressure setting is 11. from what Iím told this is at the higher end for nasal pillows to work properly and not loose their seal or blowout but so far so good.

So as I said I have been sleeping with this setup for a week now and I can say two things about the situation.
1, I have felt better rested since I started using the Cpap. Iím awake all day now and can stay awake while driving even at the end of the day. I donít have the constant drowsiness and headaches I was having. Those are all good things.
2, Sleeping with this machine isnít easy. Itís really kind of a PITA to fill it with distilled water, and get used to the forced air this unit puts out. I also  got myself a mouth guard as using the nasal pillows requires one to keep your mouth closed all night. I found out this causes me to clinch and grind my teeth as I sleep. Although the nasal pillows were the most comfortable of the masks I tried I find the mask and tube less than convenient or comfortable to sleep with but seemingly a necessary evil for my sleep health.

Now enough with my little rant. I want to know how and what you guys are doing with your Cpaps.
Tell me how long did it take you other Cpap users to get used to and comfortable with your headgear, mask, and hose?
Tell me how, and how often are you cleaning your masks and hoses?
What you are cleaning them with?

Thanks in advance for your input.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: stanwelch on March 06, 2018, 11:13:56 PM
Glad you finally got your CPap equipment. I have a Resmed unit with humidifier and use a full face mask set at 12. I got mine about 3 years ago. I find the mask is quite comfortable and I get a new cushion every 3 months. Medicare will pay for one every month but I think that is too often. I clean the mask 2-3 times a week with soap and water. I replace the tubing 2 time a year. I use distilled water in the humidifier tank and that eliminates salt buildup. I replaced the humidifier tank last November for the first time. It took me a couple months to get used to the mask. The original mask was replaced with a new design which has two silicone seals. This mask Iíve had for over two years and like it a lot better 
I sleep about 6 hours a night instead of 8+ and am much better rested. 
Good luck with yours. Stick with it you can do it. 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on March 07, 2018, 02:11:08 AM
Now enough with my little rant. I want to know how and what you guys are doing with your Cpaps. Tell me how long did it take you other Cpap users to get used to and comfortable with your headgear, mask, and hose? Tell me how, and how often are you cleaning your masks and hoses? What you are cleaning them with?

I started with the face mask and I remember something about getting a sore on spot between my nostrils.  After a couple months I switched to nasal pillows.  That took a week or two for "calluses" to build up so I didn't get sores above my upper lip where the pillows rested.  I don't use a humidifier even though it is dry here.  I toughed it out for a few weeks with occasional bloody nose in the mornings.  I didn't want the hassle of having to clean the humidifier all the time.  I'll admit that I NEVER have cleaned my unit in 9 years.  I have a pretty high tolerance to infection, I think.  I usually only get one cold a year.  I change the hose about every six months along with the head gear.  The pillows I change when they no longer seal, about every 2 months.  The air filter I flick the dust out of it when I remember - a few times a year.  I got used to the hose in a couple nights.  The only real issue is I'm in a really deep sleep, I sometimes will have the hose between my forehead or the side of my face and my pillow.  I'll wake up with a very deep impression of a Slinky in my skin that takes an hour or two to go away.:D
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on March 07, 2018, 08:19:12 AM
Try hanging your hose above your head.
Amazon.com: Eliminate Tangles CPAP Hose Holder: Industrial & Scientific (https://www.amazon.com/Eliminate-Tangles-CPAP-Hose-Holder/dp/B003UAHWOE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520428531&sr=8-1&keywords=cpap+hose+holder+hanger)

Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 07, 2018, 08:36:12 AM
My relationship with my CPAP is love hate.
I have facial hair and the seal isnt a problem for me.
I use the full mask and tried the nasal one but it didnt work well.
I clean mine every Sunday morning when I am home.
Distilled water is a must.
I have a four poster bed and loop the hose around the nearest post which works very well for me.
I use heated tubing as we keep the bedroom cool to cold and I would get condensation in the tube and it would gurgle.
I do sleep better over all but after about 5-6 hrs I start getting leaks around the mask, surprisingly not where I have hair but next to my nose.
I also get tickling in that area which wakes me up the reason for this is a mystery.
Overall I like the setup.
My insurance allows new mask, harness, filter and tubing every 6 months.
I always get a new mask and filter but not the tubing.
I have also tried a couple of other miracle options, as seen on TV,  but they dont work.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Roxie on March 07, 2018, 10:12:16 AM
Just like ljohnsaw, I pitched the humidifier after one week.  My setting is 11 and I didn't experience any problems at all when I ditched the humidifier and the mask.  There is a learning curve with nasal pillows, but I've found that the headset stretches and needs pulled tighter at least weekly.  If the pillows leak, tightening the top band stops that.  

I don't clean my hose, because honestly without the humidifier introducing moisture into the system, it doesn't get dirty.  I replace the hose every six months.  I change the pillows and the white hepa filter every two weeks, and like ljohnsaw, just knock the dust off the outside gray filter.  

They do recommend directing the hose behind you, like Raider Bill said, but I hug my hose under the blankets.  Try different things to see what makes you most comfortable.  

My relationship with my cpap is love hate too, but just one night of trying to sleep without it and I can't wait to get it back.  
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on March 07, 2018, 10:48:48 AM
I change the pillows and the white hepa filter every two weeks
 
OK, recently they sent me those white filters along with everything else.  I have no clue where they go.  I cannot find any door or hatch to open.  I think they think I have some other machine.  Can you post a picture of you machine and where that filter goes?

IIRC, my setting is only a 7 but that might vary depending on the manufacture.

Re: nose tickle... I find I have to blow my nose really well and dry it with a tissue before going to bed.  Otherwise, a little bit of moisture will get around the pillow and it tickles - keeps me awake.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: tawilson on March 07, 2018, 11:15:09 AM
I wear a whole face mask and a nose tickle or itch seems unavoidable right after I put it on. I've learned to power through it and it goes away.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on March 07, 2018, 11:30:07 AM
My machine starts at 8 and automatically adjusts up as needed. Its a Resmed 10.
I use water all the time even here in hot humid Florida otherwise it looks like a murder scene on my pillow in the morning.
I bought a SO-Clean machine which when it worked did a nice job but I had to send it back for a warranty repair [bad hose switch] then when they returned it to me yesterday some of the parts were missing so now I'm waiting on So-Clean to send them to me too.
I seem to sleep better with it than without and I don't wake up with elbow bruises on my ribs from olwhatshername jabbing me all night.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Roxie on March 07, 2018, 12:37:41 PM


OK, recently they sent me those white filters along with everything else.  I have no clue where they go.  I cannot find any door or hatch to open.  I think they think I have some other machine.  Can you post a picture of you machine and where that filter goes?

I'd be glad to do that, but the white filter goes behind the gray foam filter, into the same opening. 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on March 07, 2018, 01:28:37 PM
I'd be glad to do that, but the white filter goes behind the gray foam filter, into the same opening.

Well, isn't that special!  My white filters have a little tab on them and I was looking for a place for that to go.  Still not a great fit.  Folded 90į so you can remove it, the tab holds the foam out a little from sealing up the port all the way.  I'll see how it goes tonight.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: starmac on March 07, 2018, 05:25:53 PM
Has any of you taken the hospital test and been told they did not have sleep apnea, or know anybody that has?
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Busy Beaver Lumber on March 07, 2018, 06:46:38 PM
Like most medical problems , I put them off as long as I can, like an idiot. I was having big time trouble sleeping at night and was falling asleep during meetings at work or literally at my desk. For me the final straw was when I fell asleep behind the wheel, and thank God i had someone in the passenger seat to wake me up before we crashed.

Went and took the study and had 105 episodes in two hours, on in which i stopped breathing for 45 seconds.

I use the CPAP for last 10 years. Wife deals with the snoring by wearing earbuds and listening to music while she sleeps, but looks like she will be getting one soon. What gets her the most is when i roll towards her and the stream of air blows in her face. To solve that she builds a wall of pillows as a barrier.

The machines do work, and make a huge difference in how you feel in the morning








Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Roxie on March 08, 2018, 06:58:59 AM
Starmac, the people that I know that were referred for the test are heavy duty snorers.  I know of two people who were tested and didn't need a cpap. 

I was referred after a bout of bacterial pneumonia in the hospital.  My doc asked me where I thought I went wrong, since that is most commonly caused by inhaling something into the lungs.  I told him that I had been sleeping and woke up with saliva at the base of my throat, and upon waking gasped that down the wrong pipe.  A bad episode of coughing followed. 

When I went for the test, I was really surprised at how severe my sleep apnea registered.  Imagine my surprise when my 40 year old son told me that he'd been on a cpap for two years.  He is married to a nurse, and she insisted he go because he had long periods without breathing.  Don't let anyone tell you that this is caused by being overweight either, my son is a lean mean healthy machine. 



Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: starmac on March 08, 2018, 12:30:13 PM
I was just curious, I have had more than one doctor tell me that everybody will fail the test. I was in the hospital last week and they ask me to take it, and I mentioned what I had been told, so they just dropped it and didn't pursue it like they do on most tests.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: xlogger on March 08, 2018, 06:20:00 PM
I might be joining your club next week, I'm going in Tuesday for the sleep study. Pretty sure I'll fail. I wake up sometimes at night losing my breathe. I was suppose to get test about a year ago but had to cancel for bypass surgery. This getting older isn't for sissies. >:(
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Ed_K on March 09, 2018, 09:00:10 AM
This getting older isn't for sissies. >:(
 Boy ain't this the truth :( .
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 09, 2018, 05:08:44 PM
starmac I have often wondered about whether the test is bogus but i do seem to sleep better with the machine.
Linda told me that I did stop breathing before the CPAP as well as snoring.
As regards the humidifier, I can tell the instant the water is gone as it wakes me up and the air has a distinct odor to it that i cant describe.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DPatton on March 09, 2018, 07:14:24 PM
Interestingly enough the insurance company may quite possibly think the whole Cpap thing is bogus as well. As they require proof of my using the machine on a regular basis for a set minimum number of hours per use. 

My medical provider is actually able to remotely monitor my unit and confirm that I am not only using it (meaning its not unplugged and just sitting in a closet somewhere). But they are also able to confirm when and for how long I use the machine for. 

The gal who set my machine up and trained me how to use it informed me that she will remotely check my usage of the Cpap from time to time via a connection thru her cell phone. Said she does this not only to satisfy the insurance companies proof of usage requirements but also to see that the unit is working for me. Then with an uncomfortable little chuckle of a laugh she swore she wonít spend a lot of time stocking me and my Cpap usage :o :o :o. True story.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: thecfarm on March 09, 2018, 08:45:42 PM
Those have a come along way. I had a card in mine I would bring in for the Dr to read.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: tawilson on March 10, 2018, 04:15:36 AM
I've got the Resmed S10 and have an account set up with them and can check my usage and results online. And they email me a 🌟if I do good.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 10, 2018, 04:46:09 AM
Mother had a test done, then of course they started pushing the $2000 model. I looked at the thing, it might cost $150 to build. That there was enough to call quackery. :D She couldn't stand wearing anything like that at night. Heck, a red diode on an alarm clock will keep her awake. I said close your eyes. :D

If you guys are all getting relief and feel good with these things, I say keep on doing what you need to do to be happy. :)
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on March 13, 2018, 10:26:56 AM
The CPAP didn't work for me! 

My doc told me to talk to my dentist about it. I did. 

He did some measurements and a few different x rays including one that you stand in the middle of a contraption and a camera rotates 360 degrees. 

He showed me that I needed a "re alignment" of my lower jaw as he referred to it. He had a dental appliance made that is a VERY minor inconvenience that I dont even notice now. 

Cost me 60 bucks plus the dental visit which was another 40 I think. and that is CND $.

Problem solved.   
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: doctorb on March 13, 2018, 06:18:28 PM
The investigators of sleep apnea debate the "chicken of the egg" issue relating sleep apnea and obesity, as poor sleep has been demonstrated to promote weight gain.  One thing is for sure, there is a definite correlation between weight and sleep apnea. There are too many studies to list and/or quote here verifying that fact.  While there are always exceptions......

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Body Weight (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440784/)
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on March 13, 2018, 06:35:17 PM
Dr B I am sure weight was a factor in my case too as I was near 290 lbs at the time I started to use the mouth appliance. I know that better sleep was a factor in losing weight BUT it wasn't the only thing that helped. Eating better food AND only eating out once or twice month helped the most. Today I am 205 - 210 and feel a thousand percent better.

BUT the appliance still helps me sleep much better.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: DPatton on March 13, 2018, 08:35:25 PM
I will agree with the weight and general fitness condition in my case too. I have had a serious problem with snoring since my late 20ís. I have  been overweight the majority of my life except for a 3-4 year stint in my forties when I got down to 175 lbs for the first time since I was a sophomore in high school :) :) (you guys will get a kick out of how this happened).

 My wife and I were a one child family with an 11 year old daughter and no plans for more children. Then one day at work my wife calls me and says sheís pregnant! ??? ??? ??? :o :o :o :P :P :P :P (Hummm, Howww theeee, whhhaaaatttt??) I was completely in shock! At age 42 I was having the first (and only) panic attack I had ever had in my life. It lasted for several days. I was completely mortified by the thought of having another child!!!

 During that era of my life I started eating much less and drinking the hard stuff much more. I started running for exercise and was typically knocking down about fifteen miles and 2-3 bottles of bourbon a week. Got in great shape physically and my snoring was non-existent. But I was not in such a great place with all the booze. 

My son Jesse James was born on Feb. 17th, 2009 and I ran my first (and only)half marathon in May, 2009 at age 43. Truth is I couldínt have been more proud of my new son Jesse James or of my achievement of getting in shape and completing a half marathon. But the booze was taking its toll and had to stop. My poor wife was also getting about fed up with having a 2/3ís pickled husband a good portion of the time too.

Eventually I stopped the out of control boozing, and a 30 year habit of Skoal Origional Fine Cut. Unfortunetly I quit the running too. I resorted back to my old ways of over eating or not eating as healthy as I should. The weight came back and so did the over the top snoring that led me to my sleep apnea problem. 



Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Gary_C on March 13, 2018, 11:06:48 PM
Interestingly enough the insurance company may quite possibly think the whole Cpap thing is bogus as well. As they require proof of my using the machine on a regular basis for a set minimum number of hours per use.

It's not so much the insurance company's believe it bogus as there have been far too many people that have acquired a machine and never used it much or just tried it for a while and quit.

My wife just started on one again and the insurance, thru Medicare requires that you lease the machine for six months while you prove your usage. It's a lease/purchase program and the insurance pays the rental and then after six months they pay the balance if you are using it. If not, the patient must return the machine and pay the rental fee.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: xlogger on March 14, 2018, 06:53:09 AM
Just got home from my overnight test. what a miserable night. Got there at 7pm, they started hooking me up and she said she would come to put me to bed after she hooked up her 9pm appointment. I told her if they wanted to get so much time with me sleeping with the machine that I usually go to bed early around 9. She didn't come in till 11 that night to finish hooking me up for sleep. I was *pithed. I got up around 4:30 and told them I usually get up about that time and would not go back to sleep, she said I needed to try for another hour. I hope they got the results they needed. 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: thecfarm on March 14, 2018, 08:49:10 AM
Kinda short handed there?
When I had mine done,they wanted me to stick to my rountine,which would of been around 9-9:30pm for me.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Raider Bill on March 14, 2018, 09:18:32 AM
Interestingly enough the insurance company may quite possibly think the whole Cpap thing is bogus as well. As they require proof of my using the machine on a regular basis for a set minimum number of hours per use.

It's not so much the insurance company's believe it bogus as there have been far too many people that have acquired a machine and never used it much or just tried it for a while and quit.

My wife just started on one again and the insurance, thru Medicare requires that you lease the machine for six months while you prove your usage. It's a lease/purchase program and the insurance pays the rental and then after six months they pay the balance if you are using it. If not, the patient must return the machine and pay the rental fee.
I see them selling at estate sales from time to time. I picked one up for $10 as a spare and to keep in Tenn so I don't have to lug mine back and forth. Blew it out, changed the hose, filter, tank and hose. Good to go. It's a older one but works fine.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: Ford_man on March 18, 2018, 09:59:16 AM
I got tested at home ,doing it my self. I had to do it to get my DOT med card renewed. I was put out of service until I got the machine. Then was told I had to be on it for 30 days before I could get my med card. That was NOT true went to a different provider and was told that the first provider could give me a conditional med card for 90 days. That loss of revenue was a$20,000 I was very unhappy. The only benefit that I have got from using it is I'm not as short of breath as before.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: xlogger on March 23, 2018, 06:23:38 AM
I'm going to have to reread all this posts again and pay more attention to all the suggestions. My Doctor called and said I tested positive on the sleep test so I've got to make an appt to get a mask.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: submarinesailor on March 23, 2018, 10:09:35 AM
Well I guess its my turn to jump into this conversation. ::)

Back in January I came down with a VERY BAD sinus infection that took two sets of different antibiotics (16 days) and a daily dose of steroids (for the inflammation in my left ear) to finally clear it up.  With all this, plus having an other stout one back in October, the doctors finally give me a referral to the ENT clinic at the new Fort Belvoir hospital.  Yesterday I found out at that 3 broken noses have taken there toll.  The examining doctor couldn't get the scope past the mess to see into the sinus cavity.  The right side is blocked up high and the left is blocked down low.  When I say blocked, I mean they are too narrow to get the scope past the mess/blockage.  No wonder I can't sleep on my back anymore - hoping that's the problems anyways.

I now have a appointment to get a CT of my sinus.  I guess we well see what is going on inside my head....at least the front part anyways.  No telling what's wrong in the gray matter. ::) ::) ::) ;D
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: xlogger on March 23, 2018, 07:34:54 PM
question for you guys that been thru this. They called me today and wanted to set up an appointment for another overnight to set me up for the equipment. Did you guys here have to do that? I got a little mad and said I didn't think I had to go back in there again. 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on March 23, 2018, 08:54:06 PM
I guess every insurance / medical is different.  I had to go to a class with about 15 other people to explain what apnea was and to show us the equipment.  Then we each took home a diagnostic unit (looked exactly like what I got in the end).  It recorded all night my episodes and adjusted pressures to figure out what I needed.

I returned that the next day for them to read the card.  They called me to say I needed one and they sent it out via Apria (medical supply distributor) directly to my house.  Easy peezy.

Seems like the way to do it.  There was one doctor or nurse talking to the group for 30 to 45 minutes, a tech and/or a Dr. to review the readings (5 minutes?) and order the device.  Done.  Very little "labor" on their part.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: thecfarm on March 23, 2018, 08:56:40 PM
Yes,I went back. Once was for the test,than they fitted me with a mask and took the test again. I had to go with one that went over my nose and mouth.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: 51cub on March 24, 2018, 09:29:10 AM
I didn't have to go back for equipment, but things could have changed over the years. They did want me to go back from time to time to see what changed. After 3 or 4 overnights, I was out of patience. I can stay home and not sleep. I changed Drs. The insurance company wanted a new test for a new Dr, and the Drs office talked them into letting me do it at home. I did have to go pick up the machine, but that wasn't bad, just in the next town
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: xlogger on May 13, 2018, 06:38:36 AM
I'm just got up from my 3rd night with the cpap. I believe I will like it. Sleeping good and over 8 hours a night, usually 5-7. I'm going to try the humidifier tonight maybe, no tried it yet. 
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: ljohnsaw on May 13, 2018, 11:11:21 AM
I'm going to try the humidifier tonight maybe, no tried it yet.
IF you are not having a bloody nose in the morning, I would NOT try the humidifier.  It is a fairly high maintenance item.  You need to clean it regularly so mold does not grow in it.  If you want to go camping, most CPAPs can run off 12v, but if you have a humidifier, it will kill a battery in very short order - it draws quite a few amps to run the heater.
Title: Re: Sleep apnea
Post by: xlogger on May 13, 2018, 07:42:00 PM
I hear you, I'll keep doing like I've been doing, thanks