My name is Derek and I am rather new to the world of CPAP therapy.
I snored very loudly for years and years. As a motorcyclist who attended rallies I became quite well known as the person next whom it was unwise to put ones tent. As I learned over time, weight, smoking and alcohol were not helpful to my snoring. Weight is fairly easy for me control, not so easy is the smoking and I do love wine.
Over time, my wife and others noted that I often stopped breathing for significant lengths of time after which there was a convulsive snort followed by a short period of easy breathing, then loud snoring and breathing cessation.
This went on for about 12 years. Then, the side effects of incredible tiredness during the day, feeling tired, falling asleep in almost any situation started.
I lived with this for about a year and then following a little research I got quite frightened. My doctor is great. She listened to my story and immediately set me up for a preliminary occimetry test. The first try was a failure as my thrashing around at night tore off the finger reader about five minutes after falling asleep. I did again but this time duct taped the little beggar on.
The results were interpreted as acute apnea. So, off I go to a respirologist.
He also was great. His feeling was that the next step would normally be an overnight sleep test, but that the occimetry results were so acute that we should jump immediately to therapy.
Where I live they give you a list of 5 or 6 technical therapists who are the people who recommend a particular type of machine/mask etc. and with advice from the therapist send you off to play.
Each therapist seems to deal with a particular kind of machine. I wasn’t too worried about that part because I figured market forces would push the bad ones out of business.
I chose to go to a guy that I work out with at the gym. The product he use is the Respironics equipment. He set me up with a machine, mask, instructions etc. and sent me on my way for a couple of weeks of trial.
I persevered, hated it and when he phoned for coaching etc. I told him that it was leaking, noisy and did not get a good night’s sleep. It was however, better than before cpap and my energy was increasing.
He brought me in and after a little didling around a bit suggested we try the nasal plugs. That’s what I call them, they probably have a different name.
Basically it’s the soft rubber nasal things that seal against your nostril.
It worked infinitely better for me and I am now only waking up on average once per night. My complaint would be that it does not have a swivel like the mask and when I turn over I often have to adjust it slightly to re-establish the seal.
My next little complaint concerned nasal/sinus irritation. The sinus passages became quite sore, dry at first and then towards the middle of the night, congested. The following day was brutal. My nose ran continuously from waking until about 5 pm in the afternoon. Back to see my technologist guy. Typical he says. You probably will benefit from a humifier attachment. Al though it adds bulk, it seems to have largely solved that problem. At the moment I am monitoring other activities because I’ve noted that on mornings when I swim, the congestion is worse. I swim everyother day so I want to ensure what is causing the congestion; vile stuff in the pool water or the machine. Ideally I’d like to get rid of the humidifier.
As a motorcylist I take long trips every summer. Working out a camping routine with the CPAP should be fairly easy as mine runs on 12 volts.
Ideally I can park my bike close to the tent runt a hookup from the bike to the machine and get a good night’s sleep. I still have to do some research on how many amps the machine draws because getting a good night’s sleep and finding your bike won’t start in the morning (while camped at a wilderness campsite) does not sound like a good idea. I may have to take some kind of auxiliary gel battery instead. We’ll see.
And that folks is my long intro.
I look forward to learning from others here and providing information and support where possible.
I am a newbie to apnea too. I am just becoming used to my mask.
All the best