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INOCULATION FROM INDOCTRINATION

Update on my CPAP and my health

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(My first post on cpaptalk.com):

Last night was my my 4th night on CPAP / ASV. It’s helping, not miraculous overnight, but better.

Just wanted to say hi, maybe get some encouragement to stay on CPAP. I don’t love it, but reading here, seems no one really does at first.

I did read that Kindle book about Apnea by Phil Elmore. Liked it a lot, and it gave me hope. (And it’s funny, which helps.)

I am also looking for some help understanding Sleephead software read outs.

I am 51 years old. Mildly asthmatic as a kid. Smoked average two packs of ciggs for 30 years. Quit 4 years ago. Vaped nicotine heavily for about 3.5 years. Quit that first day of Spring this year.

Was still more or less healthy until January this year, suddenly started getting horrible asthma. Over the past year, I’ve dealt with a crap-load of health events that have taken me from fairly healthy to feeling like I’m dying. I can’t even do basic household stuff anymore like take the trash cans to the end of a 30-foot driveway without getting horribly winded and needing a half-hour to recover.

Here’s what’s up with me over the past year:

-Acute Severe Asthma – Status Asthmaticus – doesn’t respond to normal asthma treatment.
-Sleep Apnea (AHI 145, events per hour 3 times what’s considered high)
-Central Sleep Apnea
-GERD (severe acid reflux, stomach acid in lungs)
-Allergies (VERY severe, IgE levels 10 times high) (had to get rid of cats. meh. Had to stop eating anything with soy, eggs and a few other common things)
-High blood pressure 184/104, now on medication, down to average 135/90
-Mild hiatal hernia
-Mild tachycardia (heart at rest 95-105)
-Mild Diverticulitis
Polyps in colon (pre-cancerous, adenomatous, removed)
-Thyroid nodule, non-cancerous.
-On Prednisone, need to taper off slowly. Was at 30 Mg for six months. I’ve gone down to 25 mg over last two weeks.

-Hospitalized when I fainted and broke my nose
-Broke a rib coughing.
-Hospitalized a second time in past year, for a bad asthma event.

I’m on a mess of medications, and really especially need to get off the prednisone. Have gained 40 pounds in 6 months on that crap.

Several doctors, including pulmonologists are baffled about how I suddenly got this sick, but dealing with the GERD helped a lot. First pulmonologist I had missed that for months. I ditched her and got a better doctor after a hospitalization (and a referral from the hospitalist).

New doc figured out that I had GERD on day one of meeting me. He put me on meds for that, also told me to tilt my bed 5%. Bot things helped a lot. Overnight I went from feeling like I’m drowning to just being out of breath all the time. (I was getting stomach acid in my lungs.)

I’ve had two sleep studies, found out I have very bad sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Finding out about the latter kinda made me bummed out, it sounds like my brain is trying to kill me. I’m a pretty upbeat guy and it’s a drag to hear my brain doesn’t have as much self-preservation as me. lol.

Of all the problems I’ve had over the past year, I think the apnea, and especially the central apnea diagnoses are the most depressing. The thought that I basically need “life support machines” seems extreme, and made me feel really old overnight. lol.

FYI, I hook my oxygen concentrator up to my CPAP machine (ResMed S9 VPAP Adapt). Doctor said that was my choice to do or not, didn’t do first two nights, did last two nights, makes for more restful sleep to have that little bit of extra O2 in there. (I was prescribed the oxygen concentrator by my first pulmonologist, it helped when I first got sick, used it 24/7 then, use it occasionally now. Slept with it connected to me before getting CPAP machine.

I’m committed to doing what I can to get more healthy. I do think using the machine EVERY NIGHT without fail, and even when I nap, is going to make a difference. It already has helped so far. Here’s the difference in 4 nights:

–Gone from sleeping 12 hours a night and being exhausted every day to sleeping about 7 hours a night and feeling more rested. I still feel sleepy during day, but it’s a warm mellow sleepy rather than an irritated crunchy sleepy.

–Don’t sweat in my sleep. I used to get up and change my t-shirt like five times a night because it was soaked with sweat.

–Don’t toss and turn. Actually barely move. I lie on on pillow and push another pillow up against my mask to keep it tight, and pretty much stay in that position, comfortably, all night.

–Machine says my AHI on CPAP is 1.7, which sure sounds a lot better than 140.

–Don’t seem to dream much, at least not dreams I remember. I kinda miss this. My dreams were often chaotic and vivid, but entertaining.

One thing that’s really strange to me about CPAP is after I wake up, I feel like I have to manually remember to breathe for about a half-hour. Like my body has already really gotten use to being forced to breathe by the machine. Anyone else experience this?

Here are the meds I’m on:
–Nebulized:
Budesonide and Brovana for asthma.  2x day.

Pills, daily:
–Candesartan for high blood pressure
–Singulair for asthma
–Pantoprazole for GERD (morning)

OTC Equate for allergies.
OTC Prilosec for GERD (evening)
OTC tums for GERD, as needed.
Shots:
Xolair shots for allergies, every two weeks, just started that in Sept.

Tapering off Prednisone, was at 30 Mg for six months, down to 25 Mg from two weeks ago.

–Michael W. Dean

5 thoughts on “Update on my CPAP and my health

  1. Ah, sleep apnea…. I had that go-around a while back. The machine greatly increased the quality of my sleep, and I felt better. After losing weight, another sleep study showed that the sleep apnea had gone away.

  2. Can’t speak to the apnea, but have some info on here you may wanna read.
    Wishing you well, lets stay in touch old freind!

  3. Thank you for sharing.

    My experience with a CPAP was solid, but not as dramatic as yours. I still struggle with being tired all the time.

  4. I heard they have new better technologies to replace older cpap machines…less bothersome in bed…you probably heard of it

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