Does anyone use a CPAP machine?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by stirfamily, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. stirfamily

    stirfamily Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DH underwent a sleep study this past week and the doc discovered the reason he's so sleepy all the time is that he is waking up 22 times an hour due to sleep apnea. He's scheduled to be evaluated for a CPAP machine in the coming weeks. Can anyone tell me about this?

    Thanks!
    Karen in NE Indiana
     
  2. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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  3. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Karen,

    I can't remember if I have replied to a post about sleep apnea or just thought I did but my DH has been using the CPAP gadget since June. First, from my point of view, I found that I couldn't sleep because of the different noise (No snoring now). Then I found myself staying awake to make sure he kept that THING on his face, waking him up to put it back on! At first its appearance makes you think of an elephant or an alien! Once your DH has one, you'll understand what I mean. Now, from his perspective, there is a goal to keep it on all night. Just try to stay mostly in one position for the night (not easy for a restless sleeper). Sometimes he gets a stuffy nose and must shut it off for the night too. It also gets in the way of romance. You have to remember to kiss goodnight before he has it put the tubing together and has the mask on!

    Our insurance paid for most of the cost of the sleep studies (there will be more than one), the doctor, and machine. Please check the out-of-pocket cost to you if that is an issue. We are still paying off those bills. DH and I really believe that CPAP is helping with the daytime fatigue, but I do believe that it is a money maker for the health field. On his last visit to the pulmonary specialist, he suggested another (the 3rd one) sleep study to be done. We said "hold it", this has already cost us (over and above the insurance) $1000". He changed his tune then. I don't believe that the doctor had any idea the price tag of all this. I guess that 3rd time was not that necessary after all!

    Try to be there when he is fitted for the CPAP because, even though I was there, I didn't listen well to the instructions. I thought DH was taking it all in...he's really sharp on the details. Well, he started asking me later, and I didn't remember. Maybe we both need a CPAP!!

    I hope that this will be beneficial to your DH. Be sure you have asked enough questions and listen to the instructions. It IS quite a change in the sleep routine, and some people cannot adjust to using it. My DH is still in the trial period but I believe he will continue using it.

    Nappy (appropriate name)
     
  4. dot

    dot Well-Known Member

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    My husband has used one for years. Should have seen the look on the Grand kids faces the first time they spent the nite and saw him with it on! I've gotten use to the noise it makes. No problems with it here.
     
  5. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I've used one for quite a few years now. After wrecking numerous rigs, and falling asleep in the tractor, threatening to take out a fence, cross the tracks and drive into the river, I started to realize that I had a problem.

    It took nearly killing my entire family by falling asleep at the wheel to make me make an appointment to see the doctor.

    I didn't and still don't have insurance, so had to deal with the expense myself. The sleep study was about 2000, but I gotta say it was the best money I ever spent! The first half of the night they hooked me up to what looked to be millions of dollars worth of equipment and watched me try to sleep. The second half of the night, they hooked me up to a cpap. Those four hours are what made the 2000 worth every penny, 'cause when I woke up I felt like a million bucks. I'd actually slept!

    Man, I was a basket case after that. I knew the potential of a good night's sleep again and I wanted a cpap machine bad! My doctor gave me a perscription for one, but I had to hock nearly everything to come up with the money to buy one. (they were much more expensive then)

    I took to mine like a fish to water. Yep, it's a pain, yep, gotta take it off for certain activities but I no doubt wouldn't be alive today without it. If I didn't manage to kill myself and others in a vehicle accident, I would likely be dead of a heart attack or stroke. I put the dang thing on if I even lay down to read a book in case I drift off. I love my machine because I remember vividly what life used to be without it.

    I was in denial for long enough, that I'm certain that I suffered heart and lung damage, so don't let your husband put things off.

    My original machine is still plugging away, but I have seen the same model in new or nearly new condition for as little as 150.00 on e-bay! One piece of advice I'd give is to look for a machine that will run off 12 volt as well as house current.
     
  6. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Constant Pulmonary Airway Pressure machine. To mine this sites for all threads, go back to the main page, then click the "Search" button near the top, and search on "apnea". There are only 11 or so threads, but you can get what everyone has said before.

    I use one, and it does help. Cheaper and better than losing a job because you keep falling asleep there, or better than dying and killing your family as well when you fall asleep while driving. There ARE other things that can at least contribute to apnoea (English spelling), the largest (naturally) of which is being overweight. It's a factor in my case, but it's not the only one - my father and at least one brother both have it, and they're not overweight.

    DO find out what new prices are, then buy a good second hand one if you can. You can make BIG savings, but remember you'll probably want to buy new mask and tubes, air filters and humidifer bowl if it uses one.

    Remember that you will need either to be able to adapt the air pressure of one you buy, or pay an expert to do it.

    Think about sleep arrangements. The machine does make a noise at night. You can get used to it - it's no worse than an air-conditioner, but it IS there. The machine also delivers more air than is needed to breathe - that's why it works. The "more air" (pressure) keeps the pulmonary airways open, but it means there's a bit of a draft as well. Again, not unbearable, but don't be surprised by it later. If necessary, stand a pillow on edge between your pillows to block the wind - sleeping in separate beds is NOT a good idea.
     
  7. Bob in WI

    Bob in WI Well-Known Member

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    How can you say that weight is a cause, if two out of three members of your family are not overweight, but still have sleep apnea?

    It seems as if medical science really doesn't know the true cause. I have been on a machine for over 5 years now, it does help, but is not a cure, only a stop-gap measure. No one seems to know the cure, all they say is lose weight, and many who are skinny still have apnea, so this ensures me that the medical profession really doesn't know the cause.
     
  8. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Life saving machine.

    For those who think it interferes with 'certain activities'...being dead interferes worse. :(

    The strain on your heart from not breathing during the night does tremendous damage.

    Get the machine. It proves your love for your family. :)
     
  9. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    The fact is, medical science knows several true causes. A major cause is structure of the palate and airways (that's the one for my family - a long and overly-soft soft-palate). I've also suffered a broken nose at some stage and airflow is less than optimum. They could operate on me and almost certainly alleviate (but not eliminate) the problem, although there's no guarantee. Weight IS a contributing factor - makes my situation worse than that of, say my brother. In many cases, overweight people are tipped over the edge into apnoea by their weight - palate and airway structure are marginal, but CAN cope if they take off the weight. Another factor that CAN play a part, if present, is neuroloogical damage. If a stroke damages the portion of the brain that deals with the palate and airways, then muscle tone won't be maintained, the tissues will flop, and tend to close-off the airways.

    So medical science DOES know a lot of things. However, the CPAP machine isn't a cure - it's an artificial way of getting around the problem. But it's a pretty effective artificial way. I'm glad to have it.
     
  10. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try also a Breathe Right strip on your nose at night, it does help too...Joan :rolleyes:
     
  11. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My DH is overweight and hypertensive. He was referred to the sleep apnea specialists by his regular doctor because of those two factors but also because of an episode of sleep apnea. It is thought that the weight and blood pressure problems may be caused by the sleep apnea and the reverse may also be true. He also has the soft thickened tissue of the palate and throat along with a very large neck. I don't believe in his case that the nasal strip would be helpful but may work for some people. The CPAP forces those soft tissues back so that the air can get in and will not allow the airway to close off. In this way he is never allowed to stop breathing during sleep. The machine keeps track of the amount of time it was used during the night. DH always writes down the time on the calendar to determine how well he has used the machine.

    I hope that I didn't sound too negative about the CPAP but it has had no effect on the blood pressure or weight as yet. He does feel a little better during the day and still falls asleep in the recliner chair. But he's not ready to give it up though.

    As for getting a deal on the internet for the machine, would you want one that had been already used by someone? How would the ordinary person set the controls on it even if it was new? The CPAP has to be individually set and fitted for each patient. It took several different masks for the home health care to find the correct fit. The second sleep study determined the proper air pressure needed for him.

    Nappy
     
  12. stirfamily

    stirfamily Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks to everyone for your replies. My DH had thyroid surgery about 12 years ago and the doc then said he a had large neck with a lot of tissue so that is part of his problem along with yes, he is slightly overweight but is taking steps to manage that. I'm not too worried about the noise as we sleep with a fan on all night just for the noise. He's not due to be fitted for it for 2 weeks. We are ready to get this situation under control, it's going to be a looooong 2 weeks!

    Karen in NE Indiana
     
  13. Seeker

    Seeker Well-Known Member

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    I had a heart attack at 43 in 2000. They had no idea why. Medium cholesterol, no smoking, etc.

    Finally, I was tested for sleep apnea - 130 incidents per hour! So now I use a CPAP machine.

    Sure, it's a pain, but it works, as best I can tell. If you are diagnosed with it, use one. It keeps the blood oxygenated at night, which does all sorts of good stuff.

    Like preventing heart attacks!
     
  14. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I reckon that is totally up to the individual...I don't have a problem using a used machine when I consider the options: My original machine cost well in excess of $2000! As I mentioned earlier, I can get the very same machine for around $150. Even if I have to pay someone $50 to set it to my prescribed pressure, I figure I'm still way ahead.

    Some folks may have insurance that will pay for a new machine, some may have the funds to just plop down the full amount up front. Others may put off the purchase because they can't afford it. I only suggested used because it IS an option and one I wish I had been aware of when I got mine.

    I don't think I need anyone to tell me if a mask fits or not. It is readily apparent when it doesn't properly seal or is uncomfortable. It does take a bit of messing around to find what will work for each individual.
     
  15. Seeker

    Seeker Well-Known Member

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    I got a new bipap machine recently - about half the size of my old one and now the humidifier is BUILT IN. Wow - what a difference. Especially when traveling.

    I thought about this recently when my mother called to tell me about talking to a woman whose husband had died because he had sleep apnea and "didn't want to use the machine".

    How many here use one? And how "old" is your unit and how big is it?
     
  16. moongirl

    moongirl Well-Known Member

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    I have had three in 6 years. Mine are about the size of a shoebox. I don't have a humidifier. Never have had a problem without one.
     
  17. stirfamily

    stirfamily Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I looked at this original post and saw that I had posted it back in '04! DH has now had his CPAP machine for almost 3 years and it has been a God send! We (and yes I mean we :) ) couldn't live without it!
    Karen in Indiana
     
  18. ailsaek

    ailsaek Well-Known Member

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    Me! Me! Mine is not quite a year old and smaller than a breadbox (thank goodness!) but still adds yet another thing to carry when traveling. Worth it, though. :dance:
     
  19. IMContrary

    IMContrary Well-Known Member

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    I just had my third try at using one and none were pleasant experiences. I lasted about an hour, then the panic attacks set in. I felt like I was smothering. I even tried going during the daytime for desensitization. No luck. Also, each time I tried I ended up with the worst headaches of my life. I see my ENT this week to discuss other options. Those of you can can tolerate the machine, count your blessings!
     
  20. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    I've been using an old bipap for about 12 years now and it has been a life saver as I have both obstructed sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

    MY bipap uses a separate humidifier and the whole set-up is huge in size, and noisy in operation. I can't get filters for it anymore (I cut down larger sized filters), and it will not run on 12v or on an inverter which regulates my camping spots to those that have 110 hookup.

    It is old enough that it allows the user to change the pressure settings, which I do as needed. It will adjust in .5 increments, and I've been doing this long enough to be able to tell the difference in just a .5 level of change. I know the doctors say this is a no-no, but I sleep very well thank you.

    The size of the unit doesn't bother me too much anymore as I don't have to do much air travel these days, but back when I was traveling a lot this machine was a pain to pack around. I've dragged this old girl all over Japan more than a few times.

    I really would like to upgrade the machine but fear having to take another sleep study in order to obtain one. My original sleep doc is long gone, since replaced by a large sleep apnea conglomerate who provide the doctors, the sleep tests, and the equipment. When I took my sleep test it was in a hospital with nurses attending. Now the sleep tests are done in a "clinic" with less than stellar attendants (wife just had one done).