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7 weeks into using cpap machine
lesizzie posted:
I am now 7 weeks into using my cpap machine and the first 3 weeks were just awful.....I felt sick most of the time and it took until at least lunchtime for me to wake up properly. I felt very lethargic. Slowly this has got better and I no longer feel sick and waking is getting better although definitely not there yet. My consultant says that this is normal as my system has probably been without the correct sleep and oxygen for around 8 years. I am a 60yr old woman and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea following a TIA (mini stroke) a year ago of which my consultant says that it was almost certainly caused as a result of my sleep apnea. I would not dream of not using my cpap machine now for that very reason, it would be too dangerous. I started with a face mask to begin with and it made my nose and face very sore and the specialist changed me to a nasal pillow (medium) which felt much more comfortable and much less claustrophobic. I then changed the size to small which fitted much better and cured the leaks. I still feel tired at times (good days/bad days) but my partner says I am much brighter and I can do so much more now that my energy levels have increased. Since reading the posts on this excellent site I feel much more optimistic that I could begin to feel much better in a couple of months or so. I have just started exercising again on a treadmill and plan to increase the time everyday to improve my lung capacity. Thank you all so much for your very useful tips and information. I am very aware that sleep apnea can cause life threatening conditions and I wanted to share that with you all so that you keep persivering with your cpap machines.

Good luck all

Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Lesizzie and thank you so much for sharing your encouraging story. Good for you for persevering!

Your experience was my son's... it took some adjusting and the positive effects took a while to be felt but once they did, wow! what an enormous difference it has made in all aspects of his health and life.
lesizzie replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Hi Caprice,

Thank you so much for sharing that with me (us) and I am thrilled for you and your Son as I appreciate just how hard it can be for the one suffering and the one caring. How long did it take your Son to feel the wow factor? I know I am impatient but ...... every now and then I think to myself, "I feel so good now" which can last for a day and then the next two days I feel very lethargic and go to bed around 8 or 9pm. This is better though than it used to be as I would need to go to bed around 7pm!

Kindest regards

Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to lesizzie's response:
I'm not sure he'll ever admit to the 'wow' factor but he finally realized it was making a difference a few months into it when he DIDN'T use the cpap one night and was immediately exhausted. He's never gone without it since and will even travel with it.

He finally had energy to exercise and make better eating choices and has lost a lot of weight, went from being pretty taciturn to happy, has someone very special in his life, is moving forward towards building a life, etc., something he was incapable of seeing before. It's very wonderful.

I'd always heard from others how much a difference getting their sleep apnea under control made in their lives but it was still amazing to see it in my own son.

We realize now that his began as a child and though we tried to get help for him then, doctors weren't really paying attention, nor did we realize just how bad it was and so didn't push as hard as we should have. I'm just so glad he finally got the help he needed with a doctor who didn't dismiss him because he was overweight. What a change it has made for him and for all of us.

So hang in there. I know that, for him, so much depended on finding the right mask, humidifier, etc., before it all finally clicked. AND looking back to see how far he had come.
lesizzie replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Dear Caprice,

Thank you so much for your response and invaluable information, it has given me a real boost knowing that it is very possible to get my sleep apnea under control. I am just trying a new nasal pillow which arrived yesterday and will some adjustment is very comfortable and much lighter than the one I was using. It's the ResMed Swift FX Bella for her if anyone reading would like to know. I will be seeing my consultant again in a few weeks for my 3 month check up and will be able to see if my settings etc., are correct as I understand this has a bearing on how well you sleep.

I am so delighted for you and your son for the way has life has moved into such a positive direction and that he is enjoying life again. He has clearly put a real effort into it to which I know makes a huge difference.

Thank you once again for sharing with me, it has really helped.

Kindest regards

Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to lesizzie's response:
Yup, those settings are important and could need some tweaking until you get them just right for you.

And you're very welcome, Lesizzie. Keep us updated. I'll be very curious to know how things go for you.

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