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  • CPAP - No, I didn't just misspell crap

    So, I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

    Long and short this means every so often I stop breathing in my sleep and my brain, being the great evolved survivalist that it is, drags me closer to consciousness so my body will realize it's not breathing and suck in a fresh lungful.

    So I spend much less time each night in deep sleep and wake every morning a stressed out cortisol drenched mess.

    Enter the CPAP.

    CPAP stands for constant positive air pressure and that is what this machine is all about. Its a quiet unassuming piece of machinery to which you attach a mask and hose like Maverick and Goose got to wear in Top Gun. This pumps air down your pipes at whatever pressure the doctors decide is optimal (no, you can't chose your own settings and you need a doctor's prescription before anyone else will change them for you) and keeps your airway open so you get that deep restful sleep that Mark keeps telling us is so important (which it is, because - among other things - it really does help regulate hormones).

    Yeah. That's the sales pitch.

    Here's the reality.

    I won't even go into the monstrosity that is the nose-only masks. If you can't keep your mouth closed while you sleep you trade in snoring for violent painful whistling as the air pumps into your lungs *and* back out your venison-non-grain-crust pie hole.

    The full face masks come in versions that cover your nose and mouth or fireman faceplates that cover everything. The fireman is impossible to keep a seal on unless you sleep exclusively on your back. Either kind will puff your cheeks out like you're sucking on a cold hair dryer if you get a bad seal. But even with a perfect seal they pulse.

    When you breathe in, the mask expands in time with your breathing, swelling to fit the natural movements of you face. When you stop inhaling, however, the mask doesn't fall back in time with your features. It just immediately flops back to the starting position.

    It's like your face is getting dry-humped by an epileptic jellyfish.

    So, it kinda sucks, because understanding the importance and benefits of proper sleep, I'm completely sold on what the CPAP is supposed to be doing. But if I can't sleep at all because of what it is doing, I really don't see the point.

    Has anyone else here had any experience with these beasties? And if you have, have you got any useful advice on how to cope with them?
    Last edited by brahnamin; 01-10-2012, 09:24 AM. Reason: because editing was needed and so editing got done - signed: The Editor

  • #2
    IF you can open your mouth agains the pressure you are either a stubborn bitch or the pressure is too low...... bottom line

    masks are strange creatures and i love my mirage mask nothing else has ever worked.

    Do you have a humidifer? what brand of machine are you using, have you considered bi level i need 12 on the inhale but only 10 on the exhale. I
    Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

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    • #3
      I don't think I can be of much help immediately, as I narrowly avoided needing a CPAP. But I wanted to let you know that if you stick with a Primal eating plan, there's a very, very real possibility you won't need it much longer. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
      5'6" Female, 29 Years Old, 260/195/120

      "Discipline is choosing between what you want NOW, and what you want MOST!"

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      • #4
        IF you can open your mouth agains the pressure you are either a stubborn bitch or the pressure is too low...... bottom line

        masks are strange creatures and i love my mirage mask nothing else has ever worked.

        Do you have a humidifer? what brand of machine are you using, have you considered bi level i need 12 on the inhale but only 10 on the exhale. I
        That looks like the mask I used in my sleep study last night. I'm still in the baby stages of the docs figuring out what I need. My optimal pressure is supposedly 13. They haven't put me on bi yet.

        And my mouth just kinda hangs open like the village idiot when I sleep. But I am Polish, so Stubborn Bitch is still a very real possibility.
        Last edited by brahnamin; 01-10-2012, 09:33 AM. Reason: to add quote

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GrokON View Post
          I don't think I can be of much help immediately, as I narrowly avoided needing a CPAP. But I wanted to let you know that if you stick with a Primal eating plan, there's a very, very real possibility you won't need it much longer. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
          That's what I've heard. It is fast becoming my latest Primal motivator.

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          • #6
            My husband uses a CPAP. He feels much better when he does use it. Every once in a while he falls asleep before he puts it on. He wears the nose/mouth type, with a chin strap to keep his jaw closed. It took him awhile to get used to it. Every now and then there is a bout of cussing coming from him when he has trouble getting the chin strap to work properly. Although there are special pillows to allow one to sleep on one's side, we haven't bought one, they're expensive, so he sleeps on his back. It took me awhile to get used to the sound, but it acts like a white noise generator and it doesn't bother me anymore.

            The first time he wore it, I said, "Luke......I am your father...." which made us both laugh. I wish he'd go primal, but he won't. He tried for about 9 months, but decided he wanted cereal for breakfast again. He's had several health problems recently. The latest one is a bulging disc in his lower back, for which they are recomending surgery, because it's affected the feeling and mobility of his legs.

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            • #7
              I had an uncle who used a CPAP device every night. One night, it either stopped functioning or wasn't available for him to use (can't recall the exact circumstance), but he went to sleep that night and never woke up. Not to scare you -- it could have just been a coincidence that he passed away on that night -- but it's possible that beginning to use such a device *might* result in a long-term dependence on it.

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              • #8
                I went in for a sleep study and was perscribed a CPAP about 15 months ago after being told I was snoring excessively. I got the nose-only type and did have a problem with my mouth falling open a couple of times. Got a chin strap that helped that, and eventually didn't need the strap at all.

                Now after I got the CPAP I started to lose some weight and went Primal. I've lost around 50 lbs overall and am now essentially within the 'normal' range with a 25 BMI. I've stopped using the CPAP and while I don't have anyone to tell me if I'm snoring at night right now, I used to wake myself up with a snore, especially if I was falling asleep lying on my back. I'm tempted to get a sleep study again just so I can find out for sure if I can toss it.

                So, yeah, going primal, getting weight under control, etc. can definitely help or eliminate sleep apnea.
                Trying a journal. We'll see how long that lasts....

                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread37152.html

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by healthseekerKate View Post
                  I had an uncle who used a CPAP device every night. One night, it either stopped functioning or wasn't available for him to use (can't recall the exact circumstance), but he went to sleep that night and never woke up. Not to scare you -- it could have just been a coincidence that he passed away on that night -- but it's possible that beginning to use such a device *might* result in a long-term dependence on it.
                  Yeah I remember reading on his blog that Dr. Eades had a friend who died when he fell asleep on the couch without his CPAP. Scary.
                  5'6" Female, 29 Years Old, 260/195/120

                  "Discipline is choosing between what you want NOW, and what you want MOST!"

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                  • #10
                    I had sleep apnea at my heaviest, 215 pounds. Once I got below 200 it went away, and below 190 I haven't even snored. Now, at 170, I don't even have to think about it.
                    Crohn's, doing SCD

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brahnamin View Post
                      So, I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

                      Long and short this means every so often I stop breathing in my sleep and my brain, being the great evolved survivalist that it is, drags me closer to consciousness so my body will realize it's not breathing and suck in a fresh lungful.

                      So I spend much less time each night in deep sleep and wake every morning a stressed out cortisol drenched mess.

                      Enter the CPAP.

                      CPAP stands for constant positive air pressure and that is what this machine is all about. Its a quiet unassuming piece of machinery to which you attach a mask and hose like Maverick and Goose got to wear in Top Gun. This pumps air down your pipes at whatever pressure the doctors decide is optimal (no, you can't chose your own settings and you need a doctor's prescription before anyone else will change them for you) and keeps your airway open so you get that deep restful sleep that Mark keeps telling us is so important (which it is, because - among other things - it really does help regulate hormones).

                      Yeah. That's the sales pitch.

                      Here's the reality.

                      I won't even go into the monstrosity that is the nose-only masks. If you can't keep your mouth closed while you sleep you trade in snoring for violent painful whistling as the air pumps into your lungs *and* back out your venison-non-grain-crust pie hole.

                      The full face masks come in versions that cover your nose and mouth or fireman faceplates that cover everything. The fireman is impossible to keep a seal on unless you sleep exclusively on your back. Either kind will puff your cheeks out like you're sucking on a cold hair dryer if you get a bad seal. But even with a perfect seal they pulse.

                      When you breathe in, the mask expands in time with your breathing, swelling to fit the natural movements of you face. When you stop inhaling, however, the mask doesn't fall back in time with your features. It just immediately flops back to the starting position.

                      It's like your face is getting dry-humped by an epileptic jellyfish.

                      So, it kinda sucks, because understanding the importance and benefits of proper sleep, I'm completely sold on what the CPAP is supposed to be doing. But if I can't sleep at all because of what it is doing, I really don't see the point.

                      Has anyone else here had any experience with these beasties? And if you have, have you got any useful advice on how to cope with them?
                      Ok Sleep Apnea sucks..but there's a solution! you're in Richmond VA right? If so you should really check out my Sleep Apnea Doc Dr Elliot Alpher in Washington DC. the standard practice for sleep apnea is to no longer use a CPAP machine - but to use a mouth device like a SUAD. I just got one this past summer - and my sleep has improved 100% from my silencer device. My sleep improved so much - my mom who used both a CPAP and a device - came out to see Dr alpher - and he fitted her with a SUAD device - and she now no longer needs the CPAP machine..

                      PM me if you've got any questions... The guys out doing leading edge stuff on sleep Apnea...
                      The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
                      What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

                      Converted to PB November 2010
                      SW 190lb
                      Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
                      25 Sep 2011 160lbs
                      1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
                      GW ~135lbs
                      5'3"
                      Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

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                      • #12
                        my father uses one -- just the nose one -- and he has been sleeping so much better. he's doing great with it, and it's helped a lot with his apnea and such.

                        they were here in our place last week, and it was a quiet machine and no problem for the rest of us -- and seriously better than snoring.

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                        • #13
                          Is it obstructive sleep apnea or the one caused by the central nervous system that's linked between lung and brain?

                          I'm asking because the obstructive one in the nose can be corrected through palatal expansion of the maxilla.

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                          • #14
                            Hi,
                            I was diagnosed with sleep apnea this summer and I'm so glad to be sleeping like a nearly normal being - though I did pull the machine off the nightstand last night while turning over. Anyway, I hated the whole face mask thing - all the complaints you have and more. But I am now using the face plugs and while imperfect they are still better than the other thing. I'm getting used to keeping my mouth closed though I do still have dry mouth sometimes (mostly if I have a glass of wine too close to bed time) but a difficult night with a c-pap is better than any night I'd had in the last few years. So I'm a fan. I'm not terribly over weight and was told that if I lost another 10 pounds I might be able to get rid of the machine (though there is no guarantee of that as their is a genetic history here) so I'm trying that, just or size.

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                            • #15
                              My dad uses a CPAP and my husband needs one, but they are very expensive. i am hoping that he will just drops some pounds and we won't have to shell out the money. Anyway, my dad's has a water container so that the air is moisturized, which helps some. He just has a nose piece with a chin strap to hold his mouth shut. He sleeps soundly....the man can snore something terrible!

                              Also, you could check with the doc and see if you might be eligible for a dental appliance to help treat the sleep apnea. You may have to hunt for a dentist that does them and make sure they have a good success rate with the appliances.

                              Best of luck!
                              Nan
                              ----------------
                              Wife to a Hero
                              Mom to 2 Super Silly Boys

                              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread46540.html

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