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Thread: CPAP - No, I didn't just misspell crap page

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    brahnamin's Avatar
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    CPAP - No, I didn't just misspell crap

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    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 at 08:24 AM. Reason: because editing was needed and so editing got done - signed: The Editor

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    quelsen's Avatar
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    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
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    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.

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    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 at 08:33 AM. Reason: to add quote

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    Quote 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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    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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    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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    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.
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    Quote 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.
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    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.


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