Its been 4 months to the day exactly that I have been using CPAP. You can backtrack on my initial stages on previous blogs, but though it was time for another update…
Reading or I should say listening to the blog Post with the BBC Breakfast Clip about SA during Stop Snoring week. It really got me thinking of how lucky I have been. The clip from the show hardly highlighted the potential dangers of SA. Shame really… I would have thought the BBC could have done a better story.
I consider myself very lucky indeed, like the chap on the TV Clip, I went to my GP ”just about snoring”. I was referred to Mr Oko’s Sleep Clinic. Unlike it appeared from the clip, I had a thorough examination of my nose and throat, blood tests and a Sleep Study. It was then that it was diagnosed that I didn’t just have the problem of snoring! I did in fact have Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnoea with an AHI of 62.
I wasn’t ‘just given’ (like it appeared on the TV Clip) a CPAP machine -as initially by my own choice I didn’t want to use one- but after much research online I changed my mind and with the utmost care and patience from Mr Oko and his Team I have successfully got through the last 4 months. A few hiccups on the way, but that was mainly due to not being able to find a mask that I felt comfortable with. There were many tears and many fears, but I think we have got there now
When I initially didn’t want to use the CPAP therapy I was offered an alternative that may not fully help the OSA but would help the snoring. This was an Mandibular Advancement Device. Initial use of this wasn’t as successful as hoped for, but after an adjustment to extend it, it successfully stopped the snoring. So now, on Mr Oko’s advice, I am using this along with the CPAP machine as it will help bring my receded jaw forward as I sleep, as well as having the constant air blowing through my nose.
After trying several masks I think I have now found the right one for me…. its the Philips Respironics True Blue Nasal Mask and I can happily recommend it. Its so much softer and doesn’t leak air as you move due to the new technology of the concertina part of the mask. They make this one in a petite size which seems to be a better fit for me too.
Although mentally I am still coming to terms with having this condition, with a little help from my GP too, I am very proud to say that over the past 4 months I have been 100% complaint and my AHI readings have gone down to around a ‘normal’ 3….. It must be a first in my life… I’ve always been anything but normal!! lol
Sadly unlike many CPAP users I haven’t had that feeling of waking up feeling refreshed in the morning. Maybe one day I will, but having Fibromyalgia doesn’t really help the situation as that zaps all my energy away.
On a recent clinic appointment to see Mr Oko, I was so pleased that he is very happy with my progress and he is confident that I am in control of the therapy, he has now suggested my next appointment can be a telephone consultation. Such a brilliant idea as I wont have to leave the house and have to travel 15 miles to the Hospital (or 25 to the other Clinic in Spalding). I know that I can contact them at any time and arrange a face to face appointment, plus I have the support from Philips Respironics who are also excellent and offer first class support for OSA and their products.
Within 2 or 3 days of my appointment I had a letter through confirming my ‘next’ appointment…by phone. That way I know when to be by the phone ready and have any questions written down that I may need to ask…so all in all a bit of a success story The best will be yet to come when I have finally accepted the whole issue of having this condition and having it for life…. I am aware that if I were to stop using the CPAP Therapy the apnoeas would go back up. So its definitely in my own interest to continue with it.
I am confident about using the CPAP therapy but I don’t think I would be had I just been given a machine and ‘any’ mask and just told it will stop the snoring….. Mr Oko has helped me understand the condition and given me the confidence to continue with the therapy. I couldn’t have done it without him…..or his team.
I now find myself ‘spreading the word’. I am not worried or self conscious about telling anyone about my OSA and CPAP therapy, however I don’t like the idea of showing it to anyone….. Mind you, I haven’t had to as yet. But I do get frustrated though, when someone mentions to me about theirs or their OH’s snoring but they wont do anything about it.
Thanks again for all the help and support you have given me… I do hope this serves as a reassurance to anyone else going through the same.