Sleep apnea, anyone have it?

  1. Just found out I do. I stopped breathing q 2 min. I was lucky, I caught it before it was severe.

    I am awaiting word from the DME company to set up my cpap machine. I almost can't wait, I want to feel good again.

    Just wondering, how has this impacted your life? I hate the thought of my husband waking up and being scared to death by this woman who looks like she has an elephant's trunk on his nose. Maybe I am vain, but I am really afraid of my husband's reaction, even though he has never been anything but 100% supportive of me in every way. But man, this is ugly! It is very very quiet. That surprised me. At least the unit I used in the hospital for the second sleep study.

    Anyone out there using cpap? If you don't want to talk about it here, please pm me. Thanks.

    PS, I would encourage anyone who has had a hard time staying focused, keeping awake, snores loudly, or is overweight or hypertensive to be examined for this.
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    About hoolahan

    Joined: Dec '99; Posts: 3,786; Likes: 129
    Quality Nurse & Home Health Nurse


  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    First time I went in to check a sleeping resident with a cpap, all I could think of was "Alien!"

    Seriously though, my hubby has it and it scares me; he won't go to a doc about it.
  4. by   NurseDennie
    Hi. I have it. I had the first sleep study and they said I quit breathing - I don't remember, it was either 2x a minute, or every 2 minutes. It doesn't matter, because I've gotta have the CPAP machine too.

    I haven't met mine yet. I'm told they're much smaller and quieter than the ones I saw on patients back when I was doing bedside nursing. I hope so! I'm probably going to have to move into my daughter's bedroom, because there's no more electricity in my bedroom. I wish I'd thought of moving quite a while ago, because my hubby has a HORRIBLE case of apnea! He stops breathing and then SNRRRKSSS and starts flopping around like a landed fish. The fact that he's 6'3" and HUGE makes it a problem for both of us. I figured that was my sleep problem, actually.

    I'm interested to know how this works for you and actually for me, as well. I haven't an appointment for the second sleep study yet, but soon.


  5. by   nursejws
    My husband has it and he has the CPAP machine. He said he feels great!

    I also have sleep apnea, but Cigna denied me a machine. For the longest time I've had the problem of not feeling rested in the mornings, and my family complains that I snore. I am told I have "upper aerial resistance", whatever that means. I should probably see a ENT dr. When I had my 2nd sleep study to be fit for a machine, the only problem I had was when morning came and I took it off. It felt weird and I couldn't catch my breath at first.
  6. by   KaraLea
    My father has allways snored really loud and just recently my mother said that he is having "episodes" of stopping breathing. She said that she just nudges him and he starts snoring again. I told her to tell the doc the next time they saw her. BTW, my father was dx with Parkinson's about 3-4 years ago and is fighting it tooth and nail. Just recently finally agreed to a disabled sticker for the car, a lift chair, and is now walking with a cane...flat refuses to use a wheelchair for longer distances. If he can't walk it, he doesn't go. They did talk to the doc about the apnea and she changed his medications around...guess they may have been causing it, he also sleeps with about 2-3 pillows now. He actually sleeps better in his reclining lift chair than he does in bed.
  7. by   NurseDennie
    What I don't understand is how it's going to work? Seems like my nose is stuffed up more often than not. I don't see how that's going to help having air blown up there.

    A friend got a new cannula type thingie for his - he'd lost his little mask and now he uses this. Anybody seen one of them?


  8. by   nursejws
    It forces air through your nose, so the back of the throat does not become lazy and the air passes through.

    When I'm at my Mom's, she does that to me too. My breathing will become shallow, or I'll snore too loud and she'll nudge me.
  9. by   Jenny P
    Hey, Dennie, just think: his and hers CPAP machines! Somehow, that sounds very Douglas Adams to me !
  10. by   live4today
    My husband has sleep apnea, and is to be fitted for his cpap on Monday of next week. I sure hope it is a quiet machine as I don't sleep well with noise around me. I nudge him on occasion to make sure he is breathing, and to start his breathing if I notice he isn't breathing. I guess sleep apnea is more common than one might imagine. (((hugs))) to you all who suffer with this. :kiss
  11. by   Aussienurse2
    My husband has sleep apnoea as we live in Australia we have to buy or rent machines so he now wears a T-shirt with a pocket in it, puts it on back to front and places a tennis ball in the pocket so that when he rolls onto his back he feels uncomfortable and rolls back onto his side which in turn opens his airways. Short term solution but an effective one untill we can afford the breather.:zzzzz
  12. by   hoolahan
    Wow ! I am surprised by how common this is. Dennie, I don't have my machine...yet. I requested apria homecare/dme, they seem to really be on the ball. I intend to be a total PIA until I have the perfect fitting mask, and quiet machine. For the second sleep study, I honestly couldn't hear the machine at all, except for a very soft blowing sound. I can't wait to get it. I don't know if it is psychological, but I am feeling more and more exhausted in the day. I have been taking a nap almost q day when I get home, and you should see this house! It's a disgrace!!

    aussie, you guys are very very imaginative, what a smart idea!!! I would have never thought of that! I hope you can afford the machine soon! How much is it to rent? or buy? In American dollars? (I am ignorant of your money system down there!)
  13. by   NRSKarenRN
    Seems like we have another thing in common Hoolahan!

    I've lived with Sleep Apnea for 10 years. Would be unable to function and would have been sofa bound + on disability without the CPAP mask. I too came home from work, fell on sofa and slept 1-2 hrs each evening before able to arouse + cook dinner. FIVE trips to pantry to get jar of Pasta sauce, cause got distracted.... The day I was falling asleep at 8AM driving into work was the lightbulb that had me review my symptoms: difficulty concentrating mid afternoon, feeling like I hadn't slept even though had been in bed for 8-10 hrs, EXHAUSTION and need evening nap. I trotted next day to see the pulmonologist I had worked with for 10 years. "My God , my Karen has sleep apnea!" was his thought seeing me dozing in his office at 10 AM; I'm the classic case he uses to teach residents (as I've heard it from residents who have seen me in office) and my specialty is Respiratory nursing!

    Husband's adjusted to my mask and machine. If I fall asleep without CPAP on, husband will awake me---kids just turn on CPAP unit and hand me mask 'Mom your snorin too loud'. I cannot function without it ( REAL BAD if power outage-- to point can't stay awake next day and feel like brain is stuffy and full of cotton). Must have at least 4hrs on machine in order to function.

    These links most helpful explaining sleep apnea.

    Sleep Apnea FAQ:

    Types of Equipment:

    Headgear, mask and replacement tubing needs to be replaced yearly--usually covered by insurance with prescription. Some will require a letter of medical necessity. I've had the same CPAP unit for 10 years- travels everywhere with me on vacation.

    Any questions, I'll be glad to answer them.
  14. by   Fgr8Out
    My fiance was completely unaware of his apnea, until I spent a weekend with him. His restless sleep, snoring, twitching limbs, were very disturbing to me. I suggested he talk with his doctor and be evaluated. It took the sleep study team less than 5 minutes to determine that yes, indeed, my honey has sleep apnea.

    I haven't had a chance to check out the sites recommended by NRSKarenRN yet, but the ENT surgeon I know very well stressed the importance of being treated for apnea. He offered several suggestions, including CPAP, but there is also a surgical treatment involving the pharynx and most recently a dental device worn at night which helps keep the airway open.

    Since moving to Nevada, my fiance hasn't had nearly as many problems with his apnea, plus he's dropped a few pounds which I'm sure helped. He's not a surgical candidate, because his apnea is a result of a congenital malformation he has as a result of having Treacher Collins Syndrome (the cartilage/facial stuctures don't entirely form) and a very "floppy" palate.

    It's very important to treat apnea, not only because of the fatigue factor and lack of proper oxygenation, but the stress of apnea is dangerous for the heart. I certainly recommend anyone who thinks they may have apnea to be evaluated and treated.