icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: Sleep study part 2

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sleep study part 2

My last sleep study post I was waiting to go back for the follow-up night at the lab to find the right setting, so I could get my machine. I thought it would be simple. Turns out it wasn't-not a surprise in my life with this body of mine!! The second night at the lab was awful-the tech. had trouble getting my leads attached to my skull, and I did not do well with the apnea airflow being pushed into my nose. It is the strangest sensation-a force of air going in your nose, and if you open your mouth the air rushes out. It's hard to talk too. At first when I felt the sensation of the mouth air, I started laughing and couldn't stop. That didn't go over too well with the tech. Geez, get a sense of humor.

So, after getting my giggling under control, I had the worst time sleeping. It was awful, and I thought there was no way I'd be able to do this night after night at home. About a week later, the doctor called to tell me that something interesting happened during that second night. Surprise, surprise. Anyone who knows my health history is NOT surprised. So, originally they said I have the most common type of apnea, obstructive. This is most likely due to the fact that my windpipe and esophagus were damaged during one of my surgeries, and they don't seal right or something (don't know the technical term). So, all you should have to do is force the air in the airway. Well, when they used the cpap machine on me that night, I still had times that I stopped breathing (which shouldn't have happened on the machine), but after those episodes I would over-compensate and go into a central apnea episode. Central apnea is a less common, more serious condition where your brain is sending the signal to not breathe. So. What next? The doctor ordered a smart bipap machine, which monitors your breathing and adjusts the airflow to what you need. This would hopefully stop the central apnea episodes and help with the obstructive apnea. It also has a computer card so after it has been a month, the doctor can download it and see if I had any apnea episodes and what airflow levels I was on.

So, I got my machine. It's pretty cool-it even has a humidifier so my nose doesn't get dried out from all that air. A rep came out and set it all up for me, fitted my mask, and showed me what to do. I was amazed at how quiet the machine is-you honestly do not hear a thing, at all. The first night was rough getting to sleep, but I woke up so wide awake and refreshed! It felt like a miracle, and I was so excited that this would be the rest of my life-I would have energy! Well, it has been almost a month now and I think it has helped my energy, but not as much as that first night. I've had some immune system flares so that hasn't helped much. All in all, I'm happy with it. I don't always last all night with it on-generally my max is until about 5 a.m when the dog needs out. I'm anxious to hear what the doctor has to say about if I've had any apnea episodes. I need to call and find out what I need to do to get the info. downloaded to him. I did get a great book from the library that I would recommend to anyone investigating sleep apnea. It is 'Snoring and Sleep Apnea' by Ralph Pascualy, MD. I'm going to buy my own copy even, it has lots of great resources. I've also been pleased with the company that supplied the cpap machine-they have called to check on how it is going,encouraged me to hang in there, and even sent me a smaller mask when I mentioned the fit of mine. It's always great(and rare these days) to get good customer service.

2 comments:

Amy said...

Hang in there! It sounds like it is helping. It will be interesting to see what the dr. has to say.

Barb said...

Athena,
the more I read your blog, the more I find out what we have in common! I, too, have sleep apnea, and have been using a CPAP for one year now.