CPAP: Before and After
Before being diagnosed with sleep apnea, I was working weird hours at my job and attributed my exhaustion to long hours with not enough sleep. I worked 5 days a week and usually did not have 2 days off in a row. It’s hard to imagine anyone would have enough rest and recovery to ever feel normal.
However, this was not the case for me. When you get it in your mind that you are feeling tired because of something, and it makes sense to you, it’s hard to explore other possibilities. I am glad that I did and now have been way less tired than I used to be.
Before: I was always tired
When I was diagnosed and started on my continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, I knew what sleep apnea was because my dad has it, but I never thought it was something I had. It’s a condition that has the stigma of happening to the older or overweight population. Definitely not always the case.
I spent many more hours sleeping than someone my age should be. I was always tired and could fall asleep at any moment in most situations. This sounds like it's great, especially for people who have issues with insomnia, but it really wasn’t. My body was being devastated by the lack of quality sleep and the strain sleep apnea puts on the body.
I was ready to give CPAP a try
I did the sleep studies and found out I had sleep apnea. It did cause a bit of depression because it was not what I was expecting, but it also gave me some relief. I knew what was probably causing my inability to get a good night's rest.
I didn’t know a lot about sleep apnea other than you had to wear a mask when you sleep that blows air into your nose. I wasn’t super excited to get started on a CPAP, but I did want to try it to see if it did work and would help me out. I have to say, the results were amazing.
After: less snoring, more energy
The first thing my now wife noticed was my snoring did not bother her at night. I didn’t really care about the snoring because I couldn’t hear it. What I did care about was the amount of energy I instantly had after the first night of sleep.
I don’t think anyone can understand what sleep apnea really does to the body and your sense of feeling rested unless you have it. The closest way I can describe it is it feels like you stayed up all night, only slept an hour, then had to stay awake and do your normal day on that hour of sleep. It is terrible and something you wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Where am I now?
Now that it has been some time since I started on my CPAP, I still have the same sense of rest and alertness during the day from when I first started. Some days I do feel a little more tired than I think I should, but we all do that.
The main thing I keep in mind is sleep apnea is no longer straining my body when I sleep which will do wonders in keeping me healthy in the future.
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