I was sitting here today trying to remember life before sleep apnea. For me personally, after getting diagnosed not a lot has changed. The reason why is I'm pretty sure I've had sleep apnea just about all my life. While waiting for my new CPAP to arrive, I notice symptom changes.
Why do I think that?
I never seemed to be rested, I was always tired. Even if I got 10 to 15 hours of sleep, I was still tired. I'm pretty sure the insomnia that I also had at times didn't help with the apnea or the being tired. Because I know when I have insomnia now as an older person it does make a difference even using a CPAP machine. I do have 2 medical issues that cause insomnia at times.
Then there's the snoring. I came from a family of snorers! I do not fit the normal profile of someone who does snore. And neither do many of my family members. Most are not overweight, do not have large neck sizes, nor are just male. All have always been very physically active!
Now last year I was overweight, but that had more to do with the prednisone that I was on. Since I have dropped way down on needing a larger dose of prednisone, I am just about down to my normal size. That weight came off very quickly – thanks to a medication that my doctor put me on. Also, my type 2 diabetes was made worse when the prednisone was way out of control.
What symptoms changed?
The biggest change I have seen is… when I can't or don't use my CPAP machine while sleeping. That same dead, tiredness comes back just like it was when I was a child. And this is without any insomnia involved.
But when I do use my CPAP machine, and everything is working right, (that means not fighting with the hosing or with the nose pillows that I use), I always get a very peaceful and refreshing sleep!
Meds and maintenance
Then there is the maintenance of a CPAP machine – the cleaning, ordering supplies, and that kind of stuff. CPAP machine maintenance is really no big deal. Remembering to take it if I go anywhere overnight, to me, this is like packing a diaper bag when my kids were little. Or also remembering to take daily medication on time may now be a challenge. Neither one I really enjoy, but something that has to be done!
So, what made me start wondering?
I haven't been able to use my CPAP machine for a few months now because I am still waiting on the replacement from the recall. So even though I have lost 40 pounds of weight, and now down to a healthy weight for my size, I'm still not resting when I'm sleeping. This brought back all those childhood memories of trying to go to school and being that tired.
I am now looking forward to getting the new CPAP machine. It's kind of an adult version of a teddy bear for me now when I sleep. And I miss my Teddy Bear!! I might even have to give it a name....
Have you experienced any symptom changes while waiting for your new CPAP? Do you have a name for your CPAP? Please share a comment.
Do you feel stigmatized by sleep apnea?