How a Cpap Machine Changed My Life

A Cpap Machine Has Changed My Life! The Aging Youthful Dude’s View

If you think you or someone you know needs a cpap machine I have a couple of questions: Do you feel rested and like you get enough sleep?? When you wake up, do you feel energized and ready to take on the day?? Do you need to take naps all the time?? You could have sleep apnea and a cpap machine could change your life too.

A Two Minute Video Of Me Sleeping Was a Huge Wakeup Call!

Here’s how I was:  After being in bed for 6-8 hours (or more) I’d wake up fuzzy, not rested, my body ached and I was sore everywhere, I had a sore throat, my nose was plugged, and basically I felt like shit!! All that totally changed a couple weeks ago. Mary has been after me for years to have a sleep study, because of my snoring, especially in the last year or so, as it seemed to get worse. I was like “hell no, I’m not going to wear one of those mask things”! Well, she got my attention when she taped me for 2 1/2 minutes in early May. She taped the video below after she had come back to bed from the bathroom and sent the it in a private Facebook message after I got up for work 10 minutes later. Let me just say, it got my attention. I was gagging and gasping for breath, snoring like a chainsaw, and quit breathing a couple times for 40 seconds. (The screen is black because it was dark. Also, don’t stop listening thinking the video is loading, that’s how long I quit breathing!).

An Appointment At The Sleep Clinic

After that attention-grabbing video, I made an appointment at the local sleep center the next day for a consult to see if I needed a cpap machine. When I met with the doctor, I brought my iPad with me and played the video for him. He was so “impressed” with my apnea, he called in the rest of the staff to listen too! (When I do things, I give it all I got!). The first step was a study I could do it at home. With a little help from Mary, I wired and taped  the monitors to my chest (we are kicking ourselves for not getting a photo) and wore it all night while I slept. The next morning I ripped off what felt like miles of medical tape and brought the monitor back to the clinic for analyzation.

A couple of weeks later, I went back in to find out my results.  The sleep doctor told me  yes, you definitely have sleep apnea, and it’s pretty bad. On average, I stopped breathing 36 times per hour for up to 40 seconds. That’s a lot of time when I wasn’t breathing and it was no wonder I was always tired and felt like shit all the time!  Next they scheduled me for a “sleepover” at the sleep center to get strapped into more electrodes and monitors and fitted for a cpap machine and mask to find out exactly what I needed to get good rest. I wasn’t too fond of the idea of sleeping there but I was going to do whatever I had to do to feel better.

Zubaz, Electrodes and a Cpap Machine

The night of the study, I showed up at 8:00 pm, and met with the staff and got settled in my room. The gal said there were movies on the TV so I was happy and started watching a movie after I got comfy in a pair of Zubaz and a tank top. About an hour later, the gal came in and asked if I had on what I was going to sleep in, and I said yes, I was going to wear my Zubaz and tank top, cause I might scare her if I slept in what I usually sleep in…which is nothing! Anyway, she got me all hooked up to the cpap machine and I looked like some component in a spaceship or something. I had wire leads going everywhere: my toes, my legs, a bunch on my chest, my shoulders, by my ears, even a couple on the top of my head (and once again, I am kicking myself for not asking her to take a photo of me!) I was thinking I’m never going to fall asleep with all that crap on. The gal told me I could leave the TV on as long as I wanted, and if I need anything or have to go to the bathroom, just sit on the edge of the bed and she would see me on a monitor in her office and come in and get me unhooked. My next thought was I’m already going to have a enough trouble falling asleep with all the crap attached to me, now I know she’s watching me on a monitor too!!! Eventually, I did get tired, turned off the tube, and fell asleep. During the night, the gal used feedback from all the stuff I was hooked up to and made adjustments on the cpap machine as needed. At 5:30 the next morning, I woke up and got all unhooked. I was surprised when she told me I didn’t snore at all (a miracle!) and only stopped breathing twice. I set a follow up appointment, and headed home to shower and take a nap.

Waiting For My Cpap Machine

With their busy schedule (there’s a LOT of people with sleep problems!) and my work schedule, it took over a month for me to get in to meet with the sleep doctor and pick up my machine. I’ve had my cpap for just over a month now and I have been sleeping and feeling so much better and I am kicking myself for not doing this years ago!!! I feel a lot better; no sore throat in the morning, I feel rested when I get out of bed, I don’t feel the need to always take a nap, and my body is a lot less sore. It’s going to be sore due to my weightlifting, but I used to be sore ALL the time, even if I took a week off from lifting! Mary here. Here is what Mark’s typical day off timeline was like before the cpap machine. He would reluctantly get out of bed somewhere between 10 and 11 o’clock, he come limping down the stairs complaining how sore he was. As a result, he was skipping many of his workouts because he was so sore and tired, and even after a week off from the gym would ask “why am I so effing sore, when I haven’t worked out for a week?”. He’d hang out with me for a couple of hours before complaining again about being so tired and would head back upstairs for “a nap” in the early afternoon. Some days he would get up from his nap and go to the gym, but many times said “screw it” and stayed home. A few times I had to wake him up to eat dinner around 6 or 7 o’clock, and he would head to bed again around 9:00pm. On days he worked, his alarm forced him out of bed but many days he would struggle with being sleepy all day.

 This cpap machine has changed my life!

I might look like Mr. Snuffleupagus and have a hard time giving Mary a kiss goodnight, but this contraption has changed my life.

My Cpap Machine Has Changed My Life

Since the c-pap, Mary’s much happier and will even sleep in the same room as me again. Many nights she would sleep on the couch because my snoring would wake her up. I feel much better, have so much more energy and I no longer have the feeling that I need to nap all the time. I don’t feel like a sloth anymore, am happier and I think easier to be around. I feel like I am recovering better from my workouts faster, and just have a better outlook on life (now just gotta get rid of this job with the rotating schedule, going from days to nights, and back and forth. But that’s another story). Mary here again. I want to share the changes I’ve seen in Mark the last month. I took the video below about a half hour after Mark went to bed wearing the cpap machine the first night he had it. It was SO quiet, I had to go upstairs to make sure he was alive! I couldn’t believe it! A couple days later he came down stairs on a day off at 8:00 with shorts on! (He shared earlier what he does – or doesn’t – wear while he’s sleeping, lol). I don’t recall what we did that day, but at 5:00 I asked him if he realized, not once all day, did he complain about being sore or tired! In the last month, the only time he has taken a nap was the day after the Strongman competition and most-likely because we went to a potluck and bonfire and didn’t get home until after midnight! Yes, he IS in a better mood, complains less about being sore and is much easier to be around. What a difference it has made in such a short time!).

Looking Forward To More Benefits Of Sleeping Again

Just remember, sleep is soooooo important. That is the time that our body does all its repairs. And it has to be the good deep sleep. If you or anyone you know snores bad (ahem, Mary!), I would strongly suggest getting a sleep study done. You might not need it, but if you are like I was and THINK you are sleeping OK, you might not be! A sleep study  and acting on what they find, could make a huge difference in your life !!! Until next time, here’s to getting good zzzzzzzs!

Have any of you had a sleep study? If so, what were the findings? If you were prescribed a cpap machine, how has it affected your life? Let me know by commenting below or on my Facebook page. If you want to find me in Fairbanks, I’ll be at the gym pulling semis instead of feeling I got run over by one.

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