How cpap saved my life

Cpap

After complaining of waking up tired for who knows how long and my wife telling me my snoring was getting louder and louder, I finally went for a sleep apnea test in September. In early November, they diagnosed me with severe sleep apnea where I stopped breathing 51 times an hour.
My longest period without a breath was 64.5 seconds. I can’t even imagine that. I could never hold my breath that long if I tried to!

For a normal healthy person with this level of apnea the chances of having a stroke increase by 4 times and your chances of having a heart attack increase by 3. Anyone who has been following me over the years on different social networks knows that I have had 3 open heart surgeries and 2 years ago I became an insulin-dependent diabetic.

They could not tell me how the odds of having a stroke or heart attack are increased with my health problems other than to say it’s not good.

The doctor explained it to me as your brain finally jabs a needle full of adrenaline into your heart to make it pound and to get you breathing again. The heart is now working very hard and getting really poor fuel since there is no oxygen there to fuel it. This is happening 51 times an hour!

Jump forward a couple of months and it’s been a process. I went through 9 masks before finding one that works. This week I went back to see the doctor after trying two different CPAP machines. He has switched me from a CPAP to a bipap machine because I need a higher pressure. I have used the new machine for a few nights now and I go back to the clinic for another overnight sleep session soon. We’ll see how it goes.

They have been after me to shave off my goatee and mustache so it fits better. I have been so reluctant because I have had it for 26 years now. I have really thinned it down and will try a #1 on the blade and see how it fits this week. I really don’t want to shave it off if I don’t have to!

My advice to everyone out there is if you know you are a heavy snorer or your spouse/partner is complaining you are keeping them up at night snoring, go and get tested!! If your case is severe like mine the machine may very well save your life. It’s taken a little bit to get use to sleeping with it but the alternative is not an option.

10 Comments

  1. Stay healthy….keep active..one of these masks are sure to work out for you. At the end of the day, your health is #1…We need you pumping out those awesome pictures.

    • Thanks Jay

      This new system and mask are working well. I am now feeling more rested and my apnea’s have dropped from 51 an hour down to 4 on average.

  2. Thanks so much for this write up. Not only is it educational but learning more about your journey means a lot to me, too. I really treasure our friendship.

    Question. Does snoring mean you are stopping breathing?

    • Jerry snoring does not necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. In most cases you wont know you have it other than feeling tired, until someone has heard you and tells you. My wife said I used to snore and get louder and louder then silence. After X amount of time I would gasp for air and start breathing again.

      This new mask and machine have really helped and I am feeling much better and have more energy again.

  3. JoseL

    I just got my CPAP yesterday and OMG!!! I feel like brand new in just 1 day…. Im not sleepy anymore!!! Life will only get better!!!

    • Glad to hear you had quick results. It took me a while but its making a big difference now

  4. Hi Brian:
    We have not met yet but we will some time. We are photographers. We show up in the worlds most beautiful places. Thanks for that tutorial on the little planet – cool trick.
    I like your work and posts on this site.
    Hang in there. I’m a hoover head too. CPAP since 2000 and just recently on BiPAp.
    When I first started I could not last an hour on the thing but they had the pressure to low and a poor mask fit. I persevered and over time could tolerate it more and more. Now, I cannot imagine going without it.
    It’s a real “chick magnet too”.
    Take care:
    j Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    It’s just like any love/hate relationship. We just settle in after a while. I had a job like that once.

  5. Kaitlin Sberna

    Chronic snoring is a strong indicator of sleep apnea and should be evaluated by a health professional. Since people with sleep apnea tend to be sleep deprived, they may suffer from sleeplessness and a wide range of other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or driving. Left untreated, symptoms of sleep apnea can include disturbed sleep, excessive sleepiness during the day, high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke or depression.,’..

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