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What Does It Feel Like?

This area is for Sleep Apnea questions and general Sleep Apnea Discussions.


What Does It Feel Like?

Postby WearyOne » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:06 pm

Hello everyone. New here and am scheduled for my first sleep study 1/5. Am anxious and excited, now that I've finally made myself take that step. I've been reading the posts here for the last few days and they have made me feel even better about my decision, and have been a great education!

I have a strange and possibly very silly question. What does it feel like to breath with a xPAP machine? Is there anything it can be compared to, say, like blowing a hair drying in your face (only a lot stronger, I know)?

I've been miserable and scared for so long and now that I'm taking the first steps, although I'm happy about the decision now, I'm very apprehensive about the mask and about hyperventilating or not being able to take all the air blowing in my nose! (Although I haven't been officialy diagnosed with sleep apnea, I know I have it, and the doc and nurse at the sleep center said that I definitely needed the sleep study!)

Thank you!

Pam
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Relax and Relief...

Postby ramsa » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:30 pm

Pam,
My experience has been pretty good with CPAP. The sleep study people woke me after about 3 hours of apnea bouts, and put me on a machine as an "intervention". (They couldn't let me sleep that way anymore due to insurance liability...)

I woke rested and had dreams that I could remember upon waking. Felt great.

I used a Swift nasal pillow system, and have that same set-up at the house now after a month. It's getting more comfortable every day, and my pressure is set at #7 of a possible 20, I believe. At first it's strange having soft air pushed into your nose and airway, but it stopped my snoring, and I get real sleep for the first time in years! Doesn't hurt, or anything like that, just real different, and kind of creepy having a plastic hose going to you at night. I'm sort of vain, so the looks and idea bother me alot more than any physical discomforts. Not saying that it doesn't take some getting used to, but much better than life without... In fact, "life without" could be a fatal mistake.

As much as it's a pain in the butt to suit up for bed every night, I'd beat anyone trying to take my CPAP system away now. I need it, and life is much better for me on treatment.
You'll do fine!

Dave
Getting Better Sleep...
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Re: What Does It Feel Like?

Postby SnickersPie » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:36 pm

Hello, WearyOne--

For me, there was no mask involved during my sleep study, just tons of wires. Once diagnosed, I went back for the second sleep study to try the masks (I believe this is called titration). Couldn't deal with any that I tried.

What does it feel like? A blow dryer in your face is pretty close except the air is cool.

I'm sure other members will begin to chime in regarding your post. Everyone's experience is unique.

Good luck!
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Re: What Does It Feel Like?

Postby SnickersPie » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:39 pm

Duplicate ... Sorry. I keep forgetting that you can't hit the Back button.

Will a Moderator delete this for me please?
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Postby Guest » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:07 am

If you want to know what it feels like, have someone drive you...get on the interstate, get up to about 80 or 90, then stick your head out the window and try to breathe in and out. It's just like that!
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Postby ramsa » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:49 am

If you want to know what it feels like, have someone drive you...get on the interstate, get up to about 80 or 90, then stick your head out the window and try to breathe in and out. It's just like that!


Not true.

I think it's wrong to give someone an impression of what treatment is like in a way that might frighten them.

It's NOT like that at all...

Dave
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Postby Guest » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:57 am

On the contrary...that was exactly how I described it to my wife the first time I experienced it, and I don't think it's frightening at all. It's just a very unusual sensation that definitely takes some getting used to!
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Postby Mickie513 » Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:55 am

Anonymous wrote:If you want to know what it feels like, have someone drive you...get on the interstate, get up to about 80 or 90, then stick your head out the window and try to breathe in and out. It's just like that!


Not really, sticking your head out is a blowing in your face feel with the cheeks flapping and eyes drying out. Not to mention 90 mph is rather overstating it.

I have nasal pillows so I don't have any extra air blowing in my face at all. Goes straight up the nose. I got used to the pressure (13 at first) fairly quickly, within about 30 minutes. My biggest issue was being a bit slack jawed and having mouth blowouts. At first I taped then I got a chin strap that works for me. They also lowered my pressure to 11 to help with mouth blowouts.

I started on the Swift nasal pillows and have continued with them. I sleep on both sides, even on the small Swift hose without any problem. I've seen positive effects already with some pretty odd symptoms that I didn't even think was caused by apnea. If you are open you may be surprised at what improves.
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Postby hhopper » Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:46 pm


When I was first on cpap, I thought the pressure (14) was really strong. Now, six weeks later, it seems perfectly normal. I don't even use the ramp any more.
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Postby Brian » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:48 pm

I have ridden a motorcycle at over 120 mph with an open face helmet and no windshield. Cpap is nothing like that at all. My pressure is relatively high at 15, and I have to pull the mask away from my face to even feel any air. Pam;you will definitely notice the air at first, but there's really nothing to be frightened about. If you need cpap; ask your doctor to put c-flex or epr on the presciption. These are features that provide a bit of pressure relief as you exhale. C-flex is on Respironics machines and EPR is a Resmed feature. It can be very helpful, especially if your pressure is much over 10. When I first started cpap I just told myself that I needed that air and thought about the good it was doing for me. Good Luck and please us posted as to how you are doing.

Brian
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Postby WearyOne » Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:44 pm

Thanks so much everyone for the encouragement and support! I know it probably seems like a very silly question!

I JUST KNOW apnea is going to be my problem and I've fought seeking help for years because of my fear of "the machine." But I've recently realized I don't want to live the rest of my life feeling so horrible, barely getting by each day--not to mention what it's doing to my health. It's funny, now that I've set my mind to it, had the consultation and have the sleep study set up, I can't wait till it gets here! I've just been so worried about being able to tolerate all that forced air into my nose without panicking or hyperventilating. I so want it to work!

I talked with the assistant some at my consult about the different types of machines, and she mentioned C-Flex and the nose pillows. They've set up two study appointments, one week apart. The initial one is with just the wires and stuff. Then if, for some reason, they determine I don't have sleep apnea, they will cancel the second one. Otherwise, I'll come back one week after the first study for one with the CPAP. And they set up a follow-up appointment with the doc about a week after the second sleep study. I guess I could also take some anxiety meds or something for a while IF I do start to panic about it. Mind over matter here!

I'm glad most of you don't think it's like driving down the interstate with your head out the window--I was going to look awfully funny doing that this afternoone while driving down I-64! ;-)

You guys are great and it's so encouraging to hear how many of you have fought the initial battle and now wouldn't give it up because you feel so much better!

Pam
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Re: What Does It Feel Like?

Postby justtrish » Sun Dec 17, 2006 4:08 pm

WearyOne wrote:I have a strange and possibly very silly question. What does it feel like to breath with a xPAP machine? Is there anything it can be compared to, say, like blowing a hair drying in your face (only a lot stronger, I know)?


The question is neither strange nor silly.

When I had my first sleep study, I had no idea about CPAPs and, frankly I didn't even think I had OSA. The sleep clinic made me watch a video, which is where I was first introduced to CPAP, and which totally freaked me out. When later in the night they wanted to put a mask on me because my blood oxygen had dropped to dangerous levels, I resisted it. I hated being forced to sleep on my back and I was extremely uncomfortable with the mask.

When I returned for the second sleep study, I had had time to research this and to "wrap my head" around the idea that I would be needing this. I came upon this forum and learned a lot! I began looking forward to the possible benefits of CPAP therapy, most important for me being not falling asleep while driving.

So, even though I was apprehensive about using the mask based on my first experience, it went really well. At first it feels like gentle breeze on my nose, but then I noticed that as I was falling asleep the pressure increased, but not uncomfortably so. I did wake up around midnight feeling I had had enough of the mask, but after getting up and going to the bathroom, they put it back on me and I slept straight until they woke me up to leave.

I do believe that one's attitude greatly affects how one does with this therapy, as it does with everything.

My two cents

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Postby Guest » Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:10 pm

I only had one sleep study. They woke me up after 3 hours and put the mask on for the remainder of the night. Before I went to bed, they showed me the mask and held it to my face. It felt OK. However, after they woke me up, then they strapped me into the mask and started the machine. It was at this time that I started having a panic attack. I would recommend that if your study is set up in this manner, that you have them strap you in and use the air in the beginning of the night so you know what to expect if they determine to put it on you during the night. Also, if you feel uncomfortable ask what other masks they have that you can use.

I have been using my CPAP for about a month. I love it and feel better after using it. However, I still have panic attacks when I initially put it on but manage to work through it each night as I realize how much better I feel when I use the CPAP. Good luck.
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Postby WearyOne » Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:42 pm

Justtrish, thanks for much--I really felt this was a silly question and was kind of embarrassed to ask it! :oops: :lol: You mentioned that they made you sleep on your back after they put the mask on you. Do you know why? Can't you sleep on your side with CPAP? I know apneas are worse on your back and maybe that's why, but I would think that going to sleep in any position would be better than not going to sleep at all if one just cannot sleep on their back.

I don't think they'll wake me up in the middle fo the night to put one on, since I'm scheduled the the PAP on a second night, but I guess they would if my apeans were bad enough. That's one of the reasons I"m trying to get a little bit of a handle on what it may feel like so I can be prepared for it there.

Must keep plenty of lorazepam on hand for those possible panic attacks! Maybe continuting to think I'll probably have one, I'll come way from it without!

Thanks again. :-D

Pam
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Postby Ichabod » Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:02 pm

WO,
I think the key is simply to relax. Yes, for the first few minutes it can be kind of frightening. You could have the feeling of your breath taken away.
Relax! It won't Kill you!
Some of us actually enjoy the c-pap machine.

Good luck,
Ichabod
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
Walt Disney
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