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CPAP is not the solution

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 19 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

CPAP is not THE solution.

CPAP does not solve OSA

CPAP does not cure the causes. It may even conceal further deterioration.

CPAP does not undo the effects. Many of the compounding issues that are associated with OSA remain.

CPAP is not THE solution but it does serve a vital role in the search for solutions.

CPAP buys time by propping us up and stalling some of the more obvious consequences.

Time for what?

Time to question and learn and experiment and act.

Time to take critical steps to undo some of the damage already done.

This was not intended to discourage people from using Cpap but rather to encourage them to see it as a reprieve that will give them an opportunity to look at the big picture and thereby extend their goals to embrace significant changes that might enable them to get to a safer place and live a fuller life.

This was intended to provoke discussion.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

What are the other issues?

What are the solutions?

What are you doing about it?

A few suggestions or success stories would be nice. :)

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Sierra +1 point · 19 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

I would certainly agree that a CPAP does not cure the cause of obstructive sleep apnea. And, it is not a perpetual life machine and we are all going to die, the last time I checked. However, it can certainly do a good job of controlling the adverse effects of apnea. As a diabetic, I kind of see it like using insulin. Insulin does not cure diabetes, but it certainly does a good job of avoiding many of the adverse effects of diabetes. The only real serious issues that I am aware of that CPAP can cause is central apnea. In some people, the pressure used to treat obstructive apnea can increase central apnea. There are other solutions for that, but probably not with a basic CPAP or BiPAP.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 19 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

You are right Sierra. CPAP is not the villain in this story.

The obvious villain is OSA but it doesn't play a solo role.

OSA usually hangs out with a bunch of other villains.

CPAP can neutralise some of the damage caused by OSA but it doesn't really deal with the associated and compounding issues.

Some of the issues related to OSA effecting sleep-cycles, tiredness, hormones, obesity, memory, cognizance, drive, sex, sleepiness and depression are often part of the bigger picture and rarely resolved by CPAP alone.

CPAP cannot be the end goal. It should be viewed as the beginning of a much bigger battle.

How many people on CPAP therapy have the magic solution they hoped for?

How many still struggle with most of their original symptoms?

What can be done about it?

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Sierra +0 points · 19 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

Yes, apnea and CPAP therapy are just a piece in a larger puzzle. I have had no major life transformation going from an AHI of 37 at diagnosis to my now fairly normal AHI of 2 or so. But, I had no problem sleeping with the AHI of 37. My main motivation for using it is to avoid the oxygen desaturation events and any effect that may be having on my long term health. And my snoring was annoying my wife, so elimination of snoring has a benefit too. On the other hand my wife who was diagnosed in the 80 range and now averages 1, it has been a major help. She still struggles with sleep issues to some degree, but I believe it is all of her own doing. She refuses to give up on the necessity for an afternoon nap, and that I believe is the main reason for her not being able to sleep through the night.

But, as far as it curing everything that ails you, no it is not that. When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea the sleep technician tried to tell me it would cure my diabetes. Of course that is ridiculous CPAP sales talk. I never took much of what she said seriously after she made that statement. I knew I was on my own for my CPAP support.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 19 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Ah the great granny nap dispute! It seems so innocent and comes with a free set of steak knives so how could you imply that there are strings attached?

Unfortunately your assessment of the CPAP technician seems to be applicable to much of the industry but as they continue to consolidate their power base and their income stream they will have to become more professional to warrant it.

Of course the ultimate revenge would be to spend a few months doing the online course and put in the 80 hours of lectures and training then you can fix the system from the inside and get paid while you do it! :)

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Sierra +0 points · 18 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

If you look at my post on mouth taping and in particular at the session times on my wife's chart you will see all of her naps. She goes in streaks with up to two weeks without, and then a week or so with a nap every day.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 18 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I'll take your word for it Sierra.

I think my charts would tell a similar story.

I am a bit leary of looking at other people's charts.

It might be different if I was just focused on trying to help them but focus is not my strong suit. :(

I'm not sure if I want to know if they stayed up to watch the world series or if they went to bed early because the WOW servers were shut down or if they stopped to pat the dog on the way back from their 4am toilet visit or why they started the machine a bit later than usual every wednesday and slept like a log all night.

If I want to be sure about when things happened in my life I can be fairly confident that Sleepyhead knows.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 17 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I started this thread to see if the forum would lend itself to a more general discussion.

I suppose in a way I chose this particular subject because I need to motivate myself to take action.

Over the past 30 years I have developed a pattern of postponing cumulative illnesses until I have no choice but to follow up. The net effect has been that every 4 or 5 years I revise my half-page medical history and go to see a new local doctor who applies due diligence for a new patient and investigates one or two of the issues then settles back to just writing scripts. (I suspect that this is my fault because it is the expectation and pattern that I bring with me.)

I have reached that part of the process again. I need a fresh angle and some fresh answers.

It's time I went back into battle, which is difficult because I feel that I have lost most of the battles I have engaged in recently.

I tried testosterone therapy with no discernible benefit so I disengaged and quit the field.

I got a CPAP machine but I consider it to be a pyrrhic victory.

I formulated a plan to break the weight seige but haven't implimented it yet.

I am currently experimenting with Melatonin but getting entirely the wrong results so I probably should quit the field once more.

There are other battles I have considered or even fought but they are soon forgotten.

I think I need a better battle plan. A strategy that delivers small victories that can be used to swing the odds for the bigger battles.

This thread was not meant to be about me.

There must be millions of people out there in a similar situation.

How have you dealt with the issues of ageing?

What strategies have worked for you?

What experiences or suggestions do you have, not just for me, but for everybody in the same boat.

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Sierra +0 points · 16 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

One of the strategies I use is to keep each health issue in isolation from each other. I just look at them one at a time, and only work on the ones that need attention. I have my diabetes (AIC), blood pressure, cholesterol, and now apnea (AHI - 1.8) all in good control. My weight needs some attention though. I put in about 1 hour of cardio six days a week for exercise, so no room there for more. I just need to exercise the pushing away from the meal table muscles a little more! At some point I'm sure I will have to do the hearing aid thing, but I'm holding out on that one for as long as possible.

The only real worries I have about aging is that it is becoming harder to get reasonably priced travel insurance. And I also wonder how I will fare with the technical issues associated with diabetes insulin management, and apnea as my cognitive skills start to slip. Bridges to cross when I get to them. Nothing I can do about it now...

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 16 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I admire your discipline and focus. How did you choose a cardio program and manage to implement a routine?

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Sierra +1 point · 16 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

We live about 3 blocks from a gym, and I have a seniors annual membership. I just walk there and do my 1 hour routine of treadmill, cross trainer, and every 2-3 days some weights. I try to go every day, but it generally works out to about 6 times a week.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 12 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

3 blocks sounds so easy until you put it in the context of a Canadian winter! :O

Our nearest gym is only 20kms down the road but it costs $800 per year.

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Sierra +0 points · 12 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

Yes, at -15C and a brisk north wind, it forces me get the parka with hood out.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · about 1 hour ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Your comment about current strategies and future concerns was rather profound Sierra and, as per usual, gave the nail a major headache.

It made me (an avowed CPAP hater) realise that the approach you are taking to CPAP and no doubt other areas of your life is critical to finding a partial solution to your most serious concern, how to manage these devices with diminished capacity.

It also convinced me that what you are doing for others through this forum is a vital aid in enabling them to do likewise.

I am talking about the urgent need to take control of our personal welfare and embrace (shudder) the machinery and technology that we are becoming so dependent on to the extent that we are able to understand it and manage it so well that we will still be able to function through simple comprehension and habit well past the stage where, without these skills, we would be just another frustrated patient waiting for support that might not always be competent or easy to find.

In other words I think what you are doing Sierra, by offering well researched technical advice, with caution, is medically, legally, ethically and morally responsible and vital to those who feel able to benefit from it.

Who knows. If you keep up the good work I just might be converted to the 'for her' version with that pretty pink screen! :P

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