Forum · Old Dog, New Topic

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[-] Gordon +1 point · almost 3 years ago

Hello, all. My name's Gordon and I was diagnosed (by a home test) in late July or early August of this year. At the time, my AHI was 45 (that's 45 times per hour that I stopped breathing on average while sleeping). In retrospect, I've probably had OSA for decades.

In early August, I started using a Philips Respironics BiPAP Auto (System One 60 Series). I've noticed a marked improvement in my memory, alertness, ability to engage others and general energy level since then. From what I've read, brain damage due to OSA is reversible but it can take a full year to completely heal all the damage done. Considering that by nighttime blood oxygen was as low as 53% (I was told I'm lucky to still be here based on that figure), I'd say it's not surprising that brain damage can occur.

I also developed atrial fibrillation after a recent surgical debacle at my hospital and that, too, has improved greatly. Time will tell what other things might improve.

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[-] MakeSleepAPriority +0 points · almost 3 years ago

Welcome and congratulations on taking charge of your health! Keep us posted. Who else out there has a story to tell?

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[-] truckerdad57 +0 points · almost 3 years ago

Welcome.

You're not a old dog. Your story is typical though.

Glad to hear that you are doing well.

Learning to live with your new best friend your bipap will take time. Don't be afraid to ask questions like how do I get my bipap through airline security when I travel.

Or how can I set up a back up power supply for emergencies.

It's all part of being a "hoser" , apneatic... or whatever you want to be. ..

I'm a crusty old truck driver who loves his cpap. .. I call him Charlie. ...

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[-] Mellanie +0 points · over 2 years ago

Gordon,

You mentioned that your atrial fibrillation has improved. Are you having less atrial fibrillation as a result of treating your sleep apnea, or is the afib you have less bothersome as a result of treating your sleep apnea?

I had atrial fibrillation surgery and have been afib-free for 9 1/2 years. Shortly afterwards, research indicated that there was a relationship between afib and sleep apnea, so I got diagnosed and have been treated since 2007. Using my CPAP makes a world of difference for me, but even more importantly, I credit my CPAP for keeping me afib-free. It's truly amazing what treating sleep apnea can do for you.

Good luck.

Mellanie

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[-] Gordon +1 point · over 2 years ago

Hi, Mellanie. I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation last May (2014) after a botched anesthesia during a hospital stay that was supposed to be an outpatient visit. They accidentally paralyzed my diaphragm which landed me in the ICU at which point atrial fibrillation began for the first time. I haven't been evaluated since then but from what I can tell and during every doctor visit since, it has not been present. However, no official pass yet.

I can say that I sleep immeasurably better with my BiPAP machine and it has made a huge difference for me. The biggest change I'm hoping to accomplish is large weight loss through a medically assisted program at Kaiser. The diet starts in April and is intended for losses of 40 pounds or more. I need this badly as I'm obese. After that, I assume much will change including heart and joint issues. Also, I should be able to remove the oxygen concentrator from my BiPAP at night. We'll see.

Thanks. I'll need the luck!

Gordon

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[-] Mellanie +0 points · over 2 years ago

Gordon,

Thanks for sharing this info. I'm sorry that you experienced afib.

"Post-surgery afib" happens a lot, and usually is only short-term and doesn't come back. But you didn't even have surgery - just anesthesia - so perhaps it's the anesthesia, and not the surgery, that is doing this? That is very interesting! How in the world did they paralyze your diaphragm? Is it now back to normal?

Weight loss helps a lot with sleep apnea, so good luck with the program.

All the best to you.

Mellanie

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[-] Gordon +1 point · over 2 years ago

I'm sorry for leaving out some essential details, Mellanie.

I entered the hospital on May 5th last year for an outpatient shoulder-joint replacement. Yes, that's now an outpatient procedure! The normal anesthesia is a nerve-block administered in a bundle between the shoulder joint and the neck. The surgery is done while they keep you sedated but not under a general - at least not usually. The vagus nerve lies very near the point where the nerve-block is administered and - in some like myself - it's so close that the anesthesia "leaks" into the vagus nerve which shuts down the entire abdominal area including the diaphragm. Lucky me... I was fully conscious when I found myself unable to draw breath. The operating room staff went a little crazy, intubated me and put me on general. Thankfully I don't remember that part.

I had the surgery and woke in the ICU. From what I understand, it isn't the surgery itself but the general anesthesia that triggers atrial fibrillation. This is especially true in diabetics and those who are obese. I'm both. I hope that helped make things a bit more clear. Sorry for the confusion.

Gordon

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