Never Been Able To Use Cpap, Diagnosed 2 Years AgoI was diagnosed with sleep apnea about 2 years ago. I was told it was mild, and in the sleep study it only showed when they forced me to sleep on my back. I am not a back sleeper. I was put on a trial for a CPAP machine. The local company in town was trying to sell me a really outdated machine. I found myself taking the mask off every night, so I thought maybe a machine that gives full data would have an explanation. After a 2 month trial here in town, I took the machine back and went to a CPAP store out of town. I got a brand new model which was new to them just a few days before, with full data readings. I took the mask off every night in my sleep for another month. I had been able to fall asleep just fine with it on after the first 2 weeks of my original trial, so it wasn't that I wasn't used to it. I tried a couple of different nasal masks. I am unable to use a full face mask as it makes me panic. I was the same way with oxygen mask in 2 surgeries I have had in my life, they had to leave them off my face until I actually passed out. The CPAP store read my data, and said they could find nothing wrong, like leaks etc, that would be causing me to take off the mask. I bought the machine anyway. I tried to use it for about a week, and the frequency of my taking it off just got worse.
I felt like I was getting less sleep, always waking up to put the mask back on, several times a night. I went to my GP , and she told me that I was indeed taking the mask off in my sleep. She said the only thing she could do was offer me a sleeping pill which would be highly habit forming, to knock me out completely, and I refused. As if I need another sleeping problem !! She told me to go back to the sleep clinic, which I also refused. It is a good drive away, which is hard for me to arrange rides. I also feel that the sleep clinic does not offer anything close to your actual sleeping habit. I would go and likely not take the mask off, as the circumstances you are in there leave you sleeping only 4 hours and feeling as though you cannot move an inch.
In the past I have woken myself up coughing (choking) but haven't done this in a long time. The man I have been dating for 9 months says he has never ever seen me stop breathing or coughing in my sleep. The only thing that has really changed since I was diagnosed that may have an affect on apneas, is that I don't really drink anymore. I used to drink quite a bit of alcohol on weekends at the time I was diagnosed.
Also I have a ton of allergies, and have had blocked nasal passages. For this my nose is always doing something, and my throat is always dry. I drink liquids like a horse, always thirsty. I think this is part of why I don't tolerate the mask. So I wonder why through the whole diagnosis, I was never ever sent to a ear/throat/nose specialist, nothing was ever looked at physically?? I feel like I was pushed to buy this machine that simply does not work for me. I've asked my dentist about the dental device, and he told me it was not worth it.
I am unsure where else to get help. The place that sold me the CPAP called after a year to see how I was doing, I told them I had not been able to use their $500 machine. They had the sleep clinic call me, which I never called back.
I'm just 27. I'm not overweight. I once was, but not when I was diagnosed and not now. When I was diagnosed I was fit as a fiddle, exercising 6 days of the week as I was just off my weight loss. Now I don't, but over 3 years have only gained 10lbs of it back. My Dad also has sleep apnea, but came on as an overweight man in his 40's, typical. He sleeps with CPAP every night.
I have a net friend in New Zealand who said he got a "no snore" surgery, where they removed some excess material in his throat with a laser, and he hasn't had sleep apnea for 2 years since. Does anyone know what this surgery would be called in North America? I have read that the different surgeries do not work for everyone, but no health care provider would even speak to me about them. I really feel that my sleep apnea is not central (though no one bothered to establish this !) and would like to have the actual cause found ! Not given a bandaid as the only answer.