My story of living on CPAP for the rest of my life started with the day I confidently went to the Sleep Specialist thinking I would be given the news that my sleep test had proved I didn’t have sleep apnoea after all. HOW WRONG I WAS!!! Instead I was told I have moderate to severe sleep apnoea, with a reading of 30 apnoeas per hour. I was convinced I didn’t have the ‘condition’ as I wasn’t ever aware of waking up in the night to start breathing again, and I also wasn’t overweight. Yes, I knew I was a snorer (but it never bothered me, as I slept through it!). I’d always been known as a ‘dead head’ in a morning, which I now realize was because, unbeknown to me, I’d hardly slept due to stopping breathing approximately every 2 minutes. I was always tired and exhausted, but I put this down to being a busy music teacher and just allowed myself the odd nap when I could fit it in. In a way, it was a relief to be given my diagnosis, as at last I could make my friends and family feel guilty for calling me a ‘dead head’ and I was told I could live a much better quality of life with CPAP treatment! It also explained the reason why I would practically collapse with exhaustion every now and then, and I’ve lost count of the times I’d been checked for things such as anaemia, glandular fever, leukaemia, diabetes etc. In fact, if I’d been diagnosed with sleep apnoea years ago, we could have saved the NHS a lot of money!
The day I brought my CPAP Machine home was exciting as I’d read the stories of the miraculous overnight cures others had gained from using their machines. Well I can assure you that didn’t happen for me (and most sufferers tell me it didn’t happen for them either). It’s wonderful to hear such lovely stories of overnight success, but for most of us we have to persevere until we get the comfortable sleep we deserve! I was determined to get my treatment working for me though, due to the other dangerous health problems associated with untreated sleep apnoea – such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, thyroid problems, alzheimer’s and other links that they are finding out as more research is being done. After I’d been diagnosed I realised that my own mother must have also been a sufferer. Her snoring used to make the house vibrate, but unfortunately she died of a heart attack at the age of 49. If only we’d known………..
In my search to help my struggles with CPAP I discovered lots of comfort accessories available in the US, hence the start of Hope2Sleep. Without some of these products I wouldn’t be as CPAP-compliant as I am today, and as well as feeling healthier than I had in the 20 years before my diagnosis, I now have the energy to run 2 businesses. I’m pleased to say that from hating CPAP it has grown to be my best friend!
The comfort products can be found at www.hope2sleep.co.uk or telephone freephone 0800 002 9711