Like many others out there, I also had been struggling e few years with shift work and a poor sleep routine derived by high levels of stress and overwork.
Sleeping more than 12 hours per day between shifts became the norm. However, it did not take a lot of time to realize that it was neither healthy nor sustainable for my wellbeing. I decided to take action and I wanted to share with you my story and my conclusions.
I went to a Respiratory Specialist
Firstly, my GP referred me to a respiratory specialist, which is supposed to deal with conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and similar issues. I was initially skeptical, but still went for a couple of times, but after the initial diagnosis, I did not receive any feedback for treatment.
I had a Sleep Study Done
Because of the unfulfilling results with the respiratory specialist, I decided to go along and have a sleep study done. The whole process is highly uncomfortable: you’ll have electrodes placed around your head, face, and collarbones while having to lay on an altar-like hospital bed. On top of that, you have a nasal breathing tube and a thermometer sitting just under your nose.
Anyways, I followed the procedure and received the results in a report showing a bunch of data and relations.
My results, that I received in 2017 showed that I had sleep apnea.
I finally got the answer I was looking for.
But how could I fix my problem? The doctor suggested the CPAP machine. He said, “One night, and you’ll feel like a new woman.” The bad news is I did not feel like a new woman.
The CPAP Machine Ordeal
I tried using the CPAP machine for three months. I made use of the version with heated tubes and humidifier, with the lowest possible setting. As a start, I felt like I was suffocating. Adjusting the settings gradually higher did not help at all. It made everything worse.
By not seeing any positive results and not feeling good, I could not keep going with the machine anymore. Still, I made the effort to keep trying, as this could be my only solution. But after a while of unsuccessful trials, I had to quit. The relationship with my doctor had been wonderful until the moment I went to discuss an alternative treatment.
His reaction was not as good as I expected. He just didn’t accept my request, insisting to keep trying again. But for me, keeping trying, after all the adjustments we applied but feeling disappointed as I felt, was not worth the effort.
That meeting was one of the worst I have ever had with a medical professional. I didn’t feel listened, and my doctor ended the conversation suggesting me to take the CPAP home and see the nurse at the counter to pay for my visit and schedule the next follow up appointment within a month. I left the doctor determined to drop the CPAP machine. I told the nurse I couldn’t keep spending on a treatment that was doing no good for me. She asked me if I was serious. I was so serious that I just left, feeling mortified and disappointed.
Seeking Relief on My Own
After the horrible experience I have with the CPAP machine and the lack of support I received from the staff, I have never returned to the clinic and decided to go out to find relief on my own.
By researching, I found a local doctor specialized with mouth-care who offered exercises and appliances for sleep apnea. I went for a consultation, despite the hesitation, I felt following my previous experience. It took me some time to get an appointment, not only for my hesitation but also because the previous clinic took a long time before releasing my sleep study. I felt luck was not on my side.
But I finally went. I couldn’t be happier with my choice.
The dentist went over everything with me and communication with the doctor was amazing.
Fast forward to today’s time, just yesterday I picked up my mouth guard and had a wonderful oral exercise session which I will be happy to share with you for free, you only have to wait for my next email!
I couldn’t be more pleased with the office and the appliances. I go back to the clinic for weekly exercise and I also got a new sleep study done. I could tell a significant change after only six months. The results speak clearly and by carrying out a home-sleep study every six months, I’ll be able to document my progress either as a success or a failure.
I slept with the mouthguard just last night, I’m telling you I’ve never slept better. The feeling of waking up after a good sleep is a lot different, it makes you wake up a lot more energized. The difference is significant.
I wanted to share my story because with so many people talking about how good they feel with their CPAP machine, I wanted to tell people that it might not work and that there might be another solution. With so many opinions against Throat and Jaw Exercise Training coming from those that have been stuck with CPAP for long, it might be hard for people like me, who are intolerant with the CPAP to try it out.
But don’t stop yourself from trying! Make yourself a favor and get at least a consultation with a specialist. You might have found your solution!
Good sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle and for overall well being. You wake up with a level of energy that you can’t get without sleeping enough or good. It just feels good. You’ll be able to wake up early, fill your days better.
Being able to sleep well is such a release, that it almost makes life more exciting. I’m so grateful for having found such a solution, that I can’t help myself wanting to spread the word around.
Don’t be afraid of experimenting with alternatives to CPAP, you’ll be satisfied!