OSA is a chronic illness and CPAP or another form or combination of treatments are pretty much assured in our future.
I don't think with many chronic illnesses there are quick fixes. I spent a lot of years and was on a lot of different medicines for my bipolar disorder before I found the best combination- a knowledgible psychiatrist who knows her pharmacology. Kindey failure is lifelong for most folks, unless there is a translpant in their future, then there are still the anti-rejection medicines. COPD, Diabetes- no one ever finds something (or most folks) that works from the get go and continues to work. The only quick fix treatment modality I know of for OSA is tracheotomy. And I tell you I would do it now if I could swim. Surely there is some water proof way to cover the stoma- maybe something similar to, but smaller than a colostomy bag.. I think for those of us in our 50's we are used to looking at some illness as long term, requiring multiple tratments and/or doctors visits. Maybe the quick fix mentality is more common to the youngsters. I'm certainly not accustomed, though I wouldn't mind them, to quick fixes.
A good question, Mike,
That is indeed a great question!
I do believe there is a cultural mentality of instant gratification nowadays and that it is cross-generational. On the other hand, I also think it is more present in younger generations. Beyond the obvious reasons related to technology, the speed of communication and the pace of life accelerating, I think it's also related to how we were brought up.
Although I am an only child, I am 45 and my parents gave me real boundaries. I didn't get anything I wanted when I wanted it as some kids do today. On the other hand, I am impatient by nature and have always been but I have learned to discipline it.
But the complete answer is much more complex than that IMO.
It's funny you bring this up now Mike as, only today I was speaking with a friend of mine who has been diagnosed with OSA a few months before me. He has abandoned his treatment and even returned his machine. He's 40 and had apnea only slightly less severe than mine (I had 42 events per hour, he had 39). In his case there was an element of him wanting to work quickly but, from what I could gather, the way he was counseled and followed by his doctor and DME is appaling. He got no help with his mask troubles and no help adjusting to his prescribed pressure (which was quite low). He told me he'd had a traumatic episonde as a child with strong winds and choking because of it and he was struggling with that. He is bi-polar as well so he's followed by a psychiatrist but I'm not sure that doctor helped him cope with his CPAP treatment.
So, in that case, I think that beyond the patient's attitude and potential wish for a quick fix, the system itself failed him. That makes me realize even more clearly how extraordinarily lucky I am to have adjusted as easily as I did to my therapy. I'm not feeling 100% better yet (memory and concentration still have ways to go) but, in a way, my PAP therapy *was* a quick fix for me. I love my machine, my first mask worked and I have been 100% compliant wearing my mask every night and all night since I started on February 7. My doctor supported my small pressure changes and wrote me a new prescription with my new numbers (6 to 18) after talking with me and my showing him my detailed EncorePro reports.
But I know one thing though, even if it hadn't worked this well this quickly for me, I would have fought through it because my doc and the people I know that have apnea made very clear to me the severity of my condition and the potential dire consequences. So, quick fix or not, I never felt I had a choice but to stick with this no matter what as I do care greatly about my own health. But I have so much respect and admiration for people like Mary who make all these efforts to stay with it despite great difficulties. Although sleeping with a mask is not my first choice, I really can't complain...
You are very lucky indeed Stephane to have had such immediate positive results with CPAP. Even still, you're here though, seeking to learn more and to educate yourself. What is motivating you to do that?