This is another entry copied from my personal blog. It was originally written on April 2, 2007.
Tonight will mark two weeks of sleeping with my CPAP machine. I am feeling better but there was no instant transformation. The first week was very frustrating as I adjusted to sleeping with the thing strapped to my head. There were several nights that I threw it to the floor around 3 am and finished the night without it. By last weekend I was getting to where I could sleep through the night with it but I am still not 100% at ease with it.
The first thing I noticed was a decline in my obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Actually I should say that is mostly on the obsessive side. I don't know if the compulsions have eased as much but I was very surprised by this development. I have searched the Internet for a relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and obsessive-compulsive behavior but I can't find any mention of it. There is a lot of info about ties to ADD and Depression but nothing about OCD. So I'm not sure what is going on there.
I felt like my mental facilities were returning to normal after only a few days. Less forgetfulness and I was finding it easier to concentrate. In that regard I feel much better now. My energy was much slower to return. After close to a week I started feel slightly more energetic and it has been improving steadily since then. This weekend was easily the most productive I have had around the house in much more than a year. I wouldn't say I was a ball of fire but I kept busy pretty steady for two days. IT FELT GREAT!!
So, I'm feeling better every day. Much better. And it is getting easier to sleep with my CPAP machine every night. I still feel I have a long way to go to be normal but I can certainly see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yay CPAP!
Now I'm off to bed.
First I would like to state that I am not clinically OCD. When I refer to OCD in this post I am referring to the types of obsessive compulsive-like behaviors that most of us exhibit in our normal lives. (I believe the difference between clinical OCD and run-of-the-mill eccentricity is the ability to stop obsessive thoughts or compulsive behavior vs. the inability to stop them without the help of medication. Correct me if I am wrong). What I had noticed (and blogged about so it was a familiar topic to readers of my blog) was that I had seen a real increase in those types of behaviors the last year or so before I started CPAP treatment. They returned to more normal levels almost immediately after starting in my CPAP. I have searched the web for any mentions of this happening in others and found none. It could be a mere coincidence in my case. I don't know.
Second, I think this is an important topic to enter into the discussion because the rate of improvement is different for all of us. For some the improvement is almost immediate following the start of CPAP treatment. For others it takes longer. As I mentioned in the above post, it took a couple of weeks for me to start noticing any real improvement. This led to frustration. A LOT of frustration because I wanted it to work so badly.
The important thing to take away from this is that even though I was frustrated because by the rate of my recovery I stuck with it. In the end it actually took a few months before I was really feeling good. But, man, was it ever worth it! After those few months I got to where I was feeling normal again. Better than normal. Better than I had felt in many years. It was, and is, a wonderful, wonderful feeling. Something I wish I could impart to everyone who is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. A better life, a really good life, is available with the help of CPAP treatment. Don't just try it, stick with it, work with others if you need, find what works for you and start living life again.
For those of you beginning CPAP treatment and those of you considering CPAP treatment, please use the experienced members here at Sleep Guide to help you through the frustration. We all want nothing more than for you to experience the same life change we have experienced.