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Thomas’s Story


Thomas’s Story

Thomas shares his OSA story

Thomas was first diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea in 1993. Here is his story; he explains how his diagnosis came about, the pressures OSA had put on him and his family, and how using CPAP has changed his life. He also shares advice for those who may have OSA, and those who are having difficulties using CPAP.

“I was first diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea following a car accident in 1993. I received a severe concussion along with many other injuries. To this time, I have no memory of anything that occurred on that day.

“Following the accident I had great difficulty sleeping. A neurologist determined that there was no brain damage; and she recommended a sleep study. The study subsequently diagnosed OSA. It is unlikely that the accident was a cause of the OSA; I probably had it before the accident

“OSA was causing major problems for me and my family”

“The doctors believe that I had subconsciously developed “coping techniques” that enabled me to minimize the effects of the probably existing OSA. The accident probably interfering with my ability to cope.

“My OSA was causing major problems for both myself and my family; I was bothered by sleep deprivation. I became nervous and agitated. I was tired all the time. This did not make the healing of the physical problems from my accident any easier.

“My family was patient and understanding; but my behaviour caused them stress that I will always regret. However, within two weeks of the start of CPAP therapy, the quality of my sleep improved. The symptoms of sleep diminished and I probably caused less stress to my family.

“Using CPAP is a challenge that needs patience and motivation. The CPAP mask is a challenge. It is hot and sweaty in the summer, condensation in cold weather in the hose to the mask can result in water forming in the mask. However, there are solutions to these problems. You just need to be patient and work at getting things right for you.

“The noise from the CPAP machine is minimal, but can add to the disturbances tossing and turning can cause a sleeping partner. In actuality, the drone from CPAP machine and hose is mellow and is perceived by my patient wife and me as “White Noise”.

“Others have commented that the noise is far less disturbing than that of thunderous snoring that often goes hand in hand with OSA, although fortunately for my wife I was not a particularly loud snorer.

CPAP machines are the most effective and popular option for those with OSA

“My life is much better for having persevered”
“I mentioned patience and motivation – these are required both by patients, but also their sleeping partners. The physical distress of broken ribs, hands and feet, shoulder and compressed vertebrae were tolerable. My experience with OSA was much more difficult.

“I had to make CPAP therapy work. My sleep therapist was very supportive and my wife was a saint. However, that patience has certainly paid off, and 17 years later my life is far better for having persevered.

“If you think you may have OSA, I recommend using the Internet to learn more about sleep problems. Become familiar with the issue of sleep issues. Talk your problem over with your primary care physician. If they advise you to have a sleep study, then you should certainly do one.

“Follow their advice and be prepared to work at a solution. You can’t take a pill and solve the problem. You will need self discipline, the will to succeed and a supportive family. The effort is certainly worth it.

“I came across Intus Healthcare because I was having trouble getting a replacement mask from my hospital. They had an excellent range of masks, much larger than the “choice” I had from the hospital, and were excellent in advising me of the benefits and drawbacks of each one. The mask I have now is a big improvement and I am hugely grateful for their help and the service they provide. If you’re unsure about what equipment is best for you then I would certainly advise speaking to them for some guidance.

“I am no longer tired all the time, nervous or irritable, and I no longer put unfair stress on my loving and supportive family. If you think you have OSA; do not ignore it. CPAP can significantly change your life for better, as it has mine”.

Does this sound like you? If so you too can enjoy the life-changing therapy that Thomas has. If you have OSA it can have a big impact on your life – and the lives of your loved ones. Taking a sleep study is the first stop towards getting OSA confirmed and treated. Your first step is choosing which sleep study is right for you – have a look at our simple guide here now!


About author: Helen Clarkson is a Sleep Specialist at Baywater Healthcare. Ms. Clarkson has worked with Baywater since 2008, working closely with patients in delivering sleep/bi-level services including sleep and respiratory, both in the home and clinic setting. This includes therapy initiation and troubleshooting support. Ms. Clarkson is responsible for delivering the Baywater Healthcare patient adherence management programme to ensure continuing patient therapy compliance. works in conjunction with NHS clinicians and procurement to deliver excellence in home and clinic-based services. She provides training on all aspects of sleep including devices and interfaces. Previously, Ms. Clarkson served as Respiratory Physiologist at Pontefract General Infirmary. Her position was Senior MTO for lung function/sleep department, and she was responsible for performing simple and complex sleep studies, sleep study analysis, CPAP initiation, therapy adherence and troubleshooting/service clinics, spirometry, lung volumes and transfer factor, reversibility, CPET, hyperventilation testing, EIA testing, skin prick testing, 6 min walk tests. She has also held roles as Respiratory Physiologist and Respiratory Technician, working closely with patients with respiratory disorders -- including ex-miners. Ms. Clarkson has a BSc (Honors) in Applied biology from University of Staffordshire. She also studied Developments in Sleep Medicine (advanced course) at St. Thomas’ Hospital, and took the Edinburgh Sleep Medicine course. She completed the BSS: Advanced sleep course and the ARTP NIV Course.

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