I was diagnosed with mild/moderate sleep apnea in 2005 for the first time.
I did not have the courage to start using a machine...at the time, I had this horrible 'vibration' in my chest which was quite frightening.
It started suddenly, and lasted for several years.
After running from pillar to post for years (16 different doctors, several cardiologists, several hospitals in two countries) a young locum in the UK said she could hear a loud systolic murmur, and put me on 120 mg of propranalol.
I was under great job and relationship stress at the time and my father died in 2005 suddenly.
I also put my heart under some strain by putting a tourniquet of sorts on my privates for hours at night...sort of exercises.
I believe now that I have had sleep apnea for many years before 2005 but did not know it.
In 2007 the symptoms abated and for that year I took no medication, and was fine. I was living in the UK.
But in 2008 when I went to Singapore to try and marry my long-distance girlfriend, the symptoms started coming back...she refused to leave Singapore...and I took on a very stressful job there, even though it was a very bad fit, hoping she old change her mind.
I stayed on propranalol 40 - 60 mg a day or more until 2011, when again I was able to reduce he dose to 40 mg. I began to feel that the beta blocker might be hurting my heart and slowly weakening (decinditioning) it...so I tried to get off the medication.
Unfortunately, suddenly in 2011 the symptoms came back and very aggressively. I now have a 'fluttering' when I get ANY apnea or possibly hypotonia...and it is very aggressive and frightening.
I saw a new Cardiologist in July 2011 and also got a Holter done in November...but the docs have not detected anything serious, so they give me some pills tell me it's stress and send me away (each time costing me up to $1000).
I finally got a new sleep study done in Augusts 2011 but did not ever want to buy a CPAP. AHI this time was 21 supposedly (portable PAT used at home. $800 for the sleep specialist to print out and interpret the results at the expensive private clinic in Singapore).
I resisted using the CPAP for another five months but the 'rumble' became continuous; and it has become a low level fluttering sensation. It now happens through the day ur dies down.
The mental anguish over my relationship has definitely contributed to central apnea...it doesn't happen as much now but several months ago it was intolerable...and I was forced to take 3 months off work to try and rest (at the girlfriend's home) and to find the cause of my symptoms (I had not bought the CPAP then).
I am currently living in Shanghai China with few friends. While waiting for my gal friend to be willing to marry me and settle down in Canada (she wants to marry me...just not relocate for several years as she enjoys a fabulous career in Singapore).
The stress of living in China, alone, is quite high...never mind the fact that my Mother died of colon cancer about a year ago...my question is, I have tried BIPap on this machine and AUTO BIPAP but I still seem to get a lot of central apnea or hypotenuse or OSA; so I went on CPAP and it does help a gat deal. But even one apnea seems to be affecting my heart now; so how do I eliminate every single major apnea?
I think if I can do this (current setting is 12.5 the doc put me on 10) the flutter will disappear as my heart recovers and shrinks to normal (I have two mild mitral and tricuspid leaks...I am convinced the apneas have made these slightly worse).
But I worry that even using CPAP/BIPAP might do even more damage, because if my condition is primarily central (psychological possibly) then an APAP machine would be more helpful.
But I cannot afford to buy another machine (the fancy Singapore clinic I went to wanted $4000 for the same new machine I bought on Amazon for $1000). Can you please, please assist me with titration?
My Specialist wants $800 probably to reset the machine...what I also want to ask is is it possible we get sleep apnea from weakening leaky heart valves AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND?
If so, valve repair will be the best option (I am 47 smoke 4 to 6 sticks a day and have smoked altogether for about 4 years...started in my 40s). I do not have hypertension, a history of heart disease or stroke in my family...
I have a stethoscope...I can vouch that when I have a bad apnea even with the CPAP, I have a third heart sound, or my heartbeat sounds quite forceful, abnormal (but regular) and possibly with an S3. But after about 10 to 20 minutes, my heart sounds perfectly normal (but I can still have the 'flutter' which I can't really hear with the stethoscope).
I desperately want to cure the 'flutter' but I do not know if, by staying with the gal friend in Singapore, it might never resolve due to he stress of living with someone who is at cross purposes with you...
I can't really conceive od breaking off with my fiancée, because I have put ten years into our relationship, and I love her very much...and I cannot return to Canada alone, having failed to win my wife...so how to cure this flutter?
By he way, my regular GP in the UK refused to treat me unless I agreed my problem (wild and awful chest vibration) was mainly psychological. I was quite offended but I agreed there is a psychological component...
So he prescribed Sertaline (SSRI) which, in retrospect, I now feel may have contributed to curing me...perhaps I should get back on I as I may be significantly clinically depressed ( my younger brother and father suffered from depression...my brother is on an antipsychotic...my father also suffered from hypo or hyperthyroid)...
But in my case, apart from the diagnosis of slep apnea, I have never been treated in a hospital except for anxiety as an outpatient (over 'heart issues').
I cannot imagine going on like this, feeling the flutter all day, and not knowing if it is damaging my heart but also knowing that the docs won't do a thing for me, unless I become very sick (symptomatic)....
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