Bald Health

russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis
Hey, Balders. So last week I did a sleep study and now I have a CPAP machine to help me breathe at night. Apparently, I was having severe breathing problems, which would explain (at least in part) why I am so tired all the damn time. Since having the machine, I wake up feeling pretty dang great and refreshed. So my first question is does anyone else have one of these things and do you have any pointers for newbie CPAP users? One issue I have is that it shifts around all the time. That might be because of my beard. That is a bit of a mute point for me though, because I go six months on six months off with the beard and it's getting shaved off in a few weeks. This whole CPAP thing has sort of dinged my self esteem a little. Weight is possibly a factor as well, I am a large person. The sleep doctor even suggested considering weight reduction surgery. That really bummed me out, but I was kind of glad to hear her say it. for 20 years, I have been telling myself I am going to lose weight and for 20 years I have not done it. So if any anyone has experience here, I'd love some feedback in this thread or inbox. As a reference, I am around 380 pounds and 5 foot 7ish. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor to begin discussing the issue and to get a referral. In the mean time, I have scheduled out my entire life onto my calendar in order to get some routine going. I'm getting back into the food prep game and am planning to get back to the Y as well.  Thanks for listening. Love you guys.
TravisJaimieTTaraC73MurderbeargguenotKela15Michelle

Comments

  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited March 13
    For weight loss I've had great success with keto. See reddit.com/r/keto. There's a big learning curve, but I find giving up bread a lot easier than giving up tasty fats, and I end up eating more whole foods too. (I've lost weight both ways.)
    russkellygguenotCecily
  • tom_gtom_g WV
    edited March 13
    CPAP user - can't do without it.

    If you need help gaining unwanted weight PM me.
    MurderbearrusskellyTaraC73Michelle
  • Hey man. I have diagnosed sleep apnea and a CPAP as well. At least in my experience, it became pretty normal over time and now I generally don't think a ton about it. That said, I get the sort of emotional thing over it. I went through the same thing. Strapping that thing on every night and dealing with the discomfort and the sort of "slap in the face" feeling of it that now you need to sleep with this thing. I remember, I had a co-worker that I used to kind of trade fun little jabs with and she said something like "you sleep with that thing, must be super sexy for your wife." I knew she was just messing with me, but it stuck with me and stung. Plus side though, after it stuck with me for a bit I told my wife about that whole thing sticking with me and she said in total sincerity "I think you wearing that is incredibly sexy. It's the proof of what you will do to help me sleep better and help yourself be healthy."  I will say too, I take it for granted now because I've had it for 7 or 8 years, but I remember the difference in the beginning on how I felt. So much more energy. It's like my sleep was power packed.

    My advice, first is to keep up on the maintenance. Keep the mask clean and the tank clean (and full) and don't use normal water or you'll get these crazy mineral deposits in the tank. I'm not nearly as good as I should be about cleaning the thing and I think it promotes allergy problems. Also, you've got to figure that you're just breathing all of that shit directly in, but it's really easy to slack on because of the day to day, or week to week hassle of it all.

    Are you using the two nostril mask or the one that covers your whole nose? I use the latter, and it works for me, but I've honestly struggled with both and theoretically the nostril kind might be better for you with a mustache. 

    As to the weight thing, I will say that the machine is a good motivator. I made my way off of it once by losing the weight, and I think I'm ready to get another sleep study done to get off of it again. As much as the machine doesn't bother me so much, it is so incredibly nice to not need it anymore. It was hard going back when I gained my weight back after getting off of it the first time. It may have been harder than going on the first time. The proverbial pot of gold is being able to sleep the way you sleep with the machine without it, and it's obtainable. It's a great bit of motivation. It's easier said than done, but I always try (emphasis on "try") to think of it this way. Energy used beating yourself up is totally non-productive. You can apply that same energy that you are using attacking yourself to improve what you're unhappy with. 

    Good luck with it, man. I don't know if I've given you anything useful, but if you have any questions I'm more than happy to talk about any of it. I totally get the self esteem stuff, but the fact is that you've just taken a big step and jumped through hoops in the name of making yourself healthier. It's a hard choice, and a lot of effort. Give yourself credit for that,
    russkellyMichellebizmarkiefader
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Personally I would not do the weight loss surgery, especially anything that's irreversible, as it's very risky and there are lifelong side effects, and other ways of losing weight. 
    russkellyJaimieTZandra
  • russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis
    edited March 13
    @Travis I have the over the nose and mouth mask. I'm a mouthbreather. :D I might put some Top Gun stickers on it or something, I dunno. My wife is also very supportive and proud that I finally did the sleep study. Thanks, man!
    Travis
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    russkelly said:
    Hey, Balders. So last week I did a sleep study and now I have a CPAP machine to help me breathe at night. Apparently, I was having severe breathing problems, which would explain (at least in part) why I am so tired all the damn time. Since having the machine, I wake up feeling pretty dang great and refreshed. So my first question is does anyone else have one of these things and do you have any pointers for newbie CPAP users? One issue I have is that it shifts around all the time. That might be because of my beard. That is a bit of a mute point for me though, because I go six months on six months off with the beard and it's getting shaved off in a few weeks. This whole CPAP thing has sort of dinged my self esteem a little. Weight is possibly a factor as well, I am a large person. The sleep doctor even suggested considering weight reduction surgery. That really bummed me out, but I was kind of glad to hear her say it. for 20 years, I have been telling myself I am going to lose weight and for 20 years I have not done it. So if any anyone has experience here, I'd love some feedback in this thread or inbox. As a reference, I am around 380 pounds and 5 foot 7ish. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor to begin discussing the issue and to get a referral. In the mean time, I have scheduled out my entire life onto my calendar in order to get some routine going. I'm getting back into the food prep game and am planning to get back to the Y as well.  Thanks for listening. Love you guys.
    I had gastric bypass in January of 2015 and have lost 140lbs. Best decision I ever made. The gastric bypass is the oldest weight loss surgery, and the “gold standard” as far as most surgeons figure. It basically cures diabetes (and they don’t really know why - but literally insulin dependent people are cured in a couple of days) it is the most drastic of the weight loss surgeries but it works the best for those who have to lose 125+lbs. I had gerd (gastro-esophageal reflux disease I believe it stands for) and constant heartburn so the sleeve wasn’t an option for me anyway (sleeve worsens heartburn/reflux so if you get heartburn even jut 2-3 times a week you’re not a candidate)

    all studies have shown that if you have 75-100 lbs or more to lose, only 15% of people can lose it and permanently keep it off without surgery. 

    I have to take vitamins daily, watch what I eat (obviously) and make sure I get adequate protein (75-100grams a day) and water (I drink about 2 liters a day now, but in the beginning I was drinking a gallon) I still get frustrated sometimes with not being able to eat very much - when we go out to eat I always have leftovers for one usually two more meals. But in all honesty I am very rarely hungry, I eat only because I have to and don’t really miss food all that much. I drink a lot of protein shakes I found pre made ones with 30g protein because no way can I eat enough food to get all that protein in in a day. I have found my work arounds for sweets - 4 Oreos, 25 jellybeans, 1/2 Cadbury cream egg, 1/3 snickers bar, not all at once, and I don’t get sick (I’m not a huge sweets person even ore surgery - my downfall was salty snacks, but my monthly Aunt Flo visit demands sweets hahahaha)  

    its a huge lifestyle change and shift in thinking but absolutely 150% worth it!! My one regret was waiting to get it done. I started the program and kept putting it off... so it was 3 years from when I first visited the clinic to gather info until I had the surgery. LMK if you have any questions (either here or inbox)!
    russkellyTravisDummyMichelle
  • russkelly said:
    @Travis I have the over the nose and mouth mask. I'm a mouthbreather. :D I might put some Top Gun stickers on it or something, I dunno. My wife is also very supportive and proud that I finally did the sleep study. Thanks, man!
    I didn't know they had one for over the mouth too. Man, I wish I had known that years ago. One of my biggest issues that I've had with it is that I also have really severe sinus problems so sometimes I just can't use the thing because my nose won't let any air through. I may have to look into upgrading to "the Maverick" if I can't get off of the machine.
    russkelly
  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited March 13
    Weight loss I've had luck with keto and with low carb high fat generally (even if I'm not in keto) or something like South Beach which basically does the same thing (controls blood sugar to prevent binging).  I also run a lot though (about 25-30 miles a week), but I think that's not all that helpful for weight loss (although it's hugely important for my overall sense of well being). I wasn't all that overweight anyway though, at my heaviest I was probably about 20-25 pounds heavier than I am now and I now hover between 24 and near-25 BMI.

    I haven't had a sleep study but I'm certain that I should. I am a stomach sleeper in part because of snoring (and in part because of past back problems).  I'm certain I have sleep apnea, and I frequently get about 5 hours of interrupted sleep a night for weeks at a time thanks mostly to children.  I'm constantly exhausted. 

    *edit* As far as the low carb-high fat diet goes (and by diet here I mean "what you eat" and less "a temporary weight-loss regimen"), I get a health screening every year at work for a health discount and my metrics across the board have improved every year (from borderline hypertensive/prediabetic/high cholesterol to pretty much normal across the board (I think technically I was still 1 point in the "pre-diabetic" range on the most recent sugar test but it was much worse in prior years)).  I also have some undiagnosed issues, I think moderate reflux if I eat too much greasy food (like one too many slices of pepperoni pizza) and also if i eat a lot of carbs my throat closes up and I can't swallow anything until it passes.  I can breathe fine when it happens, but I can neither eat nor drink anything, it just gets stuck in my throat.  I should probably get that checked out, but if I eat "normally" it doesn't happen (unfortunately it tends to happen at like family gatherings like Thanksgiving when I pig out).
    JaimieTMichelle
  • russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis
    TaraC73 said:
    I had gastric bypass in January of 2015 and have lost 140lbs. Best decision I ever made. The gastric bypass is the oldest weight loss surgery, and the “gold standard” as far as most surgeons figure. It basically cures diabetes (and they don’t really know why - but literally insulin dependent people are cured in a couple of days) it is the most drastic of the weight loss surgeries but it works the best for those who have to lose 125+lbs. I had gerd (gastro-esophageal reflux disease I believe it stands for) and constant heartburn so the sleeve wasn’t an option for me anyway (sleeve worsens heartburn/reflux so if you get heartburn even jut 2-3 times a week you’re not a candidate)

    all studies have shown that if you have 75-100 lbs or more to lose, only 15% of people can lose it and permanently keep it off without surgery. 

    I have to take vitamins daily, watch what I eat (obviously) and make sure I get adequate protein (75-100grams a day) and water (I drink about 2 liters a day now, but in the beginning I was drinking a gallon) I still get frustrated sometimes with not being able to eat very much - when we go out to eat I always have leftovers for one usually two more meals. But in all honesty I am very rarely hungry, I eat only because I have to and don’t really miss food all that much. I drink a lot of protein shakes I found pre made ones with 30g protein because no way can I eat enough food to get all that protein in in a day. I have found my work arounds for sweets - 4 Oreos, 25 jellybeans, 1/2 Cadbury cream egg, 1/3 snickers bar, not all at once, and I don’t get sick (I’m not a huge sweets person even ore surgery - my downfall was salty snacks, but my monthly Aunt Flo visit demands sweets hahahaha)  

    its a huge lifestyle change and shift in thinking but absolutely 150% worth it!! My one regret was waiting to get it done. I started the program and kept putting it off... so it was 3 years from when I first visited the clinic to gather info until I had the surgery. LMK if you have any questions (either here or inbox)!
    Cool. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, I just can't beat it. I have had marginal weight loss success, but nothing permanent. I look at friends that have lost considerable weight  without surgery and almost everyone is back to square one. I know some people that have done the surgery and they are still as healthy as ever. So, it's definitely time to at least talk about it with my doctor.
    TaraC73Michelle
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    @russkelly absolutely have the talk. My doctor brought it up randomly at my physical one year and that got my wheels spinning. See what s/he has to say. I am sure they’ll be supportive!! 
    russkellyMichelle
  • FernNYC17FernNYC17 New York, NY
    CPAP user for a year now. (Full mask, i'm a mouth breather) only things i can pass along. 

    Try not to skip using it.

    Have bottle water next to your bed. i had times where air leaked through and dried up my mouth.

    Set the "warm up" time as long as you think you need and even extra before the pressure really kicks in. nothing worse then you trying to sleep and you about to and the pressure kicks in and screws everything up. 

    don't forget to change the tubes and mask as often as you can. they get dirty pretty quickly if you consistently use it everyday from my experience

    Finally (for pet owners like myself) always put it away in the morning. i sometime get lazy and just toss the mask and tube on the bed as i'm rushing to work and they make the perfect toy for my dog as i come home to my tube in shreds and mask all chewed up. 
    TravisrusskellyMichelle
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    I am down 20lbs from doing nothing but light walking and counting calories. 

    Forget all the fad diets, (paleo, keto, south beach, etc.)

    The only thing that matters for pure weight loss is calories in, calories out, and to have a net deficit. 

    The only way to reliably do this is log everything that goes into your mouth, and stick to your calorie goal. 

    If you're extremely sedentary like myself (i.e. 30 something, desk job, no physical hobbies) you really only need to be eating around 1200-1500 calories a day depending on your height. 

    By religiously sticking to your goal calories you will naturally start to eat better as you realize unhealthy foods like cheese, ice creme, most nut mixes, granola, cereal etc are not worth the calories.  

    At the end of the day it is all about will power and realize most of the time we are not actually hungry when we snack.  We are either bored or thirsty.  

    TLDR slam water and count your calories to lose weight.  



    Michelle
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited March 14
    @Luke - A lot of good principles, and I don't want to start an argument, but while calories are what ultimately affect weight loss, there's much more that plays into hunger.

    High fat eating is extremely filling and low calorie. :)

    I do think people who are new to dieting should go the "high sugar" standard route though. I lost 30 pounds eating Skittles every day, haha. There's less education necessary for low fat diets. I've just seen some people lose their way due to hunger. 
    Cecily
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    I mean if you’re worried about giving in to hunger craving just eat more protein. 
    Michelle
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited March 14
    Alkaid13 said:
    I mean if you’re worried about giving in to hunger craving just eat more protein. 

    Sure, I'm just saying there's another way if/when that gets old, and it did for me. Flavor became important, hence frequent "low fat" Skittle binges. But men do lose weight a lot more easily. 
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    I will say that in the past I lost 85lbs by strictly counting calories. It works. But to lose a large amount of weight and successfully keep it off forever is extremely difficult and only a small portion of people can do it.
    Michelle
  • Russ, I know using a cpap isn't very sexy but getting good sleep and feeling good in the AM isn't a great trade off. Plus don't discount the benefits that the cpap can have on your heart. Once you shave the mask should fit better and have less leak. Like another poster said make sure to replace tubing and masks as they wear out and can cause comfort issues. Another key factor in comfort and compliance  is making your water reservoir is filled. Lastly don't ever think that you are married to one mask, there're literally hundreds of masks on the market and your home health company can help you find a better mask if youre not getting along with what you currently have. 

    TaraC73russkellyTravisMichelle
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    If willpower were a thing there’d be no fat people. 
    TaraC73Michelle
  • I've lost weight counting calories but it was laborious having to track them and I was hungry a lot.  I don't have that problem with high fat low carb.  Not a fad, just what I eat most of the time, and it just becomes habit after a while. I don't crave bread or spaghetti or anything. 
    JaimieTTaraC73russkellyMichelle
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Dee said:
    If willpower were a thing there’d be no fat people. 
    Huh
    JaimieTCecily
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Dee said:
    If willpower were a thing there’d be no fat people. 
    Huh

    Sugar's a hell of a drug.
    TaraC73Michelle
  • voodoorat said:
    I've lost weight counting calories but it was laborious having to track them and I was hungry a lot.  I don't have that problem with high fat low carb.  Not a fad, just what I eat most of the time, and it just becomes habit after a while. I don't crave bread or spaghetti or anything. 
    I did the no sugar/low carbs thing and had great success.
    I didn't really miss sugar or breadThe only thing I missed was potatoes.  I wanted a big plate of home fries like nobody's business!
    JaimieTMichelle
  • podcartfanpodcartfan Cincinnati
    I'm also an advocate for the keto diet.  Calories matter and keto helps with appetite and cravings tremendously.  I was easily able to keep a 500 calorie deficit with minimal to no hunger.  I hit my goal weight this AM (-40 lbs) and plan on staying keto to maintain.  Carbs and sugar are too addicting for me to eat regularly.  Keto has some other benefits including reduced body inflammation and improved cognitive function. 
    JaimieT
  • edited March 15
    I'm not an advocate of keto, but there are things you can learn from it. Obviously carbs are a huge source of calories, and should be treated as such. However, as someone with high cholesterol, I wasn't able to go full keto. 

    This is the thing about diets. "Diet" is a misnomer. "Diet" implies a temporary thing. What an overweight or unhealthy person really needs is a lifestyle change that includes watching what you eat & being more active. I was never a calorie tracking person. Micromanaging & recording everything I ate in an app was too much work for me to sustain on a regular basis.

    In my case, I needed to lose weight & lower my cholesterol. I did this by cutting out red meat from my diet. I miss my hamburgers and my bacon and my pepperoni, but my cholesterol and weight has plummeted. I plan to move to pescatarianism, then vegetarianism, and eventually veganism.

    Also, find exercise that you enjoy doing. I can't stand doing cardio in the gym, and running hurts my knees, but I love riding bikes. Just find something that you can see yourself doing for years without hating it.

    Long story short, it's a lifestyle change. Don't go looking for some fad, miracle diet to solve all your problems. At the end of the day, you're going to have to stick with it for the rest of your life, so try and find something that is sustainable for decades.
    DeerusskellyTaraC73voodooratReni
  • Luke said:
    I am down 20lbs from doing nothing but light walking and counting calories. 

    Forget all the fad diets, (paleo, keto, south beach, etc.)

    The only thing that matters for pure weight loss is calories in, calories out, and to have a net deficit. 

    The only way to reliably do this is log everything that goes into your mouth, and stick to your calorie goal. 

    If you're extremely sedentary like myself (i.e. 30 something, desk job, no physical hobbies) you really only need to be eating around 1200-1500 calories a day depending on your height. 

    By religiously sticking to your goal calories you will naturally start to eat better as you realize unhealthy foods like cheese, ice creme, most nut mixes, granola, cereal etc are not worth the calories.  

    At the end of the day it is all about will power and realize most of the time we are not actually hungry when we snack.  We are either bored or thirsty.  

    TLDR slam water and count your calories to lose weight.  



    I couldn't agree with this more!  Both my husband and I lost a TON of weight a few years ago, and it really just came down to counting calories.  As he put it, "eat less, move more".  Regardless of how you balance your protein/fat/carbs, the most important thing is finding a comfortable level of calorie deficit that you can stick to!
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited March 15
    Like @TaraC73, I have also had gastric bypass surgery.  Mine was in April of 2017.  It's undoubtedly one of the best things, if not THE best thing, I have ever done for myself.  My mother's side of the family has issues with weight, diabetes, and heart disease.  All of my genetics trend toward my mother's side (including looking exactly like her), and I was quickly following in her footsteps.  Not only did I want to lose the weight, but I also didn't want to have the heart problems (she had a quad bypass when she was 45) and the diabetes and related issues (she has had foot problems, nerve issues, and has lost toes as a result).  That's all really scary to me.  I did a lot of research prior to consulting with the surgeon who I decided to go with, and was very well informed of not only the benefits but the risk as well.  @akritenbrink, there are definitely risks but they're not as big or scary as people make them out to be.  The risks of complication or death are less than 1%.  The key is to ensure that you do the things you're supposed to do - take your vitamins, ensure that you are taking in all of your protein, stay low-fat and low-carb, avoid foods that stretch your 'stoma' (the new opening created at the bottom of your 'pouch" (reduced stomach area) where it connects to the intestines), etc.  There are people who are so addicted to food and/or believe that the surgery is a miracle cure, so they can just go back to eating the way they used to - those are the people who gain it all back and face even riskier complications.

    FWIW there are actually three different types of weight loss surgery to choose from:  lap band, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve.  Lap band is self-explanatory.  Gastric bypass creates a small 'pouch' out of your original stomach (the rest of it is separated off by staples), and your intestines are re-routed.  You essentially have a brand new digestive tract.  This surgery is reversible.  Gastric sleeve is where they permanently remove a portion of your stomach, and is not reversible.   All three surgeries are super beneficial in many ways.

    @russkelly, whether or not you opt for surgery, it has to be the right decision for you personally.  Don't let others talk you into it or make you feel like it's something you have to do.  There are other ways to lose the weight - sensible eating and exercise are key.  I'm not a fan of fad diets, because you always gain the weight right back once you go off of it.  And some people just aren't successful no matter what they do to lose weight, so surgery ends up being the best option.  You just have to do what is right for you.

    @TaraC73 - team RNY!  :)
    TaraC73russkelly
  • edited March 15
    I've never had any problems with weight so take what I say with a grain of salt. If surgery seems like a good option to you (do all your homework) don't let other people's opinions sway you. The only people whose opinion matter are those who had a similar surgery and their experience. My point is some times in life we care too much about how others will judge us, don't. You gotta do whats best for you and damn what other people think. Technology is there for a reason and if it makes sense for you then utilize it. 

    Best of luck with your health! 
    russkelly
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Yeah you should definitely explore the risks with your doctor. I think the surgeries are less risky than they used to be. As Michelle mentioned you have to commit to a lifelong lifestyle change that if it's not followed can lead to serious complications. That's why I feel like it would be too risky for me. But I also am "lucky" that I don't have any health issues related to weight.
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    Michelle said:
     

    @TaraC73 - team RNY!  :)
    *high five!!*
    Michelle
  • I had a CPAP machine for several years (nostril + mouth variety). It was very helpful for me. Then I had a late in life tonsillectomy + nasal valve procedure that solved most of my problems. Since then, it comes back when:
    • I tip over a very specific weight (yup, great motivator to lose weight). 
    • If I take a muscle relaxer 
    • Drink alcohol
    What's important: Keep using the machine. It literally can put years back on your life. And, if you lose the right amount of weight, you can stop using the machine. This means it's not necessarily a "for the rest of your life" thing.
    russkelly
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