Ed’s CPAP journey
Patient story – How diagnosis led to a new lease of life and 8 stone weight loss. Ed Jones is 44-years old and is a credit analyst from Cheshire. He was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in February 2015 and also has a heart arrhythmia. Since being diagnosed with OSA, Ed has embarked on a series of charity events raising in excess of £13,500 for charities and losing 8 stone in the process.
Tell us about your symptoms:
I was permanently tired and after getting home from work, I’d have my tea and then fall asleep on the sofa within half an hour or so. I was missing out on that important family time, often ending up in bed before my daughter. The weekends were even worse, and I’d tend to nod off regularly as I was more relaxed.
What led to your diagnosis?
The lack of energy and the fact I was missing out on spending time with my daughter was becoming a problem – my wife was understandably becoming fed up. Discussions with my wife and my father had led to me booking an appointment with the doctor. I had a number of blood tests, but it wasn’t until I saw the 3rd Doctor that she suggested I may have sleep apnoea.
What happened next?
The doctor gave me some information about sleep apnoea and it was obvious at that point that symptoms I was suffering were the very same symptoms described in the information leaflet. As I was certain this was the case and I wanted to get treatment I didn’t want to wait for an NHS appointment so my father paid for me to go to a private sleep specialist. I was given a home sleep testing kit which I had to wear to bed for a night and within a week I received a diagnosis. It showed that I was waking up 38 times an hour, which meant that I was within the ‘severe’ category.
How did you get on to treatment?
Again, I was offered to go through the NHS which would have involved a wait or told that the clinic could provide equipment for me privately. I chose the latter option as I wanted to begin treatment straight away and received a ResMed AirSense 10 and began treatment within a week.
What was the impact of your treatment on your home life?
Within 24/48 hours, the impact was incredible. I had more energy, I was able to spend quality time with my family beyond struggling through work. I very quickly felt that I had got control of my sleep. I also felt reassured that there was someone checking my equipment remotely and making adjustments to my treatment to ensure I was getting the full benefit.
And on your health?
I was very overweight at the time of my diagnosis and had discussed this with my doctor who advised me to focus on getting my sleep apnoea sorted before addressing my weight. Once on treatment and with renewed energy, a personal trainer friend of mine suggested that I start walking regularly. I took this advice and started with just 1-2 miles at the park and quite quickly built it up to 6-7 miles every couple of days. I immediately started to see and feel the benefits of the exercise routine and signed up to do a charity walk from Manchester to Sheffield. I also joined weight-watchers and whilst I didn’t have to make too many adjustments to my diet, the main thing was choosing less processed food which stopped me feeling hungry. In 2016 I did the Yorkshire 100k, a 100km walk which took over 29 hours to complete. In less than two years I had lost 8 stone in weight.
How are you getting on with treatment today?
I remember thinking ‘I’m not sure I can adjust to this’ when I started treatment and that, occasionally, it feels like a bit of a burden. However, when I consider that 2-3 years ago I would struggle to walk up the road compared with what I’m able to do now, it’s a good reminder to help me keep on track with my treatment as I don’t want to go back to where I was!
How have you found dealing with ResMed?
I started to use ResMed for replacement products and I now visit their clinic once a year for an annual review. They have a look at my equipment, review the data from it and we discuss my treatment. It’s such a quality service and pleasant experience and I always come away from ResMed feeling rejuvenated and enthusiastic about my treatment. Earlier this year I invested in their portable device, the AirMini and the new AirTouch F20 mask as this really helps with all the travelling and challenges I’m undertaking.
So what’s next for you?
I’m really enjoying fundraising and being able to give something back. Last year I completed a section of the Great Wall of China and I’m just about to set off to the French Alps to complete a Trek involving 3 countries in 3 days. In November I’ll be taking on the Sahara Desert – and all because of the successful treatment of my Sleep Apnoea.
And finally, what would you say to anyone starting treatment?
Listen to the experts and seek out the best advice, I cannot fault the quality of service and advice that I’ve had from ResMed.
If you’ve been inspired by Ed’s story and would like to sponsor him on his next adventure you can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ed-jones-mount-toubkal where Ed is raising money to help combat Alzheimer’s.