In 2014, Margaret was admitted to hospital. She had high levels of CO2 in her blood and very little oxygen. Margaret’s airways and lungs were struggling to support her.
Margaret was given a CPAP machine, which is designed to push air into the lungs through a mask. However, the mask wasn’t working, and her lungs were failing.
When Margaret’s family received a call from the hospital, they were told to prepare for the worst. Margaret was given last rites as she lay in a hospital bed. Then, with a new diagnosis from a visiting doctor – sleep apnoea – and a change of mask, Margaret improved enough to leave the hospital.
During sleep apnoea, the throat constricts involuntarily, which can stop air from getting into the lungs. This can result in lack of oxygen, disturbed sleep, and high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Sleep apnoea is a life-threatening illness that can remain undiagnosed.
After she was discharged from hospital, Margaret made an appointment with a sleep specialist. A sleep apnoea test at Pindara Hospital revealed that Margaret experienced restricted breathing 48 times per hour.
With help from GenesisCare, Margaret went onto treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea, a treatment known as CPAP. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure which delivers a steady stream of pressured air via a mask to keep the airway open and functioning.
With regular use of her CPAP machine, Margaret’s life changed. Her energy levels improved dramatically, she napped less, and she no longer felt tired all the time. The CPAP machine was easy to setup and use, and became part of Margaret’s routine. Importantly, the machine saved her life.
Margaret says the team at GenesisCare “have been so encouraging and supportive. They were always excited to check my readings because they could see the difference it was making in my life. They shared the journey with me and I appreciated their dedication to making me well.”
Today, Margaret has normal sleep, with only 1 episodes per hour of restricted breathing per night. Her CPAP machine is there to make sure she receives all the air she needs, every night.
“I would encourage anyone who has symptoms of feeling constantly tired lethargic to have a sleep apnoea test,” says Margaret. “I have the gift of seeing my children, grandkids and great grandkids grow up, plus enjoy an active social life with my girlfriends.”