Uhoh, it's CPAP time.

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by JOhnH, Nov 12, 2017 at 1:16 PM.

  1. JOhnH

    JOhnH Final Approach

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    I averaged 30 episodes an hour during the sleep test. I went in last week for a fitting and it was awful. Worse than the original sleep test. I can't sleep with all those wires attached, and the mask was even worse. And just the thought of having to wear this big harness over my head with a face mask and an air tube connecting me to a machine almost gave me a panic attack.

    Does it get better?

    Is pillow talk dead for the rest of my life? I couldn't talk with that stupid thing blowing air down my nose and throat.

    A "sales person" is coming out sometime in the next few weeks to fit me for a mask and select a machine. I am not sure how much leeway my insurance company gives me, but if they only authorize a crappy machine, can I pay for a better one? What should I look for in a cpap machine.

    I have a lot of dry-mouth. I wake up several times a night and have to take a sip of water. Will the water tank/humidifier fix this? My only medication is a blood pressure pill that is not supposed to cause dry mouth.
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Search back amongst the posts that @Matthew and I have made about machine and mask selection. Don’t let them force you into something you don’t want.

    Whichever machine you settle on, make sure it has long term data recording (at least a year) and preferably to an SD memory card. Then you can use Sleepyhead to get the compliance reports the FAA wants to see.
     
  3. deonb

    deonb Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    It absolutely gets better to the point that you won’t want to sleep without it.

    I used to be the lightest and pickiest sleeper I’ve ever met and I thought I would NEVER be able to sleep with a mask. It took me about a week to get used to the mask and I’ve never slept without it since - 8 years. I can now also sleep in a car and airplane (with 110v) where I could never do that before. (I just throw a jacket over my head so people don’t stare.)

    I sleep with a full face mask so yeah you need to do your pillow talk before putting on the mask. I tried a nose mask but prefer the full face. But to each his own.

    Yes the humidifier will fix dry mouth.

    I know it’s daunting but it really does get better.
     
  4. EppyGA

    EppyGA Final Approach

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    Are you overweight?
     
  5. JOhnH

    JOhnH Final Approach

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    Yes. I am down from 260 to 223. At one point a few months ago I was down to 215, then back up to 230 and now back down to my current 223. My current goal is 199 withing a year and a half, or maybe two. I find the 2#/week recommendation causes too much fluctuation because I have a hard time maintaining that discipline. But one or two pounds a month seems to be sustainable. It allows me to cheat once in a while (and observe the effects of said cheating). I had a full size chocolate bar yesterday and gained 6 pounds overnight. I don't suppose the steak, potatoes and Scotch helped any there either.

    But back to the point I meant to address in response to your question, even when I went from 260 to 215, I still couldn't sleep any better. I felt better over all and was able to exercise longer and harder, but sleep has been a 30 year torture for me. That is why I finally submitted to the sleep test. I dreaded that even more than I did the colonoscopy.
     
  6. Old97

    Old97 Pre-Flight

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    Same for me. Give it a shot.
     
  7. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    RE: Panic attack - you very well might wake up in the middle of the night, tearing the mask off and fighting a feeling of suffocation. Many people will get that at the beginning. It happened to me, maybe 2-3 times. Your body has to adjust to getting pressurized air forced into it.

    RE: masks and machines - Don't be shy about telling whoever is fitting you when a mask doesn't work. Everyone has different facial shapes and a mask that works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Try several if you have to. It took me 3(?) until I found one that works. The DME is a full service place that will exchange, within reason, until you get a good fit. After that, you can mail-order replacements from whatever online store has them on sale. Machines are a different story, you can buy your own as long as it meets whatever your needs are. When your insurance company pushes one on you through a durable medical equipment supplier (DME), the cost will be marked up. Sometimes it's double what you can get on your own. You will be paying for some personal service, setups, and adjustments, but you can do all those settings yourself once you download the service manual.

    My suggestion: get the mask from the DME so you can make sure it fits, then order replacements online as needed. Once you know what kind of machine you need, you can purchase it online and turn it in towards your deductible. As far as the "first" machine goes, you might ask about renting it for a month or two until your own comes in. Minimum requirements - an SD card, and a name brand like Resmed or Philips, and get an "autoPAP". Your settings might be a fixed pressure and the "autoPAP" isn't necessary, but if you do require "auto" later, you will have it already. AutoPAPs can be used in fixed pressure mode, but fixed mode machines can't be set to auto adjust. Some of the other brands are hit and miss on proprietary data formats. The Big 2 have data that is easily imported into a s/w utility called Sleepyhead that can be used to generate FAA compliance reports. The others can require you to use a proprietary utility or email the data someplace to have the reports printed.

    edit: getting back to the "renting for a month or two". If you do this, your first 30-60 days of data will be on the first machine. You will need to download the data from that machine before you turn it in. That way, for FAA, you will have a continuous report. It might span two machines and two pages, but it will not have gaps.
     
  8. JOhnH

    JOhnH Final Approach

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    I am actually looking forward to it now. As opposed t the experiences some others have had (in other threads), my first sleep test was from 9pm to 5am. They did not fit a mask at that time. I had to go back to the doctor for an analysis. He recommended a machine and scheduled ANOTHER sleep test, this time with a cpap machine. It took the technician from 9pm to around 4am to get the adjustments right. In the meantime, I woke up several times with the mask blowing air out the seal and feeling like I was being blown up like a balloon. I finally got 40 minutes of solid sleep with no events that last 40 minutes.

    I'm not sure how qualified the tech was, but she sure was cute.
     
  9. EppyGA

    EppyGA Final Approach

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    I had hit 259 and noticed breathing issues creeping in when I was laying down. Down to 228 now and that issue disappeared totally.
     
  10. bobmrg

    bobmrg Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Mine is a ResMed AirSense 10 and I love it...as much as it is possible to love something when you are forced to use it. It has a built-in humidifier. If your mouth gaps open while sleeping (a common reason for dry mouth), though, an elastic chin strap is recommended. A plus is that every morning I can log on to see my score for the previous night: Hours of use, number of apneas per hour, mask fit, etc. and my sleep doc has access to the same information if my results start to exceed limits.

    I can talk to my wife with the mask on because it covers my nose, not my mouth. It is very quiet in operation.

    Bob Gardner
     
  11. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    You don't know that it's going to go well or badly until you have had a good fitting and if you're not too big, maybe the nasal mask can work for you.


    Also, IMO the defaults on the Resmeds don't have a long enough ZPAP ramp for most folks. Hang in there.
     
  12. deonb

    deonb Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    And the fitting isn’t obvious. I have a big head and have never been able to wear an off the shelve hat, helmet or most headphones. But my CPAP mask is a ‘medium’. Go figure.

    I really disliked the RAMP and turned it off - if you want to go to sleep while your heartrate is still high, it doesn’t give you enough air and you have to suck the air in to get more. So both a too low and too high ramp can be uncomfortable.
     
  13. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pre-Flight

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    My best friend is a CPAP user, so I take notice of articles I see on sleep apnea and CPAP. Yesterday I noticed a small ad in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle placed by the University of California San Francisco recruiting for an FDA clinical trial for an outpatient procedure. I have no idea whether this procedure will become FDA approved or approved by the FAA, but it sounds interesting.

    http://magnapsleepapnea.net/

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 2:01 PM