February 22, 2015

Still Learning about Sleep Apnea

I thought I had learned a lot about sleep apnea, but the lessons keep coming. I am now on my third CPAP machine and I am happy that I still ask questions. It seems that sometimes I ask too many questions as I am still searching for the right combination of machine, mask, and supplies to give me a great night's sleep. A question I asked recently has resulted in more problems as I believe an incorrect adjustment was made instead of the one I asked for.

I have had to change from a nasal mask to a full-face mask because of problems of breathing through my mouth. This will require some getting used to for me. Another problem that will require adapting is from a machine with an easy fill humidifier to one that cannot be filled beyond a certain level. Overfill slightly and then the air hose from the machine to the mask needs to be removed and the water drained out of the air hose. Then, while the machine is off, the humidifier needs to be drained to the right level. Fun, fun, and more fun for me.

I am happy that this CPAP machine runs more quietly than the previous machines, but I do miss the large capacity water container of my first CPAP for humidity. The last two have had small containers that only last for a day.

I have received questions from other readers and friends that wonder how I can tolerate wearing a mask of any type and sleep. I can only say that with the rest I am receiving by wearing the mask and using my CPAP, I would not want to sleep without it. I can remember how tired and sleepy I was before the CPAP machine that as long as I need it, I will use it.

A friend of Allen and me, who also has diabetes, refuses to wear a mask because he is so claustrophobic. He has even refused to use an oral device. He will not shut the bathroom door when he is using it and refuses to have a curtain for his shower. To play a joke on him one day, as he was getting his coat out of the closet, Allen pushed him in and shut the door. Allen will not do that again as he now has removed the door and refuses to put it back. Other closet doors are now missing in his home. Allen recently said he had been shown the results of the last sleep study by our friend and the apneas were almost normal. Our friend is happy about this as he has lost weight and had also refused surgery and another treatment.

While my CPAP machine is a true BiPAP or as others call it, an AutoPAP, I do like it as it is set with two settings, one for the lowest pressure, and one for the highest pressure. Then the machine self adjusts as I sleep to keep me breathing and not having apneas. I used a different source for my machine than previously because I felt I was not obtaining reliable service or even caring service. The number of problems just kept multiplying.

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