I was a member here (I think--but I don't remember my screen name) way back when, which is what got me started. I really struggled at first with having to use CPAP, I was in my mid 20's, and you guys helped me to see that it's no big deal (it is--but there's a lot of comraderie/support out there).
For background purposes I'm 33, 6'4 and about 250...not a small guy, active, but not gym-fit. My whole genetic line has thick necks, apnea, our nasal passages came from Pugs, I think). I was a former CPAP user for 2 years until 2011 when I gave up trying to find a mask that fit well (air leaks, facial sores, etc) and also for the freedom of not having to strap a "gas mask" to my face in bed (although, for some, that kind of thing is exciting in the bedroom? lol).
So, on Friday, 2 days ago, I called my sleep doc to see about getting back on CPAP. He's booked out until late April (Thanks, Obama -- No, really, I suspect his popularity is up partly due to the increased number of insured patients now seeking treatment for apnea, this is a VERY good thing). It had been too long since my last visit so he was unwilling to re-up my CPAP prescription over the phone. Understandable.
So, I pulled my old machine out of the closet (Respironics REMstar Pro M, circa 2008). I called a local DME and took an absolute chance on a mask after reading a few reviews-- the Resmed Quattro Fx. Cost me ~$160 out of pocket, ouch, but didn't have a prescription, so I bought the mask frame and head gear separately to side-step that requirement. I'll see if my insurance will reimburse me for the mask later.
Got home, cleaned everything up (still works!), test-fit the new mask, and finished out the rest of my day until bedtime. I went down around 10pm after a few yanks and pulls on the headgear to combat a few leaks. 10.0cm pressure is the current pressure on the machine. Didn't notice any air leaks or discomfort (I was out cold).
I was up the next morning at 6am. Best night of sleep in years....I had energy, I felt like my batteries were fully charged. NO marks on my face from the mask. (Seriously...f*** DME's...going my own way and choosing a mask I thought looked cool and might fit well did me better than 2 years fighting with DME's that were only giving me 2-3 different mask choices to choose from).
So...am I missing anything?
Anything I should be careful about? I'm kinda going off the books and doing my own thing until I can be seen.
I've got an appointment on the books for April to see my Doc, but didn't want to struggle another ~2 months.
I'm hoping to keep my old CPAP machine cobbled together until I can get a new prescription. The blower hours are only ~2,000, but the thing is cumbersome and I have a lot of trips I want to take this year, so a smaller form factor would be GREAT.
If I get a new machine, I know it's illegal to SELL my old one. But can I give it away? Are there organizations that take them as donations--that will GIVE them to someone who needs one (prescribed to have one, but maybe can't afford one?).
Not sure if he'll require a new sleep study. But my compliance data is being recorded on a smart card, which I'll give to him, and hopefully that will show good data. I recently did an at-home ApneaLink sleep test with the oral appliance and that's where I got my last AHI reading of 15. That's about the lowest I've been able to get it. Completely untreated I'm around 25, probably more now. On CPAP, my AHI was next to zero, or whatever the doc said--it's a very effective treatment aside from previous compliance issues. That's what caused me to go back to it.