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Brand new (to CPAP and the forum)
#1
Hi, all -

I'm a complete newbie, both to the forum and to CPAP. I've been a lifelong snorer, but in the past year I've started waking up several times a night, gasping for air. Even more scary, sometimes I'd wake up with my heart pounding - and I haven't had a non-drowsy day in a long time.

I'm self-employed and under-insured, so I didn't think I'd be able to get it taken care of, but then my aunt got a new machine and passed her old one on. One mail-order (much cheaper than sleep lab) sleep test later, and I'm stumbling through my first few nights with a hose on my face. Wink

Last night was my second night trying to sleep with the machine - it's been a struggle so far. I have a nasal mask, and wouldn't you know it - the DAY the mask arrived, I developed a minor head cold (just enough to get some lovely nasal congestion). I'm trying to wear the mask for a few hours each night until I get used to it. Falling asleep is the hardest - I can't seem to get past the stage of concentrating on every breath.

I downloaded the SleepyHead software, and pressure change instructions (since my machine was still calibrated for my aunt). I want to get used to the machine before tweaking any settings, but I'm sure I'll have a million questions for you more experienced folks as time goes on.

Thanks so much for this forum - those of us without primary care physicians and/or great insurance need all the help we can get!
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#2
Welcome to the Forum angiessa,
Glad you found us. It is sometimes difficult to get used to CPAP therapy.

When I first started (one year ago), I had a lot of anxiety and little help from doctors.
So I took my CPAP machine and set it up in my living room and for a few hours each night, I would just sit there with my mask on and CPAP on, and either read or watch TV? After about an hour, I realized I didn't even notice it anymore, or maybe my book was too engrossing. :grin:

That seemed to help me get used to breathing with the machine. If you do this, be sure to disconnect the humidifier, and empty the water before moving it.

Eventually, you will be able to go to sleep with it and not even notice it's running after awhile.
Good luck!
OpalRose
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#3
Welcome to the best SA forum Angiessa!!

While you are CPAP'ing with your cold and perservering with the machine, make sure to wash the mask, water tank and all the hoses every day. I have not had a cold (touch wood) since starting CPAP but I am a tiny bit OCD and I wash my mask, water tank, and hoses every day anyway. I feel it's easy enough for bacteria to grow in a warm, damp environment.

Good luck with CPAP and getting rid of that cold!
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

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EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#4
What is the machine currently set at? Is it a straight CPAP? or Auto? (Which model of PR machine have you got???) Your aunt's settings may be totally wrong to try to get used to... Any data that you have gotten from sleepyhead would help others to be more helpful Smile
هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
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#5
Welcome Angie -- What is the exact model machine you're using? There should be a model number on the bottom or side of the blower part of the machine. It might start with DS or REF and be something like 450, 560, or such. This will tell us whether your machine collects treatment data and whether it's a fixed-pressure CPAP machine or an auto-adjusting (APAP) machine. Also let us know the current pressure setting(s) you're trying to fall asleep with. The pressure may be set pretty high, in which case lowering it may help with adjusting. You don't know yet what your pressure requirements are -- what your aunt needed may not be at all what you need, so you might as well start out with a lower pressure that you can more easily get used to. Assuming you have a full data machine you can then use the data to find your ideal pressure setting(s).

If you want you can also post a copy of your sleep study report (white out your name of course) for feedback about the results.

It can help you to sit with the machine on during the day to get used to how it feels. Watch TV or something so you can get desensitized to how it all feels. Just going to bed and trying to fall asleep with a new machine is tough for many people.
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#6
(10-30-2015, 12:03 PM)OpalRose Wrote: When I first started (one year ago), I had a lot of anxiety and little help from doctors.
So I took my CPAP machine and set it up in my living room and for a few hours each night, I would just sit there with my mask on and CPAP on, and either read or watch TV? After about an hour, I realized I didn't even notice it anymore, or maybe my book was too engrossing. :grin:

Great idea! I'll give that a try - thank you. Smile

(10-30-2015, 12:36 PM)cate1898 Wrote: While you are CPAP'ing with your cold and perservering with the machine, make sure to wash the mask, water tank and all the hoses every day. I have not had a cold (touch wood) since starting CPAP but I am a tiny bit OCD and I wash my mask, water tank, and hoses every day anyway. I feel it's easy enough for bacteria to grow in a warm, damp environment.

Right there with you - and thanks for the welcome!

(10-30-2015, 01:53 PM)DariaVader Wrote: What is the machine currently set at? Is it a straight CPAP? or Auto? (Which model of PR machine have you got???) Your aunt's settings may be totally wrong to try to get used to... Any data that you have gotten from sleepyhead would help others to be more helpful Smile

It's currently set at straight CPAP; I put it on pressure setting 8 to start with, since I have moderate to severe apnea and figured I'll have to tweak it upwards from there. It does have an auto setting, though - would that be a better idea until I've got a wide enough time frame for SleepyHead results to be meaningful?

(10-30-2015, 02:02 PM)kaiasgram Wrote: Welcome Angie -- What is the exact model machine you're using? There should be a model number on the bottom or side of the blower part of the machine. It might start with DS or REF and be something like 450, 560, or such. This will tell us whether your machine collects treatment data and whether it's a fixed-pressure CPAP machine or an auto-adjusting (APAP) machine. Also let us know the current pressure setting(s) you're trying to fall asleep with. The pressure may be set pretty high, in which case lowering it may help with adjusting. You don't know yet what your pressure requirements are -- what your aunt needed may not be at all what you need, so you might as well start out with a lower pressure that you can more easily get used to. Assuming you have a full data machine you can then use the data to find your ideal pressure setting(s).

If you want you can also post a copy of your sleep study report (white out your name of course) for feedback about the results.

Does 550P sound right? It's the only number I could find on the machine that sounds similar to what you listed. I know it's data capable (I've already used the SD card with SleepyHead to get an idea of what the software does), and the user manual lists an auto-CPAP mode. As I asked above - do you think it would be a good idea to try it on the auto mode until I've got a better idea of what pressure is working for me?

Thanks again, everyone - for the welcome and the support. Very much appreciated. Smile

Edit: Yep, it's definitely model #550P! Thank you, SleepyHead software. Wink
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#7
(10-30-2015, 02:47 PM)angiessa Wrote: As I asked above - do you think it would be a good idea to try it on the auto mode until I've got a better idea of what pressure is working for me?

Definitely -- This is how Kaiser routinely does titration. They send newly diagnosed patients home with an APAP machine exactly like yours for a week, with the pressure settings wide open (Min 4, Max 20), then they look at the data after that week, see where the pressure went throughout the night, then narrow down the range to what looks like best for that patient. You can do the same thing with your 550 machine and use SleepyHead to do exactly what Kaiser does.

That said, be aware that many people find pressures of 4 and 5 to be uncomfortable and often describe the feeling as "not enough air." See how it feels while you're awake -- if you get the same "not enough air" feeling, then set the Min pressure a little higher. For the next several days, let the APAP do its job and see where it wants to go while you sleep. You can start posting some of your SleepyHead reports here and get feedback.

BTW, the severity of your apnea has nothing to do with the pressure you will need. Severity -- mild, moderate, severe -- is defined by frequency of events. Your required pressure has to do with your anatomy and how much pressure is needed to hold your airway open. A person could have severe apnea but only need a little pressure to successfully treat it, or could have mild apnea but need a much higher pressure.

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#8
(10-30-2015, 11:51 AM)angiessa Wrote: Last night was my second night trying to sleep with the machine - it's been a struggle so far. I have a nasal mask, and wouldn't you know it - the DAY the mask arrived, I developed a minor head cold (just enough to get some lovely nasal congestion). I'm trying to wear the mask for a few hours each night until I get used to it. Falling asleep is the hardest - I can't seem to get past the stage of concentrating on every breath.
Hi angiessa
Since the machine, PR System One and profile shows "CPAP Pressure: 6-11", I assume the machine is an Auto and more likely 50 series machine 550. Remove the water tank from your CPAP machine before turning the machine over or moving it.
[Image: PR-model-1.jpg] [Image: PR-model-2.jpg]

The main thing with nasal mask is to breathe in and breathe out through your nose and keeping mouth closed.
Chinstrap can helps keep mouth closed and minimize mouth leaks
CPAP can sometimes causes congestion, the airflow from the machine is greater than what we've been used to. Heated humidifier can helps, some people might need more moisture than others, matter of trail and error to figure what makes your nose happy. At times, I use saline sinus rinse bottle 1 hour before bed, followed by Nasonex, 1 squirt in each side

Remember, you've been sick for a long time and now starting treatment, your body and mind will need to adapt to not being oxygen and sleep deprived. Patience is the key, Rome isn't built in a day
It take time to get comfortable using CPAP and mask all night every night. Wearing the mask with the machine running during the day or take a nap (whenever possible) may help you acclimatize to it sooner
Good luck


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#9
Awesome, thank you for that clarification. I'll give the auto setting a try for a week. This is a huge help!

Edit: Thank you, zonk! I have a feeling the humidifier isn't set just right - I've only had two nights to tinker with it, so I'm sure it will take some time to find the right spot.
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#10
Hi angiessa,
WELCOME! to the forum.
You are doing the right thing by using your machine and mask before you sleep to help your body get used to this new way of sleeping.
It’s great that your aunt passed that machine on to you so you could start treating your sleep apnea.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and much success to you with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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