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[CPAP] New to cpap - what do I need to know?
#1
Surprised 
So after fighting for 5 months and going through 6 doctors, I finally got a sleep study and was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. It's mild - AHI was 6, but my RDI was 15 (which no one seems to care about). Is the RDI not important or why do doctors not consider it important?

I'm getting my new cpap tomorrow. My insurance will only pay to rent it (is that normal?) and the dme supplier seems to have picked one out for me. They said I'll be getting the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset. Sounds great, but I have no clue if it is. What kind of mask goes with this? Do I get a choice of nasal or full face? If I'm claustrophobic, which of these would be better? I've seen lots of people online say that the full face mask isn't that bad, but what are all your experiences?

Once I get this contraption home, what do I do with it? They said they will go over it with me tomorrow, but I'm trying to be prepared. How do I look at the data and use it to help me overcome my crippling fatigue? What sort of issues am I likely to face that I will need to know what to do about?

Should I get a separate oximeter or is that not really necessary since I only have mild sleep apnea?

Any other helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. I feel as overwhelmed as I did when I found out I had Diabetes in 2002.
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#2
Hi kdmorris410,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I know this is a lot to digest but hang in there, you'll get it.
The AirSense 10 AutoSet is a good machine. It is fully data-capable so you can look at your data on the machine and in more depth with data-management software. This machine will also give you the benefit of setting pressure ranges.
I use a nasal pillows mask made by Resmed called the AirFit P10. Masks are such an individual thing, so, if one doesn't work, don't be shy about asking to try as many as you have to 'til you find the right one for you.
Hang in there for more answers to your questions and much success to you as you start your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#3
I would suggest "AirSene 10 Autoset for Her", easy to spot this machine form the grey color, all the others in the series are charcoal color

The reason being the machine report RERAs, RERAs are included in RDI and not in AHI
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#4
Hi kdmorris410
I too had to wait months for a sleep study.
As I understand it, if the AHI is 5 or below, then they don't consider you to have sleep apnea.
I am not that experienced and can't comment on the RDI.
It sounds as if you are getting a good machine, which a lot of times the DME's will try go give you an older model. Make sure is it an Auto CPAP, and ask for a heated hose. It is harder to get what you want after the fact.
The mask is your choice! The DME hopefully will give you a couple choices. What did you use in your sleep study? In my case, they tried full face, nasal, and nasal pillows on me.
Being claustrophobic, I have only been able to use the nasal pillow mask. Ask for a 30 trial on the mask.
You need to know at what pressure you were titrated at? The DME will probably set it according to that or what your Doc put on your prescription.
Once you get it home, try it out while sitting and watching TV for an hour or so to get used to how it feels. You can always come back here for help.
Good luck to you!
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#5
(02-04-2015, 03:55 PM)kdmorris410 Wrote: So after fighting for 5 months and going through 6 doctors, I finally got a sleep study and was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. It's mild - AHI was 6, but my RDI was 15 (which no one seems to care about). Is the RDI not important or why do doctors not consider it important?

I'm getting my new cpap tomorrow. My insurance will only pay to rent it (is that normal?) and the dme supplier seems to have picked one out for me. They said I'll be getting the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset. Sounds great, but I have no clue if it is. What kind of mask goes with this? Do I get a choice of nasal or full face? If I'm claustrophobic, which of these would be better? I've seen lots of people online say that the full face mask isn't that bad, but what are all your experiences?

Once I get this contraption home, what do I do with it? They said they will go over it with me tomorrow, but I'm trying to be prepared. How do I look at the data and use it to help me overcome my crippling fatigue? What sort of issues am I likely to face that I will need to know what to do about?

Should I get a separate oximeter or is that not really necessary since I only have mild sleep apnea?

Any other helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. I feel as overwhelmed as I did when I found out I had Diabetes in 2002.

What kind of mask did you use on your sleep study?, did that one bother you?, Can you breath through nose only?, your DME should be able to help you find a mask that you can start with, sometimes it may take a couple before you find one that works to your liking.
Cpap is like jumping in a pool, it's a shock at first then you slowly learn to swim, take things a step at a time.
The best tip I can give you is this board. This is the most helpful tool you will have, there are a lot of helpful people here, sometimes you don't even have to ask a question just follow other's on the site and you'll find all the information you'll need to help you progress.
Welcome to this forum!

Mr. Van Winkle
Sleep-well
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#6
It looks like you should refuse the model they suggest, and go for the one that reports the RERA, otherwise how do you know it is helping to battle the high RDI? Demand the Airsense 10 Autoset for Her.

QAL

see product comparison at
http://www.resmed.com/us/en/consumer/pro...r-her.html
Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#7
Thanks for all the responses. Do you think they plan on giving me the one "for her" because I'm female (I guess that would have been a good question to ask them when I asked what kind I was getting, but I didn't know it was important :/) ? If not, do I just request that one instead of the other "for him"?

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#8
KD,
No, you cannot assume they will offer you the for her model. My DME said they didn't have the "for her" model (though I wonder now) You should tell them you want the for HER model and could they order it in for you?

Rental question- Many insurances seem to have the client rent for x months and after which they either automatically will own it, or they'll have a buyout option. Ask this at your DME appt.

If you are able to breathe through your nose, and not a dedicated mouth breather, it is generally easier to control leaks and fits, with less surface area to get sealed, ie a Nasal Pillows mask, such as the popular p10, or a nasal mask that goes around your nose. If you are claustrophobic, they tend to go with nasal pillows. Even if you open your mouth sometimes, many folk prefer a nasal pillows mask combined with a chin strap, vs a full face mask, as the latter can be harder to get sealed just so. ALL of the masks take some getting used to and figuring out if they leak on you, how so, etc. Your data and this board and your DME and your Doc can help you with that figuring. You may hit perfection out of the gate, but most of us have to dive in somewhere with the best guess for us mask wise, and then live with it a few days to a week, to know what's what.

A good DME will ask the right questions to get your mask fit right for you. Ask what the return/exhange policy is with the DME/your insurance. Mine, I was able to swap once in the first 30 days. As a result, you really want to make sure you try each suggested mask in the DME's office, hooked up to a machine like yours, so you can feel it, and they can check for leaks. My DME did this, sadly some I've heard of on the board, sound lazy. Have a happy positive attitude with them and likely they will be helpful back. Nicely ask if they dont' suggest it, "I'd really like to try this model on in the office, and have it attached to a Resmed machine similar to mine if not exactly mine, and have you help me fit the mask on and be sure I know what to do myself, thank you, insert smile here"

Hope the best from your DME, they are often the most helpful you will ever see them, before you have signed for a machine! This is your time to get what you need. If I knew then what I knew now(that the for her model is not just a different color and the word "for her" but checks for RERA's, I'd probably say give me a loaner while you get in the FOR HER model and put that in writing that you are ordering it for me.

You will do fine I'm sure, you are proactive and seeking to be informed.
This board has been very helpful to me, and I'm only 40 days into therapy with machine.

Susan

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#9
(02-04-2015, 06:38 PM)kdmorris410 Wrote: Thanks for all the responses. Do you think they plan on giving me the one "for her" because I'm female (I guess that would have been a good question to ask them when I asked what kind I was getting, but I didn't know it was important :/) ? If not, do I just request that one instead of the other "for him"?

For some reason the Airsense Autoset for Her has several features enabled that the regular Autoset does not have. Since you have a concern for controlling RERAs you should try to get this model. I don't know that I'd turn down the other one, but this one does address your specific concerns.

Rental periods are common and are used to verify compliance and efficacy before the machine is purchased. Overall it tends to be more expensive, and that may be a concern if you have appreciable copays and deductibles.
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#10
Get the for her model or MAKE them give you a Respironics PRS1 series sixty auto aflex with heated hose that shows reras flow limations etc that the "for her" model Resmed does. The reason I say that is one the PRS1 shows everything that relates to RHI. And can be set in sleepy head software to show your numbers in RHI instead of AHI. And has a full 2 yr warranty.

You dont say where you are but in the U.S insurance usually follows Medicare standards. Which means you pay 20 percent they pay 80 on the machine for 13 mos then you own it. And will replace the machine in 5 yrs. That is where the longer warranty comes in.

You DONT have to take what they give you. In straight cpap to auto pap machines they get paid the same no matter which you choose. You will need supplies, filters, mask cushions, hoses which are on a replacement schedule with your insurance.

What ever you do DO NOT just let them give you whatever machine THEY want too make you come in for three downloads of you card so they can bill your insurance and forget about you after that. That is way to prevelant dealing with DMEs and you do NOT have to use the DME that your doc sends you too.

If one DME wont get with the program for you then do not hesitate to tell them you will go to another that will.
Keep coming back here because youll probably need to learn to get software to track your numbers, tweak your pressures which I can about promise wont be right from one night of studying you while you sleep.

You have to take charge of your own therapy with cpap or you WILL get run over and ignored while the DME and Doc make as much profit off your insurance as they can. Just the way it is in this area of medicine.
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