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[Diagnosis] Failed the Titration test last night
I did make it to my sleep study part 2 Titration test last night. It was the same nurse as last time. She was awesome. She hooked me up to all the wires and then showed me ......the....mask.
The mask covered my nose and mouth. At first I was like...are you kidding me? I got used to though. Wore it for about half hour and laid in bed. My problem with this mask is I could not clear my throat and it was hard to swallow. She said everything looked good and that I was progressing well. It did not last.

I pulled the mask off after some time and told her this won't work and that I needed a nose mask only.

She then produced a nasal mask that covered only my nose. I put it up to my face and held it there and breathed. Seemed easier or so I thought. She then had to set up the straps on this thing and when she did, it felt like it was too small on my nose and not enough room to breath.
We talked about other masks and nasal pillows but that was all she had on hand.

Please keep in mind that I am currently suffering from an ear infection and the my head is congested. I haven't slept much in the last 48 hrs. Zombie-like.

WE will try a third attempt in 3 to 4 weeks. I am to visit my ENT and get fitted with a mask that will suit me then take it home and get used to it before I do the next test.

I realize this is not a laughing matter and that my life hangs in the balance. I will do my best to make this work. I only wish I could get just 5 or 6 hrs sleep for once so that I can function. This has been acute for the last 2 weeks. I am already on the road to weight loss and have lost a bit already. I modified my alcohol intake so that I am stone cold sober when I go to bed.

In the meantime.... I need ADVISE on how to sleep with condition for the next few weeks before I go back for another go at the Titration. I am sooo tired.

Thank God I found this place. Bless you all!
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The Doc just called and said that I will get a valium for the next attempt at Titration. She told me to see my family doc and get this ear infection/head congestion cleared up and then reshedule. I will be able to approach the next time with much less anxiety. I now know what it feels like and what to expect. Just to need to go in with good health first.
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I didn't think it was possible to "fail" a sleep study...twice.

I had my titration study done in a sleep lab. They invoiced the insurance company $5,000+ for that night. I wonder if there's a limit to the number of times the insurance company will pay for it.

One question - you said you "modified" your alcohol intake so that you're stone cold sober when you go to bed. Does that mean you're still drinking every day? Is it a big problem to stop drinking completely? Not sure if you are taking antibiotics for your ear infection but you shouldn't be drinking alcohol with those meds or the valium you will be taking for the next study.

Not being judgmental but you want to eliminate as many variables as possible.
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I only failed it one time. We ran out of time to do the split session the first time. This was my first Titration.

My alcohol consumption is approx 1 to 2 beers when I get home from work. That is all. Maybe a few more on the weekend. Unfortunately I do drink every day. I was made to quit smoking....so I want at least one vice left. I am also working out and watching what I eat. I have lost 4 pounds already in 2 weeks.

My doc will let me have a valium for the the next session. I know I will be better. It was the head cold and ear infection combined with no sleep in the last 24 hrs that made it miserable for me this first time.

Also a bit claustrophobic and that doesn't help.
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I don't blame you for being claustrophobic with that mask. They gave me the Wisp for my titration study which was the right choice for me. I hope you find a mask that works for you.

Since you're sick you may consider giving up your vice completely until you are well and have completed the new study. It would help with the weight loss too.

Good luck.
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See if your doctor will write you a prescription for a ResMed S9 Autoset or a Phillips Respironics Auto CPAP machine. These machines will adjust the pressure automatically to the correct level, in much the same way as a titration. Perhaps the doctor is affiliated with a durable medical equipment (DME) supplier and can arrange for a loan. Ask for a chin strap, too.

Explain to the doctor's office that you are desperately in need of a good night's sleep and are finding it difficult to "carry on" the way things are for you now.

Also, the sleep lab not having nasal pillows on hand is a huge incompetency because nasal pillows are a very common type of mask used by a large number of CPAP patients.

Try to get your sinus issues under control. There are over the counter decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal sprays. I highly recommend the NeilMed sinus rinse kit. Get the plain vanilla original version, available at places like Walgreens for about $10. This is a highly effective drug-free treatment for your sinuses. Squirting salt water up your nose takes some getting used to, but by all means it's worth it if you can learn to tolerate it.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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I am going to copy that post and show it to my Doc. Thanks a milliion Sir.
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Yep, it would be pretty hard to get anything to work well when you have a lot of head congestion. I went through that a week or so ago. About the beer thing. Yeah, it would probably be best if we didn't drink at all, but a couple of beers in the afternoon or evening don't really sound all that bad to me. I enjoy a glass of wine before dinner, and do that as often as possible. The thing I am impressed with is the "no smoking" thing. That's an accomplishment you should be very proud of. That's the one thing that will help you more than anything else going forward..... Good job.
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Sorry to hear that you failed again. That has to be frustrating! I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY DIDN'T HAVE NASAL PILLOWS! Unexceptionable! I would of been P*ssed!

When you see your ENT, ask about maybe using Flownase Spray. It helps me with my sinus issues and keeps me from being stopped up all the time. Also for the time being, maybe your ENT or Dentist can fit you with an Oral Device/Mouth piece. From Resmed website "A mandibular repositioning device (MRD) is one of the many treatment options available for sleep apnea patients. It is a custom-made, adjustable oral appliance available from a dentist that holds the lower jaw in a forward position during sleep. This mechanical protrusion expands the space behind the tongue, puts tension on the pharyngeal walls to reduce collapse of the airway and diminishes palate vibration."

Good Luck Man... I feel for you!
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I agree you need to get all that congestion cleared up and I think it will go well for you the next time. As you said, you know what to expect now and that is the biggest thing. Fear of the unknown is often a problem for many. I sometimes wonder how it will be if I catch a cold and how the mask and therapy would work. When you get set and going on your therapy and begin feeling the differences, you will be happy you did this! I am just beginning to feel really positive results with just shy of two months on it.

When I did my titration, the technician told me they only had two kinds of masks available to try and they were not durable to use full time and just used for the studies. It is a small town and small facility. It is my guess that larger facilities provide more options with masks to try during titration.

The first one I tried was a large nasal mask with a plastic gadget that rested on my forehead. I didn't like it at all. The second was a full face mask. I got along a little longer with it but then shifted it a little because it was tight on back of my head. It started getting really uncomfortable and I had the feeling I had to get it off fast. I think part of the problem was not being used to the pressure because that too was all a new feeling. The technician strapped the masks on me and I didn't know how to take them off in a hurry when I wanted to. I didn't like that feeling. I had to hit the nurse call button. When those two masks didn't work, the technician said they had some 'samples' given to them that were less invasive on the face and she said other technicians had tried them on patients with good results. The sample was the Wisp nasal mask. It was light years better than the other two. The headgear was so much softer and the nasal cone smaller on my nose with nothing on my forehead. She told me if I liked it, I could take it home with me as it was a real 'full time' mask. She also told me the respiratory specialist would have others for me to try the next morning when he brought my machine.

The respiratory specialist came to my room the next morning with a machine already set up with my prescribed pressure. I had a small red mark on the bridge of my nose from the Wisp and he offered to let me try the Swift FX Pillows. That is what I wear now but I do have the Wisp for backup. You can learn a lot on this forum by continuing to read and ask questions. For example, I now know the Swift FX comes in a 'for her' size from having read it here on the forum and has an xs pillow. That was never mentioned to me. He just kind of eyed things up and said it looked like I needed the 'small' pillow. I sometimes think I might need the xs pillows and intend to ask about it when I can get a new mask. I have good luck as far as my therapy goes with what I have now but there are times I fidget with it a lot and is hard to get it lined up right and set right on my nostrils. Other times it just falls into place easily.

As for the pressure, even with the Wisp being more comfortable, I was uncomfortable with a smothering feeling during titration. I remarked I thought CPAPS were supposed to give more air and I felt like it was restricted and smothering. She told me she would turn up the pressure (from the minimal 4) to a higher pressure to start me out at. I don't know what she turned it up to but it helped so I could tolerate it and get through the night.
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