Just an update. It only took me two nights to 'get used to' this new way of breathing with the apparatus on my head and pillows in my nose and the different feeling with the pressure and sometimes feeling smothered. Not much sleep those nights. Thankfully it was a long holiday weekend for me and I didn't have to worry about getting up for work.
I did as the therapist suggested. Wear it as long as I can then take it off, get some sleep without it and try again the next night and try to improve time. I, however, took it off for a few hours of not sleeping with it on, went to sleep and when I woke up again put it back on. My husband had encouraged me to put it back on when I woke up (well he actually woke me up the first night and made me put it back on) ... his theory was maybe by then being half awake and groggy I would tolerate it better and go back to sleep with it on. Admittedly I was a bit annoyed with him that night and I would rather just wait til the next night and try again. But I really didn't want to end up bailing out of this prematurely and was already entertaining thoughts that it wasn't much fun and I am only a moderate diagnosis any way ... yada yada yada. So ... I put it back on.
After a couple nights of misery, I found the time to study the machine and settings. Being a holiday weekend with a lot of family around, it was hard to find the time for a couple nights. Having tuned in to some suggestions and experiences on this forum, I tweaked the humidity setting and turned off the ramp. I had tried backing off the time on the ramp from 45 min down to 5 and still didn't feel like I was getting enough air to make me feel comfortable when I put the mask on. That 45 min and even 5 min felt like hours. So I turned off the ramp. That night when I put it on, it actually felt a lot more comfortable ... actually quite tolerable and plenty of air. I had remembered during my tritation that I complained when I put the masks on that I thought CPAPS were supposed to give me air and it felt really constricted and not enough. I just wanted to keep deep breathing to take more in. She said they start out at low pressure of 4 and work it up in the study so she turned up the pressure on the machine to start me out at. It helped. I remembered that and with what I had read on this forum about being able to turn off the ramp, I decided to do that. It seemed to make a big difference for me.
Now I am able to put it on each night and feel comfortable and not fighting it. But I lay in bed wide awake and just can't seem to get to sleep. I think it is a combination of uncomfortable with moving around with it on and finding the sleep positions I am accustomed to. I am still following the protocol of putting it on and if I haven't fallen asleep after a couple hours, I remove it. When I wake up later, I put it back on while I am half awake and have been able to fall asleep with it on. I guess my husband's idea had some merit
I had a discussion with the sleep lab today. They are going to provide me with a prescription sleep aid for a short time to hopefully get me over this bump with insomnia. I don't want to have to be on medications for this and hope it is very temporary.
The respiratory therapist had told me they had the ability to remotely make adjustments on the machine if needed and can see all my data every night with a wireless pack on the back of my machine. I received a letter from the DME thanking me for choosing them and letting me know they would call me in a week to see how I am doing with it. I just received the call while typing this update. I knew there was a compliance part to this for insurance purposes (by reading this forum) but no one told me what the regulations were when I received my machine. During my phone call I was told I have to be 70% compliant (4+ hrs/night). I kind of already knew that by reading this forum too and was targeting 4 hours. I thought the nights I went over would make up for the nights slightly under 4 hours. Apparently not! DME has 5 nights of data and I have had one night with 3 hrs. 59 min. and another night 3 hrs. 49 min. The other 3 nights are above 4 hours. He said I am close to the 70% but the two nights under are red flags and for insurance it has to be minimum 4 hrs each night for a 30 day period. The DME will follow my progress for 90 days and will turn in a 30 day period to the insurance when I reach 70% compliance. He said the rest of my data as far as therapy results looks good so far.