I've used my new machine for about 10 days now. I really thank everyone in the forum for the discussions, because, right after dx, I was looking around at the options for machines, and wanted to see how people felt about their equipment, how they adapted, etc. Because of what I read here, I realized I wanted an S9 Autoset, and your info helped me realize that if that's what I wanted, I was going to have to ask my doctor for a precise prescription. My doctor also has an affiliated CME dispensary, but they said they don't supply ResMed. Without me even asking, they said they would refer me to someone who did supply the brand, and gave me no trouble when I asked for that precise prescription.
Within a few days, the DME RT arrived at my home with all my new equipment. When first diagnosed, I was so depressed. Hubby has CPAP, it's Respironics (same Dr. group) is a bit noisy, and I had nightmares about all the headgear. I'd found the Bella Loops and wanted to try them. I really was wondering if I would actually receive what I asked for, and whether there would be any hanky panky trying to get me to settle for something else. I also worried they might try to upcharge me since I'm on Medicare. None of that happened. Everything very straightforward. The RT demonstrated the equipment, had me sign the relevant forms and all went well.
I wanted the Bella loops because I have hair that goes in every direction as it is during sleep - several cowlicks and fine hair just add to the fun. In addition, I have severe arthritis in both my shoulders and can't reach the top of my head with my left arm, making it impossible for me to even put my hair in a ponytail or use clips to pull it up, much less be able to affix a chinstrap or headgear. I was so glad to see the Bella Loops!
I've used them about 9 days so far with very few problems. Still getting the hang of fitting them, but most nights no leak at all. Have never had my machine report a night of poor mask fit. My AHI's are always below 2, and mostly below .55. I've had some very minor nasal irritation but have only once or twice even bothered using Ayr on my nostrils. My worst problem was my ears had some soreness that I was able to put up with since I was so motivated, but it was a problem. So I ordered the SnuggleCover set for the Bella, which give you four covers, two for the headgear and two for the loops.
Had some problem installing, LOL. First tried the longer set, since they were the length of the loops, but they did not have the same circumference as the shorter ones. After putting one on, I realized it would be nearly impossible to easily adjust the straps with it on. So I decided to try the shorter covers. They were much larger and easier to apply using the paper clip to help guide the Bella Loops through the fabric. I found they fit perfectly across the part of the loops that go behind the ear. Then I put the original covers which pad the cheek area back on, and they both fit together well, covering all needed areas with no overlap. Last night I used them for the first time and they were like heaven - I felt no discomfort at all!
I noticed some people felt the Snuggies were too thick and/or bulky, but I find that even though they are loose on the loops, it has no effect for me putting them on my ears. I just feel a nice soft fabric against my skin. Perhaps they changed the material - mine are made from soft jersey like my jersey sheets, and the fabric itself is not too thick. I think they used the exact material as in my sheets, because the color looks like my sheets did when they were new, LOL.
I did notice that ResMed states people who have ears which are not detached at the lobe will often have trouble with the loops because their design depends on circling behind the ear. If there is no detachment of the lobe, there is nowhere for the loop to go except across the lower part of the lobe. They also stated that if it did not feel comfortable first trying on, that was a sign they were not suited for the user.
In the same vein with the fact I would have problems using headgear, was the fact that I probably would never be able to fasten a chin strap correctly. So I tried something I found online, "Chin Ups" which are a sort of bandaid type affair. Using instructions I found on YouTube, I found them a lot easier to apply, even for a klutz like me, than I ever dreamed. Wash face, put on a little Vaseline, wipe off excess, apply strip under lower lip, lift up on tabs and fasten them on cheek. Not uncomfortable at all, doesn't mess up my hair, and miracle of miracles -t hey actually work! My snore barely registers on Sleepyhead and I used to be a terrific snorer.
Not any more. Best of all, my leak levels and AHI are great, as mentioned before.
I have the S9 for Her - what's not to like? LOL. It's beautiful! I love the pinky-orchid color and it looks so beautiful on my nightstand. I was afraid I might not be able to get the pink and I hate gray. Something I found in my online searches - Skin It for ResMed! If you're not familiar with "skins," they are adhesive backed vinyl custom cut to fit devices from phones to laptops to --- ResMed! They come in a plethora of designs - floral, wood look, sports logos, just about anything you can imagine. You can also design your own.
Call me shallow, but the ability to have a nice looking device lifted my spirits considerably when I learned of my diagnosis. But, best of all, I love it because it's quiet and it does the job. I am reasonably comfortable at night, I'm getting used to hearing myself breathe, and I am beginning to actually have some energy!
Thank you all for helping me find my way through this maze. I may not be the therapy flop that I once feared thanks to you all.