(07-28-2013, 05:59 PM)artension Wrote: So.....I have had it a few weeks now, and have only used it 7 or 8 times. The most I have been able to wear it so far was 3 nights ago when I wore it for 45 minutes, and then, a few minutes later, for another hour. Why such a poor job?
I DO NOT want to give up on this.
Your are more wise than you know to not give up.
I've was diagnosed just 3-1/2 months ago, and started Bipap therapy 2-1/2 months ago. The hope here is to give your problem a little perspective. Maybe you will find a bit of your story in mine.
My dentist, on a routine visit, started asking me a bunch of questions to determine if I would be a candidate for a sleep study. Prior to her questions, I was fairly confident that sleep apnea was something other people had, and that I was just a light sleeper, and had been for decades. I only slept 4 hours at a time.
Well, the sleep study came back: Severe sleep apnea. Min SPO2 was 75, AHI was 57. My Apnea was severe. (Yours sounds worse).
Right away, because it was my dentist (and long time personal friend) who sent me to the sleep study, she called and told me that I was in danger and needed to get on a CPAP without delay. She suggested that I stop driving. She would discuss a dental appliance later. Right away, I enlisted the services of a pulmonologist (I didn't even know what that was a few weeks earlier) to (1) determine whether there were more serious underlying problems, and (2) write me a prescription for an Respironics Auto Bipap machine that I researched on the Internet in general and this forum in particular.
The pulmonologist at large California hospital, told me, "you know, that left untreated, your condition is fatal, but if you use this machine, you will feel like you're 10 years younger in just a short time. I promise." I felt like crap anyway, and took him at his word. After seeing my sleep study results, he asked me if the BIPAP I had chosen had a few key features (ramp, etc.) and wrote a prescription straightaway.
I took that prescription and purchased my Bipap machine outright, determined to mind my own risks and not screw around with others gate-keeping me and pinching pennies. For something this important, I reasoned, $1500 was a drop in the bucket. I'll figure out the insurance later. I needed to make the decision. The doctors and insurance companies were my helpers not my bosses.
I went on this forum to get a clinical manual so that I could adjust the pressures in my new machine. I started with pressures that the sleep study doctor had ordered. In a couple of weeks, I set it on auto, and dropped the pressure slightly, but kept minding my scores nightly.
The first night, I fought with that f@#@@J machine for about 4 hours trying to find out what it wanted. Being a problem solver by nature, and having the commentary from my pulmonologist regarding the high stakes involved, I figured I had two choices: (1) get along with this thing or (2) face the inevitable consequences. Option (2) didn't sound good, so I chose option (1) -- get along with the thing.
For the first few hours that Respironics DS760 was noisy and sounded asymetric. It rattled and complained. I kept saying to myself, "Just what does this stupid thing want?" After a few hours, I relaxed, let it fill my lungs completely, and just kept breathing out again and again. The machine breathed in. I breathed out. What a deal! Everything was quiet with a regular "beat".
Then with a ill-fitting mask, my nose started to ulcerrate. Another problem to be solved. Put silver laced sponge material over the ulcerated area, covered with a bandaid, and the mask on top. It started to heal quickly. But there were problems with the mask, and getting it to seal. In the meantime, get the right size mask with the help of a local DME dealer that a friend had recommended.
So, back to the forums. Another problem to be solved. Remember, Option (2) was just not on the program for me. Well the mask leaked like crazy. Well, tried some liners, and it still leaked some, but the farting noise stopped. OK. This got better with time.
A short time later, I visited my family physician of 30 years. He had only seen me awake and had missed my apnea. But when he saw my now burgeoning medical record, he said, "The results are unequivocal. You know, with SPO2's in the 70s, you can throw a clot even without blockage. If it lodges in your brain, it's a stroke, in your heart, it's a heart attack." So Doctor #2 had the same story as before -- Option (1) or Option (2).
Then I had aerophagia (air in the stomach). This was a hassle. But it's been abating slowly. Remember, Option (1) not Option (2).
Since receiving the machine, I decided on 100% compliance. This can be done. People do it all the time. If they can, I can too.
Consider. Choosing Option (2) means engaging hope and self-deception as a stragegy. Choosing Option (1), learning, growing, solving your problems, and choosing the longer term over today's comfort.
It's 90% attitude. I looked at it as choosing reason over self-deception. For me, this makes the answer simple: Option (1).
And the pulmonologist was right. I feel 10 years younger and it's just a short time later.
Here's just one person's story. There are many others on this forum with varied ones that may mesh with your own. Your story is being written in the flesh right now.
Oh, and by the way -- I used to occasionally have acid reflux. With a CPAP, that's a thing of the past.