Joined: Aug 2012
Machine: Phillips Respironics REMstar Auto A-Flex
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Respironics Amara
Humidifier: System one
CPAP Pressure: 8.0-15.0
CPAP Software: SleepyHead
Other Comments: This place is the best
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
RE: New member here - Love the site already - Need some advice
(08-26-2012 11:39 AM)JudgeMental Wrote: Biglar...Welcome and thank you for your kind words about this forum. We hope you will visit and contribute often/
I think you may get a few differences of opinion about your position at this time. We are not physicians, but are only sharing our experiences, suggestions and opinions. All offerings are "well intended", by "sleep apnea patients helping one another"..
I am glad that your primary care doctor eluded to the weight issue. Your (BFI) body fat index, is terribly high. It is bound to have some effect on your apnea. Your 3 to 3 1/2 hours of sleep in the study is pretty good. Some folks, like me, didn't sleep at all or not enough to make a determination during my first study. You mentioned anxiety and I believe that was a case for me. My second study was more decisive.
With that said, and after reading the report from the sleep technologist, I feel if its possible, both financial and time wise, to have another study done. Especially after she said that the pressure of 6 normalized your AHI but you were without REM. The increase of pressure to 7 placed you into some area of REM but AHI was not normalized..The body needs REM to regenerate and rest. You need to find a combination of both a low AHI and REM sleep. Your anxieties will probably be zero now that you have been to the sleep study before and the outcome of the study will probably be more decisive.
Mask leaking issues are the norm and take a lot of determination to deal with. You will find one however, thru trial. You will get a much better handle on your therapy if your CPAP machine is a full data capable one.
There are a couple of sleep professionals and technologist who visit this forum occassionally, so maybe one will offer some words.
Remember, that you have probably had sleep apnea for quite a while, so don;t expect to feel 100% better overnight. Takes time.
Thank you very much. I think that was one of my issues- Unrealistic expectations. Since 6 normalized my AHI and I achieved REM sleep at 7..maybe a setting of 6.5 will do the trick. I'm not sure how much my mask is leaking. I have it pretty tight- to the point that my face is red in places where the mask rests. That's why I thought maybe a higher pressure setting might do the trick in case there is a small leak.
(08-26-2012 12:00 PM)eaglett1111 Wrote: HI Biglar - wanted to put my two cents in and welcome you, too.
I am relatively new here, having used the CPAP for a month now. I can attest to what the previous posters have said about it being a roller coaster for awhile. I have yet to sleep through the night, but my AHI is way down and I know the sleep I am getting is good sleep.
I use a nasal mask, and though it's the only one I've ever used so I am by no means a great judge, it does work for me. I don't know what I would do with a full mask. There are some nights when I feel like I can't breathe with the mask, and those nights I have to use the ramp and ease into it. My pressure is at 9. There are also some nights when I have to concentrate on the inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth for awhile until my nose opens up (yes I'm using the nasal gel spray, but it doesn't always work). That said, I always end up adjusting to it.
Life isn't perfect as a hosehead. I only got two hours sleep last night, because I was fretting about a friend whose brother had just been killed in a horrific accident. Actually as I'm writing this I realize I need to call someone for a debrief myself. She found out when I was on the phone with her, and her hysterics from a thousand miles away still send my heart to my feet.
Ahh... anyhow. Sorry for that. I know sleep studys are not cheap, even with insurance. I'm wondering if you could call your DME and just try the nasal mask for a couple of weeks, to see if that would help.
Can you still breath out of your mouth with the nasal pillows? One of the things that is frustrating with the full face mask is that I feel like I am fighting to exhale. Especially since I turned up the pressure.
(08-26-2012 01:12 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote: I agree with the others on the mask. A full face mask should be the final mask, not the first.
If you snore with your mouth open, that may be why they tried it but there's other ways. Many use a nasal mask and then a chin strap to help hold the mouth closed. After a while, many are able to stop using the chinstrap altogether.
I also agree to the second sleep study. You are too new at this to guess on your own.
Losing weight may decrease your need for a CPAP. It may not. Either way, it's overall a good thing to lose the weight (says she who is obese).
I agree. I think it has gotten this bad because I have gotten so heavy. I think that I have gotten so heavy because I have been in this fog and the only good feelings I have is when I eat something horrible for me that tastes good. I am also on the road every other week for work and that seems to not hep. I want to lose weight- I just need the energy. The way I feel now- little tasks like cleaning the house feel like such a choir- No pun intended.
(08-26-2012 02:00 PM)mjbearit Wrote: Hi Biglar!
First of all, congratulations on making the decision to take this seriously. You may have just extended you life and made it bearable all at the same time!
I have to agree with what has been said so far. Many of us on the board are married or living with someone and I don't think a single person who has used their machine long enough for it to improve their life will tell you that they are concerned about how they look while they are sleeping! Now in the old days my wife hated my machine because they used to make quite the racket so it would interrupt her sleep! It was a bad time then! The new machines fix that problem and never once have I had her tell me that she hated my mask. And you should have seen some of the masks years ago! It may not be the sexiest of items, but frankly when you let it go too long you will be too tired for anything, even a little cuddle at night. Don't sweat the looks! You'll both get over it!
I have gone through a few different mask designs but ever since the nasal pillows came out, way back with the Adam circuit, I have been hooked on nasal pillows! They work far better for me! They do not leak nearly as much as the other masks I have tried. Some folks can't use them, but for me, I think they are great! Especially nowadays as they are so light and unobtrusive!
As far as advice goes, if you sleep better on your back with a few pillows propping you up, then go that route and wear the CPAP too! Bottom line is that you need to do whatever you have to do in order to make that CPAP bearable! Take it from someone who bailed on treatment for many years. I am back because the alternative sucks! Since I have been back I don't fall asleep at my desk (how I ever pulled that off is a miracle!), I don't have to pull the car over and get coffee every hour, the fog is not nearly as bad as it used to be, and most importantly, my heart rhythms have stabilized a lot! Even if you lose the weight and become a french swimsuit model, don't think you have no more sleep apnea! You do another study before you put that machine away! It's not gone, just controlled! Good luck and feel free to ask anything you like. Lots of folks with lots of experience. We may not always agree on everything, but we can at least tell you what works for us!
Thank you so much for the info! I guess I should be clear. My fiance is wonderful about everything. She was even okay with me turning on the light and attempting to change the pressure setting when she was trying to sleep. The point I was attempting to make (quite poorly I might add) was during the original sleep study my anxiety was at an all time high with thoughts of what she would think and how I got to this point (etc, etc) She has been 100% supportive and great with it. It was my own hang up the first few nights.
(This post was last modified: 08-26-2012 06:21 PM by biglar831.)