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Newbie question about travel: CPAP or Provent?
#1
Hi all, I should have introduced myself earlier when I joined a few weeks ago. Have learned a lot just by reading. My internist referred me to a sleep study because my snoring had gotten out of control. I'd been sleeping on the couch for a year to spare my husband. And I have a family history of OSA. My dad had untreated OSA and died from a massive middle-of-the-night heart attack that my mother believed was apnea triggered. He was only 60.

Because I met the insurance reqs during the first part of the study. I ended up with a split night and CPAP titration.

Dx Study results: Apneas: 17 obstructive, 1 Mixed, 3 Central, mean 16 sec.
AHI 32, RDI 37, (11 RERAs), Supine AHI 36. No REM sleep, Sleep efficiency 78%
O2 sat Low 72%, below 89% for 19 minutes out of 135 minutes of sleep.
Periodic limb movement 20, PLM arousal index 14. 128 EEG arousals, index 57 per hour. (I also have RLS)

Titration started at 5cm then up to 10cm. Sleep efficiency 89%, Lowest O2 sat was 87%.
PLM index 24, PLM Arousal index 0. There were 29 EEG arousals for index of 8.5

Diagnosis: Severe OSA, and Hypoxemia
Treatment: CPAP at 11cm with heated humidity. C-Flex 3.

I left the dr office with these results and went straight to the DME. Although I had been researching apnea, I had not read anything yet about CPAP machines specifics. I guess I was very lucky to take home the ResMed Airsense 10 Autoset. Yay for the DME!

Much to my surprise, I have had zero issues using the CPAP. I have not yet downloaded the sleepyhead software, although I have added an SD card to the machine so I can do that. I've just been reading results from the machine and the ResMed summary I get online. So I'm 3 weeks in. AHI has ranged from 3 to 6.5. No issues with mask leak. I've only gotten up to pee twice in 3 weeks. No 5 am headaches. And ZERO snoring. Yay I can sleep in my bed again!

Now, here's the question about travel. I leave Tuesday for a complicated 3 week trip to the U.K. By complicated, I mean 7 different hotel rooms plus our friends' house. 8 places to figure out where to plug in the CPAP. Distilled water will not be available. It's another piece of luggage when I'm trying to travel as light as possible for 3 weeks away. Complication factor includes the fact that most of the trip we are traveling with friends who will be in their Jaguar sedan, so 4 people's luggage in that trunk.

So, I bought a 30 day supply of Provent. I've tested it Twice. First night was very uncomfortable trying to get to sleep and then I was snoring loudly by 5am. Second night I added a chinstrap, which I have not used or needed with the CPAP. I slept better and hubby reports some mild snoring, but not terribly bad. 

So I'm looking for advice on CPAP vs Provent for this sort of trip. And if I end up taking the CPAP, can I use potable, but not distilled, water? Or should I just skip the water and not use the humidifier? I'm sure I'm making this more difficult than it is, but since I'm so new to this whole thing, I just don't know. I really don't want to lug the CPAP around England and Scotland!

Thanks for reading and for any advice!
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#2
The Autoset will run on European 220 power supplies using the included AC adapter, but you may need outlet adapters. You can use tap water or bottled drinking water in the humidifier. Please don't worry about it. I have NEVER used distilled water in the 11 years I have used CPAP and humidifier. The Airsense 10 travels very easily, and will not count against your carry-on allowance. The carry case is great with a strap on the back that fits over your carry-on luggage handle.

You should take the CPAP and use it whenever possible. Take a few Provents for the nights you can't . There is no comparison in the quality of treatment. In addition, you are currently required to demonstrate compliance to keep your machine. If you choose not to use it for this trip, you should let the DME know the circumstances. They may also be able to offer some suggestions to make it easier to take. As far as space, the CPAP can fit in a small space or on your lap/under your feet. I carry mine on a motorcycle. It will fit, and you will enjoy the trip more, as will your friends without your snoring.
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#3
Better to lug the machine and not snore than ruin the vacation for you and your husband.
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#4
One thing to add. Hand carry the CPAP, it does not count as carry-on baggage, and will not be subject to mishandling from luggage handlers.
Any drinking water will work for humidification, be sure to empty the humidifier when packing it.


good luck on your trip and sleep well

Fred
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#5
Definitely hand carry.  I had no problems with Air France or the airport in Paris.  It is not that much more to carry and it makes the vacation so much more enjoyable when you are well rested and feeling good!
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#6
I travel frequently for business in North America and Europe.  I've taken my CPAP with no problems at all.  Customs and airport security don't bat an eye at it.  They see it often enough to know what it is.  My son used to work as a passenger screener for a major airport in Canada.  He has told me that he saw CPAP machines almost daily.  They are that common.  As everyone else has already stated; well worth the slight inconvenience of bringing an extra bag while traveling.
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#7
Thanks to all of you for your responses! I'm so glad to know about the distilled water not being necessary. I wonder why the DME was so adamant about it. Just glad to know I can use drinking water.

About compliance, I discussed this specific trip with the DME guy when I got the machine. And I bought the Rx Provent pack from them later, again explaining that I wanted the option for travel. I haven't talked to my insurance company about it, but that doesn't matter much because I'm basically paying for CPAP out of pocket because I'm nowhere close to meeting my $6k deductible.

Again - thanks for the support!
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#8
Distilled water has no minerals which helps keep the humidifier tank cleaner. You know the white spots in the dishwasher glasses? That's mineral deposits. If your tap water does not have a high mineral amount, you can use it. If you have brown stains in the sink or the water smells like iron, don't use tap water.

Distilled water will be hard to find in the UK and Europe. They typically have softer water (lower mineral content) so don't need it. If you feel the need, you can use filtered bottled water but, really, it isn't necessary.

When I travel, I use bottled water or tap water, depending on the situation. At home, I use my tap water. I use a vinegar/water solution to clean the tub and exchange it for a new one whenever it needs to be.

Provent has no way to tell if it is working or not. Since you have a higher untreated AHI, I doubt it is really working for you as well as you need. Not getting good sleep will ruin your vacation. Snoring and irritating your traveling companions will also ruin your vacation.

As long as only medical equipment is in your CPAP bag, it does not count toward your carry on count. You might get away with a magazine but no more than that in order to remain "legal". I put mine overhead since I will not need it and it takes up so little room. At my feet is my bag with everything else to keep me entertained on the flight. If you have time, some of the online suppliers sell Medical Luggage tags which will help some since airline crews may not know you have a CPAP and it helps to identify it on sight.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#9
Hi foxwoodfarm,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
It would be better if you took your CPAP machine along and as others have said, carry it on with you.
Good luck with CPAP therapy and have a nice trip.
trish6hundred
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