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Newbie with (lots of!) questions
Hi all!

I'm coming to the conclusion that I probably have sleep apnea (am a heavy guy, daily morning headaches which get better during the day but don't completely go away, fatigue, some other symptoms... while my girlfriend says my snoring isn't terrible, she does think she hears me stop breathing) and my doctor has referred me to get a sleep study done.

My problem is, for complicated work reasons, I can't get the sleep study done for another few months, and these headaches are driving me nuts!! The thought occurred to me that even if I get the sleep study done and get it confirmed that I have sleep apnea, I will have to buy a machine with my own money at that point anyway, so maybe I should just buy one of those fancy automatic machines now and let it diagnose me rather than waiting for the sleep study. I may still get the sleep study done in a few months anyway, but this would be to get me some instant relief from the symptoms in the meantime.

The way I see it, worst case scenario is that I get the machine, when I wake up in the morning I still feel the same and the data says that I didn't have any sleep apnea episodes. Then I sell it, and probably lose a couple of hundred $s, and that sucks but was maybe worth the gamble. But I am totally new to this, so have a few questions about my plan..

  1. Is this in general a good plan? Or am I stupid to try treating myself before I've had the sleep study?
  2. How does one buy a machine without a prescription? SecondwindCPAP seem to have a service where they will give you the prescription to buy it themselves... is this how people usually do it? Is it legal?
  3. Which machine should I get? That website seems to have a lot of gently used ResMed S9 VPAPs for about $550... does that sound good?
  4. How much do you think I'd lose if I did end up selling it again? I'm mentally preparing myself for losing/gambling $200ish on this idea.
I'll also apologize if these questions have already been asked/answered elsewhere on the forum. I know it's annoying when new forum members don't do their research... but, well, I've got a banging headache and I'm desperate!! lol
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someone may offer better advice, I'm a new guy. This is what I did. I got a secondhand auto cpap with sd card data recording and did my own adjustment with the sleepyhead download. From reading here, auto cpap normally works for 90% of people. the vpap is a specialised unit.

In the unlikely event that you need an auto vpap, some may have a 30 day exchange policy?

to me, the important thing at first, is to get a mask that fits and doesn't leak.
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Thanks! Maybe I just don't understand the terminology then? I did just see a ResMed S10 auto CPAP on Craigslist that is cheap, so I might get that if it hasn't already sold.

The mask I can already tell is going to be a problem, because I have a full beard, am a mouth breather, and a side sleeper. I was going to try the Mirage Quattro if I can figure out how to buy one without a prescription...
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If you buy a cheap auto s10, it shouldn't be hard to resell. I wouldn't buy one with more than 5,000 run hours, less is better. ask when you ring, google the manual to how to check the run hours.

this is good adivce too
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When calling on a machine on Craigslist, one of the important questions is whether the home is smoke-free. I have cleaned up used machines used in a smoking home, and it's not easy. There are new machines often advertised in multiple citys for new Airsense 10 Autosets at about $495. The seller requires Paypal payment and will ship. These are usually new machines from medical providers that have significantly discounted equipment and so far have not been a scam. Many individuals sell used and outdated machines for ridiculous prices, but there are also some very good deals. Amazon has had very good offers from vendors as well, but recently there has not been much available. I think the manufacturers are probably suppressing those sales with threats.

Chances are, your investment won't be wasted. Just be sure you get a full data, auto machine that is a current model like the Autoset or Dreamstation Auto.
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Sounds like a good plan to me. I think you're on the right track, taking charge of your health.

I'll let the others answer your other questions, as I'm still a bit of a newbie myself.

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If its only headaches, have you ruled out vitamin deficiency ? Especially vitamins D and magnesium. Ruled out migraines/ inflammed sinuses etc ?
I know first hand, obesity is also a significant factor for apneas. I am a noob myself - Am sure more experienced members will swing by and offer better advice.
Good luck.
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I'm fairly new at replying on this board, but I've had my machine for 1 1/2 years. The second biggest expense to setting up your own machine without the sleep study first will be the mask. During a titration they can try out different masks for you. If you purchase one on your own, and it's the wrong one, you're out. There is no exchanging a mask (at least I don't think you can without insurance). You have to decide if you are a mouth breather or not. Do you wake up with a dry throat? What is your sleep position? Do you toss and turn a lot? During my titration I tried 3 different masks. I also ended up with Bipap instead of a CPap. The Bipap lets you exhale. With the Cpap I felt like I was suffocating because it wasn't letting me release air. Just some food for thought.
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I replied before I saw you said you are a mouth breather, side sleeper with a beard. You could probably talk to someone at your local medical supply place and ask if they have a mask for beards. I'm a side sleeper, and use nasal pillows. I don't have a problem with that, but I'm not a mouth breather. Sorry I'm not much help. Good luck!
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