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OSA w/o Cpap? Help!
I cannot see sleeping on your back relieving the problem, due to anatomical reasons, but you may be built strange. It happens. Sleeping in an upright position helps a bit, as does using nose clips to keep the nasal passages expanded while you sleep. But if your study says you need a PAP, you need a PAP and the problem won't go away until you have one. O2 desats to the 50s can happen fast, I have certainly seen that, and the alarm may have been triggered during the drop but you did not awake until the drop hit the 50s, but that is not really answering the questions you have in the end.

For now, avoid milk and fats of any type before bed time, or at all until your machine arrives, avoid taking medications at night that may trigger respiratory problems (a lot of them do) unless your pharmacist says you cannot change the timing on the meds. Do deep breathing exercises before bed and practice throat toning exercises during the day. I would suggest looking into short term rentals or loaners of machines ( I am surprised that you weren't given a provisional machine right away until your insurance kicked in) and mostly I would press the insurance company through your doc to speed things along.
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