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Question about HST company and mask types
#1
Skip first three paragraphs if you don't want backstory... Smile

This is probably premature, but I'm like so many people that once I start down the road, patience isn't easy.

I felt there was almost zero chance that I could fall asleep in a sleep lab, both because I almost never sleep on my back, but further I'm completely creeped out by hospital type settings. So, for years I have put this off, even though I've been pretty convinced I needed a sleep test.

Another problem, which is another reason I've hesitated, is that I don't like the whole home health/DME concept. I don't want someone coming into my house and setting up a machine, handling my mask, or other stuff. Maybe with CPAP it's all new equipment, but my experience with other types of equipment that family members got was that it was used and if they needed beyond x number of months, then it became theirs.

So, all of that out of the way.

I decided I shouldn't put it off anymore and decided to get a HST. In the end, I did it through EasyBreathe, who sub contract to Blackstone medical.

So, my first question is does anyone know about Blackstone medical? Are they reputable or do they have a deal cut where everyone that does an HST ordered by EasyBreathe winds up with sleep apnea?

Second, and more important, since I won't be using a DME is there a suggestion as to the type of mask to start with. Do newbies have an easier time with one type of mask then another? To the best of my knowledge I am not a mouth breather unless I've got a bad cold or the like. In fact, when I do have a cold and my nose is clogged, I have a very hard time going to sleep, because when breathing through my mouth I feel very off.

Further, I sleep on my stomach. One of the main reasons is that while I never wake up gasping or whatever when sleeping on my stomach, when on my back or traveling to Europe and sleeping on a plan, I do wake myself up.

Even if a CPAP allows me to sleep on my back, I'm going to have a hard time breaking the habit I think.

Anyway, and info about Blackstone, and advice on sorting my way through the mask world on my own, would be greatly appreciate.
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#2
First, welcome to the forum. I hadn't heard of Blackstone Medical until just now when I googled them. So, I can't directly answer your question. However, I noticed an item I saw on their website. In every reference to SA, they mention Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Strange, I thought, because OSA is just one of the three major types of SA. As to your desire to avoid used equipment, I can report that the machines I have received from my DME have been new, not used. Masks, tubing, filters, etc. have always been new, never used items. Since I'm on Medicare, the first 13 months with a new machine are on a rental basis, after which, I become the owner. I've never had a DME person come to my home, although I have read reports that some others have. I have gone to the DME to get a hands-on introduction to a new machine that I was picking up, as well as visiting them to pick my repaired machine that had been returned to the DME after ResMed factory repairs. That, or a specific question I may have had to ask a Respitory Tech at the DME.
Since masks are such a personal fit for leaks and comfort, it's really a matter of trying several until you find one that works well for you. Over time, I've made some mask type changes of both manufacturer and mask type to get closer to one that works best. Thinking back to my first sleep study, in the morning after, I was shown several masks and invited to try them out.
Hopefully, someone(s) on the forum will be familiar with Blackstone and EasyBreathe to offer some guidance about them.


David

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#3
Hi jhtrazor,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more answers to your questions.
Masks are such an individual thing, what works for me, might not work for you, so don’t be shy about asking to try as many masks ’till you find one that works for you.
Much success to you as you start your CPAP journey.
trish6hundred
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#4
My sleep studies are in a hotel room like environment and I sleep on my side and stomach, not my back...there is no reason to sleep any way but the way you normally sleep during a sleep study.

My most recent study the tech let me try a few masks which is where I found out about the Eson...maybe at your study they can give you some advice on a mask.

When I used a DME they were useless and gave me the standard PR Gel mask, they never proactively tried to find me the best mask....so by not having a DME you really aren't missing anything except high costs in my opinion.
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