Carl let me try to answer your questions:
Did you start with auto CPAP before you added oxygen assist?
Yes I did add oxygen when using Auto CPAP but only after I started to check my own oxygen level.
Were you using your oximeter at the time you started CPAP?
No I started with a "Brick" CPAP, that is one that did not provide any information. It helped me and I was after a several months able to get an Auto CPAP. I bought a oximeter from one of the suppliers listed on this fourm and began to use it. Only after I felt ok with it's use did I start to add oxygen while sleeping. I started with one hour and then got comfortable with the oxygen.
how long did it take before you saw any effects from the added oxygen (as shown on your oximeter's data)?
I saw the a slight change as soon as I started using the added oxygen while sleeping. I increased the amount of added oxygen until my sleeping levels reached the mid 90's. This level was 2L for me. I have not changed this level of support.
With the added oxygen for about 120 days now I stay in the upper 90's as reported by the oximeter when sleeping. I feel much better and do not get as winded.
It is my thinking that the first CPAP helped, the Auto CPAP helped a lot and the added oxygen is the topping on the cake.
You may have picked up the idea that I have been doing some of my own doctoring. You would be right. I think very highly of almost all the doctors I have seen. Most of them have been very careful with their treatment. I can not blame them with the number of challenges they must face just to keep working, i.e. Lawyers, paperwork and other distractions. I have taken the opinion that the different doctors do not talk to each other well. I have found that the test reports are sloppy at times (the doctor requesting that the report be redone, missing information. Lab reports taken from two different labs showing different values.) I have seen my doctors reorder test, be upset at the reports that they know are wrong, frustrated by not getting reports of information from other doctors after several request. I have more than once had to go in person to pick-up and hand carry paper reports to other doctors. I have had two doctors that have flat out said their staff was less than trustworthy. I have been told to go to the local medical school so that they may use my "challenges" to help the students learn and maybe get some answers. Having said all of that their is only one doctor that I would not return to. He agreed with three others that I needed a treatment, that all the lab work for this said I needed his services but he did not want to proceed without more test and delays. I found a more eager person with a knife and was cut on ASAP.
I feel sure that I have been given great care overall. I thank my doctors every time I see them. Only a few have taken the time to step out of the lab coats and be less professional. They are the most valued to me, I feel like I am talking to a family member who cares.
Sorry to bore you with this but it is just a road that we must take, bumps and all. Take time to let things work, keep educating your self and try to be a good observer of yourself. Question what you learn and see so as not to go down a wrong turn in your road. Do not be afraid to back-up and look at what you are doing. It may seem that you are being selfcentered but who is more involved than you. Keep smiling and find as much joy as you can.
I do not face the challenges they do so I do not feel like waiting as long to try something to see if it helps.