RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
My CPAP journey began in early October of 2015 when I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea. I received my CPAP, a DreamStation CPAP Pro, and began using it in mid November of 2015. While I adjusted to my therapy easier than some I have seen on the forum, I had my share of problems to deal with.
The first issue was finding a mask I could wear. Luckily I only had to try three FFMs before finding one I could live with. It took a while to get the mask adjusted, but with the help of information I found on this forum I managed to figure it out.
Next I had to contend with mouth breathing. Even though I had the FFM adjusted right, my mouth would fall open causing large leaks and a continuing battle with dry mouth. After a lot of research I finally admitted the most likely way to solve the mouth breathing and leaks would be to use a chin strap. The chin strap turned out to be the right decision. It has helped me to keep my mouth closed and also to better control the leaks.
Even though I had, for the most part, got my leaks under control and my AHI under 5 consistently I was still having large leaks and occasional problems with dry mouth due to knocking my mask out of position while moving around in my sleep. I tend to be an active sleeper. I decided it was time to try a nasal pillow mask. After researching the board as well as other sources, I decided to buy a Nuance Pro. The Nuance is a good mask and for the most part stopped my large leaks. My AHI fell to between 3 and 4 with the Nuance with numbers below 1 occasionally and even an AHI of 0 once in a while.
However, I didn't think I was getting the full benefits from my treatment. I noticed that even though my AHI was good, I had several RERA's scattered throughout the night on most nights. By this time I had started using SleepyHead. I noticed that around the times I was having RERAs there appeared to be a hypopnea of 8 or less seconds along with a breathing pattern that resembled periodic breathing. On a hunch, I switched my DreamStation to auto trial. Within two nights the machine had settled on a pressure range that had a 90% pressure of 10 cmH2O and stayed there. My AHI dropped to a range of between 2 to 3 while in auto trial. Not wanting to use all of the auto trial I have available, I set my DreamStation to CPAP mode. After experimenting with the pressure a little (my wife tells me I can't leave well enough alone), I settled on the auto trial 90% pressure of 10 cmH2O. My original CPAP pressure had been set at 8 cmH2O. Within just a few nights my AHI fell to around one and stayed there. The suspicious breathing patterns also, for the most part, disappeared. I still have an occasional very short duration periodic breathing episode flagged, although I'm not convinced it is the real deal. It seems I benefit more from straight CPAP pressure than auto mode.
I have since phased out using ramp as well as CFlex (EPR) and my AHI has fallen to below 0.5 with an occasional 0 AHI, as shown by both SleepyHead and EncorePro.
A few weeks ago my wife finally admitted something I have suspected for a while. The noise from the vent of my Nuance as well as the as the air from the vent blowing on her was bothering her. I finally caved in and ordered a AirFit P10 mask. After all, as some of our fellow members say, resistance is futile. I think it is going to be a keeper. It is light, quiet and by far the most comfortable mask I have had to date. With it and my chinstrap large leak events have totally disappeared.
I believe that I am finally enjoying the full benefits of my CPAP therapy. I feel better than I have for years. My energy has increased and my attitude has changed for the better. Just this week I fell asleep in the chair in front of the TV instead of getting up and going to bed like I should have. Something I haven't done since starting CPAP. A few minutes later I woke up choking and struggling to breathe. I was having an apnea event. I thought to myself "how did I put up with this for so many years?".
I also received some good news this week. As some of you may recall my DME requested I turn in the modem in my DreamStation. After I got home from vacation to my paper work I found they were providing it at at no cost. When I returned the modem the only reason they would give me was the insurance company didn't need it any longer. Yesterday I received an EOB in the mail from my insurance company stating that due to my excellent compliance (99% the first month and 100% since the first month) they had waived the remainder of my original 13 month compliance period and paid their part of the purchase price of $1,100 USD. They only covered 60% of the cost. Luckily I have secondary insurance through my wife's employer. I went to their website and found they had already paid the remaining price of the machine. I am now the proud owner of a DreamStation CPAP Pro.
Due to CPAP treatment, and the good advice from this forum, life is once again good in Arkansas.
"....respiration,—a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence...." Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens- 1837
I use FlashPAP to load data from a FlashAir III wifi sd card in my machine to my computer and display it with SleepyHead .
robysue's Beginner's Guide to SleepyHead
(This post was last modified: 06-12-2016 02:08 AM by pupcamper.)