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[split] New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
[split] New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
Hello, My name is Connie Page and I am in need of a CPAP machine.  I have taken 3 sleep studies when I had insurance and it was stated that I had Sleep Apnea, but I did not get the chance to get a CPAP machine before my insurance expired and had to change doctors.   I don't have insurance at this time but I have a primary doctor with a Gold Card.   The problem with this is that they would need a sleep study of there own to determine what kind of CPAP I would need, but they have discontinued their sleep studies.   At this point I don't know what to do.  I have recently received my Associates Degree, after struggling for a long time with feeling tired all the time and so many anxiety attacks from not any sleep at night or day.  I have not been able to work because I am afraid that I will doze off while working.  I have high blood pressure and diabetes at this point and I am so afraid that I will have more health issues if I do not get help soon.   I am a healthy eater and did not do any thing to cause any of these health problems, I was told that because it runs in my family, that I would most likely have these problems.   But I am the only one in my family that has Sleep Apnea.  Can someone please help me get information as to how I can receive help?

Thank you in advance,
Connie Page
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RE: New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
Hi Connie, welcome to the forum. I will ask the moderators to move your post to a new thread where we can give you individual help and answer your questions. First, try to track down those sleep studies and request copies of them. It may avoid the need to purchase another sleep study. Regardless of your diagnosis, the first machine you would be assigned is a CPAP or Auto CPAP, simply because even if you need bilevel or a bilevel with backup for central apnea, the insurance companies want you to try CPAP first because it is less expensive. So it's nearly certain that an auto CPAP is the ideal machine for you.

Go to your Houston Craigslist and search CPAP machine. You will see a Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset for $200. This is a great deal! Buy it and we will help you get it adjusted for your needs.

For a mask and supplies, you will need a prescription. Supplier #30 offers an inexpensive prescription service over the internet, and any past study or prescription will be sufficient to get their physician to issue it. You can then buy a mask and any needed supplies. Alternatively, your primary physician can write the prescription. You don't need a specialist or a study. Your regular doctor will probably do this if you see him on an annual basis. Mask parts, tubing, filters and other supplies are also available online at places like Amazon for a good price. As long as you know what to get, the parts do not require a prescription and you can assemble a whole mask. The lightest and easiest mask would be a Resmed Airfit P10 nasal pillows. It comeswith 3-sizes of nasal cushion and as long as you don't experience mouth leaks of air, it should work great. The Airfit P10 is currently selling on Amazon for $71, and probably no prescription required.
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RE: [split] New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
Welcome to the forum Conniepage. Sounds like you need some help, and you've come to the right place. You'll find lots of helpful knowledgeable users on here who will give you advice. Good luck!
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

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RE: [split] New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
You can buy the mask in pieces and assemble the that way you don`t need a pescription.
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RE: [split] New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
As Sleeprider said, Amazon is a good possibility for masks, hoses, and supplies.  The Airfit P10 that I see there at the moment is $74 and is sold by a third party but fulfillment is by Amazon (and it's a Prime-eligible item), so I doubt that you would be asked for a prescription.  The page title, for searching, is "AirFit P10 Nasal Pillows System with Headgear (Complete System)".  Another mask available on Amazon at the moment, also 3rd-party and fulfilled by Amazon, is "Philips Respironics Nuance Pro Nasal Pillow System - 1105167 - Retail Packaged" for $46.

If you have time to browse and read, you can find out all about any make & model of mask by doing a search of this forum.  The search facility here doesn't like search terms that are shorter than four characters (which is a silly and unnecessary restriction), but you can always use, for instance, Google with something like: site:apneaboard.com intitle:p10 or site:apneaboard.com intitle:"nuance pro"

There are generally long delays involved in having a sleep study done and getting to the point where you are given the prescription that will let you buy CPAP machines and masks "legitimately". I use the quotes there because there's nothing wrong with going out on your own and buying what you need on what might be called the gray market. It's a very light gray. Nobody is going to get busted or sued for having and using a machine & mask without the Rx. So if you need to, if you're fed up with always being tired, then go for it on your own and shun the docs & sleep-techs & respiratory therapists, etc. More power to you.

The Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset, as recommended, is in fact the best all-around machine for most people. If you're really desperate and nothing else is available and you can't find either a used A10 Autoset or a retailer that will sell one of those to you without the Rx, a last resort would be to buy a new Apex Medical "iCH Auto" (includes humidifier) or "XT Auto" (with separate humidifier included in package) from Amazon for $500, no Rx required. The big downside is that the data from that machine's SD card can't be read by Sleepyhead or by any other CPAP-analysis software except Apex's proprietary "Easy Compliance", which you can download elsewhere on this web site. (You, as a patient/consumer, can't get the software from Apex or from the Amazon retailer because it's supposed to be only for medical professionals. Foo to that.) So when you are using that machine and you ask for help here and half a dozen people tell you to "post your Sleepyhead charts", you won't be able to do that. You would presumably be able to post charts from Easy Compliance, and I have no idea how useful that would be (haven't used it).

If you go for a Resmed Airsense in general, if you're window-shopping, be very careful to get only the "Autoset" or "Autoset for Her" model. Don't buy it if the full model name is "Airsense 10 CPAP" or "Airsense 10 Elite"; those are not as good as the Autoset, and the bottom-of-the-line "CPAP" won't even give you full data. When you are using the machine on your own without a sleep-doc, it's much better to have not only full data but the APAP feature for auto-titration, finding the best pressure or range for your case.
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RE: [split] New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
And the best place in this neighborhood to start reading is: New to Apnea?  Helpful tips to ensure success

Especially important there, for anyone who is flying solo, are "CPAP Machine Choices", "Setup Manuals", and "Mask Primer" before selecting & buying the hardware, and then "Optimizing Therapy" once you are using the machine.
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RE: [split] New to the forum - Need help with CPAP
Not fear of lawyers, but fear of giving bad advice, prompts me to add that a web search for "cpap contraindications" before going ahead is of course a very good idea for anyone intending to fly solo. At first glance, from such a search, those conditions include (but are not limited to): cardiac arrhythmia symptoms; bullous lung disease, pneumothorax, or penetrating chest trauma; pneumocephalus after open craniocerebral injury or other head injury; inability to protect airway ("CPAP requires a patient to be alert and able to protect the airway by coughing up mucus and having an active gag reflex, as well as be able to control breathing"); stomach surgery or bowel bleeding; inability to clear mucus (including having pneumonia or a lung infection); severe epistaxis (nosebleeds); and low blood pressure secondary to blood loss.

So anyone who has any of those conditions should not fly solo with CPAP and should instead consult one or more doctors ASAP.
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