First, thanks for the support. I appreciate it.
I really think my first night went much better than I was expecting since I *did* get some sleep and I *didn't* yank the mask off. But with only about 4 hours of sleep, today has been a bit long and I'm more tired now that I usually am at this time of day.
Re pillows: My favorite is a very soft and malleable down pillow. Yes, I eventually managed to get something close to the right kind of a trough dug into the pillow for the mask, but it wasn't quite right yet. I think all that issue is needs is just a bit of time and some practice. I don't particularly like having my head at the edge of a pillow though; I prefer my nose to be pointed down directly into the pillow. Not gonna work since every time my neck had some comfort, it seemed like the exhale flow was reflecting off the pillows and into my eyes. My eyes make it real clear that I don't want that. But I'm pretty sure I'll eventually figure out appropriate trough pattern in my pillow that my neck, eyes, ears, and nose can all be reasonably happy with.
It's going to take a while to figure out how to protect my arms from the exhaust flow on hot steamy nights, however, since we don't have A/C. And it was way too hot for long sleeves last night. It's not that my arm got cold; rather the breeze was a pretty annoying and an irritant. I think if the night had been cold, it would have been easier because then my arm would have wanted to be under the covers anyway.
Ayr Saline Gel or KY won't work: KY makes me itch really, really bad. Gels in general tend to make my skin itch and sometimes they trigger pretty bad rashes---I think it's some chemical that they use to turn stuff into a gel. Can't use gel and solid deodorants. Can't use gel type soaps either. Can't use gel topical anti-itch medicine for insect bites or poison ivy. I've had some many problems with gel products through the years that I won't even try them anymore.
Ramp is set for 4cm to 9cm in 45 minutes. I don't think it was the ramp that keep me from falling asleep. I really think it was stress and getting over tired cleaning and reorganizing the bedroom to create a decent place for the CPAP to live. And I've never been one to quickly fall asleep---even as a small child. Most nights I typically spend about 40--50 minutes to fall asleep. It just took me an extra long time to find a reasonably comfortable position and to get the brain to start shutting down for the night. A very common occurrence for me. And it was just as I was beginning to debate whether to hit the ramp button a second time because of the chipmunk cheeks when I wound up finding an ok way to use my hubby for my pillow and I fell asleep. Maybe tonight I'll hit the ramp button a second time as soon as chimpmunk cheeks start to bother me.
So to end this, I've got a couple more questions:
1) What's a "good" leak rate? In other words, what should I eventually be aiming for?
2) How long should I stick with a given mask before giving up on it? I plan on giving the Swift FX about a week or ten days. I figure if the exhaust flow is still really bugging me at that point, I probably ought to try out the Opus 360: In the DME I was having a really tough time choosing between the two since both were about equally comfortable, but had different quirks. Both were hands down more comfortable than anything else I tried on.
current settings Min EPAP = 4, Max IPAP = 8 and Rise time = 3
8/1/2010 sleep study results:
AHI = 3.9 [AHI = (#OA +#CA + #H w/desat) per hour]
RDI = 23.4 [RDI = (#OA +CA + #H w/desat + #H w/arousal) per hour]
Dx: Moderate OSA