I got my CPAP machine four days ago. Unfortunately, the respiratory therapist began the session by telling me that she had back-to-back appointments that day. Then she zipped through the instructions on how to hook up and clean the machine, and sent me packing.
The literature she gave me says, "You will experience almost immediate relief from your symptoms by using CPAP Therapy."
She didn't warn me that there might be a long period of adjustment, or even tell me about online support. I found you guys by myself.
I have a REMstarPlus M Series, with heated humidifier and nasal mask. I think I have been sleeping a little longer each night, but I get awakened by discomfort, leaks and what I think you call mouth blowouts. I adjust the mask and go back to sleep. (Pressure is set at 15.)
What is bothering me most is head congestion, headaches and a runny nose.
The humidifier output was set at 2, but last night I moved it back to 1 (off is 0) to try to reduce the congestion. Today the congestion is worse and I have been walking around with a box of Kleenex. I also took an allergy pill today, but see no improvement.
Would increasing the humidifier output help, do you think?
Also, I have developed puffy eyes and dark circles under my eyes. What is up with THAT? Halloween is over, but I look like I am in ghoul makeup.
I feel well-motivated to adjust to CPAP -- but I see it's probably going to be through the kindness of others, and not necessarily with the help of the respiratory therapist.
The mask is marked "Ultra Miracle II."
I was diagnosed with sleep apnea eight years ago. After a dental device failed to help, I left the condition untreated.
Recently, however, I had cardiac symptoms. A cardiac catherization showed no blockages; the cardiologist said the symptoms could have been caused by the sleep apnea.
Sorry to go into so much detail.
I went to a sleep doctor, who sent me to a sleep center overnight for diagnosis, then another overnight to test CPAP.
The doctor then issued a prescription for me to go to a home-health agency to get the machine. It was there that I met with the RT.
She had me put on the mask that I got from the sleep center. (At first, I put it on upside-down!)
Then she showed me how to hook it up to the machine. She explained the cflex, which is on the machine, and the 20-minute ramp.
When she turned on the machine without the ramp, I felt like I was suffocating so I had to pull off the mask. I have done some snorkeling, so I figured I just had to learn how to relax and control my breathing. I have been working on that.
When I feel a leak, I pull the mask away from my face and readjust it (the mask, not my face) to try to get a seal. I have found, however, that if I turn in my bed, the mask might unseat. Does that just go with the territory?
Tomorrow (Monday) I will call the agency and ask to talk with a different RT.
On the bright side, my sister recently saw an obituary in her newspaper for a person who died of sleep apnea, and that's probably not going to happen to me -- if I can get the hang of this.
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