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Old 11-30-2006, 07:10 PM   #16
hiwaygal
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OMG!!! Great news!!!

I had my follow up with the sleep doc today.

They said the CPAP machine seemed to help and that my insurance allowed them to be the distributer...so I was able to bring a machine home TODAY!!!

I'm actually very excited!! I have it all set up next to my bed, DH bought me some distilled water for the little humidifier thingy, and I'm actually looking forward to using this thing tonight!

Basically...it's all "done"! I go back in February to make sure I'm using it properly. They said that it's considered a rental for the first two months, after that, if everything seems good, my insurance company will "buy" it.

So...I'm anxious to see how this all works!!!
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:10 PM   #17
Denise W
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Yes, my machine does have a humidifier and heater. So far I have it on a low setting but I think i will turn it up slowly. I am having to cough from a dry throat, so I think I need to turn it up. I actually got a call from the medical supply people 2 days after my doctor's appointment wanting to bring the machine over, so they musthave lots in stock.

My insurance covers 90% so I had to pay about $35 up front and then rent the machine for about $5 for 10 months and then it is mine.

Last night I didn't use it at all becuase of some other personal issues, but now that it is the weekend I want to try to use it all night tonight and tomorrow night.

I haven't noticed and difference yet in my sleeping, but it hasn't been that hard to get used to, so far.

Good luck to you!

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Old 12-01-2006, 01:20 PM   #18
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Hmmmm...wonder if they ever did a study to find out if the name Denise causes sleep apnea!

I think I did quite well last night...slept with it for all but maybe an hour or so. But I keep getting the feeling that I don't have the mask on right and it's leaking...so I'm afraid to move or anything. It's probably just that I have to get used to it

Good luck to you too!!!
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:49 AM   #19
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Night 2 with the CPAP machine.

You know, when I woke up this morning, my nose felt weird...numb sorta! But I did feel like I got a good fit on the mask last night...kept it on all night, and managed to find a way to sleep on my side!

I'm not sure I'm using the humidifier thing right (too many buttons to figure out ) and I wish they would re-set the "ramp up" feature to go longer than the 25 minutes they give me...I need more like 45 minutes or more...
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:25 AM   #20
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mmmm, something about the name Denise!!

I used my machine last night for the whole night for the first time, about 8 hours. I got up once to use the bathroom and disconnected the hose so I could keep the mask on. When I reconnected it in the dark (and being sleepy) I must not have gotten a tight connection, because when I woke up again in 3 hours I realized it was leaking air. But at least I made it through the whole night and the mask didn't bother me (too much). I think from now on if I have to get up during the night I'll just take the mask off.

What brand machine do you have? I need to read the whole book this weekend to make sure I am doing everything correctly, even though the therapist was very good about showing me the operation of it.

I know on my machine I can change the ramp up feature (of course I haven't figured out how to do it yet!), but mine is set for 45 minutes and that seems about right for me.

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Old 12-02-2006, 12:03 PM   #21
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I have this Fisher-Paykel machine.

I don't think it allows me to adjust the settings. I can call the doc on Monday.

I think the 45 minutes you have sounds good for me too. I can't remember if she told me she set mine at 20 or 25 minutes, but it's not enough. I end up just starting to fall asleep and try to yawn when it's at it's max...and that is just too hard!!

I think I'll have DH read the manual again!
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:33 PM   #22
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My DH has had and used a CPAP for 6 years now. It has made such a difference to his ability to function, it's unreal. Of course his machine is about 6 years old now, has a humidifier and no heater and is pretty loud and bulky. I wonder how often they can/need to be replaced.

We have traveled a lot over these years and my DH used to crazily check the CPAP in his luggage. It took two times of it being delayed before I said "Dude....you have to carry that thing on - we need you awake!" And now he always does - packs it in a small rolling suitcase that fits in the overhead on most planes, gate checked for the tiny planes, or under the seat. When he started with the CPAP, he had a mustache, though, and had a hard time getting a good seal with his nose mask because of it. It took us a while to catch on to that, though.

Oh, one more question - my DH hasn't had a sleep study or follow up with the sleep doctor since the initial study was done. We get new hoses and masks and filters and humidifiers periodically, but I wonder if it is odd that there is just zero follow-up with the doctors.

So glad that you all are finding the CPAP to be so helpful as well.
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:58 PM   #23
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I have C-PAP machine. When I received it about 4yrs ago they gave me a case for it. I always take with me when I travel and hand carry it. It fits in the overhead storage with no problem. It does not count a personal carryon as it is medical equipment. It easily can go the the security machine and face no sideeffects.
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corinnak
My DH has had and used a CPAP for 6 years now. It has made such a difference to his ability to function, it's unreal. Of course his machine is about 6 years old now, has a humidifier and no heater and is pretty loud and bulky. I wonder how often they can/need to be replaced.


Oh, one more question - my DH hasn't had a sleep study or follow up with the sleep doctor since the initial study was done. We get new hoses and masks and filters and humidifiers periodically, but I wonder if it is odd that there is just zero follow-up with the doctors.

So glad that you all are finding the CPAP to be so helpful as well.
If I remember correctly, most insurance companies will allow a replacement CPAP after 5 years. You'd have to check with your insurance company to find out their policy though. The same goes with follow-up sleep studies. There can be earlier follow-ups, of course, should the doctor feel that it's necessary based on new problems / symptoms that the user is experiencing. The other side of the coin is that if the doctor feels that everything has been going well, he / she might not feel that a repeat study is warranted - LOL!

You'd be surprised at how small and quiet CPAP machines have become! Here's one: http://mseries.respironics.com/home.asp. If you click on the "View the M Series Features" link to the right of the CPAP machine, it will open a second page. There, you will see 5 icons to the right of the machine - they will explain the various features.
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corinnak
My DH has had and used a CPAP for 6 years now. It has made such a difference to his ability to function, it's unreal. Of course his machine is about 6 years old now, has a humidifier and no heater and is pretty loud and bulky. I wonder how often they can/need to be replaced.

We have traveled a lot over these years and my DH used to crazily check the CPAP in his luggage. It took two times of it being delayed before I said "Dude....you have to carry that thing on - we need you awake!" And now he always does - packs it in a small rolling suitcase that fits in the overhead on most planes, gate checked for the tiny planes, or under the seat. When he started with the CPAP, he had a mustache, though, and had a hard time getting a good seal with his nose mask because of it. It took us a while to catch on to that, though.

Oh, one more question - my DH hasn't had a sleep study or follow up with the sleep doctor since the initial study was done. We get new hoses and masks and filters and humidifiers periodically, but I wonder if it is odd that there is just zero follow-up with the doctors.

So glad that you all are finding the CPAP to be so helpful as well.
Hi Corinna!!!

Thanks so much for joining us!!

Personally, I'm still waiting for that "ability to function" to return! But I'm definitely looking forward to it (it's only been 3 days).

My CPAP machine came in a cute little travel bag! I was grateful for that because when we do travel, it will make it VERY easy for security to check it!

I also concur what GDUL said...they told me my machine could be replaced every 5 years. And I would definitely see if your DH can get a new one! Especially if it is loud. My DH usually asks me a couple of times if mine is even on! He can't hear it at all (and really, neither can I!).

My doc also said that most likely, unless I was having problems, there wouldn't be any further sleep studies. I thought that was weird too, but I guess once you have this problem, the machine isn't really a cure, it's a treatment. (I think of it like diabetes or thyroid issues). The only way some folks might get off the machine is if they are very overweight and lose weight and the problem is minimized enough to not need the machine, but that wouldn't necessarily apply to everyone.

Let us know what you find out about a new machine!!!
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:02 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandmax3
I have C-PAP machine. When I received it about 4yrs ago they gave me a case for it. I always take with me when I travel and hand carry it. It fits in the overhead storage with no problem. It does not count a personal carryon as it is medical equipment. It easily can go the the security machine and face no sideeffects.
Hi Grandmax3!!!

Thank you so much for sharing this info!! I didn't know that medical equipment didn't count as a personal carryon!!!

That's great...although I might not tell DH as this is one way I could get him to carry all the carry-on stuff, while I have my CPAP!!!
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:33 AM   #27
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I just noticed this thread and am so excited to see so many of you newbie c-pap users. Don't give up - even if it gets discouraging or frustrating some nights.

I have had my machine for over 10 years. (Same machine!) I only had a follow up sleep study this year, because I figured my machine was certainly going to die soon, and knew that I needed a presciption for a new one. Well, my level hadn't changed, and my machine is working fine.

So many of your questions and concerns are familiar, and I can tell you that if you stick with it, you will notice a difference, and your life will change. It will never be 'perfect', but it will provide a dramatic change.

As far as traveling, I would never leave home with out it. My machine has been all over the country, and is ALWAYS with me as carry on luggage. I don't care what anyone says, the machine has never left my side! I've traveled with people who thought it was silly or ridiculous, but it's worth it to me to have it there. Yeah, that means there are places (such as camping) that is not going to be convienent to sleep - but it can be done if the people around you are willing to work with you.

I love naps, and I would never think of laying on the couch for a quick snooze. If I want to sleep for even 5 minutes, I lay down on my bed and quickly put it on. In the beginning, it's frustrating putting it on, but trust me, it will become as easy as putting on your slippers. You'll do it without even thinking.

When I first got my machine, I was 25 and a mom of a four year old. I realized that in the middle of the night I would take it off without realizing it, but once I started working outside the home, I became much more attached to it. And for the past 7 or 8 years, never have taken it off.

There are soooo many people out there with sleep apnea that have no idea that they have it. My uncle died of a heart attack when he was just 53 - had only had the cpap for a year before he died. Sleep apnea, when not treated with a mask, is very dangerous and harmful to your heart. Don't worry what your spouse will think about what you look like. If they truly love you - they will want you to wear it, because you need it. They wouldn't question you for taking a certain medication if needed it would they?

Before I got my machine, I couldn't stay awake driving even for 10 minutes in the car sometimes. In fact, my apnea was so bad that the morning after my first test, when the doctor go to the hospital that morning (after I had left) he was so conerned about me that he called to make sure I got home that morning. He said I had one of the worst cases he'd seen. At that point, he said I shouldn't even be driving, ever. So, yes, I encourage everyone i suspect who might have a problem with sleep apnea to seek treatment immediately. Literally, it could save your life!
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:39 AM   #28
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Wow tinabheart...thank you for sharing your experience!

I never suspected sleep apnea so I was surprised when my doc sent me for the study, and then even more surprised when it was diagnosed.

I'm excited for the positive effects that I know will come.

Last night (my 4th with my machine) was the first time I got frustrated and took it off after only 3 hours or so. I just couldn't seem to get a good seal on it and it was driving me nuts.

And, for the first time last night, I felt discouraged about having to do this every night for the rest of my life. I'm not concerned with the vanity issues, or anything like that...it's just a "restriction", you know? I know it will get better...

But I have a question for all of you who have had this for awhile...what specific products do you use to clean your machine? I've been trying to find mild UNSCENTED cleaners, and I'm not having any luck. DH is going to a hospital supply place today to see what they have, and I've only found one product online (and it was kinda pricey).
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiwaygal
Last night (my 4th with my machine) was the first time I got frustrated and took it off after only 3 hours or so. I just couldn't seem to get a good seal on it and it was driving me nuts.

And, for the first time last night, I felt discouraged about having to do this every night for the rest of my life. I'm not concerned with the vanity issues, or anything like that...it's just a "restriction", you know? I know it will get better...

But I have a question for all of you who have had this for awhile...what specific products do you use to clean your machine? I've been trying to find mild UNSCENTED cleaners, and I'm not having any luck. DH is going to a hospital supply place today to see what they have, and I've only found one product online (and it was kinda pricey).
Try not to get discouraged - it really does become second nature with regards to using the machine (it will be 5 years next week for me - happy anniversary - LOL!). I don't even think about it anymore.

I usually use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down my CPAP machine after I unplug it. I've never found a need to use a cleaner on it. Make sure to check your gross air filter (the gray one probably) and wash that periodically with warm water and a mild dish detergent like Joy. Make sure that it's dry before you put it back into your CPAP. I also wash my mask every other day or so using warm water and Joy. I disinfect the mask once a week using a vinegar / water solution (usually 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar). I also put in 2 or 3 drops of vanilla extract into this solution - it gets rid of the vinegar smell.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:23 PM   #30
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GDUL - wow...you are following the directions perfectly with the whole cleaning thing.

For me, I simply make sure that my face is very clean. Even if I've taken off my makeup at 5pm, I wash my face before I lay down - even for a nap, so that does mean re-applying makeup.

I've never washed the filters - just replace them every six months or so. They are only $4 or $5. Actually, I didn't know you could wash them!

My mask - gets a rubbing alcohol rubdown every week or so - and that's it! In ten years, I've probably only had a new mask every other year or so. They seem to hold up well. I know they say not to use alcohol...but it works for me. I let it run for a minute or so, adn then the smell of the alcohol is gone.

I guess I'm not an example of how to take care of your mask, but it's worked for me, and I've had my machine for 10+ years.

I will say that I have central air, and we keep our house quite cool in winter and summer, so there isn't a lot of perspiration and little dust. Humidity or open windows could make a difference in the air filter I'm sure.

I also do not have a humidifier, so that could make a difference as well.

I'm happy to answer any questions anyone has.
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