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Full beard

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texasplumr +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Just recently diagnosed and having firmest problems. They tried the mask that went under the nose and it leaked a little under the nose. Enough to merit a front face at least. I went in for a refit and I asked to try the air pillows since they seemed like the most logical choice with a facial hair issue. She kind of ignored that and gave me a different one to try. Granted she set no machine up to test it. Nope, she just sent me on my way. Last Friday I tried to call and left a number but didn’t get a return call.

I was a little pissed on Friday. I’ll do the same tomorrow and see how I do. I have no idea why they wouldn’t want me to have the pillows but it kinda seems that way. I even invented all sorts of conspiracies in my head with my insurance company since these are 100% paid by them. I was really sick in March and met my deductible in April. So I’ve met out of pocket max.

I said all that to ask this: what do y’all use who have beards? I’m already tired of driving across town to meet with them.

Thanks

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snuzyQ +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

If treatment pressures are way high, the nasal pillows will produce too many leaks and might not be recommended for that reason. What are your treatment pressures? What type of machine do you have? Make and model?

That technician or respiratory therapist owed you a direct answer to your question. You shouldn't have been left to wonder if "it kinda seems that way". If she brushes you off again, as you described above, remind her that you're the one who'll be sleeping with whatever mask you get and while you appreciate her input, you expect your informed decision to be respected. Tell her again what you want. Explain that you'll not cut off your beard and you want a mask that will accomodate it. Ask why she thinks the nasal pillows mask is the wrong mask for you. Sometimes pillows masks leak simply because they haven't been sized right to fit the patient's nostrils. Yup...even the therapists can make mistakes. Make them accountable. Be nice but insistant. Ask lots of questions and be firm that you're not going to leave without some reasonable answers and a mask that you'll be willing to try out.

Sorry to say it, but you actually need to make another trip to meet with them as soon as you can. Bring in your machine and current mask. I would go see them with or without an appointment and just explain that you need to be seen right now by any of the repiratory therapists, it doesn't matter who. Ask the therapist for a mini test run in a mask and with your own machine, right then and there. Don't let them brush you off. You deserve much better, so, insist on it.

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texasplumr +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Thank you so much for your reply. I'm sorry but I'm at work and my machine is at home. I can give a more detailed reply at that time. But I do remember that my pressure is 4. I remember because she pointed it out my first visit when I got my equipment and made sure I knew it was non adjustable by me. And I just made an appointment for tomorrow morning and I'm going to be more insistent that I have something I'm comfortable with. Driving across town twice a week isn't something that I enjoy.

Once again, thanks for your reply. I wasn't sure how much traffic this site gets and how soon anybody would read this.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Howdy Texas... you would do well to get a copy of your sleep study report and the prescription. The pressure of 4 doesn't sound quite right. If you know and understand your own numbers you will be better equipped to make sure your therapy stays on track. I have a full beard and use an Amara View mask. Little to no leaking and I can sleep on my side (generally sleep on my back). May or may not work for you and the right size mask cushion is critical. The type of mask you settle on may be limited due to pressure as pointed out. My pressure is much higher than nasal masks or nasal buds can handle and I need a full face but your situation very well may be different. BTW: I live in Medina Co. west of SATX.

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texasplumr +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Yeah, there is a whole lot I don't know. And you're right, 4 isn't the pressure it's the setting on the machine. I just left there, I brought my machine and she fit me with the pillows and I used it for about five minutes and still had smiley face. It felt good and the package comes with three sizes, S M L in case you need to go up or down doe some reason. It felt good with the medium so I'll use that tonight.

The therapist was kind of a bitch at first. I guess because I came in knowing what I wanted and I told the person setting my appointment that I'd called twice on Friday and nobody gave me a call back so I was none too happy with their service. I hadn't been able to use my cpap in a week and it was becoming obvious that whether I get a good nights sleep or not was the least of their worries. She tried to tell me that I may have to shave and I told her hell would freeze over before that happens. Then she got into a spiel about insurance only paying for three fittings and I told her fine, this is number three and as long as I'm leaving with what I am asking for that shouldn't be a problem.

And she also wouldn't tell me what was in the sleep report or even what my pressure is. She told me I'd have to get that from my doctor. Fine, I see him again on the 5th of next month so I'll send him an email asking if I can pick that up then. I'll also give him a review of the service I didn't get from American Home Patient. And truth is, they may be a great company. So if someone reading this uses them and has stellar service just understand, I am only talking about this one office. The therapists there suck. My doctor told me the insurance company requires that I use them and I could tell by the look on his face when he told me that, that he wasn't happy about that. I wondered at the time why the look but didn't ask. Note to self: Ask next time!

Anyway, I'm excited to try it tonight! I keep hearing such great reports about good sleep being had by some of you and I can't wait to get a few hours. I won't take them all, I promise! I'll save some for others.

Oh, the machine is a ResMed. Air10 I believe is the model. It's easy to use and is very quiet. Which makes me happy. My wife wears ear plugs so she doesn't care. And I really do appreciate the help I'm receiving here. It's good to know y'all are out there. And one of you lives in central Texas too!

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snuzyQ +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

Sleep tight, Texas!

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I went on Medicare a couple years ago but prior, my insurance was Humana HMO and you had to use a DME within a Humana network so I chose Apria. Just picked them out of the blue as I didn't know one from another. In any case, when I went in for a fitting, the "therapist" made it clear that I wasn't going to actually try one after another mask type on because once you did, the mask would become USED and of no use to them. I was handed a Simplus full face mask and the therapist put it on me,. tightened the straps and said I would figure out how to make it work if it started to leak. She just gave me LARGE mask cushions as I am a large guy. It leaked like a sieve and I finally figured out the cushion was the wrong size and I needed mask pads and eventually gave up and switched to another type mask.

When I started Medicare about two years ago, I had to drop Apria as they are not Medicare approved. I began searching for a DME and looking at ratings and even BBB ratings and there were none within hundreds of miles of San Antonio that were not very poorly reviewed. Found a sleep clinic in San Antonio that was affiliated with Texas Home Medical and Texas Home Medical had good ratings and seems honest. They are out o Conroe and they now ship me my CPAP supplies every three months. The sleep clinic in San Antonio is where I would be fitted if I needed that and they seemed pretty decent but I didn't need fitting as I already knew what I wanted to use. The medical supply business seems to have a nasty reputation.

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texasplumr +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Thanks snuzyQ! I actually did sleep very well, 5.25 hours according to my machine. Which doesn't sound like much when you consider the hours in the night but its more than I've gotten in a very lomg time. It took a little while to get used to it so I hope to do even better tonight.

wiredgeorge, thanks for the tip! I'll be on Medicare pretty soon as I had originally planned to retire February 1. Some things in management changed here and I may now put that off. I work for the City of Austin in Water Protection and really do enjoy my work and the people I work with. So if these changes are positive changes I'll stay for another couple of years, even though I turn 65 on November 1.

The Pillows do seem to be working for now. And I hope I never have to talk to that particular respiratory therapist ever again. Thankfully, they mail replacements directly to my house. They gave me a schedule if when everything has to e replaced.

Thank y'all for your support!

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

When I started Medicare and was receiving replacements, the Texas Home Medical folks told me it was a Medicare requirement to have to call in to renew a standing order. I did this for about a year. Last cycle, I had forgotten to call and they sent another box of replacement stuff anyway. The replacement stuff is really starting to build up as I almost never replace anything. A full mask, 2 more cushions, the little filters for the air intake and a hose I believe. I hate to cut off the shipment as it probably won't be easy to restart getting what is needed.

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