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Getting started with a CPAP machine

3 posts
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dgingeri +0 points · about 6 years ago Original Poster

I've been dealing with my sleep apnea for over 12 years (I'm 46) by simply sleeping on my side, but recently I have developed issues with the nerves in my arms, probably due to the positions I've been sleeping in. Now, it seems my left arm won't stop hurting (definitely a nerve issue, not circulatory) while laying down unless I lay on my back. It has led to some very troublesome nights this weekend. So, I've decided to get a CPAP machine to try to work around this problem. The big problem is that I don't know much about CPAP. I know the basics, in that it creates a positive pressure into the airway to keep the airway open, but nothing about what adjustments I might need to make to the machine so that it will help me and not hurt me. I also don't want to deal with doctors on the matter, as they have charged me and my insurance a lot of money without being much help. I'm betting I can get better info from a forum like this rather than a doctor, as my past history has proven repeatedly. So, here are some questions I've thought of that I think I need to ask:

The most important one: Where do I find a good CPAP machine? What model or models work best, and/or which ones are trouble that I need to avoid? Do I need to adjust pressure, and if so, what would tell me if there is too much or too little? The maintenance I've looked up on them seems like kind of a pain. What do I need to watch out for in that? I think my beard would protect me from some of the chafing problems I've heard about with the masks, but I'm not sure. Will it? Is there anything I should know that I haven't asked?

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doctorlulu +0 points · about 6 years ago

I wanted to go that route but I have a medical pro in the family and she told me that I needed a doctor's help to benefit from a CPAP, that there are fine adjustments that need to be made, and proper monitoring of the device while I'm using it are all very important. So, I caved and am glad I did. I wouldn't know what the settings would have to be to get control of this beast. And, for me, it is a Beast.

If I had cancer or something very serious like that, I'd go to the best doctors money could buy. This thing has been a nightmare ! for me, zapping me of my overall sense of well being and my physical ability to get work around the homestead done, etc.

Best of luck with whatever you do. There is hope with these kinds of problems, today. They're learning more all the time. BTW, I had carpal tunnel in both wrists/arms in combo with this disaster and it was a mess.

I have and like my Dream Station with flex, ramp, humidifier, heat and full mask. It sends sleep and machine data automatically to be reviewed.

944 posts
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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 6 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

You may not want to spend money for professional help but are willing to listen to strangers who are not professional. Just me, but I don't think this is likely the best way to resolve sleep issues. A PAP machine prescription is set up after determining specific needs of a patient after a titration study; that is, after determining if you have OSA in one study, you go back and have tech put you on a machine using various modes of operation and various pressure(s) to achieve the best mitigation of apnea. I really would be surprised if a person could wing it and be effective but this is your choice. It's your health.

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