Forum · newbie - George

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[-] wg +0 points · about 2 years ago

Name is George. Have been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. Not sure what to make of most of the terminology and have been given a BIPAP machine and poorly fitted mask by a local med supply place. It has helped my sleep and I was impelled to get some help because I continually fell asleep while driving and using power tools. Not good. That seems somewhat better but I have a zillion questions as I think I can do even better. Anyway, glad I found a go-to place where I can ask folks who are knowledgeable about the things I know little. Thanks!

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[-] DanM +1 point · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Welcome, @wg (George)! We have a great member community, so please read through the various forum topics post your questions. There is also some educational material under the "Learn" section of the website that may be helpful. I'm glad you feel that your sleep has improved with treatment, but mask fit is important. Have you considered calling your equipment provider and talking to them about checking your mask fit?

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I called my insurance provider and talked a nurse. She suggested starting with the place where I got the sleep study done. My primary care doc has already told me she knows nothing about sleep apnea so I would first like the sleep study place doc to talk with me and explain what the results of my study were.

I shaved off my beard yesterday in hopes that would help my mask seal and it didn't. I continually loses seal during the night and my initial investigations have told me that the mask was never actually fitted. The therapist who GAVE me the mask, first gave me one which absolutely didn't fit. She only had one other on hand and gave that to me and told me it would work if I practiced self fitting at home. No measurements were made and no options given so I am going to call the medical supply place and tell them I am having problems. Thanks. The support system has been a bit disappointing so far as I haven't seen a sleep doc nor did I get fitted properly for a mask. George

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[-] DanM +1 point · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hello @HelpfulRubyQuail9302. It sounds like you are on the right track. I would encourage you to ask your equipment provider to properly fit you with a mask that is connected to a CPAP machine so they can check for leak and adjust as needed. A good mask fitting would actually involve a fit test with you laying down as you would to go to sleep. By doing this, the mask can be checked for leaks while you are wearing it and can be tested with you laying in various positions (on your side, on your back, etc.). I would also encourage you to make an appointment with a sleep physician, as you will likely need follow up care. Can you contact the sleep center who performed your study and ask them for an appointment with one of their physicians? Best of luck, and keep us posted on your progress. Wishing you great success. -Dan

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Last post said it was from helpfulruby but it was me... I have had the machine now and got a properly fitting mask and it seals pretty well... IF I sleep on my back. In can't sleep past 4-5 hours and my lower back is screaming in pain and it wakes me. I don't get up through my sleep period as I once did prior to the BIPAP machine.

Anyone else experience a sore back after sleeping on their back all night. I don't roll around and when I attempt to sleep on a side as I once did, I knock the mask around and it loses seal and I am UP for the duration. After adjusting the mask which is a chore when half asleep, I am wide awake and just can't go back to sleep. Four or five hours sleep now works better than 6-7 (normal) as I got prior to the machine as I am sleeping much more deeply. I am no longer falling asleep while driving or sitting in church during the Sunday sermon...

What can I do about the back soreness? I like to use one fairly thin pillow that keeps my neck in alignment and not be propped up on a bunch of pillows.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Moderators! Why do I show up as a user HelpfulRubyQuail9302? I didn't select this username and have no idea where it came from. Can this be fixed?

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[-] SleepyMorgan +1 point · almost 2 years ago

George - when I first joined, I was given a strange username too. Go to your "Settings" under your account and you can choose a username.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Thanks SleepyMorgan... the other name didn't suit me... HELPFUL RUBY? hehe

Anyway, does anyone get a sore back from sleeping in one position AE on my back.??? Any advice???

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[-] Sleep +0 points · almost 2 years ago

Hi Wiredgeorge, I know that if I slept in one position all night, I as well would have a stiff sore muscles. Have you tried lying on your side during the day and turning the machine on? That way you can try to become better acclimated to the mask/straps and what it takes to resolve leaks. Perhaps it will make you able to adjust the mask more efficiently at night then and it won't keep you up as much?

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Don't have time during the day... work calls. I don't have much luck keeping my mask sealed on my side. My mask usually gets unsealed after about four hours of sleep and once it does, I am up for the duration. Wish I could keep the mask sealed more effectively and sleep in more natural positions. It hasn't worked yet.

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @wiredgeorge. Happy to see you were able to update your user name! As for the mask, I agree with @sleep that sometimes trying to practice and get the mask adjusted in positions other than on your back may be helpful. If not during the day, maybe you can try when you get home in the evening? Otherwise, it might still be that you just do not have the best mask for your face. I know from an earlier post that you obtained one and then shaved your beard. Since you no longer have facial hair, you might require a mask a bit smaller or with a better seal.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Found that adequate seal can be achieved by propping up my pillow using a TV type pillow so that my head is elevated about 6 inches higher than it was. This also stopped any back pain. I also learned that washing your face good to remove any oils prior to putting on the mask helped greatly with seal and I no longer am having any issues. I want to buy a small blood-oxygen tester to record my O2 levels at night to see if they are maintaining. I know that the inexpensive (under $100) testers are no super-accurate but my blood O2 levels were getting down into the low 70s prior to the sleep study and treatment and were in the 90s during the sleep study where a Bipap machine was used. Apparently the very low blood O2 is dangerous as my daytime O2 is just fine. I have an appointment with my primary care doc in about a week to discuss the sleep study but think that perhaps things are going as they should now.

I want to thanks folks for being so kind on this forum... I visited another forum as there are a LOT of google links to it on various subjects I need educated on but would never dare post anything as the one post that was closest to my own situation had the OP torn to shreds with very negative comments and insults. I am a newbie; I know I don't even know what to ask about at this stage but being a noob doesn't make you stupid, just in need of help, advice and education on a subject full of acronyms, jargon, technical stuff that isn't in my wheelhouse so any suggestions and help from friendly folks who have walked down the same path and have already picked up the tools needed to make using this equipment and getting good sleep is super-appreciated!

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @wiredgeorge. So happy to hear that you have had good experiences here on the forum. We do have some great members with lots of knowledge and experience. Fortunately, most of us remember the challenges from when we were first starting out. You might consider asking your physician to order an overnight oximetry study. Some insurance providers will approve this to help confirm that blood oxygenations levels are improved and as they should be once treatment has been established. Please continue to visit the forums, participate in the surveys, and share your experiences. Your post might be the one that helps another newbie! Thanks, and best wishes!

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I have found the sleep apnea issue to be a morass of jargon, acronyms and concepts that are totally unfamiliar and some of the info is overwhelming in its technical complexity. I appreciate folks keeping the perspective that a person being introduced to this stuff is at the same point they were when they entered the process of sleep therapy. I will talk to my primary care doc in a week or so as this is a condition of my insurance company and she is in a position to make referrals based on the sleep study. Some of these were to see oral surgeons and such and I doubt I need to go down that path as the xPAP therapy SEEMS to be working fairly well.

When I now sleep, I don't recall dreaming, tossing around and have not yet had to get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break. I thought that the latter issue was because I am a geezer and this was normal but I guess I wasn't sleeping soundly and just got up by habit. The blood de-oxygenation issue is my main concern at this point and your suggestion to talk this over with my PCP is well taken. Hope the meter I purchased yesterday morning on eBay provides some decent feedback on how the xPap therapy is working to resolve this serious issue.

I have read that there is fairly sophisticated software out there to track what is going on with sleep. Not sure if this is something I want to invest time in but I do look at the RESMED.COM/MYAIR charting and have not had 5 events per hour in the past couple weeks. Main loss of points have been mask seal (trending better) and length of sleep... I just can't sleep more than 5-6 hours as we get up at 5AM and have only hit 7 hours twice since getting my machine. Never slept more than that ever anyway. How many hours do most folks sleep or feel they need to sleep to feel rested? I do 5 hours and feel great.

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @wiredgeorge. The National Sleep Foundation recently updated their recommendations on sleep time, and those can be found here: https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need. However, they are only recommendations. There are people we sometimes refer to as "short-sleepers" who don't necessarily need the recommended amount of sleep, and there are those who need more than what is recommended. Personally, I have to be absolutely exhausted to sleep more than about 6 hours. My experience when I started using CPAP was much like yours--less going to the bathroom and more dreaming. It also sounds like your AHI (events per hour) is well-controlled at less than 5. Congratulations and keep up the good work. It would be great to hear what you find out about your blood oxygenation during sleep.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I bought a Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Model´╝ÜCMS50F from a company with a US warehouse and should have it by this weekend. I doubt it is super accurate but it appears it is more useful than one that only hangs off your finger as it would come off. This is supposed to allow for 24 hours of recorded data which can be transferred to PC. Their software may not be user friendly and need to be updated from their website to work if my research is accurate. Their directions are also supposed to be second rate as they were likely not written by someone who is an English speaking native. If anyone has one and has some tips, please get with me! Thanks wg

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

FOLLOW UP! Used my pulse oximeter CMS50F last night. When I took my sleep study, my untreated blood oxygen was all over the place and got down to 72. That is the reason I bought this gizmo as I wanted to assess how effective the Bipap therapy was working. Anyway, after another night's restful sleep, basak blood oxygen 95 and low of 92. I am really impressed with the effectiveness of my Bipap thearapy!

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Congratulations, @wiredgeorge! Sounds like your therapy is working really well! 92% for a low is impressive after a low of 72 during your sleep study. Best wishes for continued success!

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