Sleep is good! Sometimes we take for granted the sleep that we get or don’t get. Maybe even the sleep we think we are getting but we aren’t getting the proper sleep.
If you have been following Courageous Christian Father, you might have seen where I blogged about the search for medical answers. I ended up with blood testing and a few medical testing, MRI of brain, echocardiogram of my heart and even a sleep study. It came out that in the sleep study that I have a form of Sleep Apnea. The sleep study from October 2, 2015, showed that I stopped breathing in my sleep. I did a study where I started my study without the CPAP. Then, in middle of my study, they put the device on me. The tech told me in the morning, the only reason he put it on me was because I needed it. I also found out, I still stopped breathing in my sleep with the CPAP, but not as much.
The tech at the UT Sleep study, was very friend, him and I got to talk about Jesus, the Bible and more. He made my stay very nice. The UT Sleep Study uses the old hotel at the hospital for the sleep study. The rooms look like an hold hotel. When the tech put the mask on me, all I could think was … “Permission to fly by the tour” from Top Gun. I felt like a fighter pilot with the mask on. So maybe that is way to look at it when you put the CPAP mask on that you are about to be a fighter pilot.
The mask in the picture was one of a friends, it was a sample they had, I since cleaned it and gave it to a free clinic when I got my equipment.
I told my Ears, Nose and Throat Doctor about this. I knew he was thinking of doing a tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy. He looked at my nose and then said I had a deviated septum and my Turbinates (Turbs as my ENT Doc calls them) are blocking some of the nasal passage way. He said he wanted to do Septoplasty nasal surgery to correct those issues. So I had that done. While I had the stents in my nose I couldn’t use the machine. This surgery is suppose to help my breathing on a daily bases and also when I am sleep, so I shouldn’t stop breathing or as much as I use to.
I want to share with you my pain in getting the machine from Resp-I-Care. I get a call from Resp-I-Care somewhere around October 9, 2015 telling me they are working on my order. October 20, 2015, still no work for them. So I call the office that called me, Kingsport, TN office, and they told me they had to switch it to Knoxville, TN and call them. So I called Knoxville, TN and they told me they just got the order that day, that they are working on it. It wasn’t until October 30, 2015 that I got my machine.
I kept trying to get a hold of my tech about leakage I was having near my nasal area. She came out and told me I had the right size and that if I change mask now, I cannot change it for 6 months due to insurance. She said give it some time to adjust. I tried that and still nothing. She told me tips about old t-shirt torn up to help with the seal of the gaskets of the mask. That didn’t work, the t-shirt pieces didn’t stay.
I know that Resp-I-Care’s customer service lacked, they didn’t seem that friendly. They only have one teach available for my area and she is only available at certain times, late at night, which isn’t that bad, but still it is limited. She told me she has sample mask that I could try, these are ones that were either samples or ones that people didn’t like that they clean up and put aside for special reasons. She said I could try a couple and decide from there. The day she was going to come was the day after my surgery. She said she would call my daughter. She never called me nor my daughter. But I was still out of it for my surgery.
Sleep (CPAP) Equipment I got
- Fisher & Paykel (F&P) Simplus™ Full Face Mask
- ClimateLineAir™ Hose
- AirSense™ 10 Autoset
The ClimateLineAir™ hose allows for your air way to be heated. Mine is set to 81°. My climate is on 4, my start is 7 to maximum of 11 pressure. Please note these are my prescribed settings, your setting will be different based on form(s) of Sleep Apnea you have and what your doctor recommends. Adjusting these settings can effect your sleep treatment.
Treatment started off not too bad. I was using it daily. Just before my nasal surgery, I had some drainage bad, so I stopped use because of the dripping nose. Then, when I had my Septoplasty, my ENT doc said not to use the machine until after the follow up appointment with him which checked my nose and removed the nasal stents. At that appointment he told me begin treatment on the CPAP again.
I started back my CPAP treatment. I noticed that my mask, Simplus™, seemed to leak much more. I wasn’t sure it it was because of my beard having been grown more since then, because I was told that beards and CPAP mask don’t mix well.
I go for my Sleep Doctor appointment on December 4, 2015. I talked to her about my mask. She said most people leak by their nose or by the bottom. She told me about the t-shirt thing but suggest a light application of lotion, very light cause too much can damage the seals. But put it on the skin, then apply the piece of t-shirt then the mask. I haven’t tried that yet. My Sleep Doctor did give me a new mask to try. She gave me a ResMed AirFit™ F10 to try. I get home excited to try it and it wouldn’t connect to my ClimateLineAir™ Hose. Eager to try it, I temporary set it up with duct tape to attach the two pieces. I tried to call my tech at Resp-I-Care but haven’t heard back from her. (I don’t recommend using duct tape because when I took it off, it left the sticky glue to the hose).
Also while I was at my sleep doctor appointment, she told me that Resp-I-Care just recently got bought out about a week or two ago. Maybe that is why I have was given poor treatment from Resp-I-Care, maybe the staff knew they were possibly being bought out and didn’t care anymore, at least that is my take of it right at this point.
Since it is Saturday, when I am typing up and posting this blog entry, I will have to wait till Monday to call my Sleep Doctor and tell her about the hose adapter that I need and also call Resp-I-Care to see what I can do about it.
I did notice that my machine had a red frown face for mask leak. So, I am not sure if it was because of my beard or not. I did have a medium short, full beard. So today, I went and trimmed my beard down even shorter. I trimmed it with a #1 guard. Then I also just kept my goatee. I am going to try that. The Sleep Doctor and my Resp-I-Care suggest you keep a clean shave, no beard or goatee. I will see if trimming down my beard to a very short goatee will help.
I was also told not to use alcohol or alcohol type wipes to clean your mask, as that can break down your gasket on the mask.
My ENT Doctor did say that he wants to hold off with the tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy for now, and see how my CPAP treatment goes since the Septoplasty. He tells me they are over enlarged, hypertrophy. My sleep doctor says she doesn’t think they are, but my ENT Doctor is specialized more in the throat area. My sleep doctor and even the tech at the sleep study said that most people that have a tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy, often can be off the CPAP machine for awhile. But, later down the road, often have to be put back on the CPAP machine due to scaring. So, if my ENT still wants to do that, I will talk to him about the scaring and possibly being back on the machine. My sleep doctor said now if you are a child, then it won’t affect you, but as an adult it does. The tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy is harder on adults than it is on children.
I was also told by Resp-I-Care that my machine has a cell phone in it, the data is sent to them and also sent to my doctor automatically. I did take my SD card with me just in case. I am glad I did. My sleep doctor says they never get the cellular data from the machines. That data is for Resp-I-Care and to give to the insurance company to prove that you are using the machine. If you don’t use it, they can come take it away from you since it is a rented device. If you show that you are using it regularly, then the insurance company will purchase it for you. You would think that the cellular data can be sent to your sleep doctor too.
I know that with my machine I can have ResMed.com/MyAir account to see my Sleep Score for that day, but they only keep 14 days worth of your data but is limited. I did find an open source program so you can see most of all the same data your sleep doctor does including graphs. I highly recommend you let the sleep doctor see the SD Card first before you do this. But when you use this program, make sure to lock the SD card, to prevent your computer from writing data to the card that can cause your SD card to malfunction on your machine. This program is an Open Source program and works on both Windows and Mac. I have a Mac so that was a bonus for me. It is called SleepyHead. You can even print out reports, But this program is for personal use only, for your own knowledge of how your sleep study is going. Please only use this program at your own risk. I am not responsible or the use of that program and the data exchanged etc.
My other post on whats going on
More to come, follow this blog to stay up-to-date with my medical answers. Maybe you are going through similar things this might help you as well. I will update you about the Resp-I-Care merger or change over and any progress with them and the progress with my CPAP theropy and progress since the Septoplasty.
Maybe you have some tips and hints that might help me or other readers, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Update: Posted about a few hours of posting this. The tech for the area called me back. She said she never got my voice mail until really late last night. She also said I never had your daughters phone number to call her since I just had surgery that day, November 20, 2015. She did have my number, you could have called my phone despite I was recovering from surgery. She said she still has some sample mask for me, but time has lapped now and I cannot change the mask, I must stay with the Simplus™. In six months, I can tell them, I want the F10, but for ordering supplies, I cannot change my mask now from the first one I got. She said when it comes time to order, just order the other supplies, not the Simplus™ mask. I told her my sleep doctor gave me a sample mask, the F10, but I don’t have the adapter. She said that that type of mask has a special joint and it usually gets stuck in the tubing when taking it off. So that could be where that part is, but she has a F10 that I can have in her car. But, it won’t be until next week before she is in my area again. That is yet another reason why Resp-I-Care service is lacked, only one technician in this area. So I guess I will be calling my sleep doctor and tell her the updated info on Resp-I-Care. I will keep you all posted on these issues.
Updated December 9, 2015: The tech for this area just called me and told me that after Saturday she no longer has a job due to the merger of the companies. I guess I will need to figure out who the new company is and talk to them. I will keep you updated.
Update on the New company coming soon!