Some Good Things

Riot Nrrd explains why  judging other people’s health can be inaccurate.

Despite turning my ankle a couple times Monday (and working too much and walking too little these past weeks) I didn’t have problems walking over a mile at the Sounders game Tuesday night :)

Manufacturer's pic of my preferred CPAP mask

My new CPAP mask arrived! Somehow I’d broken the widget that connects the nose piece to the headgear.  I’ve got another mask which is smaller and has fewer breakable parts and drives me NUTS because it vents “down” from my nose, thus sending a steady stream of air ONTO MY BODY to KEEP ME AWAKE.  So once again I got a replacement of my preferred mask.  (Among other features, it vents “up” from my nose.)

Searching this blog tells me this last happened in May 2009.

I find it interesting that I didn’t even try to sleep without my CPAP.  I used the backup mask a few nights and the broken taped-together mask a few nights, but no non-CPAP nights.

Last weekend the man of the house and I spent a night at the Seattle Westin Hotel. We did one of the “romance” packages, with sparkling wine, breakfast in bed, and a late checkout.   I enjoyed it immensely, and I’m really glad we got to do it.

Oh, and the view wasn’t bad either.  The only camera I had was my cell, which wasn’t the best, but it’s a nice memento of the weekend.

Elliott Bay and some of West Seattle

Elliott Bay and some of West Seattle

7 thoughts on “Some Good Things

  1. I had that same CPAP mask and it most definitely wasn’t for me. I mention this only because I want everyone who needs a CPAP to know that no one mask works for everyone, and don’t give up on your CPAP, you just have to find the right mask. What stinks is that insurance companies (in my experieice) only cover a select few masks from a select few providers, so you might have to buy a few on your own to find the right one.

    My personal mask struggle is that I have a small nose and nostrils and low hanging ears and I can’t stand the straps touching my ears, so it took me a long time to find the right mask.

    I never have CPAP-less nights either. I have terrible nightmares when I’m not wearing my mask and I am honestly too scared to sleep without the mask.

  2. Ok..a couple of questions for you about your mask.
    1. What do you do about “rainout”? I have one of those sleeves for the hose, but since I like my bedroom cold, I still have a problem with condensation. It will drain into my nostrils or even drip from the mask itself beneath my nose. I have tried turning off the heating element and that has reduced condensation, but the air is sometimes too cool in the room to eliminate it completely. It also creates a semi-dry airflow that causes scratchy throat and makes me cough. Any suggestions?

    2. Do you ever have a problem feeling as if your exhaled air is not being expelled quickly enough? There are times I feel as if the port is too small to allow the old air to be flushed out and will sometimes open my mouth to release the pressure I feel in my lungs. Is that just me and part of having asthma (since asthma is more about exhalation than inhalation) or do you experience this as well? (btw….my pressure settings are 13 cm with a 20 minute ramp up).
    On average, I probably wear my mask 4 nights a week. The other nights I either can’t get comfortable with it, or pull it off some time during the night. When the weather changes, I often have a period of adjustment that lasts about 2 weeks where I am getting used to the change in air pollutants, temperature, and responses of the machine. My machine is 6 years old, so I think I am able to order a new one from my insurer, but I’m thinking I might need another sleep study to determine if my needs have changed. Have you had more than one sleep study? (ok, I lied..that’s THREE questions!).

    Nice view from the Westin! I’ve heard Hotel 1000 has a great romance package as well. Looking at the water always makes me want to be ON the water in our little motor boat! Too bad we had such a chill summer….didn’t get nearly as many days on the water as we would have liked. (and yeah….this fat girl drives a boat…WITHOUT sinking it! har har).

    • My airflow is pretty comfortable, but my CPAP is set to auto-adjust the pressure as needed. (My doc did suggest I could try 8 or 9 cm if I wanted to switch to stable, but I’m happy with the auto-adjust.)

      Re: masks, I tried a few on at the doctor’s and have also experimented with hubby’s style, and none has been as comfortable for me as the Breeze one. Totally agree with Kate that not one mask works for everyone. (Hubby refuses to even try mine ;)

      Yeah, this summer wasn’t great for outdoor water stuffs. The Westin was fab. Hadn’t heard of Hotel 1000 – might have to keep that in mind ;)

  3. Regina,
    Please do not substitute my opinion for any sort of actual knowledge. I have a pressure that’s a little higher than yours, but in the ballpark, so I feel like I can speak to some things. Keeping my humidity low keeps the rainout from happening, of course the prices for that is a somewhat dry scratchy throat in the morning. I’d take the sore throat over the wet any day. If you can get a new machine through your insurance company, I’d do that. My husband has a newer machine than I do and it has a better humidity control. In the meantime, if you have filter anywhere on your machine, you might want to try replacing or cleaning them.

    I do believe it’s possible to get a comfortable CPAP configuration, so keep trying, though I do acknowledge that just because I believe it doesn’t make it true. :)

    • My machine actually doesn’t have a humidifier built in, which helps prevent “rainout” — generally I only get that right after rinsing the hose. I find hooking it up and letting it run a bit before I put on the mask helps dry it out.

      I haven’t tried a hose warmer, but I’ve seen them on Amazon.

      Speaking of filters, mine has a washable foam filter and a disposable one. I wash the foam filter monthly and replace the disposable one when it starts showing dirt (it’s white).

  4. Hi Kate
    Thanks for your insight. It really helps to hear others’ experiences. I’m always open to suggestions. As for the filter, I change those pretty regularly. I’m pretty good at keeping the thing clean, too. I had a hunch that the newer machines had better humidity control, and I’m thinking about maybe wrapping my hose with something thicker might help until I get a new machine. I use the same mask as Living400 does, and have for several years now, so I think I have the right setup for me. The only issue I have with the straps and what not are that they itch sometimes. Above the ears, the cushion on the back of the scalp, and the straps in my hair. I have to ignore it or I find myself scratching obsessively~! I just wish I could prevent the drowning sensation from that condensation. A scratchy throat really IS a small price to pay for a restful night’s sleep. :)

  5. It’s difficult changing masks. Having that airflow blowing right on you would be AWFUL! Isn’t it truly amazing what a difference those machines make? I would not do a CPAP machine less night by choice if I had to.

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