Okay, now I really do feel like I’m rambling, but I just wanted to write the closing chapter of my story (assuming nothing else changes).
I had my third follow-up appointment today and am super happy about the outcome. It was a lady I had never met (last week’s appointment was a guy I had never met, who I wasn’t overly impressed with). She was super nice and was really excited that I was so on-board and interested in all the technicalities, which I really appreciate!
I told her about how this is the first week I feel like I’ve actually been sleeping rather than dozing, but how I’d woken up several times feeling like I was choking and couldn’t breathe. She asked a few questions. Was it the same as my pre-diagnosis symptoms, and I said yes. When during the night was it happening, and I said I felt like it was just after falling asleep. She said that probably I was having apneas that the machine wasn’t responding quickly enough to (since it only responds so quickly). I then told her about how, when I first put on the mask, breathing feels super restricted and unnatural. But then, as I’m falling asleep, at some point something flips and it suddenly becomes very natural. Several times I’ve opened my eyes when this happens and the pressure on the machine is always around 7. I asked her if we could just bump the lower pressure from 5 to 7. She said she had been about to suggest exactly that, and was really glad I’d discovered this conclusion for myself. So she changed the pressure range to 7-12 (it was originally 5-15, but last appointment the guy had lowered the top number to 12). She also showed me the ramp feature, and said I could adjust this in five-minute increments if I felt like air was blasting in my face as I tried to fall asleep, or could turn off (I’ve had it set to auto till now).
I asked about doctor’s forms and insurance, and she said my doctor had filled out the needed forms and they had submitted them to my insurance for pre-approval a couple days ago. So hopefully that will get approved with no issues.
Next week is my last appointment, and she said if no other issues come up, it’ll be my final trial appointment. I asked if I’d have to give the CPAP back, because I’d hate to get used to using this only to give it back and then get one again and have to re-adjust. She said since I’d done extremely well and was planning on purchasing one if I got insurance coverage, they would let me keep it until that insurance coverage came through. I asked if I would get exactly the same machine, and she said I could purchase whichever machine I wanted. I will either get this machine I’ve been using (ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet for Her), or else the regular AutoSet model that’s black. I think the black one looks sleeker, so I’ll probably go with that (all my insulin pumps have been black, too…I like black).
I asked her if my allergies get super bad in the spring, can I call and try a different type of mask. She said that would be no problem. For now, the mask I’ve been using has worked well, isn’t leaking at all, and my nose has finally gotten used to it.
At my appointment next week I’ll ask who to follow up with if, for example, my “events per hour” number gets too high. So far it’s been great, with an average of 0.8 for the three weeks. This week, since I’ve actually been sleeping, they are a bit higher and in the morning I’ve seen numbers from 1.2 to 2.9. If it gets near 5 consistently and I feel I need settings changed, I suspect I follow up with them, but I’ll check as it may also be my doctor.
Overall, I am super happy with how I’ve adjusted to this, how much better I’m feeling in the morning (so much better!), and the experiences I’ve had with this company. Hopefully the next step is just that my insurance covers everything and I exchange this loaner unit for one to keep.