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Strangely, after replacing the nasal pillows with smalls and learning how to wear the harness correctly, the mask worked perfectly. I slept wonderfully Thursday night. If only I hadn't succumbed to the cold that everyone else in the household had.

Last night, after a very enjoyable visit from [livejournal.com profile] allanh and his husband Randy, I was exhausted, so I just went straight to sleep. I figured I wasn't congested, so the cold probably wouldn't be an issue. Ha-ha! I kept waking up because I wasn't breathing as well as I had the previous night. Finally, around 6am, I gave up, got up, got the nasal rinse kit, and flushed away. (Part of the CPAP training is "Use the nasal rinse kits!" I haven't mentioned this before because, well, eww.) In the interests of delicacy, I'll just say that I was glad I did. After that, I could breathe, so I got about another hour and a half of fine quality sleep.
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Well, that sucked.

Last night I spent tossing and turning, adjusting the mask, and making the night hell for [livejournal.com profile] aelfie. When Ike came in complaining that no one loves him, she bailed and moved to his bed. I got up at 6 and went to look up online info on mask adjustment, but gave up and went back to bed for a while. I finally threw in the towel at 6:30 since I had a 7:30 appointment to turn in the CPAP.

I reported that the machine had shut itself off when I used the mouth and nose mask. "It's not supposed to do that!" Yeah, that's what I thought. The machine was duly retrieved and marked "Broken". Then we went over my data. Since I screwed around so much this morning, it counted it as three nights and wiped some of the early results. Lovely. However, in spite of my impression, the previous two nights with the nasal pillows were just fine. Only last night showed that I was having a horrible time.

We identified a few things that should make the nasal pillows mask work better:

1) Stop screwing with it.
2) Keep the hose up over the head. (I'd taken it down halfway through the night while fighting with it.)
3) Use the "small" interface instead of the "medium" which I'd had with the titration CPAP. I get all three sizes with the mask, though, so I can adjust if necessary.
4) Put the freaking mask on correctly! Oh, so the lower strap goes above the ears. (I'll pause a moment for all of the CPAP users to laugh at me.) I'm sure that was mentioned during the orientation meeting. Oh, well.

Oddly enough, with these adjustments the fit was not tight in the straps yet sealed in the airway. I'm much more confident of success tonight. So now I have my standard CPAP and personalized pressure setting. w00t!
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Second night of the nasal pillows. I was planning to mess around with the straps last night, but one of the girls had a nap during the day, so [livejournal.com profile] aelfie was already asleep by the time all of the kids were out. So I just went with it as is.

That is the last time I'll do something that stupid. I clearly do not have the mask adjusted properly. The seal did not feel secure. Combined with multiple visits from Ike, who knocked the mask askew, I did not sleep well at all. I don't think the previous night was as effective as the full nose nights, so today I felt just as crappy as I did a week ago (and stretching back into the ages). If I'd needed convincing that this was worth it (beyond the testimonials of everyone else who uses CPAP), this was it.

The kids were all out by 9, so I just spent a while playing with the straps and shifting position. It feels much more stable now, and I hope the seal will hold tonight.

Tomorrow morning, the titration machine goes back to Kaiser. I'll get my standard CPAP then, if everything goes smoothly. Once I don't have to worry about the memory card clearing its recorded data, I'm more likely to take the thing in to Ike's room when he gets restless. We already have an extension cord next to his bed as prep from a few times when Jen has done this.
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This time I tried the nasal pillows. It will take some practice to get them adjusted so that I don't knock them loose during the night. My lip doesn't hurt, and I feel just as rested as the previous nights. I'm marking this down in the win column. I'll see what the readouts say Thursday morning, but I'm planning to stick with these for the two remaining nights.
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I tried to make the full nose-and-mouth mask work yesterday, but it wasn't having any of it. In spite of the assurance of the medical professional who gave out the box that it would not turn off by itself ever, mine shuts down after 2-5 minutes of the total coverage mask. Thus, I don't trust it at all. Lying cheesehead.

I went with the full nose mask, since I ended up switching when I went to bed. I'm not going to screw with an untried mask in the dark. I'll fiddle with the nose-and-mouth mask some more tonight well before bedtime (if the kids allow such spare moments). But I expect to go with the nasal pillows tonight.
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I went with the full nose mask again last night, both because I wanted to finish it off and I didn't want to screw around fitting a new one. I trimmed my facial hair yesterday so maybe the mouth and nose mask will work tonight. This meant that I had freshly trimmed 'stache ground into my upper lip by the mask. The nose mask again seemed to work just fine, but I'm not inclined to choose it unless it's the only one that works due to the lip irritation. I must remember to reserve enough time to screw with the big mask tonight. Whee.
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Tuesday afternoon was the OSA lecture from a doctor to convince everyone that we really, really, really want to make CPAP therapy work for us. "Do any of you know someone who uses a CPAP?" BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hmmm, just every single human being I know? Or so it seems, anyway. Apparently some people need to be convinced that this is a good idea. Wacky.

Yesterday was titration machine orientation and pickup. Again, people just don't listen. "Please do not put on the masks until I finish explaining the safety precautions." Two dudes continue to put on the masks. "Please do not put on the masks yet." One dude takes his off, the other continues on, oblivious. To assistant: "Would you please take that mask off of him?" Oblivititron starts and takes off his mask. I know everyone's supposed to be hideously sleep-deprived, but this is just sad.

So I have six days and three masks. I was planning to work down from larger to smaller, but I couldn't get the nose and throat mask to seal over my beard last night, so I went with the full-nose mask instead. This is a design with some blue gel lining for the seal. It's supposed to conform to your face over time, but not quite within the week available. I'm not really worried about my mouth dropping open, because I already have my teeth-grinding mouthpiece in there. (I'm now looking at a future of about 20 minutes of prep just to go to bed. 40 and washed up. Bah.)

The nose mask appeared to work just fine. The only problem was that my upper lip was irritated from the mask pushing my moustache into it all night. That's faded while I've written this, but I expect it would get old every night. I'm rooting for the nasal pillows anyway.

I feel...okay. It was a decent night's sleep in six hours instead of nine and a sore back. The expense was that Jen got up to deal with the kids all night, so I don't think this is a sustainable approach. I'll see how it goes by the end of the week.

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