I tried my APAP for the first time last night, didn’t go well. This is a little long I’m sorry, but I could use some reassurance and education. (Main language is french and there are a couple of terms I’m not familiar with yet, please excuse some repetitions in my choice of words)
I have GAD (Anxiety), I know it’s normal that some people feel stressed using an APAP/Auto CPAP for the first time though. You can laugh, I do laugh at most of the things I’m scared of, I also know a lot of people uses those machines therefore they must be (almost) safe… hey, nothing is perfect.
The day before using it I did watch some videos and read some tips. I also installed the APAP that day, just so I can get used to it and browsed the setting menu. I’m like a cat, changes makes me anxious.
Equipment: I have the Enos 2 nasal mask and the ResMed Airsense 10 Auto. Ramp on at 5.0 and EPR set to Auto I think. Temp at 23, humidity at 3. (I wrote that below, but now it’s all in one place)
Results from the night at the hospital:
AHI was 24 per hour. (Translated from french🙂 The index of high resistance episodes of the upper airway is 15 per hour. When sleeping on the back, the number of episodes is 63 per hour, in other positions the number of episodes is 9 per hour. O2 average 95%, lowest 90%. Result: Moderated Hypopnea and Apnea, slight O2 desaturation, predominantly supine.
My doctor wants me to use a CPAP to try and diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
The first night (Sunday):
Yesterday I used the machine for 20 minutes, I was sweaty and had a dry mouth, so I turned it off and took a 10 minute breaks. The air was too hot, I like to feel some cold air as I have night sweat (I also have day sweat? XD). I also didn’t feel the “free” air, you know? I believe this is normal as I’m not breathing the air in the room but I felt like I was trapped.
So I turned the temperature to 23 (auto is 27 according to the manual) and turned the humidity to 3 (was set to 4). I put it back on after those changes. (Side note, I will continue to use it, I know it’s an habit and I do believe I’ll eventually get used to it, I just want to minimize the anxiety I have toward using this)
I lasted 2 hours on that second attempt, then decided to take the rest of the night off (if I can say that) to start again tonight as I know I need it. Eventually I felt like I was going to fall asleep but I couldn’t, I was always between the two worlds. After an hour or so, I felt like someone was deflating a balloon inside my nostril, which I presume was because I wasn’t breathing as I was suppose to and the CPAP filled my lungs, it woke me up 😛
My cat was playing and jumping around, normally I do some *psht psht* sound and he stops and come sleep with me, but when I did that, air came out of my mouth, it was funny (he also looked at me with a scared face hahaha), but I got stressed every time I swallowed or wanted to “talk”. Because of my anxiety, I do drink during the night, I swallow a lot and go pee between 1 and 2 times per night. (Usually just one though) I didn’t want the APAP to think I wasn’t breathing just because I was swallowing my saliva. I also wanted to stop the machine at one point just to get a sip of water, as I usually do during the night.
My main concern is waking up during the night, while the air pressure is set to 10 for example, and being unable to exhale or something and feeling like I’m suffocating. I do use the ramp feature, and the max I got from yesterday session was 6.7 with an AHI of 0.9 (which is probably the balloon feeling I was talking about).
Some other points – yea, I know, sorry:
- My Rx says Auto 5-15 (+- 2), does that mean it will adjust automatically and the limit is 15? Or does it goes to a specific level during the night (for example 12)? The Ramp time is set to auto. I’m afraid I won’t be asleep when the ramp time have expired and start pushing 15 right away, I don’t want my lungs to explode (I know it won’t happen, but I still have that stupid fear that I wont be able to exhale for some reason)
- I also read that using EPR can cause Central Apnea or something, should I be worried about that?
- At 5, when the night started, I felt like I wasn’t getting enough air and felt claustrophobic, but I had some issues exhaling. In the second session of 2 hours though, when I was calmer, at first it felt the same (not enough air) but then it felt ok and didn’t notice the air force at all.
- I read someone suggested to use the machine while watching TV to get used to it and the mask, since I’m awake, I would be less afraid as I’m conscious. I like watching TV in bed to relaxe. Is there any downside or cons of doing this?
I will continue to read blog, reddit and forum posts and watch videos about this, but I would appreciate if you could drop in 🙂
Stay safe xx