First experience with a CPAP

Actually with an APAP, that detects Apnea events and adjusts pressure (within a range of 4 to 20 cm water) as needed.  The unit I got was a ResMed AirSense 10


First there was a slight problem at the fitting.  I was the last one of the day and they had two styles of nasal pillows (I wear a full beard so that seemed the best option at least to start with) to try.  However when they opened the package for one the contents did not match the label so that left us with the other as “take it or leave it.”


While I was there, I tried it.  No sweat.  I breathed easily at its low setting of 4 cm.  They also recommended a chin strap to help encourage me to keep my mouth closed when sleeping at night.  they also provided another strap to fit around my head and help keep the chin strap in place.

On the way home I stopped to pick up some distilled water for the humidifier in the CPAP.  First stop was the local Kroger.  The only “distilled water” they had was in the drinking water section with “minerals added for taste.” Yeah, getting the minerals out to avoid deposit buildup in the system is kind of the point.  So Kroger’s a bust, so I try the local CVS pharmacy.  After much searching I find it–over with the humidifiers.  Pick up a gallon.

Get home and set the device next to my bed and figure I’m ready to go.  And that’s where it stays until I go to bed.  I fill the humidifier, turn it on, put the mask on and go to bed.

And that’s when the adventure begins.

It takes me a long time to get to sleep.  Then I wake up about two hours after finally getting to sleep to find the mask has come off.  So I put it back on,  tighten the straps a bit (uncomfortably so, but I figure, I hope, I’ll get used to it).

Several times during the night I wake up to find that the mask has shifted.  It’s either completely off my nose or, in some ways worse, partially shifted so the openings of the pillows themselves are partially closed, and the CPAP has run the pressure up enough that it’s actually a chore to exhale out through it leaving me falling into “in through nose, out through mouth.  Return to basic of life, Daniel-san, breathe.”  Sorry Mr. Miyage.  Not when I’m trying to sleep.

In the morning, about seven hours after I got to bed, I find that the machine has only registered just under 3 hours of use.

All in all, the first night was a total fiasco.


Over the course of the day I have not had the daytime groggies.  I’m more awake and alert than I remember being for some time.  So even the minimal actual use of the machine, and the multiple actual wake-ups long enough for me to remember them, seems to have had a significant effect on the “quality” of my sleep.

So the trick now is to see if we can get past these initial problems and get this worked out.

One thought on “First experience with a CPAP”

  1. I started using a CPAP 10 years ago. I use a partial mask (pillow wasn’t an option from my provider in 2007) with a full beard and mustache. After many of the similar growing pains my body now sees the CPAP as a time to go to sleep. Putting it on even when I am not consciously tired is like the tissue over the face in a movie.

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