Well, it’s been a week.
The first night, I only ended up getting about three hours of use because the mask first came completely off. Then, after I woke and put it back on, it kept slipping off my nose so large chunks of time didn’t “count”. Three out of six hours. I woke up with my nose sore. The thing had counted something like eight events per hour, and ran the pressure up to like 18 cm (near the 20 cm maximum of the unit).
Since that time, some adjustment of the straps (I had them positioned badly) helps keep the mask in place while not being near so tight. The unit stays on through the night. I don’t wake up during the night as often and usually that’s just a matter of roll over and go back to sleep. I think maybe something about wearing the mask suppresses my natural tendency to turn over when the side pressing against the mattress gets sore and it’s the soreness that wakes me. Overnight pressure when I check the thing is 11.5 cm. Leak rate was 16 l/m which is fine.
And last night the “apnea events per hour” was zero.
So what does this mean for me? Well, first off, my sleep is still being interrupted. The “waking up to turn over” thing. I wake up with a sore nose. It’s like when you have a severe cold and your nose gets very tender from frequent rubbing with tissues. And my nose always seems dried out. I tried running the unit humidifier all the way to maximum, enough that I got water dripping at the joint in the hose making my pillow wet, but my nose still felt dry in the morning. I’ve backed off a bit on the humidifier setting figuring I’d just have to live with it.
On the other hand, before I used the CPAP, I’d sit in the office trying to work and my eyes would start to close and my head to droop. I’d catch myself, get back to work, then it would happen again. This went on from mid-morning until I finally went to bed. Every day. I’d fight it off with caffeine, lots and lots of caffeine (can’t stand coffee, can barely tolerate tea, so this meant lots and lots of diet cola).
That stopped, from the first, rather unsuccessful use of the CPAP. I was actually awake and not fighting to stay so during the day.
I’m better able to focus and concentrate at work. And, this is the big one, my writing productivity is up. I’ve never been a particularly fast writer and I’m still not, but I’m putting out about twice as much copy per day as I was doing before.
Overall, I am very pleased. Some of the issues that I’m still having I’m hoping will improve with time (the nose soreness). But, apparently, a good night’s sleep is worth some discomfort.