Sunday, February 2, 2014

Waking up

I just finished my second sleep study, ever.

It was very different than I remember. The wiring was more restrictive. The bed was uncomfortable to the point of being painful. The furnace sounded like a car crash every time it came on.

Granted, that first time I was sleep deprived so I may be making an unfair comparison.

The results are curious. I've been using a pressure of 16/20 mm of water for the last 8 years. That means that with a BiPAP I have a pressure of 16 on the exhale and 20 in inhale, and that's pretty high.

Tonight's pressure peaked at 11. No split pressure, just 11.

What. The. Hell.

It's possible tonight's testing was botched horribly. The pain in my hip gives that option some weight.

There's another possibility. I've had sinus issues my entire life, and my initial great was done using a nasal mask that put pressure in my face right where my airway is smallest. I remember mentioning it to the tech at the time because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to breathe through my nose.

The mask was mounted before I went to sleep as well, and almost uncomfortably tight. I didn't know any better, so I let it go.

Now here's the big difference:  About a year ago I decided to try something different. That's unusual in this situation because cpap headgear is expensive and most folk don't want to risk something that might not work. However, I took the leap and switched to nasal pillows from the nasal mask.

And that's what I wore last night.

I won't talk to the doctor for two weeks, but I think that the mask is the single biggest factor.

I'll never dismiss the value that using a BiPAP has brought to me, but the thought that I've been fighting leaks and dry morning eyes for eight years because I was using the wrong mask is angering.

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