It’s been some time since I’ve updated you on my journey with OSA and CPAP therapy. A new job and all of the other distractions in life have kept me away, but with the dawn of 2022, I hope to be more diligent in posting on a regular basis.
When I left off, I was using a loaner CPAP from my brother until our FSA account reset and I could afford to order a new machine.
Following the recommendations of my sleep doc, I ordered a Philips Respironics DreamStation APAP through his office. His preference for the DreamStation is rooted in the instant access to my detailed compliance and treatment data through the cellular modem, which wasn’t as easily available or as thorough in other units at the time I purchased it. That I can access a good bit of this same data through the DreamMapper app is an added bonus for me.
Six months into therapy with this new machine, Philips issued a recall (of course they did). My doc recommended I continue therapy but use an inline filter between the machine and the hose, just in case. These filters are designed to stop bacteria, viruses and other nasties from making it into your airway, so catching comparatively large foam particles and chunks shouldn’t be a problem. Replaced once a month, I feel comfortable that it’s preventing any potential intake from faulty foam, and hasn’t noticably affected pressure regulation or airflow. I registered on the recall site (link above) but I’d be pleasantly surprised if it is resolved before the summer or early fall of this year.
CPAP therapy, honestly, has changed my life. Prior to the OSA diagnosis, I’d begun to lose focus in my work, my memory was failing, energy was low and my general emotional outlook was blah at best. For more than a year now, I average 6-8 hours of solid sleep (with the occasional bladder interruption that comes with nearing 50). My focus has returned, I have more energy, my memory is better (don’t ask my wife about that one) and I have a better outlook on life. I realize not everyone sees these same results, but for me, it was pivotal to turning around my physical and emotional health and my productivity at work and at home.
My new job requires I fly frequently, and I have traveled with the DreamStation successfully, but not conveniently. I opt to leave the humidifier at home, but even at that, a full-sized CPAP machine and power block doesn’t travel easily, so I plan to invest in a travel unit VERY soon. The DreamStation Go is off the market (affected by the recall), so my default is the ResMed Mini.
I’ll keep you posted and look forward to providing more information in 2022!
Happy New Year! – Matt