mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
[personal profile] mapsedge
 Had a follow-up with the pulmonologist yesterday. I explained my issues, and he nodded understanding to each. The final word was that "CPAP, when it works, is the best solution, but it may not be for you. If you decide not to use it, the next step is call your dentist."

I tend to respect the authority of someone who is an expert in a field in which I'm not, so I took that statement as a permission or a sort to abandon the CPAP. Since Apria is right down the street from his office, I went there next, machine in hand, to give it back to them.

Here's the thing, just in case I haven't made it clear: my problem isn't with the idea as a whole. With a badly deviated septum, any air flowing into my nose is welcome, and I like the white noise of the machine. My problem is with the masks. I've used up my insurance and Apria's courtesy exchange and can't afford to pay retail for yet another mask, so, to my way of thinking, we're done. I'm not going to pay three month's rent on a machine that will sit unused and collecting dust until the next insurance-covered mask exchange opportunity comes around.

I arrive with the machine, put it on the counter. The receptionist gives me a "Against Medical Advice" form to fill out and sign, since I don't have a written prescription to discontinue the treatment. As I'm filling it out, I explain the money issue to the nice lady and she says, "So, what you're telling me is you'll keep on with it if we can try another mask?"

Yep. So, five minutes later, I'm in a room with Paula, my RT there, trying out a new mask. (She was lightly critical of the second mask I was given, and by extension the person who gave it to me, but was discrete about it.) We tried the new mask, it seemed to work much better, and she sent me home with it, no charge, with the admonition to stay in touch. "I want you to sleep," she said, "and I don't want money to be the reason you don't."

The new mask has no "solid" foam insert - it's simply a silicon shell with grooves around the circumference that give it the ability to seal and yet allow some flexibility between the mask's connection points and my face.

With my face, flexibility is needed.

I tried it last night, and it only lost the seal once as I buried my head to one side. As I was already awake at that moment and a simple adjustment re-sealed it, it didn't bother me. The bridge of my nose is sore, but I think that will go away with time.

I am, once again, hopeful.

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