Just signed up, after reading the info here for the past week or so. Like many others, I have a story that's varied, and indicative of the terrible health care system here in the USA.
I've had sleep issues dating back to my childhood, but only in the last decade or so have they really impacted my life, so I started looking into it. Originally, diagnosed 6 or 7 years back with moderate sleep apnea. I was sold over $2k (out of pocket) studies, equipment, and all the other stuff they say you need. I ended up with a Remstar M-Series A Flex machines. Hated every second of it.
I was also told (of course after they sold me everything) that I should check with an ENT for allergies to see if that would help me breathe. Of course I followed through, and the first ENT I saw was all "Hey, you have a badly deviated septum, we could fix that and possibly fix your sleep apnea!" I'd had my nose broken on more than one occasion, but figured because I don't look like I belong in the ring, my nose was fine, guess not.. The doc was honest about the possible outcomes of the surgery, and I trusted him so I did the surgery. I never realized how bad I was until after the packing came out and the doc told me to inhale, it felt like I had two massive gaping holes in my nose, not nostrils.
I got the boost in energy levels that people talk about, but I'd still fall asleep during the middle of the day and have other weird things going on, so went back for more studies. Sleep apnea was gone (over multiple sleep tests) so they told me I had hypersomnia, weaksauce. Insurance companies don't really recognize hypersomnia (nor does autocorrect it seems), which meant all the doc could do was give me speed AKA amphetamine salts, to try to stop me falling asleep in the middle of the day/while driving. I later learned that doc probably should have ordered the MSLT for me, but not until years later.
Fast forward to this year, and I finally get a great doctor, and do the MSLT, and confirmed that I have narcolepsy. However, while I was doing the MSLT (worst sleep study ever, be prepared to want to kill the guy waking you up), my apnea reemerged. My insurance refuses to take the numbers from the doc since I wasn't being tested for sleep apnea (months of fighting this). This means I'd probably have to do another sleep study specific to sleep apnea, which I'm just not sure I can handle right now.
I think the return of the sleep apnea is my own fault, lack of exercise and poor diet. I broke my hand and tore ligaments while playing ultimate Frisbee just over a year ago which stopped me from being able to lift anything properly with my hand so I stopped lifting weights, and then a further groin injury stopped me running, so I put on about 25lbs, which I'm pretty sure is why the sleep apnea is back. At 167 my sleep study showed no apnea, less than a year later, at 192 I'm at the mild/moderate level. My goal is to lose the weight again, and ultimately laugh derisively at my Remstar as it sits on the shelf gathering dust.
I found out that my machine was set to ramp over an hour and the basic setting wasn't powerful enough, which meant I was ripping the mask off after 15 minutes. Although because of the narcolepsy, I was out like a light and didn't know this until I figured out how to read the settings on the machine. This went on for weeks until I decided to turn to the internet and find this site. I found a thread from 2012 here that had instructions on how to change the settings on the Remstar. I honestly believe that it was probably badly programmed right from the start so I'd have to pay more money to the sleep center to keep going back and have it adjusted, they did sell me 3 different masks, which was nice of them (is the sarcasm obvious?). Thanks to this site, I made adjustments, and instantly went from 15 minutes, to 2.5 hours a night, and with some more tweaking (and probably getting used to it) I am now up to 7 hours a night, hooray!
That brings me to now, once again I am here I am with my horrible machine, contemplating whether to throw down on a newer machine, or suffer with what I have. Anyone make a jump similar? Was it worth it? I've been looking and there are definitely advancements since I got my machine, I'm just not sure if it's that much of a difference. I'm more than happy to spend money, I'd rather live healthy and poor, than die rich and young, but I'd also like to not throw money away (tell that to the 3D TV mocking me). I'm finally able to run again after 8 months of injury, and my hand has sufficiently healed enough to be able lift weights again so my hope is that in 3-4 months I may not need the machine again..
TL;DR Used to have sleep apnea, surgery fixed, put on weight, it's back. Should I upgrade my aging Remstar, which I hate with a passion?