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Old 02-19-2007, 01:12 PM   #1
Violet_Beauregard
 
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Smile CPAP - new user.....

OK, about 3 months ago I was diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea. I have RELUCTANTLY (to say the least) accepted this. On Friday I received my CPAP and mask (nasal pillows) and used them for the first time last night.

I'm not impressed. I felt no different this morning than any other. I also know I woke several times last night. I'm sure I was getting used to the mask and tube, blowing, etc. but I expected to feel at least a LITTLE better.

My boss uses a CPAP and he claimed he felt 100% better the following morning. I also saw an episode of The View where Rosie O'Donnell now uses a CPAP and she felt better the first day as well.

I didn't expect perfection, but geez....for all the grief I thought it would be different. I'm not jazzed in the least about using this thing, but if I have to I will. I know it will take some time to get into a regular routine, and I expect it will get better, but everything I've heard has been instantaneous results.

Anyone else use a CPAP? What were your results after once use? What can I expect after regular use?

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:41 PM   #2
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Default Cpap-bipap

I've been using a BIPAP for almost 3 years. It took me 3 days to
adapt to it. I knew and accepted that my body needed it for my survival. I
went from "falling asleep at the wheel" and near-heart attack low levels of oxygen saturation to feeling more alive at 51 than at 30! It takes awhile for
your saturation to recover. I URGE you to email my doctor. Obesity is not a death-sentance if you pro-actively take charge of your life and health. I fully intend to weigh 400lbs, when I die, at the age of 80,after out-living all the doctors who told me to lose weight, So help me GOD! I'm RESOLUTE and not afraid!!! I say what I say, in love, to protect you. Stop being a victim of fat-
hatred and be a victor over it, you can win, girl!!!
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Who'll Win The Race,
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default

Going on 10 year CPAP/BiPAP user here. Three "from personal experiance" things come to mind...
  • The headgear & nasal pillows are not fitting properly, and therefore not working as intended.
  • There is one or more issues in addition to the apnea, detracting from your sleep quality. Example: Bad mattress.
  • You are inadvertently mouth breathing, which will totally defeat the function of the CPAP.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:24 PM   #4
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Default 11+ year veteran of CPAP

I've been using CPAP for more than 11 years and I DID have the first day epiphany of a real change. However, it's not unusual that people find that there changes are much more modest in the short term and it takes a period of days, weeks or even a month or two until they get the full benefits of the CPAP. I've never met anyone who faithfully used it and made sure that they got a mask or nasal pillows that really fit(when you're lying down in bed the way you're actually going to sleep-rather than sitting up and checking things out) who didn't realize that the change in their quality of life and quality of sleep was not profound.

There are a variety of factors which can contribute to the quality of the experience. One is the type, size and adjustment of the headgear so your mask or nasal pillows fit well. Surprisingly, most people tighten the straps too much and this makes for a poorer fit.

I'd be happy to give you tips or advice about the use of the machine, but the three most important bits of advice would be:

1. Use the machine whenever you're going to sleep, whether at night or for a nap.(and if you're going to travel, take it along with you).

2. Make sure that the headgear which holds the mask or nasal pillows in place is well adjusted and the mask or headgear are the right size for your face or nose.

3. Get humidification into the equation. There are heated and passover(a passive system in which the air passes over a water reservoir and picks up humidity that way) humidifiers. Having the air forced into your nose during the course of a night can dry your nasal tissues and airway out if moisture isn't added to the system.

If you need help there are plenty of folks on this board who can help and some earlier good threads on sleep apnea and cpap. Also, there is a Yahoo group for fat apneacs not interested in weight loss(sa-sleepapnea) which can be helpful. If you'd like you can Private message me with questions if you'd like.

Happy FA

PS I've found that finding CPAP really gave me back my life and enhanced the quality of life I had immeasurably. Since then I've tried very hard to help others find the way to treat their sleep apnea. You've done the hard part, which is recognizing you've got a condition which requires treatment(there really isn't a "cure", and the operations that exist are NOT a cure), and you've gotten a tool which should help you treat yourself.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:47 PM   #5
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Default Humidifier

I have one that I don't use and would be glad to ship it
north, to you, Violet.
Verbal HUGGZZ
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:00 PM   #6
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandoz View Post
Going on 10 year CPAP/BiPAP user here. Three "from personal experiance" things come to mind...
  • The headgear & nasal pillows are not fitting properly, and therefore not working as intended.
  • There is one or more issues in addition to the apnea, detracting from your sleep quality. Example: Bad mattress.
  • You are inadvertently mouth breathing, which will totally defeat the function of the CPAP.
great tips.... I'll check my headgear fit and see how it goes tonight.
Mattress is new...it should be ok.
Mouth breathing might be a problem, but I don't think so.
I'm thinking the headgear was too tight.
Thanks!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy FA View Post
I've been using CPAP for more than 11 years and I DID have the first day epiphany of a real change. However, it's not unusual that people find that there changes are much more modest in the short term and it takes a period of days, weeks or even a month or two until they get the full benefits of the CPAP. I've never met anyone who faithfully used it and made sure that they got a mask or nasal pillows that really fit(when you're lying down in bed the way you're actually going to sleep-rather than sitting up and checking things out) who didn't realize that the change in their quality of life and quality of sleep was not profound.

There are a variety of factors which can contribute to the quality of the experience. One is the type, size and adjustment of the headgear so your mask or nasal pillows fit well. Surprisingly, most people tighten the straps too much and this makes for a poorer fit.

I'd be happy to give you tips or advice about the use of the machine, but the three most important bits of advice would be:

1. Use the machine whenever you're going to sleep, whether at night or for a nap.(and if you're going to travel, take it along with you).

2. Make sure that the headgear which holds the mask or nasal pillows in place is well adjusted and the mask or headgear are the right size for your face or nose.

3. Get humidification into the equation. There are heated and passover(a passive system in which the air passes over a water reservoir and picks up humidity that way) humidifiers. Having the air forced into your nose during the course of a night can dry your nasal tissues and airway out if moisture isn't added to the system.

If you need help there are plenty of folks on this board who can help and some earlier good threads on sleep apnea and cpap. Also, there is a Yahoo group for fat apneacs not interested in weight loss(sa-sleepapnea) which can be helpful. If you'd like you can Private message me with questions if you'd like.

Happy FA

PS I've found that finding CPAP really gave me back my life and enhanced the quality of life I had immeasurably. Since then I've tried very hard to help others find the way to treat their sleep apnea. You've done the hard part, which is recognizing you've got a condition which requires treatment(there really isn't a "cure", and the operations that exist are NOT a cure), and you've gotten a tool which should help you treat yourself.
I am going to check on the headgear. I do think it might have been too tight. The nasal pillows fit OK and all-in-all I think they're OK, but I do think it might have been too tight around my head.


Quote:
Originally Posted by imfree View Post
I have one that I don't use and would be glad to ship it
north, to you, Violet.
Verbal HUGGZZ
To You,
Edgar
Thanks...I have the whole shebang already. I appreciate the offer.




I am hoping this will improve over the next week. Perhaps if I adjust the headgear, etc. it will help. I didn't get the humidifier, but I think I will. I've heard it will be helpful.

I think too, that this is an attitude issue with me as well. I've been resisting it. My arousal incidents were low and as I said, my case is quite mild, but it's still there. But, in my addled brain, it's yet another problem attributed to being fat, which just pisses me off. I need to work on accepting that using the mask nightly is a small price to pay for feeling better.

Thanks all!
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:03 PM   #7
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Default Humidifiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by imfree View Post
I have one that I don't use and would be glad to ship it
north, to you, Violet.
Verbal HUGGZZ
To You,
Edgar
Humidifiers are not something that can be added on from someone else's machine. The cpap machines themselves usually have provision for them to be included and are incorporated into the machine itself.

If you aren't using your humidifier, you should try it and see what a difference it can make in the quality of how you feel.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy FA View Post
Humidifiers are not something that can be added on from someone else's machine. The cpap machines themselves usually have provision for them to be included and are incorporated into the machine itself.

If you aren't using your humidifier, you should try it and see what a difference it can make in the quality of how you feel.

I think I'm going to. I have to contact my doctor and have her get it ordered. A prescription is required for the order.

Thank you for the suggestion!
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:46 PM   #9
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Default Violet - as pointed out, below, there are . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet_Beauregard View Post
OK, about 3 months ago I was diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea. I have RELUCTANTLY (to say the least) accepted this. On Friday I received my CPAP and mask (nasal pillows) and used them for the first time last night.

I'm not impressed. . . .

Anyone else use a CPAP? What were your results after once use? What can I expect after regular use?

Thanks!!!
Violet, as pointed out, below, there are a number of excellent threads on this topic, including this one:
http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...ght=apnea+cpap
I think most of them can be found by searching the board for [ apnea CPAP ].

In the thread indicated, I posted several messages on the experience of a non-apnea spouse; in particular, how the CPAP affected the cuddling intimacy we were accustomed to sharing when sleeping, and how we solved it. But mine is admittedly a minor, and rather specialized, contribution. There are many more (and more useful) first-person posts.

Mrs Ho Ho regularly peruses a board devoted to apnea. I think that the posts here are, for the most part, better articulated, more specific, and with richer content than what I have seen on the apnea board.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:30 PM   #10
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Default

Thank you so much! I read thru that entire thread...what a wealth of info. I'm going to stick with it.... I'm sure it will work out. I think I was very disappointed in the fact that I didn't get better results on the first night.

Thanks again!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ho Ho Tai View Post
Violet, as pointed out, below, there are a number of excellent threads on this topic, including this one:
http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...ght=apnea+cpap
I think most of them can be found by searching the board for [ apnea CPAP ].

In the thread indicated, I posted several messages on the experience of a non-apnea spouse; in particular, how the CPAP affected the cuddling intimacy we were accustomed to sharing when sleeping, and how we solved it. But mine is admittedly a minor, and rather specialized, contribution. There are many more (and more useful) first-person posts.

Mrs Ho Ho regularly peruses a board devoted to apnea. I think that the posts here are, for the most part, better articulated, more specific, and with richer content than what I have seen on the apnea board.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:17 PM   #11
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Default

Violet - I don't know if you saw my posts are not, but I know quite a bit about CPAP and getting it to work for you. Feel free to PM me. Also, I'm a regular contributor at CPAPtalk.com, and in the chat room there as well. Stop by and say hi - people there are SO knowledgeable.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:19 PM   #12
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I did see your posts and they were quite helpful. Thanks so much!! I'm going to give it another try tonight. I'm hoping it will get better as I go along. As I said, I'm just surprised there wasn't a quicker result. From all I've heard, it's literally an overnight thing...but, everyone's different I suppose. I'll keep in touch and let you know how it goes though....

Thanks again!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBeautifulMe View Post
Violet - I don't know if you saw my posts are not, but I know quite a bit about CPAP and getting it to work for you. Feel free to PM me. Also, I'm a regular contributor at CPAPtalk.com, and in the chat room there as well. Stop by and say hi - people there are SO knowledgeable.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:23 PM   #13
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Default

It took me a year and a half (I had an incompetent doctor and DME). My story is a rarity - but there are definitely people who take much longer. It's overnight for a few, but for most it takes at least a week, for many several months. It really depends on how severe your apnea is and how long you've been going without good sleep (you'll have sleep debt to pay off). If you start feeling like your mouth is getting quite dry, or if your throat starts getting sore, those are both signs of mouth-breathing, so keep an eye on that. Good luck, and don't give up!
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet_Beauregard View Post
.....But, in my addled brain, it's yet another problem attributed to being fat, which just pisses me off.....
Violet...

There are fat people that have sleep apnea, and there are thin people that have sleep apnea. Do you think that the thin folks beat themselves up for having apnea? (Of course they don't!) So, please don't give yourself a hard time about this. Love your body, and treat it with care.

Hang in there!!
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:04 PM   #15
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Default Amen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandie S-R View Post
Violet...

There are fat people that have sleep apnea, and there are thin people that have sleep apnea. Do you think that the thin folks beat themselves up for having apnea? (Of course they don't!) So, please don't give yourself a hard time about this. Love your body, and treat it with care.

Hang in there!!
Sandie, I'll give a hearty AMEN to that. I was about 350 when my sleep study was done. My apnea turned out to be central, and not the obstructive kind that is associated with obesity. "They" had me beating my self to death over that" blame obestiy for everything" philosophy, I was blaming my obesity for everything.
The Fat Avenger,
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:31 AM   #16
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Day 2 has been pretty much the same. My nose is getting sore already! I am going to hate this... grrrr... I'm sticking with it though.


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It took me a year and a half (I had an incompetent doctor and DME). My story is a rarity - but there are definitely people who take much longer. It's overnight for a few, but for most it takes at least a week, for many several months. It really depends on how severe your apnea is and how long you've been going without good sleep (you'll have sleep debt to pay off). If you start feeling like your mouth is getting quite dry, or if your throat starts getting sore, those are both signs of mouth-breathing, so keep an eye on that. Good luck, and don't give up!
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:33 AM   #17
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I'll agree with you there..... I just really don't like wearing the mask...it's intrusive and inconvenient. It's only the nasal pillows too! I can't even imagine wearing the whole mask.

I'm getting there though.... thanks for the support and encouragement!



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Originally Posted by Sandie S-R View Post
Violet...

There are fat people that have sleep apnea, and there are thin people that have sleep apnea. Do you think that the thin folks beat themselves up for having apnea? (Of course they don't!) So, please don't give yourself a hard time about this. Love your body, and treat it with care.

Hang in there!!
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:34 AM   #18
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Go out to the drugstore and buy some Ayr gel (in with the over the counter nasal sprays, etc). It can really help with that soreness. If you tell me which nasal pillows system you have, I might be able to advise you even further and/or point you in the direction of "fixes" for your particular mask. Great job on sticking with it so far.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:11 AM   #19
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Here's to sticking with it. It can take quite some time to get used to the pillows or simply just having something on your head at night. My dad took Lunesta to also help him get over the hump of growing accustomed to his CFLEX.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:16 AM   #20
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Go out to the drugstore and buy some Ayr gel (in with the over the counter nasal sprays, etc). It can really help with that soreness. If you tell me which nasal pillows system you have, I might be able to advise you even further and/or point you in the direction of "fixes" for your particular mask. Great job on sticking with it so far.
I have the Mirage Swift Nasal Pillows (I think is the name) by ResMed. The soreness is right on the edge of the bottom of my nose (above my lip). It's like I've had the sniffles and been blowing my nose too much. I put medicated chap stick on it last night and I've been putting antibiotic ointment on it to hopefully sooth it today. Last night I loosened the head straps a bit, but it was still annoying.

If you can suggest anything else, I'm wide open to hear it! Thanks so much for the help and support... I really appreciate it!!



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Here's to sticking with it. It can take quite some time to get used to the pillows or simply just having something on your head at night. My dad took Lunesta to also help him get over the hump of growing accustomed to his CFLEX.
The straps on my head aren't so bad, though I'm not real happy about the condition they leave my hair in the next morning, but I can deal with that. The nasal pillows are.... OK.... at best. I just can't stand them! I wish they weren't so large..... not the holes, but the whole thing in general. I want one of those tiny tubes they use for oxygen when you're in the hospital! LOL

I'm giving it the old college try though. I nearly gave up last night, but I kept it on.

Thanks for the support....it's so helpful to hear from others in the same position!
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:32 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Violet_Beauregard View Post
I have the Mirage Swift Nasal Pillows (I think is the name) by ResMed. The soreness is right on the edge of the bottom of my nose (above my lip). It's like I've had the sniffles and been blowing my nose too much. I put medicated chap stick on it last night and I've been putting antibiotic ointment on it to hopefully sooth it today. Last night I loosened the head straps a bit, but it was still annoying.

If you can suggest anything else, I'm wide open to hear it! Thanks so much for the help and support... I really appreciate it!!





The straps on my head aren't so bad, though I'm not real happy about the condition they leave my hair in the next morning, but I can deal with that. The nasal pillows are.... OK.... at best. I just can't stand them! I wish they weren't so large..... not the holes, but the whole thing in general. I want one of those tiny tubes they use for oxygen when you're in the hospital! LOL

I'm giving it the old college try though. I nearly gave up last night, but I kept it on.

Thanks for the support....it's so helpful to hear from others in the same position!
I am very proud of you, Violet, for accepting your condition
and the responsibility of managing it! I use a ResMed, too. The tiny tube you use in the hospital is a cannula. I wear one when I'm up, but I'd never want to get tangled-up in one while asleep!I manage several conditions, myself.
I have victory over them and I live in peace and joy!!! I really believe that
I will live to a remarkably old age, despite my conditions. I pray for you to
have peace, comfort, and abundant life!!! My doctor would tell you that I'm
not crazy, just profoundly passionate!!!
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:45 PM   #22
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Thanks Edgar, I appreciate it.



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Originally Posted by imfree View Post
I am very proud of you, Violet, for accepting your condition
and the responsibility of managing it! I use a ResMed, too. The tiny tube you use in the hospital is a cannula. I wear one when I'm up, but I'd never want to get tangled-up in one while asleep!I manage several conditions, myself.
I have victory over them and I live in peace and joy!!! I really believe that
I will live to a remarkably old age, despite my conditions. I pray for you to
have peace, comfort, and abundant life!!! My doctor would tell you that I'm
not crazy, just profoundly passionate!!!
The Man Of
Great Passion,
Edgar
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:34 PM   #23
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Mattress is new...it should be ok.
The externals can be other things besides just mattress...for example the way you lay with your head on the pillow. If it causes you the drastically tilt your head down...chin to chest kind of position...it can restrict your breathing. For me at least, I have a very hard time finding pillows that are "just right". Also, things like Restless Leg Syndrome can have a big impact. Or even something as simple as a pet disturbing your sleep.

With the CPAP you've taken a big step towards correcting sleep inhibiting problems...but that is not the point to stop looking for other causes.
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:45 PM   #24
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I may have to look into replacing my pillows...they're old and comfy, but not real supportive. Good thoughts! Thanks so much for the info and support....


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The externals can be other things besides just mattress...for example the way you lay with your head on the pillow. If it causes you the drastically tilt your head down...chin to chest kind of position...it can restrict your breathing. For me at least, I have a very hard time finding pillows that are "just right". Also, things like Restless Leg Syndrome can have a big impact. Or even something as simple as a pet disturbing your sleep.

With the CPAP you've taken a big step towards correcting sleep inhibiting problems...but that is not the point to stop looking for other causes.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:26 PM   #25
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You're welcome, Vi. I'm glad you didn't give up last night. A lot of CPAP users I know use one of two bed pillows - either the "Shapeable Pillow" from Target, or the PAPillow from talkaboutsleep.com. The Shapeable Pillow is like a normal pillow, but can be shaped/molded, and will stay in that position. You can shape it so that it doesn't put pressure on the nasal pillows, and then sleep with it like that. The PAPillow is kind of T-shaped, with "holes" cut into the sides so that you can support your head, but, again, not put pressure on the mask.

The nasal pillows should rest just inside the bottom of your nostrils - they shouldn't go really far up into your nostrils. If they're not fitting like this, you may be wearing too large a size. Try the next size down. Your mask should have come with Small, Medium, and Large nasal pillows. If the place that sold it to you gave you only one size, that means that they took the other two sizes so they could resell them to other people (in my opinion, highly unethical, but a lot of places do this). I would go back to them and say "I discovered my mask is supposed to come with three sizes of pillow, and this size isn't working for me, I'd like to try the other two. Could you get those for me, please?" Don't act like they're doing you a favor - just act like you think they may have made an honest mistake, but you need them to correct it so you can get better treatment.

If you're a stomach sleeper like I am, the Swift works for some people, but not all. If you just can't get used to it, see if your insurance will pay for another mask (most pay for at least two per year). Try another kind of nasal pillow. I personally use the Invacare TwilightNP (the NP means Nasal Pillow). Most DMEs (Durable Medical Equipment providers, the places that sell masks and machines) don't stock this mask, because it's not popularly known, but on the boards I frequent it's known as - bar none - the best mask for stomach sleepers, and 99% of the time, the DME will special order it for you. It comes with two sizes of nasal pillows - make sure the DME gives you both so you can pick the size that works for you. After you get it, you add an extra "homemade" strap around to stabilize the nasal pillows, and, presto, you've got something you can actually stomach sleep on. I hadn't been able to sleep without hanging the mask off the pillow in quite some time when I tried this mask, and it was quite a relief.

The homemade strap is made buy cutting off a leg from a pair of women's tights (I didn't want to cut up a pair of expensive plus-size tights, so I went to Walmart and purchased some in a small size just for this purpose). After you cut off a leg, all you do is use that leg like a strap. Hold the halfway point of that leg in front of your mask, and tie the two ends behind your head, tightening the "strap" against your mask. I usually just put one end over the other like I'm tying my shoe laces, but do it twice (this is called a double starting knot, and if you're having trouble picturing it you can check out http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/doublestartknot.htm , which has diagrams). That keeps it in place all night, and makes it easy to take off in the morning.

This is also something you can do with your swift to help stabilize it if it moves around a lot. Also, to keep the back strap of the Swift from riding up (and also to help preserve your hair), if it's long enough, put your hair in a ponytail. That'll keep the strap from shifting, and keep the mask from popping off in the middle of the night.

Don't forget the Ayr gel - it really does work for nasal soreness.

Whew, that was a lot of information. I hope at least some of it is helpful.

ETA: Forgot to mention that hanging the hose above your bed can be very helpful in keeping the mask from getting tugged around by the hose all night. It really does help with comfort, and you won't get tangled up in the hose, or keep rolling over on the hose when you toss and turn. Here's a great resource for reading about different ways to do that: http://www.cpaptalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=10640
I personally use the 3M cord bundler. It's one of those "command hooks" you put on the wall and can take down without damaging it. It isn't a traditional "hook shape," and it holds the hose just perfectly. For people who dont' have a headboard to help them in hanging the hose, it really works quite well. I like it because I can take it down and take it on trips with me.

If you want any more reading on these topics (as well as some reading on "fixes" other users have applied to the Swift, let me know and I can point you in the right directions. There is SO much information out there.
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