Tag Archives: cpap

COVID-19

Okay, guys – we have to address the elephant in the room. Corona… virus. COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus, has literally taken the world by storm. From China, Japan and North Korea, to Egypt, throughout Europe, and now here in the good old US of A, we are faced with this disease.

Here is what we know about the virus:

It is originally discovered in the 1960’s in chickens, so it is not something that was recently discovered. This “flare up” popped up in China late last year carried by, you guessed it, chickens. All birds are subject to carrying this disease, but it has mostly been found in chickens. It should be noted that this virus can spread to other mammals as well, meaning your household pets.

Transmission of the disease is what has people in a frenzy. It can be spread through respiratory droplets like coughing or sneezing. If there was ever a time to practice sanitation, it’s now (although, this is something that should be done all the time, not just when there is an international crisis!!)

If you happen to suffer from year-round allergies, like me, you may get dirty looks from your coworkers – they’re just worried that you’re sick, don’t take it personally. Let them know it’s nothing out the norm, just allergies and be sure to either thoroughly wash your hands (this means 30-45 seconds at the bare minimum) or utilize your hand sanitizer.

It seems that older adults are the ones who are being diagnosed with the virus. There is not a whole lot of information regarding pregnant women and younger children, however extreme caution should be taken regarding this particular demographic.

Let’s be real, y’all, ain’t nobody got time for this coronavirus nonsense. PLEASE WASH YA HANDS! Please be sure to educate your children on the importance of proper sanitation protocol. Please be aware of the people surrounding you.

My CPAP Journey

Now this is a story all about how /
My life got flipped turned upside down/
And I’d like to take a minute /
Just sit right there/
I’ll tell you how I became an active user of my APAP machine/
In Southwest Houston, born and raised/
In my bed is where I spent most of my days/
Chillin’ out sleepin’ relaxing all cool/
And trying to catch some rest when I’m not at school/
When my family was up to no good/
Started making trouble in my neighborhood/
I started sleeping everywhere and my mom get scared /
She said “You’re taking a sleep test cause you got sleep apnea”

So clearly, my life isn’t nearly as cool as the Fresh Prince, but I worked with what I was given, so, meh. Getting to the point of this post – I have sleep apnea, and I have started using a auto CPAP machine to help me breathe better at night so that I cam actually get some rest.

Prior to my starting on the auto machine, I would go to bed around 10 P.M. or so and would sleep until about 6:30 A.M.; this put me in the group of ‘adults getting the right amount of sleep.’ If I felt tired throughout the day (which was pretty often), I would try to get to bed a little earlier than the previous night, but even that did not help. No matter how much sleep I got, it was not enough.

At first, I thought it was because I woke up numerous times throughout the night. I would wake up and it would take some time for me to fall back asleep and when I did go back to sleep it felt like it was for short period of time. I started taking Melatonin to help me fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. This worked for a few weeks, but I soon found myself plagued with the same afflictions as before – numerous interruptions to my sleep. I was back to square one.

At that point, I had no idea what could possibly be wrong… I was suffering from migraine like headaches, but ten times worse; any exposure to light or sound felt like it was a combination between a jackhammer and woodpecker were pounding on the inside of my head. It was so bad that moving hurt, I mean if I wanted to roll onto my other side while laying in bed I had to mentally prepare for the pain that I was about to endure.

If I was having a good day, meaning no headache, I was always tired no matter how much sleep I got. I found myself dozing off at my desk at work from time to time. In the car, when going practically anywhere I would fall asleep. I would barely make it to work without feeling sleepy. A ride to the grocery store, not even a good five minutes from my house, would involve me falling asleep in the passenger seat in my mother’s car. When I tell you it was bad, I mean Michael Jackson BAD…

Thankfully, I was able to get a machine, and I cannot begin to tell you the drastic change that it has been made in my life. I’ve been using my machine now for a little over three months and I have much more energy. In fact, I noticed a difference after using the machine after one night. I went to bed around the normal time with the machine. When I woke up, I felt as though I could conquer the world – I even woke up before my alarm went off. I, then, checked my phone to see how much time I had before I had to wake up… Turns out I’d been asleep a little more than an hour. O N E H O U R. This machine made me feel like I slept a whole eight hours and I could do anything!

Three months down the line, I am no longer falling asleep on short car rides (long car rides are a different story!), I don’t doze off at my desk or feel the need to nap on my lunch break, or need to drink endless amounts of coffee throughout the day. So, is this machine worth investing in? Absolutely. It is life-changing? Heck yea, it is! Do I take advantage of looking and sounding like Darth Vader every night before bed? Oh, yeaaa!

MedCline and your Comfort

You know that feeling when you’re lying in bed? You’re exhausted, but no matter what you do you cannot find that one comfortable position that will allow you to easily fall asleep. You toss and turn, and toss and turn some more, and still nothing. It’s quite possibly the worst feeling in the world. Luckily, there are a few simple solutions to this issue.

Acid Re-flux Option

MedCline has created the Advanced Positioning Wedge. The pillow has a cut out in which you can slide your arm through, which will remove pressure from on your shoulder and arm while sleeping on your side. Not only is this pillow comfortable and easy to use, but it also helps those who suffer from acid reflux. According to the manufacture, an individual who use the wedge and sleep in the position created by MedCline reduce the amount of exposure to harmful stomach acid. It also assists with a reduction in nocturnal reflux, laryngopharyngeal, silent reflux, post – esophagostomy, and gestational reflux. With your arm secured in the pocket on the pillow, you will not slide down or shift positions throughout the night – which is a good thing, there is less of chance of your actually snoring. The wedge also enhances your entire torso, not just the head and neck area; this is great for support. However, if you suffer from lower back or hip injuries this wedge is not recommended for you. Lastly, you are able to use the wedge with your favorite pillow so added support.

Shoulder Relief Option

Adding the optional body pillow provides another level of comfort as it wraps around your body providing a cradle like environment. Although it is a little pricier, that body pillow really makes a difference, and should seriously be considered when making this purchase.

Or if you prefer, just get the body pillow. You will not have any pressure relive without the wedge, but you’ll have another pillow for your bed – which if we’re being honest, you can never have enough of those – plus this pillow will cradle you throughout the night – like I mentioned – so I’m pretty sure you’re going to sleep like a baby. Another plus – you don’t need to worry about having a cuddle buddy ever again… That’s the best selling point if you ask me.

So if you are looking for the best in comfort, look no further than Monitor Medical. We have just what you need!

Bongo RX

CPAP therapy is a lifesaver. Those of you who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea can attest to this, I am sure. The biggest pain in the butt when it comes to CPAP therapy – at least from I have observed – is traveling. The most worrisome thing patients seem to face is losing space in their luggage because they have to lug around their CPAP machine. When telling a patient that can carry their CPAP machine and it won’t be considered as their carry on, rather a medically necessary device, to do brighten up at the idea of not losing that precious luggage space, but they still mention that it is a pain to carry around. Well, friends, gone are the days of complaining about your CPAP whilst traveling.

Airavant Medical has created a solution – Bongo RX.

Similar to a nasal pillow, the Bongo RX is meant to be inserted into the nostrils to create a seal. According to the website, it works a little something along the lines of: “small valves open, during inhalation, to allow you to breathe normally through the device. During exhalation, the valves close directing air through specifically designed vents hold to generate EPAP (Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure), which props open the airway until you inhale again.”

Aside from being small enough to fit into your shirt pocket (talk about saving all the space in the world!), this product does not require a power source like a regular CPAP machine or even a travel machine so it is readily available whenever you need it. Of course a hose is unnecessary with this item, but an optional headgear is included at the time of setup. It is also easy to use and clean, and patient will not have to worry about disconnecting tubing in the middle of the night should they have to use the bathroom.

Although fairly new to the market, the Bongo RX seems to be a promising item to look to as an alternative to traditional CPAP therapy. Find out more about this product on our website.

Transcend into Travel

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you probably already know that traveling with your CPAP machine can be an annoying experience. The newer machines are much smaller than its predecessors, however, some patients still think of it as ‘too big.’ They also have an opinion on the travel units as well – they are too expensive. While I do agree that they are on the pricier side, I also think that travel machines are good investments provided you are one to travel frequently and, of course, you can afford it. Thanks to Transcend, patients have a few more options to choose from when selecting which travel device they’d like to invest in.

Somnetics (the manufacturer of Transcend) has revamped its units and created something a little smaller, but better for patients: the Transcend 3 miniCPAP and the Transcend 365 miniCPAP.

The Transcend 3 features the same small design that patients are accustomed too with upgraded features such as a new modern design, a flat silicone base for better stability, and a swivel nozzle for a better CPAP experience. Like the machine before it, this third version has power/battery options depending on your specific needs. Of course it features the EZEX pressure relief, an adjustable ramp time, and monitors your AHI and leaks and compliance data. It can be used as a CPAP or Auto CPAP and works with operating pressures 4 – 20. The setup kit includes the machine – duh – a padded travel case with compartments, a standard six-foot hose, a multi-plug universal AC power supply with international plug kit, mini USB cord, and the Transcend 3 miniCPAP quick guide.

The Transcend 365 seems to be the ultimate travel machine as it is small and compact, and offers a humidification feature. The design of the 365 is different from that of the three, but it is still considered to be a version of the miniCPAP. The main difference between the two machines is that the 365 has a battery powered humidification system. It is the first machine to use the capillary force vaporizer (CFV). CFV delivers warm, moist air to you only when you inhale to provide comfortable therapy when needed. It uses about half the water of a regular CPAP humidifier and much less energy as well. The Transcend 365 setup kit comes with the machine, a secure padded travel bag with storage compartments, an AC power adapter with international power cords, a USB cord, and a quick start guide.

Both machines have a new larger and brighter LED screen which will allow patients to view their usage and compliance easily without any issues. Both machines are pretty simple to use and seem as if they allow for traveling with your machine much easier!

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