The Sleep Doctor
Last updated: March 2023
Seeing a sleep doctor at the big clinic was so surprising. My turn was next. I wasn’t in a hurry. Thankfully, I was able to drop off my CPAP machine first thing in the morning, before anything else.
When appointments are scheduled, they allow plenty of time for their patients to get to their next appointment. Some appointments are quite a jaunt, on the same floor or the 18th. Or maybe in a different building attached to this big clinic.
Meeting the doctor
They called my name. A tall gentleman walked my way. It was actually the doctor, who came to greet me and took me to the room. We had a good and relaxing discussion on life in general. I told him about my initial test, where I had an overnight sleep study.
Reviewing my CPAP readings
Then, we discussed what the CPAP reading said. He showed me the printout of my last reading and if I remember right, he gave me an average reading from the last 3 months, 6 months, and year. He explained what the readings told him. He asked about my mask.
Talking about my mask issues
I told him that the mask doesn’t fit and it leaks, so I don’t wear it very often. The constant hissing from the leak was annoying, but I couldn’t make it stop hissing. It needed to seal around my mouth and nose.
The doctor evaluated my mask
He had me put the mask on. While the CPAP was running, he showed me how to pull little parts of the mask away from my face to break the seal and then to let go and release them. Then, he let it (kind of) snap back on my face. Just do one place of the mask at a time. This usually helps to put the seal back on the face.
Getting fit for a new mask
He left the room and came back with an armful of masks, or it seemed like that anyway. The doctor measured my face and agreed with the home health agency in my town that I do wear a small. We discussed the different types of masks. I tried on an assortment.
Full-face mask with a chin ledge
A full-face mask with a plastic ledge for my chin made all of the difference. I couldn’t breathe out of my mouth and automatically switched breathing through my nose. That mask was perfect.
The doctor wrote up a prescription for the mask that worked for me. He also prescribed a change in the CPAP settings.
I learned so much from the sleep doctor
That worked perfectly. I was so happy to find a doctor that made a difference. The next time I went to the clinic, the sleep doctor had left and moved on. There was a new doctor, but he seemed to be just a doctor. He asked questions, but he didn’t naturally discuss things or teach. Learning was important and I learned so much from "The Sleep Doctor."
Now, I have a newer ResMed machine. It gives nightly readings that I can read on my phone, or the doctors can get the readings online. This is so nice and shares my test and appointments with my pulmonologist and general physician.
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