Obsession Thursday: Continuing to breathe normally

This post is for my fellow hoseheads (CPAP users, or beloved of those who use CPAPs). It’ll bore the crap out of the rest of you.

this behemoth sits in my nightstand and has to be lugged wherever I want to sleep away from home. Feh.
This behemoth sits in my nightstand and has to be lugged wherever I want to sleep away from home. Feh.

I was diagnosed with Hypopnea (a form of sleep apnea) in April 2014, and have used a CPAP machine ever since. Still on my first machine, a ResMed S9 Elite ->. It’s what the sleep consultant recommended so I bought it. It cost something like $1600, of which my provincial health insurance covered a big chunk ($600, I believe) and my private health insurance covered most of the rest. Still, that’s a hell of a lot of money for this thing.

Especially when you do a google for CPAP machines, and find out that those in the US can get the same machine for $1000CDN or less.

My main complaint, though, is that it’s huge and heavy and I have to take it with me whenever I go anywhere that requires an overnight stay. I started looking into travel machines, and found a few, but none have humidifiers. But a recent search came up with this little bundle of joy: the Apex XT line.

thanks to esnoreandsleep.com for this image
thanks to esnoreandsleep.com for this image

Based on my needs, the base model (XT Fit) would have done just fine, but the place I ordered from (1800cpap.com) was out of stock, and looking at that Amazon link, it seems they’re out, too. Anyway, they upgraded me to the XT Auto at no charge, and preset the machine to my Rx. The whole thing, unit, heated humidifier, base, case and hose, came to me for $300USD plus $40USD shipping and $44CAD tax (charged on this end). Delivered in a day by FedEx.

The case is about half the size of the ResMed’s case, and weighs just under 6lbs. The power is contained within the main unit, which helps reduce the total weight. (My ResMed uses a huge, heavy power brick.)

I slept with it last night and found that, unlike the ResMed heated hose (it heats the moisture on its way to my nose), the Apex’s heated reservoir seems to do a better job…in that I didn’t notice it at all and slept very comfortably. I’m going to try it without the humidifier next. If I can travel with just the main unit, it’ll reduce the storage space needed (and weight!) by half, which is pretty cool. But I did choose it because it had a humidifier, so even if I need to bring it, I’ve lightened my load by at least a third, and space requirements by a half.

Because I didn’t go through a sleep clinic, I’m unsure about who will be able to check my numbers. I called my sleep doc and hopefully he’ll be able to compare the ResMed with the Apex and make sure I’m getting the therapy I need.

Note that these are anecdotal observations from a non-medical person, and you should always contact your doctor before you do anything that involves your health.

*The first link is an Amazon link, which gives us a little financial reward if you buy from there; the 2nd reward is just a plain ole’ link to the place I bought from.


(190 Posts)

11 thoughts on “Obsession Thursday: Continuing to breathe normally

  1. Knitter

    Sorry about your healt issues. Isn’t this a knitting site?
    These personal posts are confusing to me….better on a health blog?

    1. Amy

      Sorry you’re finding these confusing, Knitter. This blog has always been about more than just knitting. If this post isn’t of interest to you, I’m hoping one of the many other knitting posts will be!

  2. Marjorie

    Thanks for this. I’m looking forward to a multi-city trip to Europe next spring and I was dreading hauling the huge and heavy res med. I’ll look into this.

    I’ve also found distilled water is not common, at least in London. Here it’s in every grocery store and pharmacy. Apparently not so there, so I’m concerned about getting into a city, shlepping my stuff to the hotel, and then having to go out and find distilled water for the monster.

    1. Amy

      I didn’t get my CPAP until after my frequent travels to the UK stopped, so I never ran into that. I’m going on vacation soon, and the big boat is *supposed* to have a stock of it available. Because they don’t let you bring on any liquids of your own, lest their bottom line be affected adversely.

      Worst case, if you use regular water, there *IS* a way to descale it afterwards, yes?

      1. Maryann

        I have used tap water every time I’ve traveled without adverse effect, either to me or my CPAP. A simple wash with soap and water cleaned it all up just fine for me. Don’t let it dry up during use and you probably won’t get scaling.

        Amy, I bought a small travel CPAP without a humidifier, and it’s QUITE loud. For some reason, the air going into and through the hose is so loud without humidifiers! (This is true of my home one, too.) I suggest testing it out at home without the humidifier to see if it’s noisy and if you can stand it if it is. I just could NOT fall asleep my first night with the travel CPAP and tried to give up on it and was jerked awake by snoring every few minutes. I finally tried it again and I was so tired I acclimated to it eventually.

        Also, I’m shocked to learn of the list price and out-of-pocket cost for CPAPs in Canada. We (in the US) are always told Canadian healthcare prices and personal expenses are so low.

  3. KAREN

    Oh this brings back memories of traveling to Boston and lugging my ResMed through Security and then the city. Those units are evil! Also, word of warning, if you need to be hospitalized, they will make you bring it, then the oxygen alarm goes off all night.
    Good to see they have a smaller, hopefully less cumbersome unit.

    1. Amy

      Actually, when i had my misbehaving uterus out, they had a special bed for me that monitored my oxygen levels. When awake, I wasn’t breathing deeply enough either. Yay hypopnea?

  4. Nadja Miller

    Did you try it on your trip? Is it worth getting. I find myself traveling a lot lately so this is wonderful

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