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Advice needed please: Queensland rules
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Sandii Offline

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Location: QLD Australia

Post: #1
Advice needed please: Queensland rules
I am hoping someone here will be able to help me with this as I am very upset and don't know what to do. I recently was sent for a sleep apnoea test by my dr. It was one of those take home do it yourself ones and I didn't have a 'sleep over' in any clinic. When I went back to dr 2 weeks later to get the results she said she had had to notify the Transport Dept under her Mandatory Reporting Laws and 'Duty of Care' and that my car licence would be cancelled. She even tried to stop me from driving my own car home from her carpark that day. I have asked 'professionals' in my area about this and they say that she can do this and when I ask how and why they have accused me of 'being a hazard on the road' & 'dangerous on the road' as well as being an 'incompetent driver.' My problem is this - Without my licence I am completely housebound unless I pay for taxis everywhere. I do not have friends nor family who can drive me around. I cannot even get to a grocery shop to buy food and a range of other things that now stand to threaten my survival. I have driven for 40 years including some very long distances, have a clean driving record (not even a speeding fine) and have never caused an accident. What can I do about this? How can they get away with just taking your licence and your means of survival away from you without any actual proof that you are 'dangerous, a hazard or an incompetent driver' on the road? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thx.
04-02-2016 03:37 PM
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FrankNichols Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Advice needed please
Can you afford a CPAP machine? Insurance? If so, then I would speak with the doctor and my insurance and explain the situation and ask what can be done to expedite the process of getting a CPAP machine. You will probably then need at least a 30 day trial to show that you use the machine and that it treats your symptoms. Once you have shown compliance and if the treatment is working the doctor can then, possibly, provide you the documentation to get your license reinstated.

Also, I am making the assumption you are in the US, is that correct? If not someone else will have to help.

Sorry, my advice does not solve you immediate issues, I understand your pain.

EDITED: Oops, sorry, I didn't notice you are in Australia. Ignore me - sigh.

I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
(This post was last modified: 04-02-2016 03:56 PM by FrankNichols.)
04-02-2016 03:44 PM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Advice needed please
I don't know the rules reagarding Sleep Apnea and driving in Australia, but we have many folk from
Australia on this forum, and I'm sure they will advise.

But first, I have to ask...were you diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, and was the result of your home study? Did the Doctor recommend for you to be on Cpap therapy? Is he helping you obtain a machine?

It seems like such a harsh reaction from your doctor to have your license taken away without good reason.

OpalRose
04-02-2016 03:49 PM
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justMongo Offline

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Location: Калифорния

Post: #4
RE: Advice needed please
It seems to be the way in works in the Commonwealth (like Canada and Oz.)
In the US, it only applies to commercial drivers. But, it's coming to the US as we become more socialist.

My understanding is: You'll have to get a machine and prove compliance to get your license reinstated.
The catch 22 is -- how do you get there without your license?

We have plenty of Auzzies who can fill in the details. Moderator Deepbreathing is in Perth.

(04-02-2016 03:49 PM)OpalRose Wrote:  It seems like such a harsh reaction from your doctor to have your license taken away without good reason.
In Oz, that is considered "good reason." They went to a National Health System years ago; and gave the GP's great power over their subjects errr patients.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
(This post was last modified: 04-02-2016 04:02 PM by justMongo.)
04-02-2016 03:58 PM
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OpalRose Offline

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Location: Northeast Ohio, USA

Post: #5
RE: Advice needed please
You would think a more logical way would be to give the patient 30 days to comply before taking their license away.

At least Commercial Drivers in the US are given time to prove compliance.

OpalRose
(This post was last modified: 04-02-2016 04:12 PM by OpalRose.)
04-02-2016 04:12 PM
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Evpraxia Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Advice needed please
Greetings!

I DO understand your frustration and anger and anguish.

I do not know the laws in AU, but is there ANY way you can get a loaner XPAP until you can get your own?? Can the Dr. hold off on pulling your license until after at least 1 week of compliance on using an XPAP?

One reason I can understand why the Dr and laws are written they way they are, at least in the USA, is that hubby and I didn't know he had sleep apnea when he fell asleep at the wheel on a freeway while the car was in cruise control mode and he ran into a car parked on the shoulder of the freeway - Thankfully no one was hurt, but our car was totaled.

Please take some deep breaths and see what the Dr office/Insurance and medical supply company can work out for you.

Evpraxia in the Pacific Northwest USA
Diagnosed: 44 AHI when supine, O2 down to 82%
Treated since 20 Sept 2014:: 0.7 AHI, Settings 7-15, EPR on Full Time at Level 3
Better living through CPAP/APAP machines!
04-02-2016 04:31 PM
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FrankNichols Offline

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Sex: Male
Location: Live Oak, Florida

Post: #7
RE: Advice needed please
(04-02-2016 04:12 PM)OpalRose Wrote:  You would think a more logical way would be to give the patient 30 days to comply before taking their license away.

At least Commercial Drivers in the US are given time to prove compliance.


I am totally not referring to this particular case...

Depending on how severe the OSA is and if there is reason to believe that Narcolepsy could result, how would you feel about that 30 days to fix it, if your children were run over by a sleeping driver, and you found out their doctor knew it was a possibility and didn't prevent it.

It is very harsh, and having spent time in my 50's homeless and walking 5 miles back and forth to work each day, I can empathize with the problems of trying to live in a city/town that is designed with cars in mind. And here in the US MOST (not all) public transport is slower than walking.

But, as harsh as it is, the point is not to harass citizens, it is to protect the other citizens. In this case with the long safe driving record, I would think that the doctor could have helped somehow, but I also understand the doctors position since they are liable if they know of the issue and don't report it.

I really wish there was a good solution, but I think it will be a struggle until a sleep study and/or compliance test can be completed, and then I will bet the DMEs are not much better there than here, so there is another fight ahead getting a machine to do the compliance test with.

It just sucks.

I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
(This post was last modified: 04-02-2016 04:43 PM by FrankNichols.)
04-02-2016 04:41 PM
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Sandii Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Advice needed please
Thanks for your reply. I live in a small regional town in Queensland Australia. I contacted our local place that deals with CPAP machines to get a price on them. The prices, even on his second hand machines are way more than I can afford and I don't have anywhere I can even borrow the money needed from. He also informed me that to buy one of his 'cheaper second hand' ones I would need a prescription from my dr as they need to 'regulate the airflow?' Dr has not given me any 'prescription'. She has also now gone on leave until 20 April. He said he had 'automatic' machines he could sell me without a prescription but they were all brand new ones and very much more expensive. From what I can ascertain the law here regarding trying to get my licence reinstated is that I have to 'trial' a machine for 4 weeks and my 'levels' have to 'significantly' lower & dr has to approve this before the transport dept even considers reinstating my licence. And if that 'trial' doesn't work I have to do another 4 week one and so on until the dr is happy with the results. However, I do not know what these 'levels' are or by how much they need to reduce before being deemed to be 'significantly' lower and acceptable to the dr and the transport dept. I do not have private health insurance as am already on a Disability Pension for other medical problems that negate me being able to walk the long distances I would need to to be able to access the grocery store alone let alone anywhere else. Nor can I afford taxis. CPAP machines are not available through our public health system in our town at least. So now I am essentially trapped inside my own home being punished for something I didn't do. I fail to understand why they can do this, cancel my licence and put my survival at risk when I have not broken any road laws and am a perfectly competent driver.
04-02-2016 04:53 PM
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FrankNichols Offline

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Machine: AirSense 10 Autoset
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CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead Other Software

Other Comments: I've figured out how to get my AHI down to 5, I quit sleeping!

Sex: Male
Location: Live Oak, Florida

Post: #9
RE: Advice needed please
(04-02-2016 04:53 PM)Sandii Wrote:  Thanks for your reply. I live in a small regional town in Queensland Australia. I contacted our local place that deals with CPAP machines to get a price on them. The prices, even on his second hand machines are way more than I can afford and I don't have anywhere I can even borrow the money needed from. He also informed me that to buy one of his 'cheaper second hand' ones I would need a prescription from my dr as they need to 'regulate the airflow?' Dr has not given me any 'prescription'. She has also now gone on leave until 20 April. He said he had 'automatic' machines he could sell me without a prescription but they were all brand new ones and very much more expensive. From what I can ascertain the law here regarding trying to get my licence reinstated is that I have to 'trial' a machine for 4 weeks and my 'levels' have to 'significantly' lower & dr has to approve this before the transport dept even considers reinstating my licence. And if that 'trial' doesn't work I have to do another 4 week one and so on until the dr is happy with the results. However, I do not know what these 'levels' are or by how much they need to reduce before being deemed to be 'significantly' lower and acceptable to the dr and the transport dept. I do not have private health insurance as am already on a Disability Pension for other medical problems that negate me being able to walk the long distances I would need to to be able to access the grocery store alone let alone anywhere else. Nor can I afford taxis. CPAP machines are not available through our public health system in our town at least. So now I am essentially trapped inside my own home being punished for something I didn't do. I fail to understand why they can do this, cancel my licence and put my survival at risk when I have not broken any road laws and am a perfectly competent driver.

I really to feel for you and understand your frustration. Would it be possible for you to find another doctor since yours is not available, and give them the results of your at home study? You really need a prescription from that test, and it surprises me that the doctor that did the test did not write a script - I would not want to work with them in any case, since they apparently were so inconsiderate of your situation.

Also, did you discuss the possibility of a rental or loaner from the DME suppler? Maybe they could make you a deal on a rental until you can get the script? Or loan you one until you get compliance?

Do you have the equivalent of Craigslist there? Here there is a website that people use to sell things to each other, possibly you could find someone with a used one to sell, to get started with. I realize that doesn't solve the problem, since your need to have a doctor monitoring the trial but at least you could start getting used to it. Maybe call some doctors are explain your situation and maybe you would luck out an find one that would be willing to help you.

One other thing, I am not sure if this would be good advice or not, but...

Since you say you have 40 years driving experience with no problems, maybe you could continue to drive without a license being careful to not bring attention to yourself and only driving in situations that are critical, like getting food, getting to the doctor, etc. I don't know what the penalty is there if you are caught, and only you can decide if the penalty is worth paying if you get caught. But, it might be better than starving. And a judge would probably take your situation into account. If you do that I would recommend you document all your "illegal" trips to show that you were not going out to party, but only driving in cases of actual life threatening need - like food or doctor.

I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
04-02-2016 05:05 PM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Advice needed please
Some folks on Oz order machines from the US. Supplier number 2 on the list has good deals and will ship international.
Thing is, they are bound by US law that requires a prescription. Wait for some of our Auzzie members to chime in... they are knowledgeable.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
04-02-2016 05:11 PM
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