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DOT Compliance
#1
I drive a school bus 2 hrs in the morning 2 hrs in the afternoon. I totally understand the sleep apnea problem. My issue is that when you are sent for a sleep study, (I went two weeks ago) you are pretty much going back for the machine test. (which I just did last week), it seems to me that you are getting the Cpap machine before you even get there to be tested. How can any of the tests be accurate? All the wires...different environment...I did sleep some while I was there the first time, but when I went back to use the machine, I slept very little if any. It choked me! I was freaked out! Water was dripping inside the mask and it was making loud noises. I finally had to call to have it unhooked before the test was over. I haven't been back to the sleep Dr. yet, but my question is this, will I have to use the machine to be DOT compliant, or is there another direction that I can go in so that I don't have to use it? I don't have a problem sleeping and I am not sleepy during the day. Help!
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#2
We have a few long haul truck drivers who post on the forum; and they even have to carry a portable unit when they sleep in their Sleeper-cab.
You're pretty much stuck with CPAP if you wish to continue in your present line of work.

Most people become accustomed to it. Finding the right mask for you is the first key to comfort.
You can set the humidifier level to prevent rain-out.

Ask for a copy of your polysomnography report (sleep report) -- it has important data; and you have a right to have it.

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#3
First you must get a copy of your COMPLETE sleep report, not just the summary. Then you can share the details here for more accurate responses.
When you do get your XPAP machine you want to be sure to get one that is data capable. My preference would be the Resmed S9 Autoset. A heated hose option goes a long way to prevent rainout (water in the mask). I have never used anything but a heated hose, and never experienced rainout.
It seems like your technician was not paying attention to your physical responses to your titration.
The S9 machine along with Sleepyhead software (available for free) will allow you to titrate your own settings with help from the folks here.
Maintain a positive attitude and good luck on your journey.
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#4
You said the machine choked you. Do you mean it felt like the machine wasn't giving you enough air? If so, you can ask the technician to increase the pressure a little. CPAP machines can be set for a pressure as low as 4, but most people are uncomfortable with such a low pressure.

You also complained about noises and dripping water. Ask the technician how to adjust the humidifier to use less water at the beginning of the sleep study. Also, gurgling noises can be caused by water in the hose. Lift up the hose to allow the water to run back into the humidifier.

It does take a while to get used to a CPAP machine. Adjusting to it can be unpleasant at times, but we've all been through it.
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#5
(06-23-2014, 10:40 AM)Lynn Wrote: How can any of the tests be accurate? All the wires...different environment...I did sleep some while I was there the first time, but when I went back to use the machine, I slept very little if any.

Unfortunately, the medical mafia has turned sleep medicine into an assembly line operation to ring the cash register without much regard for the patient in many cases. They often have bad sleep labs run by arrogant, uncaring technicians. It's like getting a sleep test at your local big box store.

If you ever have to get another in-lab sleep test, insist the doctor give you a sleeping pill to take in case you can't sleep. The doctor may resist this, claiming that the pill may affect your data, but without the pill, you may end up not sleeping, but still paying.

Unfortunately, if the sleep test shows you have apnea, you almost certainly DO have apnea, and it's affecting your health now, and will get worse as you age. If anything, they fail to find apnea instead of detecting it when it doesn't exist. There's not enough incentive for them to fake the test, since there are plenty of people who really do have apnea.

Beware any choices other than CPAP. At the present time I consider the alternatives to CPAP to be very poor choices unless you absolutely can't make CPAP work. Some of the choices like surgery border on quackery and can have bad side effects. Unfortunately there are a lot of chop-happy surgeons who are all too eager to cut on you. There are some dental devices to hold your jaw in place, but they're expensive and often not very effective.

If you're overweight, sometimes they'll tell you to just lose weight, but that doesn't really work for a lot of apneacs. Of course, losing the weight may be a good thing for many reasons, but don't wait to start CPAP if you need it. Many people fail at their weight loss attempt or find their apnea doesn't go away anyway.

Read the links in my signature line for info on how to not get screwed over by your DME (CPAP supplier) with the wrong machine.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#6
(06-23-2014, 10:40 AM)Lynn Wrote: I drive a school bus 2 hrs in the morning 2 hrs in the afternoon. I totally understand the sleep apnea problem.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition but can be easily treated, CPAP is the gold standard treatment

I don't drive buses but have to submit 'fitness to drive form' to transport dept every year signed by my doctor otherwise cannot drive

Falling asleep behind the wheels is a major cause of traffic accidents. The other day in Queensland a driver fell asleep at the wheels and his work ute careered out of control, smashing into four other cars before slamming into kindergarten, miraculously no one was seriously hurt
Police investigation indicated the driver had a micro sleep (sleep episode that can be brief as few seconds)
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#7
I have practical engineering experience and always have the "need to know.
I have used the b-PAP for 10 months now. A Doctor, I don't know which one, wrote the prescription for a sleep test, which I underwent. I came away with AIH in the 80s, Periodic Breathing near 100%, really rotten numbers. I formed the opinion uncontrolled testing perimeters. Seems the VA Hospital system and Medicare is beginning to think the same.
I'll go ahead and play the "Doctor Game" for now, but I can see no benefit in the thousands of dollars spent, just my opinion.


(06-23-2014, 10:40 AM)Lynn Wrote: I drive a school bus 2 hrs in the morning 2 hrs in the afternoon. I totally understand the sleep apnea problem. My issue is that when you are sent for a sleep study, (I went two weeks ago) you are pretty much going back for the machine test. (which I just did last week), it seems to me that you are getting the Cpap machine before you even get there to be tested. How can any of the tests be accurate? All the wires...different environment...I did sleep some while I was there the first time, but when I went back to use the machine, I slept very little if any. It choked me! I was freaked out! Water was dripping inside the mask and it was making loud noises. I finally had to call to have it unhooked before the test was over. I haven't been back to the sleep Dr. yet, but my question is this, will I have to use the machine to be DOT compliant, or is there another direction that I can go in so that I don't have to use it? I don't have a problem sleeping and I am not sleepy during the day. Help!


(06-23-2014, 08:02 PM)vcottom Wrote: I have practical engineering experience and always have the "need to know.
I have used the b-PAP for 10 months now. A Doctor, I don't know which one, wrote the prescription for a sleep test, which I underwent. I came away with AIH in the 80s, Periodic Breathing near 100%, really rotten numbers. I formed the opinion uncontrolled testing perimeters. Seems the VA Hospital system and Medicare is beginning to think the same.
I'll go ahead and play the "Doctor Game" for now, but I can see no benefit in the thousands of dollars spent, just my opinion.
Just don't use it and drive, I can see no DOT problems.

(06-23-2014, 10:40 AM)Lynn Wrote: I drive a school bus 2 hrs in the morning 2 hrs in the afternoon. I totally understand the sleep apnea problem. My issue is that when you are sent for a sleep study, (I went two weeks ago) you are pretty much going back for the machine test. (which I just did last week), it seems to me that you are getting the Cpap machine before you even get there to be tested. How can any of the tests be accurate? All the wires...different environment...I did sleep some while I was there the first time, but when I went back to use the machine, I slept very little if any. It choked me! I was freaked out! Water was dripping inside the mask and it was making loud noises. I finally had to call to have it unhooked before the test was over. I haven't been back to the sleep Dr. yet, but my question is this, will I have to use the machine to be DOT compliant, or is there another direction that I can go in so that I don't have to use it? I don't have a problem sleeping and I am not sleepy during the day. Help!

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#8
Hi Lynn,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
The gurgling noise you heard was water in your hose. I use a heated hose to prevent that problem wich is called rainout.
I'm sorry you had a tec that wasn't attentive to your needs, sadto say, that is pretty common.
Best of luck to you as you get started on your CPAP journey.
trish6hundred
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#9
(06-23-2014, 10:40 AM)Lynn Wrote: I drive a school bus 2 hrs in the morning 2 hrs in the afternoon. I totally understand the sleep apnea problem. My issue is that when you are sent for a sleep study, (I went two weeks ago) you are pretty much going back for the machine test. (which I just did last week), it seems to me that you are getting the Cpap machine before you even get there to be tested. How can any of the tests be accurate? All the wires...different environment...I did sleep some while I was there the first time, but when I went back to use the machine, I slept very little if any. It choked me! I was freaked out! Water was dripping inside the mask and it was making loud noises. I finally had to call to have it unhooked before the test was over. I haven't been back to the sleep Dr. yet, but my question is this, will I have to use the machine to be DOT compliant, or is there another direction that I can go in so that I don't have to use it? I don't have a problem sleeping and I am not sleepy during the day. Help!

Compliance for CDL is.. 4 hour's 5 day's a week.My company uses a 3rd party.They monitor my usage by wireless transmitter on back of machine.If I'm not compliant.I will be inform'd by my employer&I'm deadlined for driving for atleast a week till I show compliance.
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#10
(06-23-2014, 10:40 AM)Lynn Wrote: I drive a school bus 2 hrs in the morning 2 hrs in the afternoon. I totally understand the sleep apnea problem. My issue is that when you are sent for a sleep study, (I went two weeks ago) you are pretty much going back for the machine test. (which I just did last week), it seems to me that you are getting the Cpap machine before you even get there to be tested. How can any of the tests be accurate?

They are accurate because they know when you're asleep and not breathing at the same time. It can't be faked.

If you stop breathing more than 5 times per hour, you are diagnosed with at least mild sleep apnea.

Quote:I don't have a problem sleeping and I am not sleepy during the day.

Do you have any other health problems such as high blood pressure or obesity. The thing is, some of us have had sleep apnea for so long we just don't know we're tired because being tired is our "normal".

Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling like you got a good night's sleep?

People with untreated sleep apnea have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, and are missing out on the higher quality of life available to them.

All the things that bother us about CPAP therapy go away as we adapt to it. Many people don't give it the chance it deserves and miss out on a better life.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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.
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