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Family Medicial Leave
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Baxter Jennifer Offline

New Members

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2012

Machine: unsure
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model:
Humidifier: unsure
CPAP Pressure: 17
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments:

Sex: Female
Location:

Post: #1
Family Medicial Leave
Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help me? I am new to this Sleep Apnea. Had my sleep study done in May, got my machine in June. In late July I was finally able to stand wearing the mask most of the night. On an average I can wear it for about 6 hours before I take it off. I am in bed on a average of 8 hours a night, but how much I really sleep I am not sure. I am awake a lot, toss, turn, fight with my mask. Turn the machine on and off. My problem is my job. I stand up at a work station packing parts. Last week they wrote me up for falling asleep standing up. Not sure I was really that much asleep, but my eyes were closed and they had to talk and shake my shoulder. Not really sure I deserved to be written up, but I was. Last month I missed two days of work because of my sleeping problem. I was late one day last week because I just didn't hear the alarm. Guessing I turned it off, but really don't remember doing so.
I clocked back in from lunch late because I drifted off at the lunch table. I need my job. Does anyone know if I can get FMLA for a sleep problem?
08-17-2012 07:49 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

Advisory Members

Posts: 6,436
Joined: May 2012

Machine: Resmed S9 AutoSet for Her
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Fisher & Paykel Simplus
Humidifier: H5i Heated Humidifier
CPAP Pressure: 10 - 7-20 Cm H2O
CPAP Software: Not using software

Other Comments: I started CPAP in 2008. Totally blind since birth.

Sex: Female
Location: Missouri, USA

Post: #2
RE: Family Medicial Leave
Hi Baxter Jennifer, First, WELCOME! to the forum.! I'm sorry you are getting off to such a rough start with your CPAP therapy. Do you know what kind of machine you have? I notice that you have unsure in your profile. If you could find out, it will help others as they give you suggestions. Don't give up on CPAP therapy, it can take LOTS OF PATIENCE.! You might want to talk to your Dr. about the problems you are having, maybe you need a different mask, I tried 4 different masks 'till I got the right one for me, others have tried many more than that. Best of luck to you and hang in there.

trish6hundred
08-17-2012 08:37 PM
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JudgeMental Offline

Advisory Members

Posts: 324
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: Respironics DreamStation Auto-CPAP
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Respironics Amara View
Humidifier: Respironics
CPAP Pressure: 11-14
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: Florida USA

Post: #3
RE: Family Medical Leave
Hello Jennifer and Welcome... I'm not up to par on the requirements or qualifications for the FMLA, but I do know that you are definitely facing a dangerous two-fold problem. Both of these problems are in bad need of repair.
The >>falling asleep<< is the most dangerous problem and needs tended to before someone gets hurt. I'm sure you are very concerned or you wouldn't be opening your world to a public forum. I hope someone on here can give you some answers to your FMLA question.

If you are in bed for 8 hours that should be plenty for an adult. That is IF, you were getting quality sleep; which is pretty obvious that you aren't. Fiddling with the mask is nearly everybody issues at the start of CPAP therapy. It does take some people a lot of time. Perhaps the mask isn't fitting right or is leaking air which wakes you up. Is that possible? Why is it that you can only stand it for about 6 hours. Is it too tight, leaving red marks or sore spots. Those things can be easily fixed. The mask doesn't have to be real tight to work. The air pressure helps to inflate it, to your face.

I think, if possible, a visit back to the sleep doctor might bring some much needed help in the better sleep category. Your falling asleep on the job, at lunch, etc: needs addressing quickly.

Fill in some more info in your profile may help also. The bottom of your CPAP has the name and model #. What type (name) of mask are you using, and your assigned pressure.

Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
08-17-2012 08:52 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
Wiki Editor
Moderators

Posts: 8,065
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: S9 Autoset
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: F&P Simplus
Humidifier: H5i
CPAP Pressure: 14-20
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type; chronic sarcasm

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: western NC, USA

Post: #4
RE: Family Medicial Leave
In this case, it is not the FLMA but the ADA. Your job must accommodate you until you adjust or whatever. I did a little research just now into the FMLA and it would be harder to go through that. The doctor would need to say you cannot work until you get used to the CPAP but that may leave you open to constant proving of compliance. Intermittent leave is allowed but it depends on how willing the sleep doc is to put into writing.

I suggest you go to the human resources department and discuss this. If the business is large enough, they may have someone in place that deals with employees with disabilities. If there is someone working there that has a disability, you could talk to them for advice.

Job Accommodation Network: http://askjan.org/media/sleep.html
EEOC: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/letters/20...apnea.html

US Dept. of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm

If you can show that you are trying to use the CPAP and are compliant, yet still have issues, they will have to accommodate you. You need to log everything. Meetings, dates, etc. Get copies of the "write up" you had. Note when you were diagnosed and when you started treatment.

You are probably more tired now due to something called "Sleep debt". It is different that the phrase "catching up on sleep". This is common and happened to many of us.

PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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.
08-17-2012 08:58 PM
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zonk Offline

Advisory Members

Posts: 7,908
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: A10 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal mask
Mask Make & Model: Activa LT
Humidifier: Integrated /ClimateLineAir
CPAP Pressure: 9/13
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments: CPAP since Nov 2010

Sex: Male
Location: Australia

Post: #5
RE: Family Medicial Leave
I don,t know about FMLA but maybe your doctor can help and if you have a union - talk to them ....they know what need to be done.
Do you have a followup with the sleep doctor?
We might be able to help with your CPAP related problems...Tell us more details
08-17-2012 09:29 PM
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Sleepster Offline
Wiki Editor
Moderators

Posts: 4,993
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: ResMed AirCurve10 VAuto
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: F&P Simplus
Humidifier: HumidAir and SlimLine Hose
CPAP Pressure: MaxI 13.6 | MinE 5.2 | PS 4.4
CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead

Other Comments: Diagnosed Nov 2011. Conquered aerophagia.

Sex: Male
Location: Houston, Texas

Post: #6
RE: Family Medicial Leave
I agree that you should discuss with your employer that you have sleep apnea, that you are under a doctor's care, and that you are receiving CPAP therapy. This will protect you in case they try to fire you for sleeping on the job. This is a protection afforded to you under the FMLA. You will have to work with your employer. They do not have to tolerate you sleeping on the job, so you will have to meet them half way and take leave whenever you feel you are too tired to perform your job function.

Once you have this conversation you will feel better and can tackle the next phase of your problem.

Talk to your doctor and tell him what you told us about taking the mask off while you're in bed. You will have to find a way to tolerate a mask anytime you're sleeping. There're lots of different types and brands of masks and it's typical that we'll have to try several before we find one we can tolerate. Sometimes it helps to have a back up mask in case we get sick of one and have to switch.

You have to train your brain to sleep with the mask on. When you take the mask off and sleep without it you are sending the wrong signals to your brain. You have to be consistent. I know it's hard but eventually you will get there. Just don't give up. Untreated sleep apnea makes you live a miserable sleep-deprived life and dramatically increases your chances of death from a stroke or heart attack.

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.
(This post was last modified: 08-17-2012 10:24 PM by Sleepster.)
08-17-2012 10:23 PM
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vsheline Online

Advisory Members

Posts: 1,908
Joined: Jul 2012

Machine: S9 VPAP Adapt (USA Model# 36007, not better 36037 or 36067)
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: F10 or SimPlus w/ 2Liners. MirageQuatro & Gecko gel pad
Humidifier: H5i
CPAP Pressure: 15 EPAP, PS 5-10
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments: Marfan Syndrome, chronic bradycardia, occasional Cheyne-Stokes Respiration

Sex: Male
Location: California, USA

Post: #7
RE: Family Medicial Leave
(08-17-2012 07:49 PM)Baxter Jennifer Wrote:  Had my sleep study done in May, got my machine in June.

Hi Jennifer,

Welcome to the forum!

I see you are using ResScan software, so I think you must have a ResMed machine.

When you use ResScan to download your data, if you go to the "Notes" tab you will find listed all your past downloads. And if you select (click once on) a listed download, in the lower right corner of the screen will be shown the download log, at the beginning of which your machine's model name will be shown.

Also, ResMed machines usually display their model names close to the ON/OFF button.

Your pressure (17) is pretty high, and a bi-level machine (such as the ResMed VPAP-Auto) may give you better results, because the leaks typically are worse when you are breathing out and a bi-level machine can lower the pressure up to 10 cm H2O during exhalation. This can improve comfort a lot, too. Many people on bi-level machines find they do best with 4 to 8 cm H2O pressure difference between inhale and exhale. On a standard CPAP or APAP machine, the EPR feature can lower the pressure during exhalation, but only as much a 3 cm H2O rather than as much as 10. I've heard that if the CPAP pressure is 15 or higher, typically that can qualify a person for a bi-level machine, especially if the person is having problems getting to sleep or staying asleep.

Are you using EPR? If so, how much?

If EPR does not show up in the Settings menu, perhaps the doctor or technician has not enabled EPR so the patient (you) can adjust it, which case you could ask if they can enable EPR so it can be adjusted by the patient.

However, if you have a ResMed machine with Escape anywhere in the name, it does not offer enough data to really see what is happening. If you have a ResMed Escape, I suggest asking your doctor to prescribe a good machine such as the S9 Elite, or even better an S9 Autoset, or perhaps best the S9 VPAP-Auto. (Other brands have similar models, of course.)

If you are using an Escape, your doctor (and you) will not have enough data to really know if you are having dangerously long Clear Airway events or periodic breathing or Cheyne-Stokes Respiration (CSR), in which cases you may do best with an adaptive servo-ventilator (ASV) machine like the S9 Adapt ASV.

Take care, and hang in there! There are machines and therapies out there which can treat these conditions.

Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment. The Advisory Member group provides advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff on matters concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies - not on matters concerning treatment for Sleep Apnea. I think it is now too late to change the name of the group but I think Voting Member group would perhaps have been a more descriptive name for the group.
(This post was last modified: 08-19-2012 04:55 AM by vsheline.)
08-19-2012 04:49 AM
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eaglett1111 Offline

Preferred Members

Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2012

Machine: Phillips Remstar Pro C Flex
Mask Type: Nasal mask
Mask Make & Model:
Humidifier: System one
CPAP Pressure: 9
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments: Software is Encore Basic

Sex: Female
Location: Northern California

Post: #8
RE: Family Medicial Leave
Hi Baxter, and welcome.

Just curious - are you more tired during the day now than you were before you got your machine?

Everyone here has so much good advice and experience. For what it's worth, I would put my two cents into looking into another mask. Once you post what kind of machine you have, the folks here will most likely have a connection to a free download you can get to give you a more specific readout of what your nights are like. Then you can post the info here, which my limited experience has shown will give you a wealth of knowledge.

Good luck Baxter. And keep us posted about how things are going.
08-19-2012 05:36 AM
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