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Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
#1
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Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
I'm a male 52 years old, pre-diabetic and overweight.  While waiting 2 weeks for an appointment with a Sleep doctor in North Jersey - I fell asleep at the wheel and had my first car accident ever. Was ok and then it happened 3 days later with the rental car.  I was un-injured both times amazingly, but I decided to stop driving and start studying my sleep.


I set up a laptop with recording software and a sensitive microphone to record my entire night's sleep (protools). 
and I purchased a Garmin VivoFit4 to measure my blood oxygen saturation SPO2 while I sleep.

What I found:

I have AHI of 50-70 on an average night. I believe that is severe
Most events are 15-30 seconds long - about 3 or 4 are over a 1 minute long
My Blood Oxygen SPO2 drops to 83% for up to a minute or longer during some of these events    

My appointment day finally came today and I  went to the sleep doctor and showed him my data and then I played him the recordings -  he said "Yup! that's sleep apnea!"

I said "Great can you prescribe me a machine?"

  He replied as follows:

First I have to a send request to a sleep center
Then they will call your insurance for approval 
Once approved that will call to arrange an overnight study
Then they will upload the data and organize it.
Then they will call the Doctor to look at the data and finish the report and make a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
Then they will  send the report to a DME company
The DME  will then go to insurance for approval for Apap machine
Then they will call me to make an appointment to meet me at home with a machine.
The process can take up to 1 month in North Jersey.


Frankly I don't want to wait 1 month - and I'm not even sure I can handle a month more of this apnea. My daily functioning seems to be getting worse the more time I spend analyzing my sleep - it takes me 2 hours a day to go through the recordings and count and record the Apnea event times and hearing myself fighting for my life each night is very distressing.

So here I am at the Apnea board - I've read through all the newbie articles - and it seems my next steps are:

Figure out what machine I should buy
Finding a doctor that will give me a Rx


I would appreciate any guidance or shortcuts you seasoned sleepers may be able to provide.

Thanks in advance

P>S.  I have to say this whole thing reminds me of the Hearing aid debacle --  a $10 piece of audio electronics that one could purchase and adjust as needed, because of medical designation require hours of doctor visits and a zillion% markup for a simple piece of electronics.     
 





  

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#2
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
I don't have any input, but I'll note that I'd have been delighted for a 1 month turn around. From the time I went into my primary doctor to the time I got my cpap machine was 5 months!
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#3
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
Wow, 5 months!  I can't imagine. Are you sleeping well now?


It is so frustrating knowing what I need, seeing it online and knowing that even paying cash I cannot get one. As I don't go to the doctor much this is my first time experiencing the inefficiencies of the medical system.
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#4
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
MUCH better. Still trying to figure out some of the wake-ups, but the over all quality of the sleep I'm getting has improved by so much that even if we don't figure out the rest of it I'm ok.
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#5
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
Unfortunately, you may be in for a lot of anxiety and patience...if those two can share the same pew.  In most cases, except in the rare acutely urgent case, you can expect this to take as much as 8 weeks, and perhaps even longer. Even in this wonderful digital age, it isn't the computer making the decisions, or even opening and reading the attachments to emails in order to digest what the emails suggest.  Each step requires approaching another entity, and having that entity look through openings, and then deciding when to do what with you.  Often a month later.

If such a thing were at all likely, approaching your insurer with your intention to purchase a suitable device yourself, and then to be reimbursed after the fact, would be ideal for all of us.  The all-singing, all-dancing Autoset from Resmed can do wonders at figuring out where to place you in its range of regimen, and could have you largely on your path to recovery by the time the DME contacts you and says they would like to sell you a device.  Or, maybe the DME would 'advance' you a loaner, or rent-to-buy in the interim.

It's like waiting weeks to start chemo.  Gives one a warm 'n fuzzy feeling, don't it.
Serial Tapist
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#6
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
PM to you A good machine w very few hours (ResMed AutoSet with 5 total hrs (DME Demo unit) $450.  DOnt know if it is still avail but the source gets these frequently.
Fred Bonjour - Project Manager and Lead Tester for OSCAR - Open Source CPAP Analysis Reporter 
OSCAR

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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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#7
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
Thank you!
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#8
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
First of all, your GP can prescribe CPAP and all the necessary accessories. Talk to your regular doctor about your symptoms and urgency to start treatment. Sleep apnea can be diagnosed by many means, including a home sleep test that is inexpensive and quick. Supplier #33 will sell you a top of the line Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset for about $625, and they have packages including all the accessories and masks that don't cost much more. I would suggest starting with a Resmed Airfit P10 pillows mask and using less intrusive, lightweight nasal therapy. Your North Jersey Craigslist has a grey market seller that will sell the Airsense 10 Auto CPAP for $650 with your choice of mask. Used machines are available under $300. Use the SearchTempest Craigslist search engine using your zip code and the keywords Resmed Autoset. There are also units on Ebay.

If you want to expedite a home sleep test, we can easily guide you to a supplier that provides the test or simply uses a questionaire to diagnose and prescribe equipment. Supplier #30 provides this service, and may even qualify as an out of network provider under your insurance. You could have a machine in hand by the end of the week.

In my opinion, your best bet for the long term is to use your primary care physician and request that he write a prescription for Auto CPAP and supplies that you can fill at any online store. You can be treated now and worry about the bureaucracy of getting a sleep clinic or home sleep test later. Any doctor, nurse or dentist is allowed to write a script..your traffic accidents should be more than enough demonstration of urgent medical necessity.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

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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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#9
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
@sleeprider Thank you for this valuable info.
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#10
RE: Newbie Help! -Diagnosed myself Just came back from DR - I want to bypass this mess!
From the time my general practitioner recommended that I have a sleep study test done, to the time I had two in-lab sleep studies completed, and up to the time my DME supplier called to have me come in pick up up my CPAP machine and supplies, was about 1 month at most, if not a few days less. 

Even though I was diagnosed with SA, I've never had any issues falling asleep involuntarily. Obviously, you have a much more severe type.

I'm new to all of this and I can't make any recommendations. I do wish you the best and hope that you get the help you need as soon as possible.
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