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What would you change?
#1
If you could change one thing about the experience of getting diagnosed and treated for OSA what would it be?
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#2
I would change my initial DME supplier..They were the least helpfull bunch in the whole initial experiance. I ended up seeking out the advice from different boards about the machine, masks, and supplies, and then I ended up telling them what I wanted and when I needed them. I might also change the Physicans Assistant I saw for one visit (he had me in and out of there before I could ask a question)
All in All I am very happy with my diagnosis and treatment overall. I know this is not the case in all situations.
Someone once asked me how I adjusted to CPAP so well--I thought for a moment and said I had two choices CPAP or DEATH..The choice was easy..
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#3
Be more assertive. I am so disappointed in myself. I guess I was in shock, really.

And a different DME. Not overly thrilled with this one. Was in the beginning but they've changed. Replaced the folks who knew what they were doing with nurses and RTs who hadn't a freaking clue. Still don't. And it's not them I deal with now anyway, but the folks at the front desk. Who are just as incompetent.
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.




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#4
It would be nice if the process was somehow streamlined to be faster. I have been frustrated by the bureaucratic nature of the process, with my employer, my insurance company, my PCP, and the sleep center all having their own way of doing things. My PCP is part of a large group practice, and he seem unaccustomed to referring patients for a sleep study. The group practice does not even have a relationship with any sleep center, so I found myself acting as a mediator between my PCP and the sleep center.

I first asked my PCP for a referral on March 12, had my initial consultation at the sleep center on April 2, my sleep study on April 17, and my follow-up where the doctor prescribed CPAP on April 23. I would still be waiting for a machine if I had not purchased one from Craigslist. From what I've read in the forums, the delays can be even longer at other sleep centers.

Dealing with the DME's has been another frustrating experience. I contacted two, asking for a price quote for a straight purchase with no rental and no service contract. They both acted like I was speaking Chinese, and they could not give me a straight answer. This would have been a very quick transaction in any other industry, since I requested a specific machine and mask.

When I called my insurance company, it became apparent that I would not have the option of a straight purchase with either of the companies I contacted, since they prefer the rent-to own business model. This doubles or triples the total cost, just like any other rent-to-own transaction. I refuse to be a dumb sheep writing a blank check to the DME. I have come to the conclusion that it is better to go out-of-network or even out-of-pocket with an online supplier.

I am in the process of ordering a spare mask from supplier no. 1, which is very straightforward, just as I would expect. I expect this order will be processed quickly once my doctor faxes my prescription to them. I’m trying to decide if I should get a back-up machine.

It would be nice if I could have received a loaner machine while waiting for the permanent machine. During my initial consultation, my sleep specialist said I had a 100% chance of having OSA due to my weight and the answers on my questionnaire.
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#5
I would have liked the whole process to go faster. I went to my GP in October, and tea agreed to refer me to a sleep doctor and book a sleep study. This didn't take place until the end of January. There was no doubt that I had OSA as they woke me the same night after just a few hours, and put me on a CPAP right away. 87 apneas per hour, stopped breathing 96 times per hour, no REM sleep, and extremely low blood oxygen levels. Before I left the next morning I asked if I could have a prescription for the CPAP. They said that the doctor would be in touch. I didn't see the doctor until April. The nurse said that they though that I already had a machine so they weren't rushing. I finally got my CPAP machine on April 18th. I should have made more noise sooner.
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#6
Personally, I wouldn't have changed a thing. The ENT who ordered the initial sleep study where I was diagnosed didn't wait until I had the follow up sleep study to determine optimum settings. He took a stab at the setting and was only off by 1.

I had a follow up setting in 2007 where a new machine was ordered with a lower setting. My PCP ordered that one so I can't hold him accountable for not being sure I used the smart card they included with the machine. Maybe if he had referred me to a sleep doc???? Dont-know

The second follow up study I had last year was ordered by a very good sleep doc who insisted on a data capable machine and is actively participating in managing my sleep apnea.
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
I would have checked into it sooner. Maybe I would be in better health now.
This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and 
grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way 
are to be considered flaws or defects.
 
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#8
I would have preferred things to have moved along faster. After doc ordered sleep study I had to wait for sleep center to call me back. Then after sleep study had to wait for doctor to call me back after the sleep study results were sent to him. Then repeat the whole process all over again to get a second sleep study for titration. Then wait for call from doctor with results. Then wait for DME to call me. Then wait again to get the CPAP macine.

There's got to be a way that's faster, better, and cheaper.
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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#9
I would not change anything about the process of getting the sleep study done and going on CPAP therapy. Luckily I had done research on CPAPs and knew that I wanted the ResMed S9. I then called all the In-network DMEs to see what machine they were passing out. Went with the DME that said he provides the Autoset. I didnt know about data capable machines or the related software at the time so I got lucky.

I do wish that I would have checked into apnea 20 years ago when my girlfriend from college told me that I regularly stopped breathing in my sleep.
"Goodnight Chesty wherever you are!"
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#10
My Nurse Too-funny
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