RE: Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
Found this on another Site but really worth sharing
2 weeks ago I had to go for my D.O.T. physical . All was good until the nurse stuck a measuring tape around my neck . So I have no problem asking question's and quizzed her why we are doing this . She said dot rules had changed and this had been added since last October . Ok , just blew it off and did the ear testing . Everything is cooking along fine until the very last when the Doc handed me a paper that had 25 questions on sleep Sleep Apniea .
The only question on the form I answered yes on was that I do take blood pressure meds . I have been hearing Sleep Apniea stuff so I figured all is cool ........... Then the doc said that he can only issue a 30 day DOT medical for 30 days , I have to go through a sleep test . So in my big boy voice " WHY THE HELL IS THAT ???? " He took a step back and started explaining that that DOT has instituted new rules and I met 3 of 4 new criteria that requires testing .
Of course my 1st question was who pays for that ? he told me " Your Insurance " I didn't hear much after that because I could feel the heat in my face rising . In truck driver language I said .. I guess that piece of paper I spent ten minutes filling out can be used for toilet paper . By that time I notice doors closing and everything getting strangely quiet .
Doc told me your free to go and left the room . Gal at the desk said that the testing outfit would call me tomorrow to schedule the testing . I regret growling at her but said " That figures , Grab all the cash you can . You and DOT will turn this into a cash cow " .
I get back to the shop and proceed to tell the boss what had transpired . He was as pissed as I was . Said that he would call the big office and see what this was about . The big office called back and said that it's on the up and up , But I didn't have to go to them for the testing . It did my heart good to be able to inform them that they would NOT be getting any insurance money from me .
Went to my doc and he set everything up right here in town ( the other testing place was 40 miles from home) . So I go today to see if I'm going to be saddled with a machine every night .
Oh , The standards are ;
1 Belt line more than 36 inches
2 Neck measurement more than 17 inches
3 Body mass index
4 Blood pressure meds
I am some what claustrophobic so the machine is a concern from the very start . But with all my kicking and screaming I do have to say this , Every person that is on the machine (And that includes A very trusted Voice here) said that it was the best money they had spent on themselves in years . I honestly haven't heard a single voice against them .
So I have decided to go thru this with an open mind . Better get going , Have to be there at 8:00
Showed up at 8:00 pm sharp , The gal at the desk was the whole show . Pretty nice to deal with . So after the 300 pages of forms , photo copies of insurance card and releases to fill out she told me it would take an hour to "Wire me" Huh ? an hour ? she said yep . Asked if I brought sleep clothes i said "Nope ' I'm sleeping just like I do at home ...No clothes " The look on her face was precious . Took her a second for her face to quit glowing red .
I had wires to both legs , I had wire to my sides just above the belt , Had wires hooked to chest , Had wires hooked to my forehead and a bunch planted at the back of my head . These all connected to a 6 by 6 inch junction block that in turn plugged into what looked to be at least a 64 pin plug . Told her that if I pee the bed , just mail the charred remains home in an envelope .
Then the last two wires were hooked up . One looked like it had 4 red LED lights and that was taped to my finger . Then the The most wonderful wire was saved for last . She said it was to measure airflow , I think she's the devils daughter . she draped the wire over my ears . Where the wires came together in front of my face was a plastic connector with what looked at 1st glance was two straight pins sticking out of it and a little hook out of the bottom . She then proceeded to inform me that the 2 straight pins go up my nose and the hook wire go's in front of my mouth . All of the was to measure air flow . Last but not least was two Velcro belts , One above the magic buttons and one around my petite belly .
After that she told me to sit still for a moment so she could tell if everything was working . I'm sitting there wondering if joking with this gal was wise . She came back in and announced that everything was working the 1st time around . Like she had just gotten it completely right for the 1st time . HUH??
After which I'm told " Time for bed " ... I just giggled , I try to stand and one of the leg wires get under my foot but the gorilla glue holds tight . Finally with her help hanging to to all the spaghetti I manage to get to the edge of the bed and sit down just long enough to figure out I needed to head for the outhouse . Bathroom was 10 steps away , Turned in to a 10 minute ordeal . This may gross some people out but I did not wash my hands when done for fear of the bug zapper effect . Finally got back to the bed and laid back while she tucked and fiddled with the wires .
Took all of 30 seconds to figure out I was laying on a Brick . Oh , One more thing . All this is being videoed . She tells me that I can adjust the bed ...Cool . I played with the controls . Got it adjusted to plywood .
She said I will watch you from another room and I will be able to hear you so if you need anything . Just speak out ..... Now I'm scared to fart . Then she tells me that I need to do some movements for her and shut the door . Umm Okay . A speaker that had been placed behind my head said , "OK DAVE I NEED YOU TO MOVE YOUR FEET" . If she had done that earlier it would have saved me a trip to the outhouse ! So I moved blinked and breathed deep on command . I couldn't help thinking satan's daughter was having fun with this .
So I laid there flat on my back , I never sleep on my back . Every move tugged on a wire . I must be allergic to the soap they wash the bed clothes in , Because in less than 5 minutes my sinuses plugged up tight . Felt like an hour before I drifted off . Then the speaker popped on "DAVE I NEED TO COME IN AND CHECK ONE OF THE WIRES" . On came the 5 gazillion candle power light . Couple of seconds later she said I need another sensor pad . Then just without any warning , Ripped the old one off . WOW!! . Stuck the new one on and left . I'm wide awake .
By then my back is aching from laying on my back so I just threw caution to the wind and rolled over . Felt like after another hour I drifted off . About 3:00 am it was a trip to the outhouse AGAIN . Took forever but back to sleep .
At 4:30 am she came thru the speaker 'DAVE , TIME TO GET UP .ALL DONE !
I get set up , "Let's get those wire off" . Music to me ears . So I'm thinking I can get done here and stop for breakfast some where and have plenty of time to myself . Then she started pulling wires and sensor pads off . She just turned into satan himself . The gorilla glue works . The ones on my hairy chest were a pure delight . Told me it's best to give a quick pull but the to worst one she lost hold of them and hit those spot twice . She has enough of my DNA to get me convicted of anything .
The ones in my hair (What little there is) didn't go to bad . That was the last of them .But wait, There's more . The sensors on my head were glued on with a different stuff . The little gal told me that I may need to wash my head with dish washing soap to get it all out . HUMMMMMMMMM , Maybe I need to look , When I looked in the bathroom mirror I saw what looked like snot balls on my head and in my hair .Made a mad dash to home to shower that stuff out . Acted a lot like wax . Took a while , Made it to work right on the button .
So , What is the outcome ?? Inconclusive !!!!!! Said she saw only "4 events" . They need to see 30 or more to say for sure . So I was told there are 3 normal outcomes for this . They could say I'm good and that's it , Could require a retest or could make me do a night wired backup with a CPAP machine .....Bottom line is nothing is settled and my DOT health card expires dec 1st
Called the doc last Tuesday and asked what was up . Gal at the desk said the report hasn't come back yet . Told the office gal "I'll call back tomorrow" . Wednesday still no report , She said the holiday weekend is probably part of it . She's right but I really just want this to be done and settled .... Thought about calling this morning but the big boss wanted some conveyor parts moved 1st thing .
Things slowed down and got some time and I called about 2:00 pm . "We have the results and umm they want you do a sleep test with the machine overnight" ..... Not what I wanted to hear . She said the tech that read the study saw pretty severe apnea toward the end of the test . Which I 1/2 believe because I know I didn't sleep until late in the test .
THEN she said it would be 3 weeks ... I did tell her that would make it hard to pay the doctor because I will be unemployed by then . So This next Thursday I will experience round two of a sleepless test .
Well , Last night was all about the machine . This is in my future without a doubt . Same gal as last time . " I remember you " was what I heard as a walked in . Didn't know weather to run or duck . Signed Paper work for my donation to the new west wing ... Again !
She started explaining about the machine and what it does . I didn't have the heart to tell her I had been online for HOURS and read about it and been talking to guys who are already on a cpap for months . She did tell me that the cpap she was using here was controllable from her desk and computer .
She started the wiring process . Seemed like it took long than last time . When she got to my head I mentioned something about the snot balls and she giggled like a girl . Think they were bigger this time . Last time the wires were a tad too tight and felt them tugging at every move and asked if she could leave some extra slack .
Knowing what I was in for and not sleeping good I stayed up late for 2 days ahead . Midnight on Tuesday and 1:00 am on Wednesday . Of course Wednesday I wound up setting roof trusses for 10 hours . So I believe it's going to be easy to to sleep . Was wore slap out . Little did I know ....
The tech then tells me that she has 3 masks we will try to she which I can get along with . Told her what ever we wind up with I ain't shaving my whiskers , No one will ever see both my chins . Wired I set on the edge of the bed and she drags out the 1st one . Its a nasal mask , It is soft rubber / vinyl and butts against against your nostrils . Totally uncomfortable . Then the air compressor was cranked up . Instantly it felt like my nose inflated twice its normal size . I shook my head no and she said that it was the least popular .
On to the second , It was a nose mask . Completely covered my nose only . Thought this might just work . Fired the thing up and was weird but doable .. I thought , Then she asked a question . When I tried to answer her the air bypassed thru my mouth with enough force to suck air out of me . This satan-ette was trying to suck out my soul . Took me by surprise and I nearly hit panic mode .
3rd was was a full mask , Covered my mouth and nose . That I can live with . So I laid back while she fiddles with wires . Last thing she said was after you go to sleep I with slowly increase the pressure . I will start at 5 and go to 20 . Tired and uncomfortable it still takes what feels like 30 minutes to pass out .
Remember the extra slack I asked for with the wires ? I now know why she didn't do that last time , Woke up with the dang wire wrapped up around and between my toes ... I hate stuff between my toes !! Reached down and cocked my leg a bit pulled the wire out and a lower leg cramp hit . Bet that looked good on the video . Did notice the pressure was higher .
Don't know how long it took but back out .
I started dreaming that I driving my pickup some where and I have the vent window opened just a bit and like normal it was doing that annoying whistling thing . Then that football stadium speaker popped on and she said I'll be right there . Seems I rolled over and tweaked the mask and it was doing the whistling and blowing into my right eye . I grabbed it and wiggled it around and some piece popped off in my hand . Had to take all that gear off my head to put the piece back in place . It was outhouse time by then anyway so that turned into a 15 minute deal . Settled back down and now the pressure is at 20 (What ever that means) I now know why a dog will try to bite your face off when you blow in his face .
Made it till 5:00 am and the test was over . Was informed that the test went good . Pretty tough for me to say so I'll take her word for it . Drove like a mad mad to the house to get rid of the snot balls then to work with a few minutes to spare .
Here's another kicker ..... 30 day med card expired Friday .
More than likely the doc won't see the results for a week or 10 days (Yep , they are that backed up doing this testing).
Contacted the med clinic that started this whole mess to start with and as long as they get something from my doc in writing saying the testing is ongoing they would issue another 30 day med card .
Sooo , Docs office opens at 9:00 am . He won't show up till 10:30ish , Then drive to town and deal with the clinic ... My day will be shot . Hopefully this will be the only day I lose over this .
Getting the paper work rounded up did work and I have another 30 day med card .
It was close to 11:00 when the office gals and My doc brought out what I need paper work wise . Then a 50 minute ride to town . That group was busy but took time to read every word . Called the doc in and he read every word . got home at 2:00 .
Now I have to wait while the latest test results come in .
A line was crossed today , I lost a days work .
It's official , Gal called from the doc's office and a CPAP machine will be coming home . Someone is suppose to call and set something up . Was even told what the pressure will be .
Doctors office called and wanted to know if it was ok to give my cell number to the medical supply house . Hour later they called . Sexy sounding "Jennifer" talked to me . I wanted to know price tags but was told my insurance would cover the biggest part . I asked about the the amount of time it would be on lease . Told her there was no need to lease it when I'm going to be stuck with it .
She knew where I was going . She told me that my insurance company was a good one to deal with because it can be paid for after just a week so your can claim it this year so I don't have satisfy next years deductible .
Insurance company has to contact me so I can answer a few questions for them and maybe have the machine by Thursday ....Then a tech will bring it to the house and introduce me to it .
Asked sexy sounding "Jennifer" if she was the tech , "No but he will take good care of you" ..... Dangit !!
Got a call from "sexy sounding Jenn" Again . She started a conference call with another person . Had to ask me some questions to make sure all was right with the order . No choice on what they bring out the 1st time .
Then proceeded to tell me about the 10 month rental bit and that my insurance pays 85% . So we would be looking at starting with a 77 dollar payment to start the lease . I'm a little slow but that translated to 770 bucks in 10 months . I didn't hear much of the next 30 seconds because I was fried !!
Told them both that I wanted to make sure they both understood . " You can cancel that order . I can buy off the net a machine for less than that !! "
They reassured me that the 77 buck was a one time deal , The mask and hose are sold separate . After that it drops to 15 bucks .
Waited for these people to call , So I figured when after no call yesterday it would be next week . Guy called an hour ago said I hear you work all week so if you have time I can come out today . I am ready to get the deal going . This started back in November ( 6 weeks ago )
Now for the moment of truth , Machine is here . The guy showed me how to clean the cpap machine . Where and how to clean the intake filter . I have 30 days to change the masks without charge . Test fit the mask . Double checked the prescribed pressure . Did that in about 15 minutes . Then had to call a number and verify that all over again .
1st night was ok , Took a while to nod off (Nearly an hour ) . Got up for my usual bathroom break . My big fingers couldn't trip the catch on the head gear . So being as the needed break was a near 911 and a bit of claustrophobia kicked in , It was removed " violently " . Thankfully it just pulled the velcro loose but it was a 30 minute ordeal before I was back out .
Been on the machine since Saturday . Don't really feel any different but the wife said she made two trips in to check on me . Said she thought I might have died being as there was no noise
The machine has been working good . More alert in the mornings , Actually feel like doing something when I get home . Dull headache that was on both ends of the day has been gone .Claustrophobia after 1st week was gone . Not near as grumpy (According to coworkers) . So far so good . Then came New years Eve .....
New years I didn't feel right . Just steadily getting a little worse ever day . Caught a virus that has filled the hospitals around here . I OTC doctored it and thought I might have under control until last Sunday . I was so congested that using the CPAP was near impossible . I'd sneeze and have to clean the mask , cough and have to clean it up . Just became A huge pain . I haven't had it back on since , But Monday thru Thursday I had NCCCO testing going on and could not miss it . Didn't go to the Doc until Thursday afternoon .
Pneumonia , So Now it's antibodies and inhaler until I get rid of this crud . Still plugged up but at least try the machine every night . Can't wait till I can get back to normal . I miss that thing
I was really wanting get a full 30 days in before I said anything about how I feel with the Cpap but this crud and having to stop using it sure let me know what the difference is .
1st off it didn't make feel like I could stop a speeding bullet or leap tall buildings with a single bound , For me it's in the small stuff . Getting up , mornings were like this . Alarm go's off . " Where's my hammer ? " , I could roll over for another 2 hrs or better . Drag out and wander aimlessly to the outhouse . Nearly all mornings and most evenings were met with a dull headache . Not a killer , just there .
Ive kept a bottle of Ibuprofen close at hand at work for a long while .
Headaches mornings and evening are gone . I don't SPRING out of bed in the morning but I can get up without prodding from Mama . Used to have the radio in the pickup cranked up , listening to talk radio just to keep me 1/2 way alert . Now I just leave it turned off because I'm annoyed with blasted bombardment of advertising .
I have had a hand full of minor projects around home I wanted to get done for a couple of years . Before I would get home and just didn't feel like doing anything . They are done .
Co workers have noticed , I can't tell you what they said word for word but apparently they like the change
Nothing huge , Just small stuff
temporary Dot card is about to run out . Boss nudged me about so I stopped by the "Clinic " to ask what it would take to get this done and over with . Was informed that the card in the back of the machine would have to by read and a print out of Compliance would have to be brought to them . I asked , Do you have the stuff to do that ? .... No , You have to get that from your doctors office .
Well , I call the doctors office . After talking to 3 different people I find out that they can't do that .
So , I call the phone number on the cpap , Naturally i get a hold of someone in California . She looks up all the info and said I needed to call the local service center .
Called the local service center . They told me that I need to take the memory card out , haul it 55 miles to the service center . Then I could get the miserable , time killing , Pain in the neck , Blood pressure raising , Heartburn causing piece of paper .
While this takes just a few moments to tap out on a keyboard between the auto phone service and sitting on hold till the next available operator can handle my call its been 3 hrs . I'm ready to hit that machine with a hammer and ship the card , mask and all back to them . Should go find a doc that will just "sell" me a dot card .
This took a nasty turn
I went to the Local supplier and gave them the memory card . They printed out 4 sheets of graphs and words I didn't know . Drove back to the " animal ' clinic . Told the Gal what I was there to do . So in their usual style I had to sit and wait a while . Little Gal come's to inform me that the doc needs to discuss the therapy data summary . So he proceeds to tell that " I have been lenient with you and somewhere we have to end this . You are not doing what you should according to these papers . You are mandated to 73% use and you are only at 50% . I asked how that could be because I am doing what everyone one said ? He told me that I must be removing the machine at night . I said NO SIR I AM NOT ! ...... He told me that the numbers do not lie .
I FREAKING EXPLODED .................. He fully understood what I thought of his clinic , staff , himself and the car he drove . Might have gotten in to some previously unknown family history.... I grabbed the papers out of the office gals hand and started for the door . She told me she needed to copy those papers . I did inform her of a certain body part she could copy . As it stands right now , I am going to a different Clinic Monday to start this process all over . This has being going on since November ..... So far .
This new group I plan to not say a word about Cpap , If I can pull it off I'll keep it between me and my personal doctor. At this point my feelings are that if a doctor brings anything up about forcing you into a sleep study you need to get up and walk out right then . Then hunt someone that does not try to turn a DOT card into a cash cow .
It is not getting better , New doc said my boss told the new doc about the cpap deal . So now he wants me to do another test "MWT"
Two weeks before it happens . At the consultation the tech said this is not easy . Lots of people fail this . I asked ," what if a bathroom break comes on suddenly "? he said " If you leave that chair you flunk " . He showed me the lighting . It was somewhere between coal oil lantern and a single birthday candle and behind your head . No movement . No humming . no singing . no nothing . must stay awake for 40 minutes . Urine test at the end to insure you are not using any drugs to get thru .But wait there's more . I have to do this at least 4 times in one day
with a two hour break in between sessions .
Then it will take 10 days to two weeks for the results to come back. I don't believe I know a single soul that can do this , physically or
I will update as soon as anything new happens . Right now just sitting at home waiting for two weeks to pass by .
Time for an update , I have my med card but it took a different route than I thought .
I need to set the stage a bit . I have had nothing to do but think about this up coming test for the last few weeks . Ringing in my ears was the lab tech telling me that you can't pass this test . he was talking about two weeks ago but I heard it all week long . I tried laying down early last night . Just flopped like a fish . might have slept 30 minutes .
Got back up for an hr then back down . Got back up and back down ............ Might have gotten three hrs total . Felt bad but headed out for the test . I'm thinking this is not good . how will I do this sitting for 40 minutes motionless and not fall asleep , 4 times .When I got to the hospital me and the tech cussed and discussed it for a bit . I was a little strung out when I got there so the tech wanted to know what I was going to do .
I stuck my hands in my pocket and felt the memory card , The one out of the back of the CPAP machine . Handed to the tech and he said let me download that info and see what it reads , maybe you can decide what you want to do . A second tech had at that point just gotten there and he started discussing the situation .
He was right , Told me " If you flunk this test ,Its on your record from then on " . That killed it right there .
I'm struggling with the fact that Kansas unemployment has messed up my money and it's a week behind and it feels like the rug has been yanked out . Just then the 1st guy said hey this download looks pretty good .
He had a full color chart in front of him that showed I was is 93 % compliance (needed 70%). Thought that's is odd but I did make one change in the way I was doing things .
When I got up in the middle of the night I started turning the machine off . If I didn't shut it down it shows an error code that's only reset by shutting off then restarting . I had been tossing the mask down and letting it run then just putting it back on and just going back to sleep . I believe thats info i got here .
The second tech got a half grin on his face . he said " I'm betting that if you take that to your doc and he might see the compliance numbers . That might be good enough for him "
I thanked him , Grabbed a hard copy and headed for the door . Called my boss and told him the deal . Boss then turned , Called that clinic . They asked him to email it . Got a call back in 20 minutes . " Send that guy up here to sign the back of the med card and hes good "
That sounded wonderful to me . Best news in weeks .
Boss told me that if I had worn my boots he would have put me to work right then . Told him tomorrow is quick enough I need a nap .
The only thing that I can say bad about the whole deal is the card is it's only good til October ... They dated it when I 1st went up there . So this deal went from late October to the 4th of march .
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2013 09:42 AM by britincanada.)