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I need help - Printable Version

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I need help - Hannah14 - 06-10-2019

I have had sleep issues since childhood and was finally diagnosed around 2004 but my RDI was 6 so I was not covered by insurance. My basic diagnosis was that I had a very narrow airway and woke up 50x with no stage 3 or 4 sleep.

Since then I was diagnosed with thyroid disease, I have lost 1/3 of my thyroid mass and have scar tissue that raised my pressure and I am also much less fit. I still woke up 50x in my recent sleep study and no stage 3 or 4 sleep but it takes a lot more pressure to fix my sleep and my RDI is 15.

It took 11 months of going to the dr every week crying and begging to get a cpap and finally having to go to a new medical group, the sleep dr said that was very hard on a person with heart and lung issues. I have mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation and asthma. I got my machine in Oct and life started getting good.

We got a new store new manager who started cutting back hours while promising they were going back to normal soon for months. I spent through a scholarship and ended up close to broke. I got a 2nd job and decided to live in my car to save money to finish school. I went to a charity lot where you sleep on private land, it is sort of like camping which I love. However, I was promised late night cpap accomodation at another area, I transferred but was locked out because my work hours were too late to get in, I ended up not using my cpap about a week. I quit the 2nd job -I was too tired to learn it, transferred back to the lot where I can use my cpap but I have to be there by 930pm, and told the first job the time I need to be out of work. Manager only scheduled me late once this week and threatened to fire me if I didn't show up. Tonight I was told I had to stay late, I asked them to put it in writing that they are unable to accomodate my disabiltiy and were making me stay. They told me to go home.

A week and a half ago I woke up with swollen feet and ankles and was diagnosed as organ failure. My blood tests did not show any problems but am going to see a cardiologist because I have mitral valve regurgitation that may have progressed. 

Is sleep apnea a disability? Can I go on disability and until I can get a job where they don't need me late nights? Am I doing the right thing putting my health first? I really have a difficult time functioning without my cpap.

 Why is everyone making this so hard?

RE: I need help - Sleeprider - 06-10-2019

Welcome to Apnea Board. It would help to se e some of your Sleepyhead or the new OSCAR charts. I'm under the impression you might do better with bilevel pressure than simple CPAP, but let's have a look at where you are in therapy, and how we might help. Bilevel therapy an provide lower exhale pressure and higher inhale pressures your Philips Auto CPAP cannot. This unloads the efforof breathing at night onto the machine and can really make a difference in how you feel.

It sounds brutal from a job standpoint. I wish you the best of luck in finding something more humane.

RE: I need help - Big Guy - 06-10-2019


RE: I need help - Hannah14 - 06-10-2019

Hey thanks for the reply! My sleep has been much better since I went to car sleeping and am forced to wake up by 7am everyday. My AHI averages around 0.5. Turns out my late night job was screwing with my messing with how rested I feel.

My main problem is that my job is fighting me on changing my hours away from late nights.

RE: I need help - Hannah14 - 06-10-2019

Thanks for the information. Putting my trust in God that all will work out right. I'm already a certified MLT so maybe this is a nudge to get that real job, instead of waiting until I'm perfect.

RE: I need help - Big Guy - 06-10-2019

I worked rotating shifts (mostly swing and graveyard) for over 30 years straight. I was certain that once I retired, my sleep would be all messed up. 

I'm happy to report otherwise. I adapted back to normal quite quickly.  Big Grin

RE: I need help - Dormeo - 06-10-2019

Hannah14, I’m very sorry to hear about all the troubles that life is giving you, and I hope that things will be going better for you soon. 

About apnea, CPAP, disability, and employer accommodation of disability, this might be a good place to start:


I would understand if you didn’t want to escalate too much too soon with your employer, but it’d be great if you could also find an attorney who would consult with you free of charge. Many counties have organizations (e.g., bar associations) through which you can try to find someone. Also, some attorneys specializing in disability accommodation will consider a free initial consultation. 

Fingers crossed for you.

RE: I need help - SarcasticDave94 - 06-10-2019

Hannah14, welcome to Apnea Board.

On the Apnea and disability question, this is according to what I’ve been told for myself, that since it’s treatable via CPAP, then by itself it is not disabling to the point of Social Security paying. As for those other health problems, that might be another story.

Best wishes for treatment success.

RE: I need help - Dormeo - 06-10-2019

Just to clarify, I thought the OP was asking about the employer’s legal obligation to make a reasonable accommodation for a disability, per the ADA, rather than about receiving income from Social Security on the grounds of a full or partially disabling condition. Hannah14, can you let us know which you were asking about?  Thanks!

RE: I need help - SarcasticDave94 - 06-11-2019

Good point Dormeo. My answer stands if it's that type of disability question. On the other hand, if it's apnea, CPAP and disabling for keeping a job, then my humble opinion is yes that can be a disabling situation, such as here in the US, we have FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). After filing the forms with the Doc doing his/her part as well, protected party's under FMLA are granted modified work schedules and edited rules such as more or longer breaks, more lenient sick time, different chairs, etc.

FWIW I attempted FMLA before going SSDI claims in the last job I could work. That's why I know about both these things.