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Sleep Apnea


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#41 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:43 AM

This is a very good thread. Everyone that has provided feedback on this subject matter are definitely providing Veterans information to better help there health. Sleep apnea is dangerous and you will die in your sleep if not treated.

#42 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:19 PM

Now tricare has authorized the cpac machine for me. Of course that has a 20% copay. Has anyone here got 2 machines, one from the VA(free) and the one from tricare with co-pay. I am a little confused. Should I take both, or just wait for the free one from the VA in 2 weeks? And of course they record usage, so I probably should go with the VA one otherwise they could get me with defrauding the government. No use wasting as you can only use 1 at a time!

#43 71M10

 
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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:30 AM

I have two machines (one from VA one from private insurance). I use my spare for travel. My VA machine has the Data Card (they have never asked to see it). When I had a C&P for Sleep Apnea I took the card in with me and the Doctor wouldn't look at it or any of the data on it. She indicated I don't need that! She whipped off one of those "a determination of whether apnea was present in service cannot be concluded without resorting to mere speculation" decisions. In my statement in support of claim I filed after reading the C&P I was sure to point out that the Physician refused to look at the data collection that would have given the VA the most up to date information on my apnea.

I can understand why they want to ignore private IMO's and Medical records, but I can't believe that they arn't willing to even look at the complete medical information that is in VA's system.

Best regards,

#44 71M10

 
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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:48 AM

You are right you cant use two at a time. But you can use a spare when one of them stops working.

Another good tip for CPAP users. One of those battery jumper packs (cables, battery and inverter contained) will run my VA issued Cpap for 3 nights if I shut off the heated humidifier and us a 12 volt connection. My machine is 12 volt and the transformer is in the cable (humidifier runs off 110).

I think one of the worst ways to wake up is when you are on a CPAP and the Power goes off. It gives new meaning to " I feel like im suffucating - wearing this mask!"

If you want to avoid that situation a small uninterruptable power supply (type you would have on your computer) takes care of business and the alarm will wake you up with plenty of time before the machine stops running.

Best regards,

#45 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:42 AM

I can always give 1 to my wife-her snoring sounds a fleet of semi trucks going through my house!!! Of course mine does too! (I have woken up and it scares the crap out of me)

#46 Computer Tech

 
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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:07 PM

Cool Breeze:

I've also waken myself up with my snoring, you know that you have to be a heavy snorer if you wake yourself up.

Rick

#47 yelloownumber5

 
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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:39 PM

John,

Sleep apnea can cause pul hypertension http://www.nhlbi.nih...ics/topics/pah/ and a heart cath is the only real way to test the pressure.

Those nasal pillows are awesome for me!

Does your CPAP have the smart card so your sleep events can be monitored? I'm not sure if you get your CPAP from the VA and if so what they issue but I will get mine there as I'm tired of paying for these supplies.



My sleep doctor said my studies showed I had heart arrhythmias while I was having the apneas during sleep. This is why we all want to treat sleep apnea as a very serious disease. I have really struggled with mine. I am going for the nose nozzle now since the full face mask irritates the bridge of my nose so bad it is bright pink in the morning even if I sleep well. My doctor says people die all the time from unknown causes that are really apnea. They fall asleep while driving and crash. They have heart attacks at night and die. They die while having naps during the day.



#48 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:55 PM

I just picked up my cpac machine today from the VA. They told me there is about a 6-8 month wait just to get a sleep study done in Tucson. I was able to get a sleep study done one in 1 week from tricare, and pick one from the VA in 1 month

#49 john999

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:07 AM

I use medicare and my BC/BS to get my CPAP supplies. I can't wait on the VA unless they do a lot better than their drug program or dental program.

#50 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:44 AM

According to the employee running the sleep study program, it normally takes a few days or less once you just call her direct number. If you don't get in contact with her you can leave a message. Most supplies are readily available-just have to place an order
There is an data card in the back. We are required only to send it in once after 30 days so they can verify we are using it, and they will send you a print out of the readings. It would be impossible to do this every month due to the huge number of veterans using these. They have Vets in Afganstan, everywhere even on ships using these. It will take a bit to get used too.

#51 Computer Tech

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:52 AM

The wait for the thake home sleep study at Sepulveda was three month at least that was what it was last but it only took a couply of weeks to get the machine. For supplies you call them and they'll send it out in a couple of days or if you're close by you can stop by and if they have it they'll give it to you. Mine has the data card which I took in when I saw the sleep doctor a couple of weeks ago, they try to schedule you to see a sleep doctory every six month to verify that you're using the machine and that it's helping.

Rick

#52 71M10

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:37 PM

Going on 5 years using a VA perscribed CPAP, no follow up appointments, when they finally did a C&P for sleep apnea(june 2011) the doctor refused to look at/pull data from the card.

It appears that standard of care is still highly variable in veterans administration health care!

#53 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:14 PM

After several months of using a cpac machine a number of health issues occurred.
I had gone to the E.R. of a local hospital for chest pain. No heart attack-out the door. A few days later same thing again. I went to the VA this time and told them my doctor said that I may have ashma. No heart attack-out the door again.
I still had chest pain, hard time breathing. I went to my appointment with a pulmonary specialist. They ran all the test. No COPD, lung damage,ect.
What is going on is the cpac machine is blowing air in, goes straight in to the stomach and not all going out, and is the culprit causing chest pain and breathing problems
My base doctor order the test in reverse. I had the sleep study done first, was issued the cpac from the VA after I gave the doctors order. Then,, one month later I had the appointment from the doctor who determined after all the test, I am on the wrong machine. I need to be on a BIPAP machine which regulates air going in and out-much more expensive machine. And, another sleep study tomorrow so they can get the right readings. I was never tested on my back either.
So, once I get the new doctors order, another trip to the VA to get them to write another doctors order for the correct machine, And they don't exchange machines, this one is mine. Keep in mind I broke the original one last week and they replaced it with another one as it took a flying leap off my night stand. (you have to put it i your open drawer.)

#54 john999

 
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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:25 PM

Since your life my depend on in I would not get CPAP and sleep study done at the VA unless I had no other means. I have had a hard time with getting a good fit with my mask. My doctor has a staff that deals with the sleep lab and the providers. They read them the riot act. My provider did not want to provide me with a mask that fit. They wanted $200 from me. My doctor's assistant kicked a 2 by 4 up their asses. When I have a problem my doctor's office responds immediately. His office is about 3 miles from my house. He knows my psychiatrist and my psychologist. He will put the fear of God into these durable equiptment providers because he can really shaft them since he is at the top of his profession. To him apnea is a holy cause. It sounds funny but he thinks untreated apnea is a national scandal.

John

#55 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:13 PM

The sleep study is not being done by the VA. Currently there is over a 1 year waiting period for this. I got my sleep study done within one week of each time (2) of a doctor ordering it.

Once the doctor writes the order for the machine, I take the order to my VA clinic and have that doctor write a VA order to authorize the VA sleep apnea coordinator to order machine per same order..

I will check to see what type of mask they issue this time. If I don't like it, I will pay for it with a co-payment from the tri-care authorized sleep study lab to get the right one.

This is surely costing the VA some serious money. These machines are not cheap. I am on my second one(broke he other one) and now they going to pay for another one.

A co-pay for tricare is about 400.00 for the machine. I'm smart. I get the VA to pay for it. They already checked the data card when I brought the machine in for replacement last week and I am in compliance. The only check it once after 1 month due to the numbers issued and there is only just one employee in charge of the program.

Since it would be very difficult to get this service connected for this, I thing I will just file a claim for fatigue as stated in my c-file from a VSO. It had a statement Veteran didn't make it clear that he was filing for this. I never filed for this. But what the heck, I see what happens. I have it documented in my service record, all the medications that I am service connected. Watch them state I have been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea.

#56 cooter

 
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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:40 PM

You darn tootin their expensive. When I went to pick mine up in Phx I took a look at the billing sheet and it had a total of 50 cents short of $10,000!!! Luckily my insurance paid it all. Otherwise I would of been forced to get it at the VA.

CB, I don't know what VA is going to say when I file my claim for Central SA secondary to my knee medications. Mostly opiates. I kinda got lucky when I show positive evidence that the morphine is the culprit. My first test showed a small amount of SA, and 6 months later my Dr wanted another study done cause I was so fatigued during the day. Plus I just started taking the morphine shortly after the first test. The results came back as super severe CSA. So VA can't say it wasn't the morphine when I have the proof it was.


Coot

#57 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:03 AM

3 cpac machines!! One broken my fault. Another one for a replacement. Now a 3rd one come up shortly. How much does a Bpap machine cost? I was told this is going to be 1 hell of an expense.

What kind of machine did you get? I thought they ran around 1400.00. As the VA has a contract, they get them much cheaper. Just like hearing aids.

My wife couldn't handle this crap. She moved on out to another room.. It was like sleeping next to a monster in bed with a mask, hoses, noises from the machine, and me getting up every 2 hours with my failed prostate surgery. You disconnect the hose, so all you hear is air blowing out-whow.. No wonder my relative doesn't let his wife use the machine. I think they would be divorced.

I wonder if I can get this service connected to something?

#58 cooter

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:20 AM

The machine I have is the newer one that is used for Central Apnea. It has a built in sensor that calculates how you breath and then if my breathing slows down or stops, it will sense this and start to breath for you since it already knows how you normally breaths. It's quite a machine. It also has a humidfier attached to it so your mouth doesn't get dried out.
Do you have PTSD, snoring problems, what did the Dr say is causing yours?


Coot

#59 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 03:01 AM

I stopped breathing during a surgery operation. Woke up with a 50'hose down my throat! They can look in your mouth and see if you have a blockage which I do. And one sleep study confirmed it. Yes I snore, stop breathing, and just about croaked. They resurrected me so I can fight another day. At least I can't blame the VA on this one.

I need a BIPAP machine not a cpap machine this time! My chest always hurts with chest pain and breathing problems cause the CPAC doesn't ventilate-just keeps forcing air in-has to go somewhere. So it goes down my stomach, makes me bloated, crap all day,ect

#60 john999

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

I know that taking clonazepam and oxy makes the apnea worse. I get this stuff from the VA. I am afraid if I filed a claim the VA would just cut off my pain meds because I get fentanyl and oxy. They have tried in the past to kick me out of the program because they say I have been getting narcotics too long. They got me dependent and now they say we made a mistake. Any drug that relaxes you is going to probably make apnea worse.

John

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:22 AM

Your right John they do. Luckily I get my meds from a private Dr. I won't deal with the VA if I don't have to. Why don't you find a Pain Management Dr on the outside John. It's sooo much better and easier. That way you won't have to worry about VA taking you off the pain meds.


CB..I think the BIPAP is what I'm using. Btter get it from the VA cause it's really expensive. About 10 Grand.


Coot

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:33 PM

I was med boarded for OSA when I was on active duty in 2004. It’s gone untreated since 2006. This topic has got me think I should try to see what my insurance would cover to get me going on my CPAP again.

I did apply for benefits about 15 months ago. I provided the VA with the MEB/PEB results. It stated that I could finish my last 6 months of my 6 year enlistment with a C Code (could only serve in state side locations) but that it was recommended I could not reenlist with OSA.

I think my biggest mistake was getting honorable discharged with no rating from the VA. I let it go since 2006 I think that has hurt my case.

Anyway I went for my sleep study at a civilian hospital. I watched all these videos about OSA. The tech hook up the monitor then asked if I thought I had OSA. I said hell no! Well I fell asleep very easily as I can sleep anywhere.

In a couple of hours the tech was waking me up putting on the MASK. It was all down hill from there. The doc decided I need a MEB/PEB this if after I had a mishap on duty leading to me bulging my C-4, C-5 and C-7 which the doc said it should cause no pain and would not require a MEB/PEB. Anyway that has been my experience.

#63 cooter

 
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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:49 PM

Have you filed a claim yet? It sounds like you shouldn't have a problem since you were dx in service. I don't know what kind of insurance you have but mine paid for the whole thing. I have BCBS. I don't understand why they didn't give you a rating as you was getting out of the service. I would file for it now if I were you.


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#64 COOL BREEZE

 
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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:03 AM

10,000 for a bipap? How much is the regular CPAP machine.

I already talked to the civilian who issued the cpap machine a few weeks ago. I just need another doctors order. he said it is quite comeon to be issued one machine, and if it doesn't work another is prescribed. I thought the regular one was about 1400.00. And as the VA buys these in bulk, I bet they get it much cheaper.

I finished my 2nd sleep study the other night. I was fitted with a full mask that much more comfortable. I only got up 3 times for the bathroom-every 2/1/2 hours getting a little less.

I wonder if I will have a problem with the VA doctor writing another order again? Keep in mind I haven't an actual VA appointment in over one year now, another than trips to the emergency room. They are so back up-6 months for a regular appointment if you can get them to give you one.

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:59 AM

Cool;

10,000 seems to be a bit high, the machine that the VA gave me last year goes for about $930 on the internet, Mine's set up as an APAP, which is the same as a CPAP except instead of being set for one pressure it's set for a range, mine's set for 7 to 14.

Rick

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:41 PM

All pain management doctors in my area want to do is injections into the spine or neck. They are paranoid about scripts for narcotic meds since Florida was the capital of dopers paradise and pill mills and probably still is except maybe Kentucky or W.Virginia.

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:39 PM

Computer Tech....The machine I use is actually called ASV (Adaptive Servo-Ventilation). Also called the smart machine. It continuously monitors your breathing patterns. Another words, if you start to breath faster then so does the machine and vice-versa. I apologize earlier when I said BIPAP. When I received the paper work for my ins. co. it had a total of 50 cents short of $10,000. The ASV is used for us who have Central and/or Complex SA.


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:31 AM

So how much is a bipap machine vs regular cpap machine/ I definitely liked it better with the full mask.

Now I am waiting for the results to give to the VA so I can have this machine. Perhaps my wife can use the other machine!

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:56 AM

Cool;

I looked online at cpapsupplyusa.com the bipap runs anywhere from $954 to 5300 depending on the machine whereas the cpap and apap runs between $400 and 1000 depending on the machine. I believe that the APAP and Cpap machines are the same just setup differently.

Coot;

I remember a discussion several months ago about central apnea and I had done some research online and found that it was treated with the ASV but I hadn't realized that it was that expensive.

Rick

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:55 PM

Remember, that.s what they charged the Ins. co...If you and I had no Ins and we walk in to get one they'll probably only charge us $1,000. They gotta make money off the Ins. co. you know.


Coot

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:24 PM

Can't wait till I get mine!

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:43 PM

CB... You'll probably get pissed at the mask a dozen times before you find the right one. I really hope it works for you, as you know a lot of Vets probably don't even wear them anymore cause of all the hassles. I quit twice until I found the one that's less evil than the rest.


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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:15 AM

Cooter,
I got my Cpap several years ago and had lots of problems.I still have some problems. However at least now I don't jump out of the bed gasping for breath.That is a scary situration.

I have heard stories of people dying in their sleep. That is enough of a reason for me to endure any problems that the Cpap could cause.

I had a colonoscopy recently and the VA made me use my Cpap during the procedure. So the Cpap is pretty important to me.
vet12

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:23 AM

You definitely have the right attitude and that kind of attitude is going to help keep you alive. You know it's kind of funny, whenever I get so frustrated with these masks I tell myself the hell with it, I'm not wearing this crap anymore, I get more sleep without this thing. You know the old saying, "cutting off your nose to spite your face" well that's me sometimes when I wear the mask. Then when I settle down I'll put it back on, that is until I get frustrated again...lol


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Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:41 PM

I do breath better with the mask. I don't love the mask but I can sure tell when I don't wear it. I got one that fits pretty well at last. You have to be persistent. I have a good doctor and he is no VA hack.

John

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:01 PM

I had a partial mask, just for the nose only. All I did was make me itch all night. The tech tried a full mask(fitted several tell I was comfortable with one) I am still waiting for the final doctors orders for the 2nd sleep test! I wonder how many do you need!

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:37 PM

As many as it takes, Cooter, for you to be able to breath. This is your life that is at stake really. If VA is supplying your labs and masks they really don't care if you live or die. I am surprised they don't have a crematorium right on sight. Does vet have relatives....NO!......burn em.

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:09 AM

You couldn't be any more right than that John. I went to see my sleep doc about a month ago to complain about not being able to sleep at night and have a very hard time getting thru the day. He told me that I look like a mess and gave me a prescription of "nuvigil" which is for people who has SA and night work people. Basicly it's like a form of mild speed. I been feeling alot better since I started taking them. Before I couldn't get behind the wheel without nodding off, or just trying to concentrate when people talk to me. I'm not kidding, I was totally burnt out. Just talking to people would tire me out. I truly hope none of you folks are going thru this. My Dr did say I am a high risk candidate for a stroke or heart attack because of my AHI which is 87.4. It's all due to the pain meds I'm on. When I asked him if there's anything I can do, he said sure there is, stop taking the pain meds and live with it. Well that's not in my near future plans, so damn if you do and damn if you don't situation. I wish I had the OSA instead of CSA if I'm going to have it.


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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:31 PM

Unbelievable- i received the results of my latest sleep study(not by the VA-arete/stars ) yesterday. I took the package into the VA to have them write a doctors order this am, received a call back this pm from the sleep coordinator that she had it and it was approved! Wanted me to pick it up tomorrow, however I am going on a road trip to San Diego tonight and will pick it up next Thursday. Probably saw how bad it was and expediated it per me and the sleep apnea coordinator. I was still snoring on the cpac(loud, ect) Once they switched it to the bpac machine and increased everything, most of that disappeared. In fact, it shows I actually slept for 4 hours straight. I haven't done that in about 15 years.

Itsn't a bpac more expensive than a regular one. My VA keeps these in stock!

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:13 PM

I don't think I have had a decent night's sleep since I was DX'ed with apnea and started to use the mask. I was DX'ed in December of 2011. I have been through five masks. I still wake up about five times a night due to thirst or some damn thing. I am getting used to falling asleep at 2:30 am and getting up at 8am feeling like a zombie. I am discouraged but I guess as I told Scooter if I want to keep living I have to do this. I was so healthy up until about 20 years ago. I hit about age 42 and my body began to just break down due to abuse heaped on it in early life I guess. Every time you get in a wreck or fall off a bike or strain something it comes back to haunt you at age 40. The apnea is probably due to getting fat due to being unable to do much without pain.




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