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Got Sleep Apnea? Better read this...

Discussion in 'Trucking Fit & Fit to Live' started by Lawrence, May 2, 2016.

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  1. Lawrence
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    Lawrence Founder Staff Member

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  2. Turtle
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    Considering 4 of the 5 physicians on the FMCSA Medical Review Board have direct ties to the sleep industry, either at sleep clinics, through their own occupational practice where sleep diagnosis is a highly profitable cash cow, and/or via the CPAP medical equipment industry, this should come as no surprise. They tried to sneak it into the regulations many years ago and when that failed they instead inserted sleep apnea testing into the Medical Recommendations. If a patient exhibits signs of sleep apnea or answers questions in a manner that tend to indicate sleep apnea, testing has always been warranted. But over the last few years it's 'skip the signs and the questions' and just go right to the testing.

    Not only is the testing expensive, but virtually everyone tested for sleep apnea can be diagnosed with sleep apnea, because of how the tests are done. It's basically you getting strapped into a lie detector setup (a polysomnography) where nasal and oral airflow is measured, elastic bands are placed around the chest and abdomen to measure respiratory effort (which it doesn't actually measure), and a finger probe thingy that measures oxygen in the blood while you sleep. Once the testing is completed, the result are then interpreted by someone who's job depends on a lot of people being diagnosed with sleep apnea.
     
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    • TeamPaul
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      I really hate to post on an older post, but this rings a very clear bells with me... I was diagnosed with sleep apnea just last month (June), and I am currently on a CPAP machine. Now that I have been diagnosed it will be interesting to see if this will hurt my future in the industry. Once diagnosed, I imagine, I would be hard pressed to get a clear bill of health once life allows for better sleep without the machine. Thank you for this post, I will be following the new regs closely.
       
      Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
    • Turtle
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      There are a lot of drivers out here who have CPAP machines. I wouldn't imagine that it would hurt your future in the industry, considering the apparent goal of the sleep specialists on the Medical Review Board is to have a CPAP machine in every cab. <snort>
       
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    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Researching

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      I would think the fact that you are treating it would be a plus.
      Who's a better candidate ?
      A guy that may or may not have SA, or a guy that is taking care of the problem ?
       
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    • TeamPaul
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      My wife and I started reading the law as it pertains to Alabama, and it looks as though I am good to go. I have to go yearly for a physical anyway due to high blood pressure, so I will know even more then.
       
    • TeamPaul
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      It is a no wonder that you get diagnosed with sleep apnea... who can sleep in all of this? It took 45-minutes to wire me in. There many unseen terminals glued to my scalp:

      20160617_211309[1].jpg
       
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    • hossman2011
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      hossman2011 Expert Expediter Owner/Operator

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      I did a self study in the truck through Pheonix sleep solutions... Test was 250 or there about. They mailed the equipment to me, i put it on for a night and sent it back. They analyzed the data and told me how many times I either completely stopped breathing or partially stopped. I got the equipment from them and started using it in February. I resisted for a long time, I will tell you that I se it every night and have noticed a significant improvement in the quality of my sleep, and the frequency of hitting that WALL in the afternoon. They allso provide the compliance monitoring as part of the purchase, which you then provide to the doc everytime in for a DOT. there is no questions to be asked at that point. If you snore, you more than likely have some amount of apnea. I fought it but I am absoltely glad I have done it.....
       
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    • TeamPaul
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      Yep, during the test I stopped breathing more than 40-times in an hour!! :jawdrop: Since sleeping on the machine, I too have noticed an improvement in sleep... heck, I started dreaming again after 2-years without. I still fight the mask from time to time, but getting better.
       
    • hossman2011
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      hossman2011 Expert Expediter Owner/Operator

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      The reason I fought getting the test done was because I would dream all night long, epic dreams, I was always told that people with apnea very rarely dreamed. so even if you dream you can still have pretty bad apnea.
       
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    • TeamPaul
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      Epic dreams... yeah, I missed my dream state... you could write all manner of scripts and books off the stuff I dreamed.
       
    • Lawrence
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      The CPAP machine saved my life. Literally. I encourage anyone to get checked for sleep apnea,
       
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    • TeamPaul
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      I find that I am still fighting the mask at night, even dreamed about fighting it last night... but I am sleeping much better. Today I have pulled my SD card, as this will be my first doctors visit since being put on the machine... I guess they need the SD card for insurance purposes, making sure I am using it during the required 4-hours a night (for 90-days). I will find out later this AM what the doc hopes to gather from the SD card.
       
    • TeamPaul
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      A small update; Today was a scheduled DOT physical day. I found out upon arrival, that the Occupational Health facility required a release letter from my sleep doctor before I could get my DOT physical long form or card!!! That news got me real nervous as I saw my driving future go away before it could even get going. In fact, when the doctor came in, he asked me why my blood pressure was so high HOLY CRIPES!! No sleep doctor letter and high blood pressure... "I'm doomed" I told the doctor that I was nervous about not having "the letter" from my sleep doctor, and that shot my BP up... Long of the short, the sleep doctor is sending the letter over by fax, and I received my card and long form all the same... and I'm not so hypertensive anymore. They're getting serious about sleep apnea, I hope it does not truly doom me in the not so distant future.
       
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    • Lawrence
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      Lawrence Founder Staff Member

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      Please keep us up to date with your DOT Physical Card and your Sleep Apnea. Are you taking anything to help with your BP? Hope everything works out! :bored:
       
    • TeamPaul
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      Yes, I have been on a nightly and daily BP meds for the better part of 15 years now. The sleep doctor sent over a letter to the Occupational Health Group (OHG), and everything is good to go for another year... I have my card!!

      There are many things I can do, and I am doing to help with the sleep apnea, the big one is losing weight. I'm a big guy, pushing a little over 300 lbs. Down from an all time high of 317. As for the BP meds, I started on them just before I quit smoking in 2002.
       
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