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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-28-11, 02:02 PM   #1
K'Tesh
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My CPAP croaked...



Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, back in '02, I was provided with a REMstar CPAP machine w/all the trimmings. Here we are in '11 and it finally died. This is killing me. (Not only that, but they don't make the model I used anymore).

Fortunatly, the hospital's medical equipment provider said that since I've had it for over 5 years, I'm entitled to a replacement. I just have to go through the paperwork to get financial assistance (I don't have insurance anymore due to job loss).

My recommendation... If you have a 5+ year-old CPAP, and it's working fine... GREAT! Now, before it craps out, get a replacement for it from your provider. If you can, keep the old one as a spare in the event the new one busts for whatever reason.

Just my $0.02
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Old 04-28-11, 02:24 PM   #2
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I did that with all the parts for my CPAP machine. Filters, mask pieces, hoses, etc. Whenever insurance paid to replace them, I got them and stored them in the event I might have something go wrong with them later. Sound advice.
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Old 04-28-11, 02:52 PM   #3
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My machine outlasted my need for it. I had it for several years during which it performed like a champ, then had a UPPP & tonsilectomy and no longer needed it. The local medical equipment distributor said they have zero market value as used machines, so I tossed it. Just about killed me to do it.
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Old 04-28-11, 11:27 PM   #4
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I replace things as they come available too.

Possible to get a semi decent night sleep when I can't use the machine for a day or two for whatever reason, even if it's not the most pleasant way to sleep.. Clear the airway, like they teach in CPR class.
Put your pillow(s) under your shoulders, not your head. Tilt your head way back, push your chin toward the wall so you're craning your neck. Now sleep. Not all that comfortable, and your neck will start getting upset if you do it too many nights in a row, but you'll get a night of halfway passable sleep while you wait for your machine to get back to you.
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Old 04-29-11, 09:08 AM   #5
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First off, I'm sorry for your loss K'Tesh.

That's food for thought. I do worry at times about my CPAP crapping out unexpectedly. That machine litterally changed my life and I'd not want to go back to where I was before I got it.

On a related topic, does anyone here use/have used one of those dental applicances that are supposed to pull your jaw forward? Good results? Bad?
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Old 04-29-11, 03:58 PM   #6
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I get new ones for free from the VA Hospital. I have one just like yours. I go in every 6 months and get new supplies and never get a bill. When the CPAP craps out they just junk the ols and hand me a new one. If you are a veteran you should check it out.
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Old 04-29-11, 04:13 PM   #7
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Fortunatly for me, since I contacted the Healthcare Provider I got my original CPAP from, I was able to put in for financial assistance (disabled, unemployed, uninsured, college student w/o loans), and got its replacement this morning.

I just need to get a doctor to sign off that sleep apnea requires a CPAP, so they won't make me buy the thing outright. My original physician won't sign off without me coming in... this is the same one who couldn't diagnose my broken leg for 3 weeks. The sleep specialist also won't sign off w/o a visit. Thank Goodness for Student Health and Counciling Services!

On the subject of Sleep Apnea, here's a few tips I've found (unfortunatly due to experience).
  • Put a 6' (2 meter) extension cord with a flush plug in your travel bag. Helps when you're in a hotel w/limited numbers of outlets.
  • Put a military style flashlight (so it won't roll off the nightstand) in your travel bag. Keep it next to the CPAP at night.*
  • Mount battery opperated lights next to your CPAP at home. Test them occasionally (say when you set your clocks back/forwards for Daylight Savings Time).
  • Older CPAP carry bags are larger than new ones (so you can sneek more snacks aboard the plane when traveling ). Oh, and the new bag will make a good bag for my rear rack.
*Back when I was a travel agent I was on a business trip in Kauai. While I was staying at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, a car struck a power pole in Lihue. That caused an islandwide power outage that affected our hotel down in Poipu. Being in a strange bed, with my machine suddenly not working, I awoke in a bit of a panic. While I was finding my way around the room in the unfamiliar environment I fell over my bags. Maneuvering around the room was a B!+CH, until I found the flashlight they had in the closet by the safe. BTW Even hotels like the Sheraton Kauai Resort will NOT have a way of plugging you into their emergency backup generator

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Old 04-29-11, 05:51 PM   #8
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I get new ones for free from the VA Hospital. I have one just like yours. I go in every 6 months and get new supplies and never get a bill. When the CPAP craps out they just junk the ols and hand me a new one. If you are a veteran you should check it out.
Thanks for that...

I am a Vet, so I might have to go and check that out if the problem w/the prescription doesn't get ironed out.
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Old 04-30-11, 08:31 AM   #9
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I get new ones for free from the VA Hospital. I have one just like yours. I go in every 6 months and get new supplies and never get a bill. When the CPAP craps out they just junk the ols and hand me a new one. If you are a veteran you should check it out.
Were you diagnosed with SA while on active duty? My SA started while still on active duty but I didn't do anything about it until I'd been out for almost two years.
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Old 04-30-11, 08:32 AM   #10
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That's the CPAP that I have. No problems with it so far (three years).
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Old 04-30-11, 09:41 AM   #11
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I get new ones for free from the VA Hospital. I have one just like yours. I go in every 6 months and get new supplies and never get a bill. When the CPAP craps out they just junk the ols and hand me a new one. If you are a veteran you should check it out.
Me too, VA may not be the fastest healthcare, but the price is right.
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Old 04-30-11, 11:54 PM   #12
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Every 3-5 years, once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you should be restudied. Also in order to receive your new device, you will more than likely need to have another study, due to the lapse of time. The machines have gotten very small and very quiet. Also the masks have gotten much more comfortable.

The idea that you can use positional therapy to treat your apnea is one that ultimately fails. Over the years I have seen everything from pillows that reposition your head angle, to tennis balls sewn into the back of a T-Shirt. However once people are asleep, they tend to move into whatever position they want regardless.

I have been a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (Sleep Tech) now for almost 10 years. I have also been using CPAP for 6 of those. If you guys have any questions, feel free to shoot them my way. I will try and answer them the best I can.
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Old 04-30-11, 11:59 PM   #13
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First off, I'm sorry for your loss K'Tesh.

That's food for thought. I do worry at times about my CPAP crapping out unexpectedly. That machine litterally changed my life and I'd not want to go back to where I was before I got it.

On a related topic, does anyone here use/have used one of those dental applicances that are supposed to pull your jaw forward? Good results? Bad?
I have seen these devices hit and miss. If you have mild apnea and either an ENT or a dentist confirms that a device could help with your apnea, then go for it. However, steer clear of dentists that will make you a device regardless of your AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index or how many times per hour you stop breathing). Most insurances wont cover the cost a of device so it is mostly out of pocket. And they can be pricy.
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Old 05-01-11, 06:02 PM   #14
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First off, I'm sorry for your loss K'Tesh.

That's food for thought. I do worry at times about my CPAP crapping out unexpectedly. That machine litterally changed my life and I'd not want to go back to where I was before I got it.

On a related topic, does anyone here use/have used one of those dental applicances that are supposed to pull your jaw forward? Good results? Bad?
I have an appliance from my dentist. I got it for a week long tour (BAK) ad have since used it for other travel. Works great for me, and I have a pretty good case of apnea. Mine was about $450,and insurance pad about $300.
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Old 05-02-11, 05:13 PM   #15
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My ResMed is now approaching 2.5 years old with no issues so far. I am hoping my weight loss goal this year will get me off the machine as I didn't have it until I weighed 240. So, I am going to see how this year goes, then I may think about getting a spare replacement just in case.
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