Sleep Aphnea and CPAP monitoring by the VA

commosgt

PEB Forum Veteran
I am curious if anyone experiences stomach blotting or stomach pain. I use a VPAP machine and I can only use three to four hours per nite because of the pain. After I take it off I pretty much bulch air out to aleave the pain. I have had the pressure adjusted but not sure what is causing this. I have an appt soon to see my doc!
 

usafaviator

PEB Forum Veteran
I am curious if anyone experiences stomach blotting or stomach pain. I use a VPAP machine and I can only use three to four hours per nite because of the pain. After I take it off I pretty much bulch air out to aleave the pain. I have had the pressure adjusted but not sure what is causing this. I have an appt soon to see my doc!
This is due to pressure pushing the air into your digestive system. Adjusting the pressure down at the doc should take care of it. I have had this problem off and on, but not enough to interfere with sleep (usually just gas and bloated feeling). I would get the pressure checked asap if I were you, you might also have an issue with your epiglottis.
 

chrisvasta

Registered Member
this is good info i'm in moderate osa mixed and also a mouth breather. I'm on a full mask which is ok but can only do about 1.5 hours when i fall asleep then i wake up at about 0400 and do another 1.5

i need 12 to 18 psi so the doc thinks i may nee bipap as the exhale might be what is waking me up. she said i may have to do another sleep study to get the bipap. man i hate those things.
Although a BiPAP machine may help, it may not be necessary. Also, another sleep study is not warranted. Auto adjusting CPAP's and BiPAP's will help to alleviate the difficulty with breathing out against pressurized air. In fact, an auto BiPAP can reduce its pressure at exhalation to its beginning pressure (usually 4cm H2O). Although they do cost more and insurance might not be willing to pay up, a sleep study will cost you much more than buying one of these outright through an online CPAP dealer such as The CPAP Shop (www.thecpapshop.com)
 

chrisvasta

Registered Member
this is good info i'm in moderate osa mixed and also a mouth breather. I'm on a full mask which is ok but can only do about 1.5 hours when i fall asleep then i wake up at about 0400 and do another 1.5

i need 12 to 18 psi so the doc thinks i may nee bipap as the exhale might be what is waking me up. she said i may have to do another sleep study to get the bipap. man i hate those things.
 

NavyRecruiter84

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Just throwing my 2cents in. I had a hard time as well with my CPAP for the first few months. I started taking over the counter "melatonin" instead of my ambien and it has done wonders. The ambien made me have pretty strange conversations with the ol lady, so I had to put an end to that lol.

Also, the mask makes all the differance. Make sure you have the right size, and clean it daily.

I have never slept better in my life. I worked nights and mids most of my career, and my sleep schedule has always been crazy. Use it every night and you will notice no more afternoon headaches, no tired feelings, and your memory/sharpness improves!
 

usafaviator

PEB Forum Veteran
Just throwing my 2cents in. I had a hard time as well with my CPAP for the first few months. I started taking over the counter "melatonin" instead of my ambien and it has done wonders. The ambien made me have pretty strange conversations with the ol lady, so I had to put an end to that lol.

Also, the mask makes all the differance. Make sure you have the right size, and clean it daily.

I have never slept better in my life. I worked nights and mids most of my career, and my sleep schedule has always been crazy. Use it every night and you will notice no more afternoon headaches, no tired feelings, and your memory/sharpness improves!

I agree with this reply. I had a buddy that decided to take an ambien while on crew rest for a sortie (normal/legal), but decided to wash it down with a few shots of jack (not normal/legal)...he ended up throwing a fire extinguisher through the billeting window of the visiting IG while he and his team were at the base for an inspection...and doesn't remember a thing:confused: Needless to say, his PRF for major ended up in the "recycle bin".

As for the mask, I agree. I went through several masks, canulas, etc. before I decided what worked for me. I decided on the full Respironics mask with the blue gel insert. Because my apnea is complicated by obstructive and restrictive lung disease and constrictive broncholitis, I couldn't handle the nasal pillows or nose only masks. Additionally, I was originally prescribed a CPAP, and (even titrated) couldn't handle the constant pressure and ended up having to go to titrated bipap. You just have to try things out and figure out what works for you.

I have to disagree with the post above that any additional sleep studies aren't warranted. You should have an initial study to diagnose the apnea, then another when you have landed on the proper machine/mask combo or for the doc to adjust your pressures. Additionally, occasional nocturnal 02 sat studies should be conducted to verify that the machine is, in fact, working for you- this is as simple as the hospital checking out a portable 02 monitor wrist watch to you for you to wear at night, then you turn it back in the next day for them to download the data.

Apnea is a SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS condition, and can kill you if not properly treated, monitored and adjusted regularly as necessary.
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I agree with this reply. I had a buddy that decided to take an ambien while on crew rest for a sortie (normal/legal), but decided to wash it down with a few shots of jack (not normal/legal)...he ended up throwing a fire extinguisher through the billeting window of the visiting IG while he and his team were at the base for an inspection...and doesn't remember a thing:confused: Needless to say, his PRF for major ended up in the "recycle bin".

As for the mask, I agree. I went through several masks, canulas, etc. before I decided what worked for me. I decided on the full Respironics mask with the blue gel insert. Because my apnea is complicated by obstructive and restrictive lung disease and constrictive broncholitis, I couldn't handle the nasal pillows or nose only masks. Additionally, I was originally prescribed a CPAP, and (even titrated) couldn't handle the constant pressure and ended up having to go to titrated bipap. You just have to try things out and figure out what works for you.

I have to disagree with the post above that any additional sleep studies aren't warranted. You should have an initial study to diagnose the apnea, then another when you have landed on the proper machine/mask combo or for the doc to adjust your pressures. Additionally, occasional nocturnal 02 sat studies should be conducted to verify that the machine is, in fact, working for you- this is as simple as the hospital checking out a portable 02 monitor wrist watch to you for you to wear at night, then you turn it back in the next day for them to download the data.

Apnea is a SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS condition, and can kill you if not properly treated, monitored and adjusted regularly as necessary.
Indeed, an official OSA medical diagnosis is definitely no joke! ;)

In retrospect, diagnosed with OSA with CPAP in 2010 while on active duty and clearly documented mTBI cognitive impairment issues and chronic PTSD issues after combat deployments, it's been a very difficult challenge to use the OSA CPAP machine due to the multitude of combat-related injuries.

To that extent, I foresee experiencing significant challenges with the DoVA upon validation of OSA CPAP machine use when my status officially changes to a military veteran disability retiree unless a resolution (in my case) is determined while I am still on active duty.

With that all said, my motor vehicle driving privileges are now being challenged by my State's Motor Vehicle Administration after a recent driver's license renewal. Currently, I am in the process of OSA CPAP mask refitting albeit I have tried all three different type of styles and sizes of masks; all masks have failed! But, the Sleep Disorders Clinic is researching the creation of a custom-made CPAP mask or other type of device; we shall see!

Wow! This is a huge conundrum: potential loss of motor vehicle driving privileges due to no-fault lack of OSA with CPAP treatment because of chronically severe combat-related injuries! :(

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

Best Wishes!
 

jimmyz701

Registered Member
I was prescribed a CPAP in April, i too have had many problems staying asleep while using the machine. I had a C5-C6 spinal fusion 4 months prior to the diagnosis of sleep apnea. Along with having problems finding a suitable sleeping position i have also been hospitalized and had surgery for kidney stones. I haven't used my machine in over 2 months. I hope they don't want that SD card back anytime soon because it will be almost empty. Also, i too got the full mask which does help when i do wear it.
 

Mr. Bereft

Registered Member
I was rated 50% by VA for sleep apnea. No card data required. I use CPAP every night and am nearly 100% compliant. I fight anyone who tries to take it away from me. I have a severe case with 20psi due to anatomical factors working against me, and not weight. But the severity of your case makes no difference, as along as you have been prescribed a CPAP machine. On the other hand I know several soldiers who have CPAP and don't use it. My view is that they are cheating more themselves if they don't use it over the long run. I highly recommend that anyone with CPAP and struggling with using CPAP to Google sleep apnea forums to get help. That's what I did way back when and it made all the difference. Also realize that many CPAP users are athletes, actors, CEOs, etc. It's become the thing to have among the fitness crowds as well. If CPAP is detected when you are young, then you can really prevent a lot of bad health conditions in older age (stroke, high BP, even diabetes). Or look at it this way, who doesn't want to optimize their sleep and get paid by the VA to do it?
I been waiting on my Dr. to get me tested for about 2 yrs now. My wife been telling me I had this but I never knew what it was. What do I do when it seems my Dr. has stopped trying to help?
 

Mr. Bereft

Registered Member
this is good info i'm in moderate osa mixed and also a mouth breather. I'm on a full mask which is ok but can only do about 1.5 hours when i fall asleep then i wake up at about 0400 and do another 1.5

i need 12 to 18 psi so the doc thinks i may nee bipap as the exhale might be what is waking me up. she said i may have to do another sleep study to get the bipap. man i hate those things.
How do I go about getting tested?
 

dj_oif2004

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
has anybody had the SD card removed and validated by the VA? I went through a long period of non-use, now I am eligible to receive VA disability and am curious if they will check the card.
 

bobby_0081

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
has anybody had the SD card removed and validated by the VA? I went through a long period of non-use, now I am eligible to receive VA disability and am curious if they will check the card.
I haven't yet. My pulmonologist read it last month and the VA will likely ask for the records sometime in the future. I was 92% compliant and that was due to having a sinus infection a few days and not being able to breathe through my nose and having a nasal mask. I hated my CPAP at first but now I love the thing. I feel so much better when I use it and I do miss a day or two I can not believe I went so long without it.
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
has anybody had the SD card removed and validated by the VA? I went through a long period of non-use, now I am eligible to receive VA disability and am curious if they will check the card.
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

I am still on active duty within the military, so I have to meet the minimum 70% compliance requirement as informed to me by the WRNMMCB Sleep Clinic.

In retrospect, at my previous WRNMMCB Sleep Clinic check-up appointment, I was 72% compliant with military regulatory standards albeit at least I passed so that I can potentially maintain my State driver's license privileges which are on a probationary status at this point.

Hmm, can you medically validate the long period of non CPAP/BIPAP machine use since the VBA will eventually ask for the SD memory card for validation purposes?

In addition, were you previously issued a service-connected DoVA rating for Sleep Apnea with CPAP/BIPAP since you mentioned that "now I am eligible to receive VA disability?"

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

Best Wishes!
 

dj_oif2004

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

I am still on active duty within the military, so I have to meet the minimum 70% compliance requirement as informed to me by the WRNMMCB Sleep Clinic.

In retrospect, at my previous WRNMMCB Sleep Clinic check-up appointment, I was 72% compliant with military regulatory standards albeit at least I passed so that I can potentially maintain my State driver's license privileges which are on a probationary status at this point.

Hmm, can you medically validate the long period of non CPAP/BIPAP machine use since the VBA will eventually ask for the SD memory card for validation purposes?

In addition, were you previously issued a service-connected DoVA rating for Sleep Apnea with CPAP/BIPAP since you mentioned that "now I am eligible to receive VA disability?"

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

Best Wishes!
I should have been more specific I suppose. I am still active duty as a recruiter, my CPAP was issued by a civilian clinic and it has yet to be put in my military records. I will be transitioning out of the Army soon and was wondering about the use validation process.
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I should have been more specific I suppose. I am still active duty as a recruiter, my CPAP was issued by a civilian clinic and it has yet to be put in my military records. I will be transitioning out of the Army soon and was wondering about the use validation process.
Indeed; good deal and congratulations on your forthcoming Army transition! :)

Well, I am certainly not an expert in reference to the VBA's Sleep Apnea with CPAP use validation process; therefore, I don't have any sound insightful information to share.

Albeit for certain; I have been informed by some current and former VBA employees that periodic validation check-ups shall be performed to ensure proper and continuous CPAP use from all applicable military service veterans.

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

Best Wishes!
 
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