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Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-11-2007, 12:12 AM   #1
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Who's wearing the mask here?

My DH uses a CPAP machine ... one of the plastic parts on his mask snapped, so time for a replacement. I check online and determine that a new mask would cost about $50 or so, depending on shipping. I suggested that DH call the respiratory service company that sold him the machine .. maybe he could get one from them and avoid shipping.
Well ... they first wanted to know what insurance he had .. he told them, and they replied that the mask would cost $225! How much if he just paid cash, DH asked? Oh, about $100, was the reply. BTW, and our insurance has a $100 deductable ....
I ordered it online ... the $50 bucks can come out of our flex account....

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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-13-2007, 06:26 AM   #2
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

DH wears the mask.. I've bought replacement parts online and have had family members ship them from the US.

We got the BiPap machine after DH visited our US PCP.. from there he got sent to a sleep center where they did the overnight observation hooked up to EEG/EKG, etc. Doc there said that DH was one of the worst cases he'd ever seen and that it was a miracle he was even up and walking around.. A couple days later a medical device company rep brought over "the device".

Fast forward about 9-10 months.. We have decided to leave the US and live in Italy. House is sold, US HMO cancelled and we are grilling boar sausages over the fire overlooking the olive groves. Ex-business partner calls me up saying that medical device company X is looking for some number of thousands of $ for "the device". Excuse me? I thought the whole emphasis of HMOs was preventative care. "The device" supposedly significantly reduces the probability of stroke and heart disease.. not to mention things like car accidents caused by utter lack of restful sleep.. Guess they would rather pay for a stroke or accident victim?? I've given up trying to figure out ins. companies.
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-13-2007, 11:56 PM   #3
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

I think we finally own DH's ... took a heck of a long time to pay it off (and we have an HMO, too) Tho given the price of the mask, I now know why.
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-14-2007, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I've given up trying to figure out ins. companies.
Let me help. Insurance companies want to take your money and not give any of it back to you, or anyone else, if at all possible.

Long term stuff like heart attacks and strokes will probably happen years from now, when you're on another plan, or after they've made lots of money off of the inflows while making minimal payouts.

Paying for a machine today means money outflow and loss of income potential from that outgoing cash.

Bet you'd see a different result if companies had to insure people for life once you signed up.
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-14-2007, 01:47 PM   #5
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

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Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
Bet you'd see a different result if companies had to insure people for life once you signed up.
"In the news today, another Eumedica policyholder has died under mysterious circumstances. Scores of Eumedica policyholders with long-term expensive ailments have died from emergency room accidents and unexplained falls from upper floor windows. The company could not be reached for comment, but Eumedica shares surged last month on reports that their sickest customers were dropping coverage rather than suffer an untimely demise."
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-14-2007, 01:49 PM   #6
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-14-2007, 06:27 PM   #7
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

I too wear the mask...(Always feel like Darth Vader). Your message reminds me I need to get a backup. Mine broke this spring as I was packing to go see family for a week. When I called to see if I could pick one up anywhere on the way to the airport , My HMO told me I need to see my reg doc, then the specialist before I could get the mask...Arrrg
But when I was on my visit my sister, who wears one too, she said her insurance sends her a new mask evey 6 months So Lucky me I went home with her spare.. Can you post a link from where you bought Online? Cause I'ld still like a spare. D*% CPAP mask I hate to sleep with it - but can really tell a difference after a night or two without.
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-15-2007, 01:43 AM   #8
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

CPAP Supplies Plus/Direct.. I think the site is www.cpapplus.com. Could be others that are good, but this is the one I used.

You only need an Rx to order the machines themselves.. the masks and other supplies they will send you without one. You might want to experiment with different styles if you haven't already; you might find a more comfortable mask. DH can manage with the one that just goes over the nose. Some people do need the full one, but I can see how that would be more annoying.. Nonetheless, "the device" has really given him his life back! He used to fall asleep at the drop of a hat --in office meetings (complete w/snoring), 10 min. after popping in a "must see" video, at the dinner table, at a Deep Purple concert -- you get the idea.

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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:35 AM   #9
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

Thanks ladelfina - Don't know why I never thought to look on line for This equipment before .
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Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 06-23-2007, 09:02 AM   #10
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Who's wearing the mask here?

Delayed chime in... I have been on cpap for aver a year - really improved my quality of life! And DW say's she gets more sleep without my snoring.

If anyone out there is sleepy during the day and generally tired should get themselves checked out. I was to the point if I sat down to watch TV or go to a movie - I had to really fight to say awake. The machine is a hastle for sure - but you really get used to it.

I was surprised to see how many people travel with these machines - When I go through airport security I have to remove the unit much like you have to do with a laptop.
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Old 06-23-2007, 03:15 PM   #11
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I was diagnosed in May so I've had my CPAP machine for about a month now. My symptoms were a spike in blood pressure, falling asleep watching tv and snoring. I never heard the snoring but everyone else did.

My results show that I have severe sleep apnea. I saw the details of the results and it's really quite scary. You spend all night trying to survive instead of resting.

I got the "nasal pillows" thing instead of a mask. Mirage Swift CPAP Mask It's easy to keep on and not uncomfortable. My CPAP unit also came with a warmer/humidifier that is quite nice. But lately I've been having a lot of post nasal drip so I'm using the CPAP without the humidifier to see if that helps.

My insurance covered 100% of both nights in the sleep lab and all my equipment. My CPAP supplier said that my insurance will cover a new mask/tubing set every 3 months.

It's interesting to see how much the insurance company paid. The nights in the sleep lab were $3900 each!! And the equipment was around $750. This all got discounted to $1200 for each night in the sleep lab and the around $250-$300 for the equipment. And I paid nothing.

I'm noticing that many people I know are going through this. Could be our age, or it could be that if you have insurance this is the popular diagnosis now. Our area has many sleep labs, all open 7 nights a week. Seems to be a booming business!

My husband has been seeing a Dr. and taking BP medication for years. On his last visit he mentioned that I went through the sleep lab/apnea/CPAP thing and that he snores and wakes up with a jerk. He just had his first night in the sleep lab last night. So I expect that we will become a 2 CPAP family in the near future.

I'm packing for a trip on Monday and even though all my equipment came in a nice carrying case, I'm packing it in my suitcase and checking my bag. If I leave the humidifier part at home it's not all that large.

Came back to add -

Try searching eBay for CPAP and you'll find all kinds of masks and replacement parts.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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DH wears the mask.. I've bought replacement parts online and have had family members ship them from the US.
Ladelfina, I'm just curious why you are purchasing the replacement parts from the U.S. when you live in Italy?
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:35 PM   #13
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I'm packing for a trip on Monday and even though all my equipment came in a nice carrying case, I'm packing it in my suitcase and checking my bag. If I leave the humidifier part at home it's not all that large.
Sue J -

I'd seriously reconsider storing your CPAP in a checked bag. The risks of loss or theft are certainly more than I'm willing to take with such an expensive and vital piece of equipment. I've had one 10 years.

Airlines don't count CPAP's as one of your allowed carry-on's, it possibly may be a federal law. They will want to look in it after it goes through the X-ray, just let them know before you put it through.
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:39 AM   #14
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Thanks for the advice. I was thinking that putting it in my carry-on is probably a safer idea, too.
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Old 06-24-2007, 06:49 AM   #15
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MKLD:
I just figured the mask and machine he has already were mfr.d for the US market and I didn't want to switch now that he is used to this one and doing well. Frankly, I hadn't even bothered looking into it...

Now that you have spurred me to look into it, this brand also sells in the EU.. but I would have to find a distributor/representative (of which I see there is 1, in Milan) who is NOT going to sell direct.. that's just not the way things work here. Maybe I could get what I wanted by 1.) calling Milan and getting a local rep 2.) the "local" rep will be someplace 1 hr. + away IF I am lucky 3.) I'd have to go in person and pick up and pay in person later (because they are not going to have anything in stock). Why bother?

In the US you can buy aspirin online and the more you buy the cheaper it is. Here, you have to go in person to a pharmacy, and there are no discounts. (They would also be highly unlikely to sell anyone 300 or even 100 aspirin at a time, imagining you're going to kill yourself with it). This is just the way of life here. It's not geared towards customer convenience.

The ease of buying anything, ANYthing, in the US is easier than here (and usually cheaper, esp. now with the weak dollar).

I will try to make a long story short: we needed an extension ladder. We drive by a place (company X) that has big windows full of dozens if not hundreds of different types of ladders and scaffolding. We stop and ring the bell but no one answers for a long time; finally a rude lady appears. We ask how we can purchase one of their ladders; she gets annoyed and goes off to "the office" while we cool our heels outside. After a while she comes back with a vague name (no card or phone number or address or directions).. no brochure or anything, per carita'!!. She won't even let us in to LOOK at the ladders. We track down the name ourselves (by asking a guy on the street) to a hardware store in the area. We ask about ladders and the guy shows us a Sears-Roebuck-type catalog which has a very few ladders, none of which have to do with Company X! We ask about Company X ladders, but he acts like he never heard of them! We go away without buying a ladder, since I am not about to order (and pay about $300-$400) for a ladder I can't see and touch.. esp. from a photo 3/4" high and an incomplete description.

THAT's Italian commerce; even the supposed capitalists are more concerned about protecting their distribution chain than actually helping or informing end consumers. The general operating principle is that if you want something badly enough, you will find a way to get it. And indeed we did... through word of mouth we found someone in town that wanted to sell his used ladder! So we only paid about $250.

I put together care packages for myself while I am in the US anyway. If I find something particular online I have it shipped to my mom or sis and what doesn't fit in my return suitcase I ship, or have them ship.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:14 PM   #16
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Sue, don't put your CPAP in your checked luggage .. .way too many chances of something happening to it. Airlines count it as a personal item ... DH has never had a problem bringing his on board along with a carry-on.
He's never had a problem with security, either. Once or twice he's had to unpack it (and he carries a letter from his doc) but most of the time it sails right through. Only problem we have now is that the ban on large amounts of liquids means he can't carry distilled water for the humidifier. No big problem in the US -- we just stop at a drugstore. Not too sure how that will work out on the next overseas trip...

Oh, and I buy from cpap.com. Very reliable.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:13 AM   #17
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Yep, there are a lot of people being diagnosed with sleep apnea, and there's good money in treating it. Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea, and there's no doubt obesity is at an all time high in the US.

(And, before the flames start, I am NOT saying that everyone wearing a CPAP is fat).
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:57 AM   #18
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I haven't posted in a while but this thread stuck a nerve so here goes. I have severe snoring problems also. I've gone to a sleep clinic twice, first time I told them I couldn't sleep with 16 wires hooked up to me and they told me everyone says that but they eventually do. Well I was so upset in the morning when I got 1/2 hr. sleep and had to go to work even more tired then usual. They told me that I had to come back since they never got a reading due to me not sleeping.
Second time they revised it so that I could sleep, but then told me that I had to stay a second full day at the hospital and I told then I had to go to work and wasn't informed of this when I arrived the day before. I never went back. I've been told that I have sleep apnea, deprivation, and I can't remember what else. My wife tells me that I snore so loud that even the kids complain that they can't sleep. She has spend sleepless nights worried that I won't wake up because I stop breathing for close to a minute and then gasp for air, so if I go over a minute she wakes me up so that I can breath. She tells me that I kick her during the night and I just won't stay still. They have offered the mask, but I can't sleep with it, surgery at my cost, (living in Canada) but the side effect and the chance of my snoring coming back............well I felt the odds weren't good especially when I ask the specialist why our conversation was being recorded and the reply was "for insurance purposes". As for being directly related to obesity, since I've retired I've put on weight so now I'm 25 Ibs over. Even when I was no overweight DW still said I snored, just not as bad.
I now go through life always tired, struggling to stay awake, and wondering if one day I just won't wake up.
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:11 AM   #19
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They have offered the mask, but I can't sleep with it, surgery at my cost, (living in Canada)
The Canadian healthcare system won't pay for your surgery - even when the mask isn't working for you? Here, insurance will pay for the surgery, even if it's elective.
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?
Old 06-28-2007, 04:28 PM   #20
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Re: Who's wearing the mask here?

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I've been told that I have sleep apnea, deprivation, and I can't remember what else. My wife tells me that I snore so loud that even the kids complain that they can't sleep. She has spend sleepless nights worried that I won't wake up because I stop breathing for close to a minute and then gasp for air, so if I go over a minute she wakes me up so that I can breath. She tells me that I kick her during the night and I just won't stay still. They have offered the mask, but I can't sleep with it, surgery at my cost, (living in Canada) but the side effect and the chance of my snoring coming back............well I felt the odds weren't good especially when I ask the specialist why our conversation was being recorded and the reply was "for insurance purposes". As for being directly related to obesity, since I've retired I've put on weight so now I'm 25 Ibs over. Even when I was no overweight DW still said I snored, just not as bad.
I now go through life always tired, struggling to stay awake, and wondering if one day I just won't wake up.

Did you try the nasal pillow system? The mask does not take that long to get used to. I thought I would not be able to tolerate the mask - but now I could not imagine sleeping without it. I have not missed a single night in almost 2 years. Even if you have surgery you may still experience apnea - Don't give up when such an easy solution is available. A friend of mine lost a relative because they would not comply with the therepy. Give it another try!
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