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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Gena

Cpap Compliance Checks

Question

Hello All,

I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and provided a CPAP while on active duty in 2007. I retired later that year and VA granted the 50%. I'm still using the CPAP I was given over three years ago on AD. VA has never asked anything about my CPAP equipment or checked for usage compliance. I would like to say that I have a love-hate relationship with my CPAP, but its mostly hate. I start the night with it on most nights and usually tear it off at some point in the night. I've read that non-compliance with CPAP use is somewhere between 29 and 83% and that a large percentage of the machines end up sitting in a closet collecting dust. I use mine, but there is no way I can tolerate it for 6-8 hours per night. Mine rarely stays on more than 3-4 hours. Now, I have a pulminary C&P exam coming up and they've asked that I bring my CPAP machine. I assume that they will check the usage rates and mine are well below the 6-8 hours that I think they like to see. I don't know what to expect from this: slap on the hands, rate reduction or if they really don't care. Has anybody had their CPAP usage checked by VA? What's VA's stance on "non-compliance" with CPAP, can they reduce your rating of your not logging 6-8 hours per night with it?

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Unfortunately, VA can do anything they want. With that said, when I was issued my CPAP machine, I was told to try to get used to it by using it when I get on the PC or reading or watching a movie. It really helped me. I sometimes fall asleep when watching a movie so that is an added help for when I have to turn it in for checks. Please keep in mind that sleep apnea is a silent killer, every time you fall a sleep your body could stop breathing and could cause major damage. I hate mine but I want to stick around to see my grand kids. I know I only sleep a few hours a night so it will all come out fine. Sorry for the vent, hope this helps

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Yep Pete, I hear you and know it would be best if I could it 8 hours per night. Every night I put mine on it's because of that same logic, sleeping and breathing are important and I'd like to live for a while yet. And even so, there come's a point every night I get enough of it. Eating healthy and exercising regular are pretty important also, but as much as I try I can't seem to make those stick either. If only doing the right things for our bodies were easy...

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Gena,

My CPAP is a miracle machine as far as me not falling asleep in traffic any more :wink:

That being said, it isn't as effective now as when I first started using it.

I've gained about 15 pounds and have been told that can be the problem.

You could ask for another sleep study so they can monitor and adjust your CPAP to a new setting that works better.

I wish you well! :smile:

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Gena,

Kelly and Pete are right on. While the 50% might be important, your life is more important. When I told my military doctors that I had trouble sleeping, they as if I snored, and that was positive. Response was sleep on your side, I was young and stupid, and nothing was recorded. In fact, I don't believe CPAP was around nor the term sleep apnea in 1972. I keep my CPAP on all night, but I keep waking up with nightmares and panic attacks. Kelly, I thought I was the only one that fell asleep in traffic. I can still hear "move it moron, move it dipsh*t, Beep Beep, get your head out of your a##. :tongue:

Papa

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My CPAP specialist told me once that if I could just tolerate it for 4 hours at night that would help me a lot. My suspicion is that as long as you try every night and don't get hard on self you will get better and better at it. Per centages don't mean much unless you are not using it.

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