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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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Philip Rogers

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Osa) Info Requested?

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I'm looking for others to post their experience with the VA's handling of their OSA care. I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago. The VA gave me a CPAP. I was eventually able to adapt to a nose pillow type facial apparatus. Took about a yr. Since then they've given me a new machine but I'm still having problems w/it. Last wk I had a private OSA specialist order me a new sleep study. I believe I will be switched to a BPAP shortly, which should help. Part of my problem is that the VA never set my new machine to my specs but just left the factory specs set for me. Needless to say I'm still having problems. My private Dr reset the CPAP for me, which helped, but will probably need the BPAP. Part of my problem is getting the VA to replace my nasal pillows?? My VA does absolutely no follow-up. Anyone caring to add their experience, it would be appreciated, so please do. Thanks!

pr

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The Va provided me with a CPAP.The first year I was seen by the specialty clinic at the OKC Veterans Hospital about every 3 months.After that I haven't seen or talked to a live person about my Apnea in almost 18 months.About 6 months ago they sent an envelope for me to download my chip from the CPAP and a questionaire.I had not used the CPAP for over 6 months as I CANNOT go to sleep with it on.I put this in the questionaire.Never recieved any feedback until about 3 months later when my Psychiatrist saw a note in my medical treatment records.Still not using CPAP as I currently have enough issues going to sleep as it is.I am taking Trazadone at night to help me sleep and as 1 of my antidepressants.I am really not pleased with the VA's treatment of this issue..Good luck with the new machine...............Grid

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I can share my experiences with the VA and private medical. The VA did a sleep study a few years back that didn't find anything significant. Over the past year, I was seen by a non-VA rheumatologist who went over everything and requested a second study. A few months ago I had the study. It was positive for OSA and also had neurological readings consistent with fibromyalgia. I came in for a second study the very next night and they got me on a BIPAP. They had to get my numbers well above 20 for it to make a difference with the fibro, which is a problem in itself (will explain in a bit).

My private insurance did provide me with a really nice BIPAP machine, complete with remote monitoring so the sleep clinic can make adjustments without me having to bring in the unit. Not sure what the VA would have provided.

Having pressure numbers above 20 means the mask almost has to be bolted to my head to prevent air leaks that make fart-like noises all night long. The tension from the straps sends my TMJ pain through the roof, even penetrating any sleep or pain medicine I may have taken. Waking up in the morning is now a mixed bag, never knowing if I will feel even partially refreshed or in horrible pain. It's better than before though, because it was just all pain.

My insurance only provides replacement parts roughly about every 10 months, but I had to get a replacement mask because the thin silicone/plastic film got torn while I was hospitalized recently. Luckily, the vendor had a spare and swapped it out no problem. If it happens again before the 10 month window, it will cost me like $75 for a replacement.

I actually have a VA primary care visit coming up soon and was going to inquire about having the VA sleep clinic supply replacement hoses and mask/cusions. I didn't have high hopes for them to say yes, but after reading about your experiences I at least expect them to be less cooperative.

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I received a CPAP from the VA in 04. Once I received the machine I went several years without being seen by the VA. I had other health issues going on so I didn't think about it. Finally they sent me an appointment which I went to. I was told I should be seen yearly. I don't know who dropped the ball. Anyhow I go yearly now. They furnish me with whatever supplies I need.

vet12

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