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Problem solved!!! NO SLEEP STUDY!!! We just called the doctor and talked to him for 45 minutes until we changed his mind!! So now he got his medical card for 2 years. We told the doctor is not a law, just a recommendation and that we can't afford him to recommend it. The doctors aren't even sure how this all works but they don't have to make you do a sleep study.
It's amazing to read some of these post. What happened to America? Oh, the doctor says its regulation, I better get it done, huh huh.
There is NO REGULATION regarding sleep apnea, unless you have already been diagnosed or have a history of! The way doctors are enforcing this is discrimination! BMI, neck size? So because one is overweight they should be tested for sleep apnea? No, that is discrimination! They are also acting unethically because they are not presenting all treatment options to these drivers. CPAP, that's the treatment. Well, in the same study released by the National Sleep Foundation it names surgery and mouth pieces as alternative solutions. As well as, sleep physicians naming something as simple as sleeping on your side as a solution.
A physician couldn't suggest treatment simply because of ethnicity, that's racial discrimination. What if all short people were told they needed a certain test, because they're short? So because one is fat, it's ok to be discriminated against? NO, it isn't.
Now, just to be clear, my statement is not meant to suggest sleep apnea doesn't exist, nor important to be treated. However, until you wake up and question these DOT examiners, not only will it continue but it will get worse!
And yes, I am overweight. This posting in no way deflects my responsibility in this, but the discrimination and unethical treatment of overweight drivers.
Also, a little food for thought. If you make $40,000 a year as a driver and you allow these doctors to force you into testing, you are allowing those same doctors to take upwards of 10% of your income. Possibly end your driving career, or put you in financial difficulties due to loss of work until you become compliant.
There is a driver serving 7 years in FL for the 7 people he killed in an accident. He was convicted when it came out he had "forgotten" to report his sleep apnea and lack of treatment.
The high diagnosis rate is due to good screening for sleep apnea. Currently only drivers that screen as high risk for sleep apnea are required to get tested.
If you had 10 trucks in the yard and 3 of them were blowing clouds of white smoke. You only pulled the heads off the three blowing white smoke (high risk for having a blown hard gasket) and found 100% of the trucks your tested had a blown head gasket.. would that to be a farce? To me that using good common sense.
I have a friend who is still an active driver and I/C who has been on CPAP for 27 years now. The only reason he is alive is that he got tested and treated for his sleep apnea. 27 years of CPAP therapy has kept him alive.
Lots of drivers have issues about sleep apnea testing and treatment. Many of the issues are based on truck stop myths rather than good accurate information.'
One you learn the facts those of us that have sleep apnea are glad we got tested and treatment.
Wyattdusty.... let's correct some things in your posting.
Using BMI as a criteria for screeening for sleep apnea is not discrimination.
Many medical studies have been done that show any person who has a BMI over 30 is at high risk for having sleep apnea. One study on truck drivers showed that 98% of the drivers with a BMI>35 when tested for sleep apnea.. had sleep apnea.
The best ways to screen for sleep apnea include asking questions about snoring, dreams, and taking a full medical history. The problem for DOT medical examiners is that driver will lie when asked if they snore etc because they already know it might result in having to get a sleep study. Others have already posted in this thread suggesting you lie to the DOT medical examiner.... A REALLY bad idea.
You can not lie about BMI therefore our own behavior has ended up with FMCSA proposing a pretty bad method to screen for sleep apnea. BUT.. I'm sorry IMHO we brought this on ourselves.
Currently CPAP is the only recomended option as treatment for truck drivers for some valid medical reasons.
Surgey does not always work. In over 50% of the cases 3 years post surgery the tissues they remove grow back and you have sleep apnea again. Surgery is an allowable treatment option under DOT medical guidelines but it requires annual sleep studies to confirm it still works. As sleep studies cost $ 300-2,000 the annual uninsured costs for DOT compliance after surgery is much more than a CPAP. It make sense for a driver to use a CPAP as its cheaper. I have a friend who got surgery and will be glad to tell you why it was probably the worst decision he ever made.
Oral Appliances - mouth guard type things are currently not allowed as there is no way to track are you using it (compliance). FMCSA just met with the manufacturer of a compliance system for oral appliances so there is hope FMCSA will approve the use of oral appliances for drivers that can not adjust to CPAP. The downside of OA's are they are expensive ($ 3-5,000) and if you leave it in a truck in the sun it can melt costing you ($ 3-5,000). Often oral appliances are not covered by insurance so cost is a big issue for truck drivers.
Positional therapy - sleep on your side... it only works in very mild cases of sleep apnea. If you tested as having as mild of a case of sleep apnea where sleeping on your side would work as a CMV driver you would not be required to use a CPAP. (AHI a measurement of how bad your sleep apnea is under 5 does not normally require treatment.)
There are many medical conditions that a CMV operator can not have. For example epelipsy. There are also medical treatments that can not be used by a CMV operator - injectible insulin for diabetes for example. The fact that a CMV operator must meet DOT medical guidlines is part of being qualified to drive truck. This is not discrimination this part of the regulations we must all meet.
Is it discrimination to limit us to 14 hours of work.... and not pay overtime? I have more issues with this than sleep apnea screening.
A little food for thought.... instead of avoiding getting screened for sleep apnea .. what if you on your own talked to a good sleep doc or sleep specialist about whether or not you might have sleep apnea. If you do get tested and treated.
Untreated sleep apnea increases blood pressure, aggravates diabetes, causes heart rhythm issues, decreases your ability to think well and make good decisions. There are a host of medical studies showing the problems untreated sleep apnea causes. Talk to some drivers who have CPAP machines instead of listening to the truck stop myths.
I have sleep apnea and have been driving OTR with it since 2002. I would be dead if I had not gotten tested and treated.
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