Question about CPAP and DOT medical card expiration

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by OkieDokie405, May 27, 2024.

  1. OkieDokie405

    OkieDokie405 Bobtail Member

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    Hello Truckers,
    Need some advise: My son graduated CDL-A school about a month ago. His only experience is the 201 hours he got in school. When he got done with school he was told he had to get a sleep apnea test within 90 days or his DOT medical card would expire. His Dot card did show it expired 90 days out. While waiting on the sleep study (takes forever to get one done here in OKC) he applied at Werner and they were interested in hiring him but the only position they had in our area was for a team driver and he really doesn't want to do that so he stopped the application process with the Werner recruiter. After that he applied at TMC and Melton. A Melton recruiter called him up pretty quickly and they sounded like they were interested in hiring him but when they got to the DOT medical card part the recruiter told him to give Melton a call back when he gets his DOT medical card expiration date sorted out. No call from TMC ever.

    So now 3 weeks later we got his sleep study done and the doctor says he has sleep apnea and writes him a prescription for a machine. He contacts the DOT medical people and they tell him to get a cpap machine, and to start using it and come see them in 90 days. Now his expiration date is refreshed to 90 days out again.

    We attempt to go through insurance for the cpap machine but they start their usual crap that means were gonna have to go through a lengthy approval process, so we instead go through a rental company and rent him one for like $90 a month total out of pocket. My son contacts Melton again and they tell him the medical card still has a 90 day expiration that he needs to get sorted out before they can continue. Now a week later the cpap machine arrives in the mail and he is using it nightly. He hates it and says it feels like it is suffocating him and he cant sleep. So now we are playing go between with the Dr and the cpap rental machine company trying to get it sorted out so he don't get suffocated at night.

    Obviously he needs to get the cpap machine usage sorted out so he can actually go back to being able to sleep at night and we will have that done by the end of this week hopefully. The Dr has to change the script and send us that new script via email, then we have to email it to the cpap company and then they have top remote connect to the machine and reprogram it, or so they explained to us. Its going to take bit of back and forth to get it going as intended.

    What we need to know is this:
    1. Is the run around he is getting from Melton typical for a rookie with sleep apnea and a 90 day DOT medical card expiration date? Are other companies going to act the same way?
    2. Is DOT just going to keep setting 90 day expiration dates because he has sleep apnea?
    Thanks for your help.
     
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  3. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    EVENTUALLY, after using the CPAP and showing the CPAP data to a doc he may get a 1 or 2 year DOT card.

    As a rule if a new CDL driver has a significant medical issue, problem driving record, criminal record, shady/non-existent work history, or something that can be a hurdle to getting hired it can be best to find the company that will hire you before paying for CDL school. Or, even better, get the issue corrected and then find the employer willing to hire. Few newbies do this. I suspect they just listen to the CDL schools who ALWAYS say "now is a great time to get your CDL" even when the industry is very slow.

    Others will be along soon to offer advice & leads on other employers. How is your son's blood pressure? Often high BP, sleep apnea are made worse by extra weight. Losing weight is good for most people, including me. It's very common to pack on more weight once he starts trucking because bad food is everywhere & it can be stressful & lonely.

    Other people have gotten through similar things.
     
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  4. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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  6. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    If he's a military veteran, he can get this one for free at the VA.
    My nephew got this one and sleeps like a baby now.
    `
    What Is Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment and Does It Work?
    • Inspire sleep apnea treatment addresses obstructive sleep apnea by stimulating airway muscles.
    • The implanted device monitors breathing and delivers pulses to keep the tongue out of the airway.
    • Inspire treatment is suitable for moderate to severe OSA cases that have not responded to other treatments.
    • The treatment involves surgery and should be evaluated by healthcare professionals.
    What Is Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment and Does It Work?
    [​IMG]
    www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea/what-is-inspire-sleep-apnea-treatment
     
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  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Inspire; easy to use:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Goodysnap

    Goodysnap Road Train Member

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    I had this feeling when I first started using my CPAP. On the machine you should be able to change the ramp time or the time the machine kicks in after turning it on.

    Mine is set to 20 minutes which I think is the maximum.

    World of difference when getting started.
     
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  9. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

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    I have CPAP, if he can’t breathe at night you need to turn up air pressure. You don’t need DR or CPAP place to do it. You can do it yourself. I have ResMed they are all basically the same. They have a hidden settings screen you can get into and change the pressure settings. If he has Ramp setting on I would turn that off. The humidity and heated hose can make sleeping more comfortable if he has dry mouth in the morning.

    They can give him a new 90 day medical card and he can drive it’s kinda up to the doctor doing the DOT physical. That’s what they gave me. I was between driving jobs but only had like 30 days on CPAP. The doctor said since I just started he said he would give me 90 day card. Then come back and show him the data(proof) I was using it and it was working. He would give me a 1 year card.

    Schneider trucking with new driver on CPAP would let them drive but they would check to make sure their drivers were using the CPAP ever night. Schneider had their own DOT Physical doctors and they were giving or selling the CPAP to drivers. They would look at the data every day to make sure driver were using them. Some CPAP have cell phone data and up load the data every morning.
     
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  10. Saltyoldone

    Saltyoldone Light Load Member

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    I just started with a CPAP machine 1 year ago. I was only given 90day med cards for that year. Now I get yearly cards. People don’t stay with it so DOT ensures that you do.
     
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  11. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

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    If your son went to sleep lab and they had him on CPAP to get the pressure setting I would not change the pressure setting right away. If they just gave him and autoset CPAP and they are relying on the machine get the correct pressure I would turn it up.

    I went to sleep lab and couldn’t believe how much air the CPAP was pumping out for me. I had prescription with pressure numbers. I have a BiPAP it’s a CPAP with two pressure settings. He could try laying in bed with just the mask on and air hose not hooked up to get more use the wearing the mask and breathing. Then hook air hose up to sleep.

    Having CPAP is like learning how to breathe again. I would say it like you brain has to learn that you can sleep without chocking and you brain can relax and let you go into REM sleep again
     
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