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The Sleep Superthread- Apnea/ Disorders/ etc.

there are different degrees of sleep apnea, there are some that need the CPAP machine because they have over 200 interruptions an hour and then there are those that have very mild SA.  The mild cases can get away with not using the machine( for the most part), if your SA is mild you can use breatherights and that is enough.  THe sever cases need the machine as they just are not getting any true sleep( neither are their room mates).  From my understanding( not a doctor) if you or anyone you know snores then that is a mild case of SA.  I know someone that is 031 and has been for a few years and he has SA but it was very mild, he lost a few pounds, and now he no longer needs the CPAP.
If you have been diagnosed as having SA then you should have had a sleep study and that would tell you if you have mild or heavy SA
My dad has SA, during the night he randomly stops breathing and then after 30 seconds or so he starts again, he also snores like a train, but he didn't even no that he stopped breathing, It was my mother who made him go in for it because, it would scare her and she thought one night he would stop and never start again... he does not use a machine but he changed jobs because they told him it was mainly because of working nightshifts and then dayshifts and then nights again.
No, I'm well-acquainted with Sleep Apnea.  I have the machine.  Just wondered.  I can have my eyes fixed, but apnea is a little trickier.

Reading all of these posts in regards to the enrollment medical have made me wonder if my health history will prevent me from joining.

When I was in high school I was extremely athletic, on the wrestling, football and rugby teams. Even after high school I eventually started my own landscaping company which kept me in shape.

Unfortunately, into my late 20's I continued to smoke a pack a day, and after giving up my landscaping business my lifestyle became more sedentary. My weight increased from an average of around 180 lbs. to nearly 220 lbs. Along with the weight came the health problems... first symptom... snoring. Diagnoses = Sleep Apnea. Bought the CPAP. After learning about all of the health problems that went along with sleep apnea I scheduled a general check up with my family doctor late in the fall time last year. Sure enough... Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). The only thing left on the chart I think was getting lung cancer and being diagnosed with diabetes (this is not trying to be funny). Time for a serious lifestyle change.

I started with my diet to minimize the cholesterol intake. I was prescribed with Avalide (Irbesartan/HCT) 150/12.5mg to manage the hypertension. Worked like a charm, 120/80. Now the smoking... I'd like to tell you I quit the day I found out about my health problems, and I did. And the next week I quit again. Then 3 or 4 more times after that. This past month has been the best so far or else I wouldn't even share my experience. My weight is down to 195 lbs. and I'm still working on bringing it down. I recently had a BIA done to analyse my body fat, it was at 26.9% when I weighed 204 lbs. putting me just into the 'overweight' category by a couple pounds. At 195 lbs. I have just ducked into the 'normal' weight for my height of 5'6" since my non-fat body mass is at 149.2 lbs. My target weight is 170 lbs. before the end of April at which time will be at an athletic body fat level. I plan on trying to get myself off the CPAP and high blood pressure treatment all together at that time. Obviously I will discuss these matters with my personal physician but I wonder if anyone can tell me to what extent these circumstances may lead in regards to applying for the CF. If it helps to mention the positions I am contemplating, I have the background education as a logistics officer and the transportation operating experience to consider armoured. Any helpful comments would be much appreciated. Thanks.
I don't know alot about the particulars of your condition, but If I were you I would at least attempt to follow your dreams and goals. It sounds like you are making a great effort to get back into shape, so when you are ready why not give it a shot?  On the bright side, my brother was applying for infantry reserves and he was medically declined twice, one because of blood in his urine, another because of a condition very much the same as sleep apnea, for which he had a sinus operation. After the operation he was cleared, declared fit and ready to go.

The only way you will ever know is by placing yourself into the system.  Speak with your doctors and by all means, speak with a recruiter at the CFRC.

Good luck, and keep reaching for your goals!
The best advice is to continue on the path you're already on. When you want to apply for the CF, make sure you obtain copies of all the medical documentation relating to your condition, particularly when you're taken off the meds and given a clean bill of health. Get contact information for your physician, and be prepared to answer a lot of questions, but the more legwork you do before you show up, the easier it will be.
Waiting to get my CPAP machine (my wife can't wait to get a good nights sleep  :boring:) after spending a few nights in the sleep lab.

Does anyone have any experience with taking the CPAP to the field or overseas? All the techs could tell me was the capabilities of the machine, not how the Army is actually allowing them to be used (if the CoC even know they exist). Silly place that used to be called NDMC, very nice people, but they really need to get out of Happy Valley once and awhile (not the Goose Bay one, the other one).

Any experiences (FIRST-HAND) or info on this would be greatly appreciated.
A fellow on my JLC back in '98 used one, and he was only permitted to do the JLC portion, not the JNCO portion because it was in the field.  Don't know if anything has changed since then.  Anyone else?
You need to plug it in...

Overseas, you'll need a power converter for the places that do not have standard power. And if your in the field, you'll need a power source.

Regardless, your fellow troops will WANT you to have your machine, so the rest of them can sleep.
We had a guy with the machine and he was exempt field.He was also released as we are a field unit.
That's the sort of thing I'm worried about. Not looking to get out of the field and the sucker comes with a battery pack, dual voltage, self-contained, yadda yadda, but everyone I ask (doctors and medics) just tend to shrug when I ask if this goes on my med docs as some type of category.
the guy I knew was on his second B.E and was allowed to finish off his B.E and then was medically released.I'm totally guessing at this but maybe you could get a medical O.T to another trade.But all in all you will get two years to sort your stuff out before release.
rcac_011 said:
I'm totally guessing at this but maybe you could get a medical O.T to another trade.But all in all you will get two years to sort your stuff out before release.

Hmmmmm......interesting thought.

I was finally diagnosed with sleep apnea three years ago, and I am NOT anywhere near being released nor have I been put on category or offered a medical OT. And to top it off, I also belong to a field unit  ;). I would think your statement is a little bit blanket like, and not true in all cases.

I have a CPAP machine (doesn't do a damn thing for me except wake me up when I try to roll over and the mask squashes up my face  :blotto: ), but it's never stopped me from deploying to the field or on operation. BUT - I don't take it with me to the field or overseas for obvious reasons (can't plug it into a tree or a pile of sand  ;) ). So most days, I just trudge throught the tiredness and soldier on with the aid of an XL Tim's.
There are surgical alternatives, at least in my case, which I am currently waiting on. But the Drs I have seen at least all agree on the fact they aren't always successful even when performed.

Wookilar, it's really up to you to determine if your Apnea will affect you being put on category, as you are the one who knows best how it is affecting you and whether or not you still do your job proficiently due to the condition. For what its worth, according to the repiratory therapist I was seeing in G'town, more the 75% or so of males in the CF have Sleep Apnea, so take that for what it's worth....
By no means do I say everyone who has this will be released.I'm far from a medical pers (knee bones connected to the...the...) but I know this is why one pers from my unit was released last year.Now maybe he played it up and said he couldnt do anything,couldnt live without it etc.

He did not participate on field ex's and was put in admin troop and remianed in his shack room at night so he could go on his machine.Also I remember he had to be attached to it for a certain amount of time per day.

Yep could be a blanket statement but it's what I've seen in the past.Guess it would be how much it impedes your job,in his case it made him useless.

Info like yours is exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, surgery is not an option for me. I'm pretty sure I can survive in the field or across the water with out the CPAP (seem to have survived so far  :boring:), but I was wondering what the docs have to say about it. I finally get to see the specialist at the end of the month. No way am I going on a category  :threat:.

as per the med docs....yes you will definetly have it listed as per a medical request. Like having to get tylenol for arthristis.
you have a breathing problem, sleep apnea is serious enough to distinguish you from all that don't require one.
in the feild you are a hazard, sorry dude, but I think you could put these peices together yourself.

My suggestion is to find the procedure needed to get rid of your snoring. nasal septum investigation? scan of the "old" sinus may help.
I had a good freind told he was non deployable because of diveticulosis, and that is just a indigestion problem but due to his need of "extra" care and his prescription kept him from finishing batt school. So GOOD LUCK.

It's not the snoring, it's the breathing. Or lack thereof, actually. Surgery is not an option, already confered with a doc on that.

Well,........crap. I guess that's all I have to say about that. Thanks for the info, everyone.
CPAP the troublesome cure

    I suspected that i had sleep apnea about 7 or 8 years ago. I was posted in Edmonton at the time. It took two years to get into the U of A sleep lab. Turns out i have it pretty bad my cpap is set at 16/20 (16" of mercury), i was having 21 or so apneas an hour (@ one every 3 minutes). By the time i got into the sleep lab i had degenerated to the point of not being able to make it through a work day, I had to nap at lunchand then again after work! The docs threatened to pull my drivers licence i was so fatigued, but cpap cured that. Kidney and other serious damage can result from the low O2 levels, we have with sleep apnea.
    The cpap therapy and use is a huge learning curve, heated humidifiers to stop nose bleed and irriation etc etc.  This cure is not without its own problems. I eventually had surgry to correct a deviated septum (nose) and later the UPPP throat (air way expanding) surgery.
    The cpap it self is self power adjusting, it can be used on 110 or 220 without any special equipment except the recepical adaptor (no transformers nesc). it can handle aircraft 400 htz (mhtz??) power. The seperate heated humidifier is dumb and req's 110 or you'll fry it (mine anyways). My cpap is self altitude adjusting and is leak tollerant as i am an active sleeper. The cpap has air filter elements on one end and when deployed it is a good idea to do what i did and take a good heft supply of spare bits. I am on my 3rd generation of headset and this one works pretty well. I was in VK in Bosnia on roto 7 (2000/2001) with my cpap and i took it camp to camp with me on second line jobs, i was and still am deployable (within reasonable limits) The cpap was $1500, the humidfier $1000 and i must have gone through $5-600 in parts (including filters) in the last 6 years. (take a set of filters a week for afghanistan)
      When i had my over 40 medical here in Esquimalt my file got flagged, it turns out anybody in the CF with sleep apnea and on cpap therapy is suposed to drop from G2O2 to G3O2. I am a vehicle tech 411 and my file went to Ottawa for review, i was retained with out career implications, however any hopes of remuster were now dashed!
      I am hopeing that after my two surgeries (i am now 5 weeks post opperative on the UPPP) i will have better results when i get my oximitry meter at week ten and try a night or two without cpap. (wish me well)
      As far as your wife goes buddy, don't get a head set that allows the air to blow on her back (your wont be popular), put a towel or something on your headboard for the hose to run on (Shhhhh), and put the cpap under your bed (yes more dust, but happier spouse). Lessons learned hard.....


Willie    :cdn:  :salute:

Thanks for the practicle advice (and the web site) and the good words. I'm in a much better mood now (still bloody tired though  :-\). A G3O2 will work for me. We'll have to wait and see what the doc says.
Interesting topic!

Just wanted to add my 2 cents with regards to Sleep Apnea in general.

A serious condition.  Not sure about the posting and field worthiness stuff, but I can tell you a few things.

OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) is a non negligible indirect cause of death.  Yep, death.  You don't die from snoring, but you die from the effects of prolonged OSA.  High blood pressure (which leads to heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, dissecting aortas...) is a very common side effect of sleep apnea.  and let's not forget the numbers of Canadians every year who drive their cars into tractor trailers, ditches and cars with children aboard because of hypersomnolence (too darn tired to stay awake at the wheel).

If treated (CPAP being the best know treatment so far... surgeries are another option, but not the best evidence with regards to cure) you can reduce your risk of developping these life threatening conditions.  The way I see it, even if using the CPAP causes you to be released (and I'm not saying it does necessarily)- at least you'll be alive, which is a heck of a lot better than not (for most people anyway).

Sorry for the reality check... just a different way of looking at the CPAP machine, other than a pain in the ...