The following is a modified version of a letter sent to us, we changed it around to make it more readable, and had it approved by the writer before publishing it.
Do you suffer from snoring, well chances are high if you see a doctor, you will get sent to a CPAP scammer. My first clue should have been the sign on the front desk, “We pay for referrals”
Seriously, its that lucrative you pay people for referrals? The lineup waiting to get in was scary, and I even had an appointment, how many suckers do they get in a day?
OK, let me back up the clock, in one of my discussions with my family doctor I mentioned that I was waking up almost every hour or so to go to the washroom, so a very interrupted sleep, leading to being tired in the day time. It then follows they will always ask you if you do or do not snore at night, I did, like a chain saw.
How it all flows, after the doctor suggests you see a sleep specialist, you end up with an appointment to see someone. In order to avoid lawsuits, I won’t mention who they sent me to, but its local and a doctor needs to refer you. After filling out a bunch of paperwork, they loan you a machine like the one below.
it measure heart beat and oxygen levels throughout the night. Go figure but they translate that into a story on how many time you actually stop breathing during the night due to snoring.
OK, did you buy that? The story about how something that can only monitor oxygen levels and heartbeat can determine who much you snored and how often you stopped breathing? OK say we believe them, then they claim, people who have sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while they are sleeping. These short stops in breathing can happen up to 400 times every night. If you have sleep apnea, periods of not breathing can disturb your sleep (even if they don’t fully wake you up) this is the claim they made about me, from that finger test.
Next they tell you you now need a medical device that requires you to wear a mask overnight. here is an example of their blurb on this matter.
“What is CPAP Therapy for OSA?
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn’t collapse when you breathe in. When you use CPAP, your bed partner may sleep better too.
You use CPAP every night while you sleep. It may take time for you to become comfortable using CPAP. If you can’t get used to it talk to your respiratory therapist, you might be able to try another type of mask or make other adjustments.”
Next comes you need to order a machine, for your therapy, and it includes help you fit your mask, teaching you a little about your machine, and a limited amount of monitoring, all for the small price of, hold your breath…..
“If your doctor feels CPAP therapy is right for you, equipment will cost between $1,000 and $2,700 depending on your needs. While the Provincial Health (MSP) does not cover any portion, your extended health benefits may assist.” In my case the price was close to the highest end.
They said no fear if you cannot afford it, you can apply to BC Social assistance, based on it being an emergency, they would likely cover it. Oh really, I am supposed to feel better by overpaying and letting the tax payer foot the bill?
OK so when i saw that upper end price tag for a machine, I asked them for brand and model number. Of course go figure that the mask is not included, that price is over and above the cost of the machine.
I was told, the DreamStation Auto CPAP Machine was a perfect choice, but that price tag scared the hell out of me, so I said I would get back to them. I was quite impressed with the machine as it was ‘plug and play” it did not really need some expert to program or set it up.
I went online and found it there, for no, not half the price, but much less than half the price, for under $600 dollars, and despite them all saying you need a doctors request to get one (which I did have) when buying the unit they never asked for a copy of it. Imagine locally it would have cost me over 2 thousand dollars, so much for shop local.
Masks can run from $100 to $200 and they claim only last 6 months. My experience was they will last much longer however the straps they provide keep stretching till they become useless. and the con artists refuse to sell you the replacement straps without selling you a new mask.
Do they work? Yes I now sleep really wonderful, but only for 4 to 6 hours, then wake up and can no longer sleep. Old age, you cannot win. They are very uncomfortable to wear, worse as the night progresses as the plastic against your face sweats and becomes irritated after about 4 hours. If you roll a lot, it gets tangled around your neck, it normally pops off before it choked you.
I paid for it so I use it, for how long I am unsure, but judging from the amount of people selling used units i suspect I am not alone in this issue.
Oh for the joy of being medically dependent, they have a hook into your wallet, and they won’t back off.
The governments job is to protect you from industry, sadly all to often they are complicit in the theft.