CPAP Adventures

In a few hours, I will be heading to a local Durable Medical Equipment company to pick up my Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. Hopefully it will help me have more restful sleep and prevent me from waking up gasping for air as has happened twice in the last year.

I’m pretty sure my sleep doctor is more focused on the business side of being a doctor than he is on the efficient treatment of his patients. I say this because this adventure started seventy-six days ago. First of all, the sleep clinic wouldn’t see me without a referral, even though my insurance has no such requirement. Fortunately, I was able to get in to see my family doctor the day after I was told about the need for said referral.

They were able to get me an initial appointment fourteen days later, which I felt was reasonable. The doc evaluated my symptoms, and said that I needed a sleep study. Insurance pre-authorization was required, and would also dictate whether the study would be at home or in the sleep lab. They got the answer from the insurance company and got me into the lab for sleep study number one seven days later. This, too, was promptly enough for my liking.

Then shit went sideways. Doc required that I come in for a follow-up to discuss treatment after spending the night in the lab, and the earliest appointment was twenty-one days after I spent the night in the lab. On the day of this appointment, Doc spent less than five minutes with me. He said that I have severe sleep apnea, and that I stopped breathing an average of one hundred six times per hour. Treatment options were limited to a new treatment that I did not qualify for because of my BMI, surgery that he did not recommend, or a CPAP. Obviously, the only real option was the CPAP. Which required a second sleep study. Why the fuck couldn’t he have looked at the lab results and have someone call me and tell me that I need to get my ass back in for another sleep study as soon as fucking possible instead of making me delay treatment an additional three weeks, just so he could collect for another office visit?!?

Well, they got me back in four days later for sleep study number two, during which they played with the pressure on the CPAP to determine how to set my machine once they prescribed it to me. But wait.

Yes, you guessed it. I had to wait another seventeen days for yet another follow-up to find out my magic number before they would send over my prescription to the DME company so they could get me a machine and configure it. And it’s not like Doc needed this extra time to review either lab result, because when I went back for my second follow-up, he asked which room I slept in so he could go look at the file. Three minutes later, he was back. “You need eighteen centimeters of pressure. We will call over to the DME company today. Expect them to call you within the next few days to set up an appointment to pick up your CPAP.”

Motherfucker, there is no reason for yet another two and a half weeks of waiting for treatment. You kept throwing around the word urgent, but instead of taking five minutes to review my sleep lab data and having one of your flunkies call me and then the DME company, you had to make me wait so I could pay you for another office visit.

As promised, five days later, the DME folks called me and told me that they could get me in seven days hence to pick up my machine. That is in a few hours.

I’m all for capitalism and making an honest dollar. I would’ve happily paid for an office visit and never shown up for either follow-up.  Just have someone fucking call me the next day so my treatment can move forward instead having to wait thirty-eight days longer than necessary, just to work me into your schedule.

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​I Really Should Know Better

I hate to throw anything away. I have a color laser printer that I bought years ago, just as they were becoming affordable-ish. Some time ago, it started printing shadows from previous pages. The wisdom of the internet at the time said that the drum was almost certainly the culprit, despite the fact that I was nowhere near the page count that was normal end of life for the model. A new drum cost half as much as the printer, so I let it sit for years, using my inkjet instead. 

A couple weeks ago, I decided it was time to toss it. However, before doing so, I rechecked drum prices. I found that one could be had for slightly more than half of what they were bringing when I initially looked into them. I decided to order one. 

You guessed it. The new drum didn’t fix the problem. Additional research indicates that the issue could also be caused by part X or Y. Sometimes, part Z will do it, too. 

Fuck it. Its final ride will be on this week’s trash truck. 

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How Did We Get Here?

A friend of mine is having problems with her air conditioner, and it looks like she’s going to need to replace the indoor unit part of the unit. She was going over the estimate with me, and three line items stood out. It seems that the county requires two permits and an inspection fee to replace a part of the original home that’s been there long enough to have failed. 

So, not only did the county require multiple bribes (permits) and even more bribes (inspections) during the construction phase of the house, but when a repair is needed on a component that was already the subject of a construction-era bribe, more bribes are required. 

And that’s not all. Only a person or company who has paid the necessary bribes to receive both a contractor’s license and a “normal” business license can perform said work. 

Still think we live in a free country?

Then you’re a dumbass! 

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Goodbye S6

Yes, I’m still alive. Obviously. I’ve been too busy to post of late, but I’m fine.

In April, 2016, I purchased a used Samsung Galaxy 6 to replace the severely underpowered LG Power that I had been using for several months. Last week, I switched back to the LG. 

It was about six months before I started noticing a significantly shortened battery life with the S6. I was going to replace the battery until I got quotes north of a hundred federal reserve notes for the privilege. Then I considered attempting the replacement myself. A couple of instructional videos later, I understood the reason for the price. I wasn’t venturing down that path. 

I carried portable power packs (batteries with a USB output) for a while to supplement the failing onboard battery for times when no electrical outlet was available. Then I learned that cases that have batteries made into them are a thing.  I bought one rated at about one and one-third the capacity of the original battery. 

Four months later, I couldn’t get through a ten hour shift with maybe one hour of active use and the rest standby time. On average, the battery would drop about one percent for every minute of active use and about twenty percent per hour of standby. When the battery hit about 30% remaining, I would turn on the battery in the case. It would drain in about an hour and leave the onboard battery at eighty-something percent. 

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that either the onboard battery and case battery are both shit, or something about the phone is causing it to use an obscenely high amount of power. I loaded a power usage monitoring application, and it reported normal readings. 

So, do I assume that the phone itself is fine and shell out for a new internal battery, buy a better case batttery, continue using this frustrating LG, or pony up for a new phone? I’m not sure I like any of those choices. 

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Presented Without Comment

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Well, I haven’t ran in over six weeks. But I have been busy. I’ve spent a lot of time helping Dear Niece  get settled in, then I spent even more time getting caught up with the stuff around my house that I ignored in the process. All while spending a fair percentage of my off time relaxing with my lady friend. To say the least, my physical fitness efforts have dropped in priority. 

I finally got the new bicycle, which I’ve taken out twice for real rides – one three miles, and the other one five miles. I want to get solidly used to it before I take it out in questionable weather, much less consider commuting.  Neither of my rides included any real hills, and the route from my house to FaucetCompany has a couple doozies. 

Now that Dear Niece has mostly settled in and is working, and I’m slowly getting back to something that I can call normal, maybe I will be able to get back on the fitness wagon before I lose everything that I worked so hard to build. More time in the bike saddle is definitely on the list. And I’d like to continue running, even if not thrice per week like I was doing before. 

In other news, I found and killed a smallish copperhead in the chicken coop last week. It wasn’t aggressive, but it scared the shit out of me. Had to go get a gun quickly, before it disappeared or bit the chickens. Couldn’t find any ammo for the shotgun, and wasn’t sure I wanted to use that anyway. Even birdshot would’ve destroyed that whole corner of the coop. So I settled for the 10/22. I emptied a 25-round magazine in probably five seconds once I got lined up on it. I think I hit it twice: 

I didn’t even know what kind of snake it was until after the deed was done. It did break broody bitch out of her nest sitting, so there is that. 

The tires on my new bike require high pressure – 100 PSI minimum, 130 PSI maximum, according to the sidewall markings. I have two 12V units that are supposed to be capable of 125 PSI, but neither can get it out of the 70s. Part of that might be the Schrader to Presta adapter that I have to use, but I didn’t have any trouble getting 120 PSI in them using the adapter and a hand pump.  

Being the lazy bastard that I am, I don’t want to use the pump. I have a small, three-gallon 120V compressor that I use for normal stuff around the house, but it maxes out at 100 PSI. That translates to maybe 90 PSI in the tire, which is below the minimum. So, I’ve ordered a new pressure switch and overpressure valve which I hope will cure that problem. 

I know that the higher pressure will shorten its life expectancy, but I don’t expect to run it but a few times per month at most. I would’ve just bought a new compressor, but I couldn’t find a reasonably priced model rated for even 120 PSI. I found all kinds of 120V “inflators” that claimed the ability to do the job, but I already have two that told that lie. And I don’t need a commercial unit or a forty gallon tank. I just need more pressure. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 

Well, that’s about it here. Y’all take care, now. 

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Memorial Day

Please don’t thank me for my service this weekend.  All gave some, but some gave all. I don’t agree with every mission, but I support those who serve, and especially those who paid the ultimate price.

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