Wednesday, July 23, 2008

140:365 Breath

Anna: A few years back, my husband was diagnosed as having Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. He was prescribed a CPAP machine (like this one) to keep him breathing at night. The next 6 months or so was spent trying out different masks that actually worked. At the time, the only masks available were large, plastic "cups" that covered the entire nose. The pressure he needed was so high, they all ended up leaking. After going through several different ones, a new nasal device came available and he was given one to try.

It made all the difference in the world.

Just before we moved, this sleeker version came available. When he needed the old one replaced, they gave him this new version.

Thankfully, we were living in Manitoba when all this happened. Manitoba's medicare covered all the costs. The machine, humidifier, hose and hose extension, and all the different masks he tried before finding one that worked, was paid for courtesy of our tax dollars. Even when the machine started making a weird noise, they simply gave him another one - repair by replacement.

Alberta's medicare doesn't cover CPAP's or related supplies. Most medical insurances cover them, but only up to 80%. I don't know if they cover replacement parts at all. So now, as the hoses stiffen with time and the nasal piece eventually begins to crack, we need to special order the parts (they aren't available separately) and pay for them out of pocket. I picked up his new one today, and he's testing it out as I write this. ;-D

What you're seeing in the photo is the nasal piece, the hoses that attach to each end then lead to the main hose to the machine, and in the baggie is a chin strap. It keeps the air pressure from blowing his mouth open when he sleeps.

I love technology.


Ruth said...

My husband got one of these and couldn't get it to work, since it created too much pressure for his nasal passage. He actually had nose surgery to open it up! But after all that (misery) he still isn't able to use it.

Thank you SO much for expressing yourself honestly at my synchronizing blog post about the story of stuff. I'd love it if you'd come back and say more, if you're so inclined, and respond to my comment there. We all need dissenting voices, and it means a lot that you took a chance with your comment. Do you see the propaganda as being in the hands of socialists? I need to be educated. Thanks.

Gawdess said...

I wish that coverage was consistent across our country, this is an important aid to staying alive and it seems ludicrous to make it part of a market economy - but I digress :) - important items in this picture today.

The Travelers Journal said...

I hope the new pieces work well for him! My dad has had one for years.

Ampersand said...

I'm glad he found something that helped him!