Monthly Archives: January 2020

Getting Started

Many times we get patient’s calling in asking how they should proceed with getting a setup on a new machine. This will be their first machine, they’ve endured a sleep test, and now they have no idea how to proceed. Here at Monitor Medical it’s a fairly simple process. Here is a break down of how the process should go an ideal world:

Step One: Feeling sleepy? Your significant other complaining about your snoring? Falling asleep at your desk or behind the wheel? Consult your doctor!

Step Two: Your doctor will then send you to have a sleep study where you will discover that you stop breathing during the night, hence diagnosing you with sleep apnea.

Step Three: Your doctor sends your results and prescription to us so that we can get your setup with the machine.

Step Four: We verify your insurance and discuss your benefits with you. You come in, get educated on the machine, and then take it home.

Step Five: No more sleep apnea!

Unfortunately, we live in the real world and things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows; meaning, we experience a few (or a lot of) hiccups along the way. Now, the first few steps are the same; it’s step three and onward that can start to get tricky.

Depending on what insurance you have, there are certain things that are required. Most commercial insurances (basically, everything except Medicare) require a valid RX and sleep study in order to get setup. An office visit note discussing your sleep apnea is also required, typically something recent – around the same time your prescription was written. If we do not receive that information we have to go back and forth with the doctor’s office requesting the necessary paperwork.

If you’re a Medicare patient, the required paperwork is much more extensive. Putting it nicely, Medicare is ridiculously particular when it comes to verbiage on the required paperwork. If it does not specifically say ‘patient is benefiting from and should continue using machine’ they will deny the insurance claim and you will be stuck with an 800 (sometimes more!) dollar bill. I know I would hate for that to happen to me, so I would also hate for that to happen to you!

When someone from the company tells you that we are working on obtaining the paperwork required by your insurance, we really are doing our best to obtaining that as quickly as possible! I am not putting the blame on anyone, but it is all about communication – between us and your doctor’s office and between us and you, our patients.

As you can tell, getting setup up is not always a walk in the park, but we do our best to work as quickly as possible to get you setup with your new machine. Of course we know that you are needing this therapy to get a good nights sleep and live your best life, and we want nothing more than to help you do that.

My CPAP Journey

Now this is a story all about how /
My life got flipped turned upside down/
And I’d like to take a minute /
Just sit right there/
I’ll tell you how I became an active user of my APAP machine/
In Southwest Houston, born and raised/
In my bed is where I spent most of my days/
Chillin’ out sleepin’ relaxing all cool/
And trying to catch some rest when I’m not at school/
When my family was up to no good/
Started making trouble in my neighborhood/
I started sleeping everywhere and my mom get scared /
She said “You’re taking a sleep test cause you got sleep apnea”

So clearly, my life isn’t nearly as cool as the Fresh Prince, but I worked with what I was given, so, meh. Getting to the point of this post – I have sleep apnea, and I have started using a auto CPAP machine to help me breathe better at night so that I cam actually get some rest.

Prior to my starting on the auto machine, I would go to bed around 10 P.M. or so and would sleep until about 6:30 A.M.; this put me in the group of ‘adults getting the right amount of sleep.’ If I felt tired throughout the day (which was pretty often), I would try to get to bed a little earlier than the previous night, but even that did not help. No matter how much sleep I got, it was not enough.

At first, I thought it was because I woke up numerous times throughout the night. I would wake up and it would take some time for me to fall back asleep and when I did go back to sleep it felt like it was for short period of time. I started taking Melatonin to help me fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. This worked for a few weeks, but I soon found myself plagued with the same afflictions as before – numerous interruptions to my sleep. I was back to square one.

At that point, I had no idea what could possibly be wrong… I was suffering from migraine like headaches, but ten times worse; any exposure to light or sound felt like it was a combination between a jackhammer and woodpecker were pounding on the inside of my head. It was so bad that moving hurt, I mean if I wanted to roll onto my other side while laying in bed I had to mentally prepare for the pain that I was about to endure.

If I was having a good day, meaning no headache, I was always tired no matter how much sleep I got. I found myself dozing off at my desk at work from time to time. In the car, when going practically anywhere I would fall asleep. I would barely make it to work without feeling sleepy. A ride to the grocery store, not even a good five minutes from my house, would involve me falling asleep in the passenger seat in my mother’s car. When I tell you it was bad, I mean Michael Jackson BAD…

Thankfully, I was able to get a machine, and I cannot begin to tell you the drastic change that it has been made in my life. I’ve been using my machine now for a little over three months and I have much more energy. In fact, I noticed a difference after using the machine after one night. I went to bed around the normal time with the machine. When I woke up, I felt as though I could conquer the world – I even woke up before my alarm went off. I, then, checked my phone to see how much time I had before I had to wake up… Turns out I’d been asleep a little more than an hour. O N E H O U R. This machine made me feel like I slept a whole eight hours and I could do anything!

Three months down the line, I am no longer falling asleep on short car rides (long car rides are a different story!), I don’t doze off at my desk or feel the need to nap on my lunch break, or need to drink endless amounts of coffee throughout the day. So, is this machine worth investing in? Absolutely. It is life-changing? Heck yea, it is! Do I take advantage of looking and sounding like Darth Vader every night before bed? Oh, yeaaa!

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