Singing the Cpap blues …

03 Feb

Well, I’m bummed.  After spending a few hours yesterday trying to figure out how to use my cpap machine “off grid,”  I spent another 3 hours today.  And I’m running into walls:

  • My current cpap doesn’t have 12v power capability – it’s A/C power only, so I’d have to use a power inverter between it and a battery (I was planning on buying a deep cycle marine battery for about $80 – the inverter was going to cost about $30)
  • Using the inverter, combined with the high pressure settings I need to have  (because of the severity of my apnea) means that I would need a huge battery (or multiple batteries) just to power the thing for one night  (on the order of a couple of hundred dollars) …. OR
  • I can repair the old machine I have (for about $150) or buy a new one off the black market (i.e. craigslist – for around $350-$400 without a perscription), either of which would have built in 12v power so I could avoid needing a converter … BUT
  • Either of those options would require a battery pack that costs about $300 AND
  • The solar powered battery charger needed to replenish the battery pack would cost another $400 and might not even be able to completely recharge the battery pack in a single day (which means I’d have to have two of them … at double the cost)!

The other alternative is to go ahead and bring a generator to recharge the battery pack, which would allow me to at least avoid having to run the generator at night, but I’d have to run it for about 2-3 hours every day just to keep the battery fully charged!  And I’m back to having to carry one around on top of all this additional equipment!

So right now, I’m having to stop working on this aspect of things for a day – my head is hurting and my anxiety level’s just increased about 500%!  The other thing that comes into play is that I simply don’t know a lot about electricity, volts, amps, conversions and all that other crap – you say “Watt” to me, and I think, “Yeah, the guy who plays defense for the Houston Texans!”  You could cram what I know about this stuff into a quart bottle and still have room for a quart of liquid (which makes it very difficult for me to talk to the technical people because most of the time I have no idea what they’re trying to explain to me … I get very frustrated and instead of being able to hear what they’re saying, all I hear is the voice inside my head yelling, “YOU’RE AN IDIOT! YOU’RE AN IDIOT!”

The challenge now is to not let it take me over where I’m back in my recliner for two or three days, steeped in depression.

But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t just really bummed.

If anyone reading this can share any ideas, I’m all ears!


Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Planning


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Singing the Cpap blues …

  1. sundaywithachanceofmeatballs

    February 26, 2015 at 7:07 am

    I went through a terrible time getting used to my CPAP and began to look at alternatives. What i found was the Mandibular Repositioning Device (mrd) which is basically a mouth piece that pulls your jaw a bit forward. I purchased the resmed narvel cc which for me was very expensive because my insurance didn’t cover it. Bottomline, this device has changed my life! Its light weight and very easy to comply. I have had it for a full year and I sleep all night, am alert during the day, and I think I have taken one or two naps since using it and they were days I didn’t use it! Look into an alternative. Regards! Mike


    • ustabe

      February 26, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Thanks for the suggestion, Mike. I’ll check them out. I’ve been using CPAP machines for over 20 years, when I was 41, and it was life changing for me. I know there are people who’ve had trouble adjusting to them (you’re not the first who’s said that to me), but I never had that problem. I guess I’m lucky in that regard. I’m out like a flash as soon as I start the air up … I don’t even ramp it – I just turn it on full bore and let it rip. Don’t use the humidifier either.

      When I had my first sleep study done at Stanford U., they told me I had one of the 5 worst cases they had ever seen. I was spending almost 92% of my time in Level 1 and Level 2 sleep. Never got below Level 3. My current CPAP is set at 20cm (at one point, I was up to 25cm and was using a Bi-PAP, but I’m down a bit from that now). I couldn’t believe the difference (and I had been experiencing lousy sleep since I was in my late teens. No one ever said anything about “apnea” back then – I just thought I was a light sleeper.

      Glad to know that the MRD is working for you – I will definitely check it out … I’m always open to new stuff, especially how I’m now looking for alternatives to having to rely on electricity on the road.


      Liked by 1 person


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