FORT BENNING CRC and civilian contractors....

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FORT BENNING CRC and civilian contractors....

Postby makiao1813 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:42 pm

I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea when I was active duty army 2 years ago. I was given a CPAP machine and I use it regularly. I was offered a contract position for a couple hundred thousand to go to Afghanistan for a year. I have a family that I am having a hard time supporting since I have gotten out so I want to take this position. The problem is I looked on the CRC website and it says that if you have been diagnosed with apnea with a cpap you are not qualified to deploy even as a civilian. It states that if you have a letter from your doctor saying you can function without the CPAP and a letter of liability from your employer that special consideration can be made. I can't afford to quit my job to take this one, just to be kicked out of CRC. My fear is that I get these forms and they still don't allow me to go. I need to do this for my family. Has anyone gone through this???

I also have considered just taking all mention of apnea out of my medical records just to go but I am not sure if they just look at what you bring or do they check main databases? Should I just lie about it? I can function without my cpap. I just would try to use it when it's possible. I hope someone knows what to do!
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Postby Vicki » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:11 am

I am not usually this blunt, but make sure you have a good life insurance policy so when the effects of your untreated OSA kill you, you can still continue to support your family. Untreat OSA is about much more than fatigue. Clearly, you do not understand what is happening to you. Here are some of the effects of untreated OSA:

The effects of untreated sleep apnea are severe and systemic. Some of them are; increased blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke (from the constant cycling in and out of hypoxia and increased blood pressure), heart arrhythmias, nocturia (because the increased pressure in the right heart ventricle makes the body think there is too much blood volume so urine is produced), headaches, fatigue (duh), memory and concentration problems, weight gain (sleep deprivation causes weight gain for several physiological reasons, one being the alteration of the hormones leptin and ghrelin), apnea induced seizures, there is a link to diabetes, there is a link to GERD, night sweats, depression, anxiety (each apneic event is a true suffocation and elicits the "Fright or Flight" adrenalin response), Fibromyalgia-like symptoms, impotence, relationship and job issues, car accidents, etc.

You will not find support here to blow off treatment. There is a sticky thread above on OSA and the military. Read that thread and even PM some of those folks because they can better tell you about CPAPs and deployments. It was my understanding from reading the posts that the military will deploy OSA patients with their CPAPs.

We all thought we were functioning fine prior to treatment. If you ever get treated, you will then realize just how bad off you were.

Vicki
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Postby Gin » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:04 am

If you are going to Afghanistan through Blackwater, you might ask them. Don't lie. Don't stop using CPAP. Ya, the $$ is good going back as a civy, but be sure you make smart decisions.

P.S. Did you know that Afghanistan is on the "do not travel to" list from the U.S State Department? (just kidding)
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Postby kittybork » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:10 am

I just asked my friend who did two tours in Iraq (not Afghanistan) as a civilian contractor. He says no one will check your bags other than the normal airport security. Also, if you'll be flying in a C-130, they're worried about bigger problems than a machine in your bag. He carried some beverages on a C-130 that would not have passed security.

I guess what I'm saying is that you have to decide what you do or do not report, but take your CPAP with you if you go.
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Postby makiao1813 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:21 am

I am not trying to blow off treatment. I have an AHI of 45.7 and I understand how bad that is. I was treated and I do realize how bad off I was. I love my CPAP, but I can function without it, just not as well. Maybe we just have different definitions of function. I don't think you understand what I was saying. I really LOVE my CPAP, but I love my family more than my own health. We are bad off financially and this would definitely fix our situation. If you haven't noticed we are in a recession and thanks to our old and current president there is still money being made in war. I am not asking anyone to help me blow off treatment. Most places out there allow you to use a CPAP. All the places I would go would allow that, but I have to make it past CRC to get there. I was just looking for advice on how to get through it as I know contractors have gone out there with their CPAP.
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Postby makiao1813 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:25 am

kittybork wrote:I just asked my friend who did two tours in Iraq (not Afghanistan) as a civilian contractor. He says no one will check your bags other than the normal airport security. Also, if you'll be flying in a C-130, they're worried about bigger problems than a machine in your bag. He carried some beverages on a C-130 that would not have passed security.

I guess what I'm saying is that you have to decide what you do or do not report, but take your CPAP with you if you go.


Do you know if your friend reported it on his medical questionaire at CRC? Thank you for your answer, it is very helpful!
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Postby Daniel » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:26 am

makiao1813 wrote:I am not trying to blow off treatment. I have an AHI of 45.7 and I understand how bad that is. I was treated and I do realize how bad off I was. I love my CPAP, but I can function without it, just not as well. Maybe we just have different definitions of function. I don't think you understand what I was saying. I really LOVE my CPAP, but I love my family more than my own health. We are bad off financially and this would definitely fix our situation. If you haven't noticed we are in a recession and thanks to our old and current president there is still money being made in war. I am not asking anyone to help me blow off treatment. Most places out there allow you to use a CPAP. All the places I would go would allow that, but I have to make it past CRC to get there. I was just looking for advice on how to get through it as I know contractors have gone out there with their CPAP.


I think you are missing a MAJOR point here. In the military you work with others...in fact you depend on them for survival and they depend on you......they expect you to be fully functional, fit for the job and a person who can be relied on..in a tight situation.

With an AHI of 45.7 (severe apnoea), remaining untreated (without CPAP) you are not fully functional, you are not fit for the job and every time you turn up for duty you place your comrades health and safety at risk because you are an accident looking for somewhere to happen and you cannot be relied on.

I know, you want to bring your cpap machine, you want to be on top of things............but in being dishonest in the first instance, what happens if controls are tighter that you suspect and you don't get to use your cpap.............not very fair on your comrades.


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Postby kittybork » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:27 am

He doesn't have sleep apnea.

I posed your question to him because he'd been through the system. The only thing he reported was high blood pressure, which they knew from the physical. He is medically retired from the military, so apparently they didn't look through the medical databases.

His point was that you have to decide what you report, but don't be afraid to bring your cpap. No one is going to look.
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Postby Vicki » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:12 pm

makiao1813,

That is insulting. Of course I know that there is a recession, I've been out of full-time work for over a year and saw a lawyer this week to try to save my house. I am a full-time, single parent to a special needs child.

Kitty,

Read his first sentence:

"I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea when I was active duty army 2 years ago. I was given a CPAP machine and I use it regularly. "

And his third post"
"I am not trying to blow off treatment. I have an AHI of 45.7 and I understand how bad that is. I was treated and I do realize how bad off I was. I love my CPAP, but I can function without it, just not as well."

The point is still when you do a job you should be functioning optimally. Glad that it looks like he can take his CPAP.

Vicki
Last edited by Vicki on Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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Postby kittybork » Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:01 pm

I actually read all of his sentences including this one: "I have a family that I am having a hard time supporting since I have gotten out so I want to take this position."

He WANTS to take this position, which means he probably will. My advice to him is not whether he should go or not. My advice is that iIF he does go, he should take his CPAP machine.

He's not going back active duty. He's going as a civilian. That could mean he's a cook, a mechanic, or a construction worker.
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Postby Vicki » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:56 pm

Kitty,

My only question to you was why you said " He doesn't have sleep apnea." It is very possible that I missed something. The rest was from another responder.

Vick
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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Postby kittybork » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:09 pm

Sorry.

"He" (my friend) who went to Iraq does not have sleep apnea.
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Postby Vicki » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:33 pm

Ohhh, I did miss something :-D

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Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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Re: FORT BENNING CRC and civilian contractors....

Postby makiao1813 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:00 pm

My above posts were a long time ago. I have been asked through private messages about the outcome so I figure I should let everyone know. I did make it through CRC by "lying" and made it downrange. It was one of the best decisions of my life. That launched my career and helped me provide a much better life for my family. I did a year and a half in Afghanistan, upgraded jobs while I was out there and now work as a lead stateside for the second company that hired me out there. Life is good!!! As far as the apnea goes, I found that I was able to use my machine after about the second or thrid week. Those first few weeks were miserable, but I was at no risk of harming anyone but my own health. I found myself coming into Afghanistan during the beginning of the troop surge. I slept the first few weeks in an airplane hanger in Bagram with about 200 soldiers with little power. I will state I was miserable all day without my APAP, but when I finally received quarters I had a constant power supply for my machine. It's all about being resourceful. I did go without my machine a few times when I found myself at outposts providing support to soldiers, that is why I upgraded jobs. After upgrading, I found myself in Kandahar with a constant supply of power for the remainder of my time there. I feel that I did receive some ignorant and hostile responses from my posts here, which is probably why I have not been involved in this forum since my last post.

I find myself coaching people at my job on how to get out there. Everyone is trying to dig themselves out of the hole the economy has put them in. I will reiterate, going out there has completely transformed my way of life. If you need further advice on the matter, PM me and I will assist in any way I can!
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Re: FORT BENNING CRC and civilian contractors....

Postby pamsyflower1 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:19 pm

Hi...so glad that everything went so well for you and that you made it back home to your family safe and sound. I have just a newbie observation as I have only been involved with this forum for a little over a month...
I have found such a wonderful group of dedicated posters...dedicated in their protection of patients being treated for sleep apnea. I have reviewed your original post and the responding posts very carefully and I noticed something. I don't know...maybe this will help you: The very same group of very dedicated posters that I have observed in my brief life on the forum responded to you, over 3 years ago now, in that very same spirit of protectiveness...of you, as a newbie...and of every other patient with sleep apnea who might wander by this forum. It was passion that greeted you...not hostility and certainly not ignorance as I have found some incredibly informed people around here! I perceive that some folks lost some sleep over your posts. I lost some sleep over your most recent post and I'm just a newbie...I need all the sleep I can get. While it is wonderful that you want to help folks, it would be wonderful to find a way, I think, to help EVERYONE WHO VISITS this forum and not just a select few...at the expense of everyone else. I am so glad that life is good for you. I don't think anyone on this forum would wish anything different in that regard. Your statement, " Those first few weeks were miserable, but I was at no risk of harming anyone but my own health" is very revealing. You are still a newbie, my friend, and I fear that all we newbies share a unfortunate trait...a tad of ignorance, even alongside our very best efforts. Please refer back to Daniel's post...he was trying to help you, AND EVERYBODY ELSE, by pointing out something that doubtless took him awhile to learn - just like it does most of us. We all tend to lie to ourselves and we really don't help ourselves or anybody else in the process. Good luck to you.
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