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Thread: Treatment of Sleep Apnea in wilderness/ off grid (& for the poor/uninsured)

  1. #1
    Senior Member TresMon's Avatar
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    Default Treatment of Sleep Apnea in wilderness/ off grid (& for the poor/uninsured)

    I have severe chronic obstructive sleep apnea. Perhaps you do or likely you know someone.

    99% of the time treatment is a CPAP air machine- you wear a mask over you nose & mouth at night and it keeps your air way INFLATED.
    This requires dang near $1g out of pocket to purchase, or good insurance and then tolerance. I liken using a cpap to hanging your face out the window of the car in the air stream doin 75mph on the interstate.. And trying to drift off to sleep. SUCKS.
    REGARDLESS- they require electricity!

    Lesser employed treatment are oral devices that hold the jaw forward that are expensive, never covered by insurance and marginally effective.
    Lastly there are surgical alterations of the tongue and airway- controversial, taboo in the surgical depts- likely not an option. Exorbitant is cost.

    Sleep apnea is where the soft tissue in your throat relaxes and block your air way. It causes you to stay in a state of o2 deprivation throughout the night, which makes you miserably tired every day and makes you die early. Most likely heart failure before age 60 if untreated.

    One of the huge choices I had to make in deciding to go off grid and pursue a wilderness life is me having to leave my cpap behind, be willing to be quite tired every single day of my life and die earlier...... I decided to LIVE for a while as opposed to "existing" for a long while. I left the grid, my cpap and long life behind.

    I was re-updating my combat medic training and had an epiphany... Over and over I heard "establish airway." I began to get angered with life or fate and thinking "well I lose my d@mn airway ever time I sleep!" Then BAM!

    I asked myself why I can't use the same technique to ESTABLISH my airway during my sleep that a medic does for a trauma victim with a compromised air way?????????????

    I began to do 'net research and lo-n-behold some meds are experimenting with just that thought:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18520380
    and others.

    SO I have been sleeping with a NPA in place: Nasopharyngeal airway or commonly called a "nasal trumpet"
    http://www.itstactical.com/wp-conten.../11/Airway.jpg

    http://www.sedationresource.com/PDGI...airway-set.jpg

    Wikipedia on NPA:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasopharyngeal_airway

    I'm very excited to have found a means to treat apnea off grid, deep woods, whatever. Like when I was prescribed a CPAP back in the day I was told my body was so deprived it would take a few or several months to see good effects. I expect the same with the Nasal trumpet- better health long term.

    Despite what my medic buds and trainers told me I may experience I do not gag when inserting the NPA, nor do I have hoarseness the next morning.

    Lastly NPA's come in several sizes. YOu'll need to either by an assorted set or get fitted prior. I'd just waltz into my a fire department and ask if you can speak to the medic. Ask him to size you....

    The correct size of NPA will be the length from your nose to your ear.......

    They are available on ebay, w/o prescription for a whopping $6, free shipping.

    Good NPA training here:
    http://centegra.org/wp-content/uploa...eal-Airway.pdf
    Last edited by TresMon; 07-22-2012 at 02:54 PM.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    Tres
    Website has been updated for 2012!! http://wildernessmeans.com/

    NOTE: I'm a machinist, gunsmith, writer, and instructor of many outdoor topics looking for gainful employment in any geographical cool place to live. Resumes posted on website.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, 的 am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."


  2. #2
    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    I'd be kinda afraid of potential for infection using it out in the bush...that is, unless it's an emergency.

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I have read somewhere that playing the australian aborigine didgeridoo helps with sleep apnea. Something to do with strengthening the airways. Can't remember where I read it but perhaps a web search would turn up something.

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I had to google this treatment. Sometimes something will pop in my head and I wonder if I dreamed it. LOL
    Here's a link
    http://sleepdisorders.about.com/od/s...Didgeridoo.htm

  5. #5
    Senior Member TresMon's Avatar
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    I have been trying the Didg for several months- 7 to be exact.....
    ---------------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    Tres
    Website has been updated for 2012!! http://wildernessmeans.com/

    NOTE: I'm a machinist, gunsmith, writer, and instructor of many outdoor topics looking for gainful employment in any geographical cool place to live. Resumes posted on website.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, 的 am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

  6. #6
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    well that sux. Do you enjoy playing the didg? hope so, at least there is that benefit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    I agree with Bee,cleanliness here would be an absolute must to keep from getting an infection,and inserting that with even the tiniest amout of bacteria or virus so close to the brain is playing russian roullette,hoe you ordered tons of them,and have a way to sterilize/sanitize them.

    My ex had to use one of those but he lost lots of weight after the house burned and he no longer required it.
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    maybe use a neti pot with goldenseal root powder, to keep things clean.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Tres, how much overweight are you?

    That is generally the primary factor in apnea and weight loss is the first step in treatment. Even a small weight gain will trigger apnea and eliminating the excess weight will often bring it to an end.

    Neti pots and home remedies occasionally work for sinus problems but not for muscle issues like apnea.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

  10. #10
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    agreed a neti pot will do absolutely nothing for your sleep apnea but if you're sliding a tube in and out your nose you will benefit from keeping that area clean.

  11. #11
    Senior Member TresMon's Avatar
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    several plants are anti viral anti fungus. Keeping it clean is my least worries.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    Tres
    Website has been updated for 2012!! http://wildernessmeans.com/

    NOTE: I'm a machinist, gunsmith, writer, and instructor of many outdoor topics looking for gainful employment in any geographical cool place to live. Resumes posted on website.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, 的 am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

  12. #12
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    OK Tres, you still did not say how much weight you need to drop!
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TresMon's Avatar
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    5 pounds, maybe?
    ---------------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    Tres
    Website has been updated for 2012!! http://wildernessmeans.com/

    NOTE: I'm a machinist, gunsmith, writer, and instructor of many outdoor topics looking for gainful employment in any geographical cool place to live. Resumes posted on website.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, 的 am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

  14. #14
    Senior Member Celticwarrior's Avatar
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    I would never intubate in the field without the hope of sterile procedures. Not a good idea, but I guess it is better than asphyxiating in your sleep because you forget how to breathe.
    "A free citizenry should never abide a government that seeks control over it's people rather than service to them"

  15. #15
    Senior Member TresMon's Avatar
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    Not hard to sterilize the device in the field.
    Soap & water
    Betadine
    iodine (tabs?)
    Anerobic o2 water treatment
    Boiling or steaming (some are rated for autoclave)
    iodine
    tea tree oil
    bleach water solution
    alcohol...
    Vinegar
    Tannins from trees

    On & on
    ---------------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    Tres
    Website has been updated for 2012!! http://wildernessmeans.com/

    NOTE: I'm a machinist, gunsmith, writer, and instructor of many outdoor topics looking for gainful employment in any geographical cool place to live. Resumes posted on website.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, 的 am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

  16. #16
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I would never willing stick anything up my nose in the wild (fingers don't count) or use a neti pot. I love my brain too much.

    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/1...n-cold-remedy/

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I would never willing stick anything up my nose in the wild (fingers don't count) or use a neti pot. I love my brain too much.

    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/1...n-cold-remedy/
    I bought one of them thar neti pots last winter on the recommendation of a pharmasist,this was after the neck surgery and I could not use the darn thing because to properly use it,you must be able to turn your head much more than I was /am able to .nearly drowned myself with that darn thing.
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

  18. #18

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    I had a gung ho doc wanted me to buy that CPAP thing a few months ago. Yeah...right.
    Dropped 20 pounds (30 to go) but already the symptoms are not as bad. Not waking up as much and not as messed up during the day.

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    I use a CPAP and it has been very effective. The machines I have are relatively inexpensive and the only real issue is insuring that you have elctrical power available to operate them.

    This turns the whole problem back to what happens if you have a loss of power. Having suffered two 3 day power interruptions last year, I installed a generator. I also have a back up CPAP machine. At some point I will want to put together a Faraday cage and a machine will go in along with whatever else I choose to store in the cage. Beyond that I'll probably add a small solar unit to my preps at some point, etc.

    I tend to look at Grid Down scenarios as a question of time. If power went down, there would be an effort to restore it. The question then becomes how long can you wait? A few days? weeks?, months?, years?

    Depending on your situation, you might have to make special preparations, in this case CPAP, for a diabetic insulin, etc. This is just another challenge.

  20. #20
    Senior Member TresMon's Avatar
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    Why not stash a $6 NPA in your bag in case your forced to take off?
    ---------------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    Tres
    Website has been updated for 2012!! http://wildernessmeans.com/

    NOTE: I'm a machinist, gunsmith, writer, and instructor of many outdoor topics looking for gainful employment in any geographical cool place to live. Resumes posted on website.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, 的 am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

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