My husband was recently diagnosed with SEVERE sleep apnea and was placed on a CPAP machine. Two weeks on the CPAP machine has made such a huge difference , that we just really cannot risk him being off the machine while we canoe camp in the BWCA.
We've been looking into portable CPAP machines, and found a low weight one (Everest 3) that has rechargeable battery cells. We think we could recharge the cells using one of the compact solar panels you can get at an camping store like REI.
Anyone out there have any experience with this sort of issue? We usually go for 5 nights and were planning a trip for this fall in late September.
I know of some in scouts that have done battery operated machines for a night, maybe two nights, but have no idea for 5 nights. I think it would be very hard pressed to charge it by solar.
You are right as it makes a heck of a difference. I used a CPAP for two and a half years and what a difference it was to start dreaming again.
I had gastric bypass 15 months ago and have lost 160 pounds now and I don't need it anymore. I snore a little from time to time, but originally they told me at Mayo I was waking up 47 times an hour. What a surprise when the sleep doc said I didn't need it anymore.
I was a 33 times per hour awaker, had the surgery and all better now, couldn't do the machine. might look into that avenue, if you push they will do it. On the other hand, my brother is so severe (127 times per hour) they said the surgery will not make much difference and CPAP is the only way to go.
Who I am precedes what I do, not the other way around.
I wish I could afford one of those. I'd look into bringing 2 batteries for anything longer than a 3 day trip. That way you could be charging one up while using the other battery. IDK if a solar charger will do the trick, but 2 days of a solar charge might. Experiment with the charger before going.
I was at 97 per hr, had my tonsils removed (they were huge) and that cleared up the snoring and brought me DOWN to 49 per hour. I'm hoping if I drop another 35lbs maybe I'll have a happy ending like KevinL :) Sleep apnea SUCKS and I can't imagine sleeping w/o my cpap anymore!!!
On a side note, in Europe they do surgery first and a Cpap is used if that doesn't work. So I still have options :D
My problem is that I can't sleep on my back because my uvula and tonsils make a nice airtight patch, right over my airway. I tried the c-pap and couldn't sleep at all with it on. My only other option is surgery. I've heard some bad stories about adults having their tonsils removed and uvula trimmed and since I've never had surgery, I'm downright scared. For those of you that have had it, how bad was it? Was it worth it? I'm thinking maybe I'll do it this winter.
Oh, for the OP, if you can afford it why not go ahead and get the machine, several batteries and the charger and give it a go at home. If it will work at home it it will work in the BW. You might look at RadioShack for the solar panels. I'd get the largest one possible. The only experience I have with solar panels is the one on my deer feeder. I upgraded it with one 2x the size recommended and it keeps the 12v battery charged year round but granted it's only operating 3x a day for 30 seconds.
I fought learning how to sleep with my Cpap for almost 9 months. I too, have a severe case and can't sleep with out it. You're not going to like what I have to say but it's how I enjoy my vacation in the BW's. I take a (heavy) 12 volt battery and an inverter and I'm good for a week. Yes, it's heavy to drag around but I don't do much portaging. I basecamp. You might be able to find a smaller size 12 volt battery that might give you a few less nights. Good luck and don't let him go without it....people die in their sleep!
HA HA my brother takes that big 12 volt on our camping trips in the boat as well.
As for the surgery: Uvula was trimmed, Grooves melted into the back of my tongue, deviated sceptum fixed (again), and turbinate bones in the outer portion of my nose were ground down as well. This was the worst month of my life as far as pain goes. Recovery was about 3 weeks of severe discomfort and pain, while on a liquid diet. I lost 30 pounds. BUT I feel great and dont have to deal with a CPAP, well worth it!
Who I am precedes what I do, not the other way around.
A good friend who uses a CPAP wanted to paddle with me deep into the Q, so I did the "homework" for him to go with the CPAP.
I recommend you look for the battery powered portable CPAP as it likely is 12, 18 or 24 volt machine. The 12 volt is preferred. Then get a small car battery - specifically a SMALL one you can carry. They even have handles and should weigh about 15-20 lbs max.
There are small "roll up" solar panels which are very durable for about $50 that should re-charge the battery daily.
The key to success is to understand how much current (amps)the CPAP requires and multiply this number times perhaps 6 hrs (night's sleep.) Roughly the same energy must be restored by the solar panel to keep the battery charged. The good news is the daytime sun is much longer than night, so this requires less solar power.
Example - the portable CPAP requires 1.5 amps to run and he sleeps 6 hours per night = 9 amp hours.
The sun shines on average 12 hours per day so you need 9 amp hours divided by 12 hours = 3/4 amp solar panel. This could be a single panel or even 2 panels that generate half this needed current (now 3/8 amp if 2 panels).
If I have confused you, I apologize. Feel free to Email me. I am an engineer who works for battery company. I will help you.
quote bumabu: "HA HA my brother takes that big 12 volt on our camping trips in the boat as well.
As for the surgery: Uvula was trimmed, Grooves melted into the back of my tongue, deviated sceptum fixed (again), and turbinate bones in the outer portion of my nose were ground down as well. This was the worst month of my life as far as pain goes. Recovery was about 3 weeks of severe discomfort and pain, while on a liquid diet. I lost 30 pounds. BUT I feel great and dont have to deal with a CPAP, well worth it!"
I was thinking about the OTHER surgery, where they add strips along the upper palate of your mouth to stiffen the air passage. The CHEAP surgery, not the huge one when u have to eat thru a straw! But when I last checked, they would not use that procedure on someone with more than 20 per hour apnea. The surgery you had is much more brutal than anything I've even contemplated. (removal of part of the upper/lower palate)
quote nonamesleft: "My problem is that I can't sleep on my back because my uvula and tonsils make a nice airtight patch, right over my airway. I tried the c-pap and couldn't sleep at all with it on. My only other option is surgery. I've heard some bad stories about adults having their tonsils removed and uvula trimmed and since I've never had surgery, I'm downright scared. For those of you that have had it, how bad was it? Was it worth it? I'm thinking maybe I'll do it this winter."
I'd say that if you can afford it, do it. Tonsils are no big deal, but maybe I'm an exception. They kept me overnight at the hospital, I was the 'old' guy (38 at the time). I was bugging them all night because I kept eating all of their popsicles! They were amazed that I was even up and around like nothing had happened :) The OTHER stuff, tho, IDK. I'd have to research it a bit more before deciding on the other surgery.
Amok-did you have your uvula trimmed too or just tonsils? I'm 36 and have always had trouble snoring and being a mouth breather.
I'm not too afraid of the tonsils but I work in a hospital and have asked around about the uvula trim/removal, they all say it's painful and you have to learn to swallow again although I could stand to lose 30 lbs. For someone with a fairly charmed life so far as pain goes to volunteer for it, kind of goes against my thinking but I can see that it is only going to get worse so I'm thinking around Christmas break I'll go under the knife.
I have mild to moderate sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine. I am able to get by without my machine while in the BWCA for a week, but do sleep in a solo tent set up as far away from others as possible. So far, so good. I do think I scare the bears away from our site. They don't want to mess with the beast making those noises...
"The trouble with the world isn't that people know too little, but that they know so much that just ain't so."
I use one of the many oral devices marketed for apnes. Just google 'sleep apnes' and you'll find many options. I use a CPAP at home & whereever electricity is available, but the oral device does help when camping. If worn properly, the jaw will be sore for a night or two while adjusting. I would try it at home, where one has the option of switching back to the CPAP in case it doesn't work out.
I have sleep apnea and couldn't sleep with the machine (nor could my wife :). They might have improved by now but, after a lot of appeals, I convinced my health insurance to pay for an oral device. It works good enough. The oral device I have was professional level and comparatively expensive ($1400- thank you insurance!) but you can buy a relatively inexpensive product that works on the same principle but just isn't as durable. I think one of them is called a "snoremate". But, as advised by others, test it before you go.
I applaud you all for doing SOMETHING about your sleep apnea-obstruction. It very debilitating. When I first started in (I'm a R.R.T.),back in the 70's, when didn't have devices or CPAP machines. We had to let people become comepletely disabled, and then Trach them. I also obstruct, although I am not the typical overweight type(I'm 5'8", 150lbs). I have a small oral airway. I had my uvula trimmed, twice, and the pillars put in Palate. Didn't help. Tried a mouthpiece-thing called Puresleep, it holds your lower jaw a tad foreword...tongue does not fall into airway, and I don't snore at all. I have poor sleep habits because of my schedule(7p-7a), but at least I get 3-5hrs if sleep. Uvula trimming and Pillar's were both office procedures under a local--I drove myself home afterwards.
"Blessed are the cracked because they let in light."