17 August 2005
I was going to post this as another comment under the original entry, but figured it might be lost.
For those of you who don’t know, CPAP machines are used to prevent sleep apnea and certain other problems (excessive snoring that’s not apnea as well as some extreme cases of acid reflux).
Sorry it took a couple of days to approve your comment; for some reason my blog is thinking all comments are spam — even mine! I only go through twice a week to catch any strays.
I bought mine from the DME (durable medical equipment provider) my HMO recommended. Right now, the pricing on the web is a bit higher than when I first got my machine because of the lousy foreign exchange rates we’ve got.
I don’t know of the site you asked about, but I do know that many people have been happy with cpapman.com.
Fundamentally, though, you need to know what you need — especially in the mask department. So, while I’d happily buy a second machine online, it wouldn’t be the place I’d go for a first machine. If you don’t have good DME coverage, though, online will be a much better pricepoint than a new machine.
However, a tip: My DME said that they had used machines (ones returned by people who didn’t tolerate CPAP well, or ones used for loaners) that they sold for much lower than retail to people who didn’t have DME coverage. So you might want to check a local place, because they might surprise you.
Either way, you’ll need a prescription; how you get that depends on the process of your sleep study, physician, and durable medical equipment provider. I received the physical copy of my prescription while at the DME’s office after my titration.
As far as travel: I’ve traveled so much with my CPAP now, it’s like second nature. I no longer carry a special bag for my CPAP: I simply wrap it up in a light, padded jacket or other piece of clothing, put it in my laptop backpack (with the hose, cord, and mask separate) and just carry it on. If I travel with my heated humidifier (and I always do if the trip is longer than 2 days), I generally put it in my checked luggage.
After Amtrak lost it for a month (that was the last time I carried it in a separate bag, you see), I now have taped business cards to all the parts in a display of Excessive Paranoia.
p>Oh, and while in the UK, I only needed a plug adapter for my CPAP, which was a great discovery. If you plan to travel a lot, try to get a model that works both on 110 and 220 power.