Sleep Study – 3rd Class Medical Adventures Continued

John Hurlbut3rd Class Medical, Private pilot, Student pilotLeave a Comment

SleepStudyAs previously mentioned, I received a letter from the FAA requesting more information from me regarding a variety of things they found in my medical records. Specifically Sleep Apnea.  I had severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in 2008ish and went in for a sleep study and was placed on a BiPap machine. Now I never felt like I got a great nights sleep on that machine, but it was better than dying.  After losing 70 ish pounds the BiPap pressure was too high and I never went in to get it adjusted. I just stopped using it.

Fast forward 5 years and in trying to obtain my 3rd class medical the FAA notices Sleep Apnea in my medical records and they want reports from my machine stating it’s controlled. Since I can’t produce those reports, I had my doc refer me to get another sleep study.

I just returned home from a long night which was my sleep study. It’s no surprise, I still have sleep apnea. I honestly don’t know anyone that has ever gone in for a sleep study and come out without sleep apnea to some degree. I know in my heart it’s not as severe as it was 6 years ago, but it’s still there.

Now if you’ve never been in for a sleep study, imagine trying to sleep with over 20 wires connected to various parts of your body, most of them gooped into your hair. Some on your face, others on your neck and collarbone, and others on your legs. Now imagine being in the most sparse hotel room, which you share a bathroom with your next door neighbor. Now lay down on the bed, it’s a sleep number so you can adjust the firmness, so that’s a bonus. Unless you’ve never slept on a Sleep Number bed and don’t know what your number is. The lights go out and you notice a grid of red lights above you.  That’s to provide just enough red light so the camera, and sleep technician can watch you. Now…..SLEEP! No? Me either.  Much anyway.

I will admit once the Cpap machine was on I DID sleep deeper than I had before the machine, I remember dreaming a lot. According to the technician, I did sleep good and deep. So I think this time if I can get by with a Cpap and not a BiPap machine, I’ll be ok.

So now the battle becomes trying to get my results processed and over to the pulmonary consultants to review, get an appointment with them, get my prescription for my new machine, use the machine for two weeks or as long as possible, and send all of this data to the FAA by June 28th, the deadline to respond to their latest request. It’s going to be a steep mountain to climb.

As it’s a long weekend, there isn’t much I can do until Tuesday, so I’ll wait. Not patiently, that’s not my thing, but I will wait because at this point that’s all I can do.

I did schedule flight lessons for this coming Thursday and next Sunday, so I have that to look forward to!

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