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Thread: Falling Asleep At The Wheel

  1. #11
    Senior Member fishin'guy's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Seattle area Wash state
    Agreed, take it from a SA patient of 15 yrs, get checked, it'll save a life(yours) and possibly others, thanks.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2004
    Whately, MA United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnvrdave View Post

    My doctor also recommended a humidifier, because I have a chronic sinus infection (and refuse to use NeilMed, neti-pot for sinus flush because I think it caused the infection twice). I started using a humidifier last month at night, and I usually wake up feeling more rested and breathing more freely, but it apparently is not enough to cure sleep apnea or road hypnosis or whatever is happening.

    I was thinking that breathing is overrated, but I may have to rethink that.
    My primary care doc has a chronic sinus infection, and he flushes with Microcyn and swears by it.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  3. #13
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    in a handbasket
    I also thought about carbon monoxide being a part of the problem especially if this only happens in the car.

    Sleep apnea may be a problem if you nod off during the day. I used to have a terrible problem with it when I was still working. Every time I sat down for a meeting or for more than a few minutes I would be out like a light.

    I'm not saying anything anyone else has not already said, and I also think you could benefit from a sleep study.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  4. #14
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    Denver, Colorado USA ---- C5/6 Complete 1985
    Quote Originally Posted by fishin'guy View Post
    Agreed, take it from a SA patient of 15 yrs, get checked, it'll save a life(yours) and possibly others, thanks.
    I called my doc and he had me use a pulseOx (clips to a finger, and measures pulse and O2) at home overnight, and it looks like I might have sleep apnea (SA). Now, I'm supposed to do a sleep study at the hospital overnight, which will be a hassle, of course.

    I'll go do some research now on SA and CPAP machines, but what are the possible outcomes of the sleep study? Will I end up buying a CPAP machine (as opposed to renting one)? Are they expensive? Will I be able to hook it up myself as a quad (C5/6)? I often put myself in bed at night and live alone.

    I had the impression that SA was more common in people who are overweight, and I'm pretty thin. Is it because my posture is so bad (bent over a pot belly) after 25 years of quad-dom?

  5. #15
    Renting vs. purchase of a CPAP or BiPAP machine may largely depend upon your insurance coverage. There are a wide variety of interface devices (face masks, nasal pillows, etc.) to meet your individual needs. Most of my clients at C6-7 can put it on themselves, and C5 and below can remove themselves. You will want to have a machine that is a "one touch" control to turn on/off. Generally settings don't need frequent readjustment.

    People with SCI are at high risk for SA. Obesity is a factor for many ABs, and will increase risks for SCI, but just having a SCI, especially a cervical injury, puts you at risk as well.

    Hopefully the sleep clinic where you will be evaluated will also provide you with education and counseling about your options once you have your sleep study completed.


  6. #16
    Medicare pays for them if you have it. Bipaps are much more expensive than a CPAP. There are many used ones available.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Edinburgh Colin's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I get a similar problem of becoming mesmerized and kind of in a trance rather than sleeping. I used to drive for hours without a break pre iinjury no problem even when I was tired.
    It is like I become hypnotized by the repetitiveness of it and I find myself lane drifting, never over the line but kind of incapable of stopping it. It seems to happen after about 50 minutes driving on the motorway. If I open the window, turn it into a Rock Concert but it all makes no difference I still drift in the lane.
    I stop for about 10 minutes park and roll the window down and call someone or just talk to myself for a couple of minuted then I can just get back on the road no problem. Then about 50 minutes later....

    It's very weird, can be morning,afternoon or evening makes no difference.

  8. #18
    Senior Member justadildo's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    rocky mountain high
    i fell asleep at the wheel time too i'm a quad...thankfully i only injured me...don't mess around...use alt trans until you find a cause and solution

  9. #19
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    Denver, Colorado USA ---- C5/6 Complete 1985
    Here's an update:

    Instead of the hospital sleep study, I was able to use equipment at home for three nights. The results showed I have mild to moderate sleep apnea and need auto titration, pressure varying from 5 to 20, depending on my breathing at the moment.

    I got the equipment ($1800 purchase) and used it two nights. I felt more energy, but still fell asleep driving. I got suspicious about the mask (just fits in the nostrils), and it turns out it doesn't work for me lying down (can't breathe with it connected, only when it's leaking) . I'm going back today to probably get a full face mask (nose and mouth), which will be harder to put on.

    I'll give another update soon...

  10. #20
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Los Angeles
    Man, I hope you get it figured out. It's good to hear the sleep apnea is only mild to moderate.

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