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Luggage Transfer Correos

CPAP machine for sleep apnea

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Susan Speak

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September and October, 2017
Hello! I am Susan Speak, and I will be walking the Camino in September will my daughter. I have a question, and I hope someone can help me.

I have sleep apnea and must carry my CPAP machine with me. Does anyone have experience dealing with this in the albergues? It uses electricity, and I fear there will be a scarcity of bedside outlets in the albergues. I can purchase an extra battery pack for it, but that must be recharged daily, and I wonder how available outlets for that will be, and it takes a long time to charge it.

Does anyone have suggestions for me? Has anyone solved this problem? Thank you for your help!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Last edited:

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Hi Susan, I admire people who don't let something like sleep apnea get in their way! The machine is rather heavy to carry, isn't it?

When I stayed in the albergue in Pobeña on the Camino del Norte, the hospitalero told me there was somebody with sleep apnea the other night. He had arranged a bed next to a socket, it was as simple as that. The last 2,5 weeks I have been working as a hospitalera myself in another albergue on the Norte (Reposo del Andayón). About 3 days ago I received my first pilgrim with sleep apnea as a hospitalera. And again, it was very simple: we arranged a bed next to a socket. That is as far as my experience goes. But I think most albergues will react like that. Hospitaleros are willing to help.
 

Susan Speak

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September and October, 2017
Hi Susan, I admire people who don't let something like sleep apnea get in their way! The machine is rather heavy to carry, isn't it?

When I stayed in the albergue in Pobeña on the Camino del Norte, the hospitalero told me there was somebody with sleep apnea the other night. He had arranged a bed next to a socket, it was as simple as that. The last 2,5 weeks I have been working as a hospitalera myself in another albergue on the Norte (Reposo del Andayón). About 3 days ago I received my first pilgrim with sleep apnea as a hospitalera. And again, it was very simple: we arranged a bed next to a socket. That is as far as my experience goes. But I think most albergues will react like that. Hospitaleros are willing to help.
Thank you! This is great reassurance as well as a tip on how to best approach the hospitaleros! I am so grateful for your response.
 

Susan Speak

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September and October, 2017
Hi Susan, I admire people who don't let something like sleep apnea get in their way! The machine is rather heavy to carry, isn't it?

When I stayed in the albergue in Pobeña on the Camino del Norte, the hospitalero told me there was somebody with sleep apnea the other night. He had arranged a bed next to a socket, it was as simple as that. The last 2,5 weeks I have been working as a hospitalera myself in another albergue on the Norte (Reposo del Andayón). About 3 days ago I received my first pilgrim with sleep apnea as a hospitalera. And again, it was very simple: we arranged a bed next to a socket. That is as far as my experience goes. But I think most albergues will react like that. Hospitaleros are willing to help.
Yes, you are correct that the machine is very heavy to carry. I am going to leave my clothes behind to make room for my CPAP
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
I use a CPAP and I will be starting in Pamplona at the end of September (next month). Who knows maybe we will run into each other on the trail. I have been assured from others who us CPAPS on this Forum that using a CPAP on the Camino Frances is not an issue, hope they are right. Have fun.
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
I found this on another thread on this forum and plan to print it out and take with me when I start in September.

Below is a note that can be used to communicate that you use a CPAP and need access to outlet:

Senor <my name> sufre de Apnea y requiere la ayuda de un aparato
respiratorio para dormir. Esto significa que <Sr. xxx> necesita acceso a
una toma electrica durante la noche. La cantidad de electricidad usada es
minima, pero es esencial para su confort y salud. El enchufe debe estar en
un radio de 12 metros de donde duerme el <Sr. xxx>. Muchas gracias por su
ayuda.
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
I have seen a post where the user got a smaller travel size machine somewhere on this forum... We met an Italian with one in a tiny albergue and were happy to swap bunks so he could be near a socket. I don't think I've ever been to an albergue with no sockets.... In fact we met 2 ladies in Santiago who had cycled the Frances on electric bikes - charging in albergues all the way!
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
I'm also carrying a CPAP, and am pretty optimistic given the threads here about them.

I'm debating whether to bring an extension cord (I'm in the 'all non-essentials must go' phase of planning after coming to grips with the effect of every extra ounce, thanks to some trial runs), and am a bit concerned about bothering other pilgrims. (The smaller travel machines can be slightly louder than the balky home machines.)

I'm not bringing a battery, although I would have loved to stay in some of the more primitive albgergues that are without electricity.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
I have a friend who has sleep apnea and has walked the Camino Frances twice with his machine, and never had a problem.
I will quote his notes on this:
"I told my specialist that I was going on the Camino and I would be losing weight but I could not take my home Resmed CPAP machine. He said words to the effect "You must, you are chronic". He helped by suggesting some lighter travel models. Checking them out I ended up finding a Transend II machine, the size of a can of Coke and the whole system weighed about 2.1 kgs (5lbs). It worked well throughout Europe. It got me access to bottom bunks and hospitaleros provided power cords where necessary - a bonus. I used it throughout France, Spain and UK"
As a pilgrim, I have several times slept next to someone using a CPAP machine and I slept soundly.
Speaking as a hospitalero, I would always make sure that someone using a machine would be close to a power point - looking after the welfare of pilgrims is an important part of being a hospitalero.
You will have no cause to worry.
Buen Camino
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
Hi Susan,
My husband uses a CPAP machine and took it with him last summer on the Camino. He purchased one of the smaller travel machines (refurbished) at half the regular price through Southwind CPAP. He carried a little note card in his credential pouch which explained in Spanish that he had a machine and would like to be assigned near an outlet. There were only a few albergue options we found which could not accommodate and those places were without electricity entirely. Although these were lovely places we just opted not to stay in places without electricity. The only issue was that near the end of the journey his hose got a hole in it, but we were able to limp along with some duct tape until we got home. He uses the travel machine now whenever we go anywhere as it weighs about 1 pound. He does have the batteries which allow us to go camping, but he did not take them on the Camino.
Janet
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
If you were a real pilgrim, you would simply bring a servant along to blow into your nose at each inhalation all night.

I'm kidding; I also have sleep apnea and, while I didn't bring my CPAP along the times I walked, I'm following this thread with interest. Wish the lightweight traveler CPAPs weren't so expensive...
 
Camino(s) past & future
walk or bike in spring of 2018
First Camino Frances was last Sept/Oct. Did it with no cpap, and was told by 2 lovely ladies from Holland that I kept them up all night with my snoring! (this was in Zubiri, where we met in the albergue). In spite of this, we walked together 2 more days- & we made sure I was not sleeping by them. After they left in Puente La Reina to return home, I kept going, but as much as possible I would pay extra to stay in a private room, so others could sleep.
This year - late August / September / October I'm going back, but this time I'm taking my CPAP breathing machine from home. It weighs about 5 pounds. I searched for a lighter weight travel version, but they are all pretty expensive and not covered by insurance. Rather than spend $850 for a 1.5 pound machine I have decided to use the Correos transport service every day to transport a small, lightweight, 2nd backpack, with the CPAP machine, tubing, extension cord, outlet adapter, and maybe a few items I would normally carry in my regular 45 liter Osprey backpack, just to keep the load on back below 20 lbs. I have already prepaid Correos the 150 Euros (about 4.7 euros per stage). This allows me to stay in albergues every night for 5 to 15 euros with friends rather than last year, when I was spending 20 to 35 euros per night, and lonely, just to not bother my fellow pilgrims. And the good news is, the 2 lovely ladies from Holland are joining me where they left off last year (in Puente La Reina), and I've assured them their nights with me this time will be quiet and restful.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
First Camino Frances was last Sept/Oct. Did it with no cpap, and was told by 2 lovely ladies from Holland that I kept them up all night with my snoring! (this was in Zubiri, where we met in the albergue). In spite of this, we walked together 2 more days- & we made sure I was not sleeping by them. After they left in Puente La Reina to return home, I kept going, but as much as possible I would pay extra to stay in a private room, so others could sleep.
This year - late August / September / October I'm going back, but this time I'm taking my CPAP breathing machine from home. It weighs about 5 pounds. I searched for a lighter weight travel version, but they are all pretty expensive and not covered by insurance. Rather than spend $850 for a 1.5 pound machine I have decided to use the Correos transport service every day to transport a small, lightweight, 2nd backpack, with the CPAP machine, tubing, extension cord, outlet adapter, and maybe a few items I would normally carry in my regular 45 liter Osprey backpack, just to keep the load on back below 20 lbs. I have already prepaid Correos the 150 Euros (about 4.7 euros per stage). This allows me to stay in albergues every night for 5 to 15 euros with friends rather than last year, when I was spending 20 to 35 euros per night, and lonely, just to not bother my fellow pilgrims. And the good news is, the 2 lovely ladies from Holland are joining me where they left off last year (in Puente La Reina), and I've assured them their nights with me this time will be quiet and restful.
Great idea!!
 

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