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CPAP machine for sleep apnea

Discussion in 'Medical issues on the pilgrimage' started by Susan Speak, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Susan Speak

    Susan Speak New Member

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    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!
     
  2. mspath

    mspath Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
    amparo, HedaP, SabineP and 1 other person like this.
  3. Luka

    Luka Veteran Member

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    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.
     
    Camino Chris, amparo and mspath like this.
  4. Susan Speak

    Susan Speak New Member

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    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.
     
  5. Susan Speak

    Susan Speak New Member

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    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
     
    amparo and Mark Barnes like this.
  6. Susan Speak

    Susan Speak New Member

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  7. Susan Speak

    Susan Speak New Member

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  8. Susan Speak

    Susan Speak New Member

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  9. kirkie

    kirkie Member

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    Glad you added the last bit!
     
  10. Mark Barnes

    Mark Barnes Old Engineer

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    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.
     
  11. Mark Barnes

    Mark Barnes Old Engineer

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    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.
     
    amparo likes this.
  12. sandykayak

    sandykayak Member

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    How about using taxi service for the cpap ? I've read it costs about €3-5/day.
     
  13. hecate105

    hecate105 Active Member

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    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!
     
  14. tjb1013

    tjb1013 Member

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    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.
     
  15. camino-david

    camino-david Active Member Donating Member

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    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
     
    Mark Barnes likes this.
  16. J Willhaus

    J Willhaus Active Member

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    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
     

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