Apria Healthcare–Not

I woke up sometime after midnight with my auto-BiPAP not working right. It’s blowing really loudly for about a minute and then shutting off for about a minute and then blowing really loudly for about a minute and then shutting off, and so on and on.

At 12:57 I called Apria Healthcare, the auto-BiPAP supplier (463-5217). First I got some high level response, then eventually I got Scott, the local respiratory therapist. He told me that I own the machine and therefore he has to get a prescription from the doctor to come and swap out the machine and send mine for repair.

Scott started out by telling me that they only will call the doctor during regular business hours. I tried to explain my need to him–multiple major illnesses; my usage of the auto-BiPAP runs as high as a pressure setting of 21 (which is really high), etc. Scott was resistant but finally agreed to call the doctor and then call me back.

He did not do so.

After waiting half an hour, I called his cell phone number but he did not answer.

Checked glucose and it was 481.

Around 1:30 I called Apria again, got the “national” response again–Allie (?).  She said she would call Scott and then one of them would call me back.

Around 1:45 Allie called back and said that Scott wasn’t answering her, either. I explained to her about the diabetes, kidney disease and living alone. She said her protocol directed her to wait another fifteen minutes and then “go higher”–presumably to Scott’s boss.

I haven’t slept without a CPAP/BiPAP/auto-BiPAP in a dozen years.

My plan is to do nothing, quite possibly because my glucose is so high that I’m not traveling in a normal thinking zone.

2:55 a.m.–Allie has just called back. She has called–repeatedly–every telephone number listed (land lines, cell phones and nextel [?]) for all four employees of the Syracuse Apria office (located on Molloy Rd.) Manager, tech, respiratory, plus one unknown–nobody is responding to a desperate middle-of-the-night need for breathing assistance. Allie is in Arizona and neither she nor her supervisor know of anything else to do. The next nearest offices to Syracuse are in Rochester, Endwell (Binghamton) and Elmira. Allie and I are in agreement that it is unforgivable for a supplier of breathing machines to not be responding to an emergency. Allie is putting it in writing and sending it up the line.

If this night ends disastrously for me, please raise hell with Apria corporate headquarters and get the Syracuse office in trouble.

Thank you and good night.


About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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One Response to Apria Healthcare–Not

  1. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.CPAP Accessories

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