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.