Letters From Readers Like You

| December 12, 2008

Linda Longton’s article on sleep apnea ["The Sleep That Kills," January] caught my attention.

SLEEP APNEA SURVIVOR

Even though I’m not a truck driver, I always wanted to be. Linda Longton’s article on sleep apnea ["The Sleep That Kills," January] caught my attention because I have sleep apnea. I used to get very sleepy behind the wheel of my car after only an hour of being on the road. I would fall asleep at my desk in the late afternoon. I would wake up with severe headaches or I would wake in the middle of the night with my heart pounding. I was snoring so loud that it would wake me up, and my wife would move to the other bedroom.

One day I came across an article about sleep apnea that listed all of my symptoms. It said sleep apnea can increase blood pressure, cause strokes and result in death. My doctor didn’t know much about it, so I found out what I could on my own.

After a sleep study, the therapist recognized sleep apnea and helped me purchase a CPAP machine. All of my symptoms are gone. I sleep soundly. I don’t snore, and my wife is back. I wake up refreshed, and I never worry about falling asleep at the wheel or my desk. And, my blood pressure went down, so I could reduce prescriptions for that. My CPAP goes with me everywhere. It passes through airport security, fits in my briefcase, plugs into the train sleeper car outlets, comes with an AC/DC adapter and keeps me alive.

I strongly suggest anyone who has any of these symptoms should have a sleep study done.

Ron Fitch
Rockland, Mass.


INDUSTRY CHANGES TOO SLOWLY

I have been in the trucking business for more than 30 years, and one thing has stayed the same: Our industry does not move quickly to change. There has always been talk of changing the hours of service, improving work hours, making companies comply with DOT regulations and many more things that have been swept under the rug.

Nothing ever changes in favor of the owner-operator. We are always last in the food chain. We are the ones who are making the money for the companies to stay in business.

But, do we ever get a chance to reap the benefits of what we do? We can make a change, but it will take all of us working together.

Mike McRae
Elkins, W.V.


FIX OUR OWN PROBLEMS

In reference to a letter from David Callin in the January issue: Dave, you comment on four-wheelers “cutting in, failing to use turn signals,” but I’ve been cut off by more trucks than cars.

I agree that four-wheelers are a major problem, but how can we expect four-wheelers to be any different when they see truckers driving badly? Let’s clean our house first, then look to our neighbors.

Roy King
Cottonwood, Calif.


A DAC MISTAKE

The company I used to work for ran a criminal record check on me through DAC without matching the birth date or my Social Security number. They found a Ricky Miller with multiple drug-related charges, and they said it was me. The company fired me immediately.

Since then, I have proved through the sheriff’s department that I am not the same person. I sent the proof to DAC, and they still refuse to remove it from my record. I am unemployed and black-balled from driving again because of a mistake that no one will admit to and fix.

Richard Miller
Kodak, Tenn.


SKIRTING THE REAL ISSUE?

This is in reference to your write-up about the cross-dressing trucker in the November 2002 issue: Peter Oiler, a 21-year old employee of Winn-Dixie, was fired because he admitted he was a cross-dresser while being off duty and non-paid.

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