Friday, April 7, 2017

The CPAP saga

I decided to leave my CPAP at home when we left last month for six weeks in Greece. I’d spent $2,000 last summer to acquire a custom-made “oral appliance” which would prevent my sleep apnea and, possibly, the snoring that accompanies it. The appliance took up much less space than the carry-on CPAP case. We had two plane changes and I didn’t want to mess with the CPAP, as I had lost a previous one two summers ago on the Metro train in Atlanta.

Two days after our arrival in Greece, my snoring drove my 37-year-old son out of the dormitory-like room he shared with my husband Art and me. He was invited to the upstairs apartment to an empty bunk bed in the living room there. We were expecting an influx of volunteers, so I decided to ship my CPAP from Tucson. My friend Ellen, keeping company with Larisa, our Designer Cat, researched the possibilities. FedEx offered the quickest option. I could select 6-9 business days for $120 or 4-5 business days for $212. I chose the quicker service.

I watched the tracking emails. The package left Tucson on Monday, March 27. By Thursday it was in Athens at Customs, where it was delayed because I’d foolishly listed its value as $600. I should have lied. A nice lady named Ifigenia Stavroulaki sent me an email that said I needed to (1) send her a copy of my passport and (2) deposit 265.40 euros (135 for duty, 25 for handling and 105.40 for a brokerage fee) in the bank account of the customs office. I drove around the town of Oinofyta for a good 40 minutes before I found the bank to give them my money. I took a picture of my receipt and my passport. Ifigenia said she would release the package for delivery, but unfortunately, it was too late for a Friday or Monday delivery. I could expect the CPAP on Tuesday.

Nope. On Tuesday I got a phone call from a Greek speaker. I heard “Fedex” and “Linda Myers”. I said, “I am Linda Myers” and the caller hung up.

No delivery on Wednesday. At the end of the day I called Ifigenia. She said the driver couldn’t find me at the address I’d given. I gave her the same address again.

No delivery on Thursday. I sent Ifigenia an email asking for her help. She gave me a number to call and my tracking number. I found someone at the camp who spoke Greek and asked them to make the call for me. Another nice lady said, “I found you on the map.The package will be delivered tomorrow.”

This morning - Friday, 11 days after shipping, my CPAP machine arrived at the camp gate at 8:55 a.m. Tonight I will use it. And Trish, our second dormitory mate, who went sleepless for six nights because of my snoring and the unavailability of an extra bed until last night, will be able to move back into the same room where she unpacked her stuff last weekend.

I suspect I’ll sleep better as well.

There have been enough hiccups on this trip so far. I could have done without this one. Still, I’m grateful for the CPAP’s arrival. I plan to write a letter to Fedex in an attempt to get at least a partial refund on the expensive, “fast” shipping. And I hear that when I go home I may be able to get a refund from customs, since I’m taking home what I had shipped over.

For that, as for many other things, I am grateful.


Terra said...

That is quite a saga, I hope you get a refund from customs, since you are not selling the CPAP machine, but rather taking it home with you. Good luck on that, it sounds like a messy bureaucracy.

#1Nana said...

One less thing to worry about! I hope your day is going better today. We have a huge storm and rain. A month at the beach isn't quite so nice when it's pouring, but it's better than Afghanistan. Take care.

DJan said...

I"m glad it finally came. You should sleep much better tonight, I suspect. What a saga that was! :-)

Olga said...

The CPAP keeps you in blog posts!

Linda Reeder said...

That was an odyssey.
Hope everyone had a peaceful night. I know what putting up with snoring is like.

Tom said...

Wow, who would have thunk ... but at least now you can breathe and everyone can sleep. Enjoy the rest of the stay.

Sally Wessely said...

What a lesson, an expensive and time consuming one, you learned. I always take my CPAP. It is a pain, but I really can't sleep without it.

Madeline Kasian said...

I would not do well in your situation.Am not the world's best traveler..i will admit I rely on my modern day luxuries --I'm not a camper.. could not sleep in dormitories.. you are doing a very important service.. kudos to you! When do you get to come home???

Kay Lynn said...

Those oral devices don't work for many people. Sorry, you had to experience that!