Sunday, August 01, 2010

Take A Deep Breath

Firstly: It's not that I lack respect, a sense of duty or unbounded love for my readers, it's just that I have been busy having a life of late. Even though this does NOT entail a change in my relationship status (check FB for confirmation), I have been getting out a lot, day/night in day/night out. Work has been busy, trips all around the place - Oz, Japan, Vietnam, all with entailing heavy social commitments - AND I have been put in charge of the next International training (not that I've done anything yet). OK and a holiday or too, but then again, not much done from there either.

Yes - shudder you may, reel in shock you might and be amazed you should. I've been busy(ish).

Not sure why this is, but it's true. I have just not had any spare (and/or sober) time to sit down and write anything. I suspect that the relatively heavy dose of Lamictal I have been prescribed for my IPN* has softened the bumps of my moods, mainly the grumpiness part. I still get get happy happy whenever circumstances dictate (they always "dictate", don't they? What are they, grade school teachers? "Get out your books, children, time for dictation of circumstances!"), but as lamitrogine is more commonly prescribed for epilepsy and bi-polar disorder, there certainly has been some moderation in the incidence of E@L's Irritable Ang-mo Syndrome...

And when I have nothing to complain about, I rarely blog - I become very veewwwwwwy quiet.

Should I apologize for this? Or should I rejoice?


So, moving right along to the topic of this post - an update on the snoring device.

E@L is addicted to CPAP**!

He might look stupid with it on, but at least he is getting MUCH fewer apnoeic episodes according to the results his ENT Doc has shown him. The CPAP mask (must get a leopard skin one) was difficult to acclimatize to at first, and initially he hated it. But he persisted. Now - can't get a restful sleep without the Respironics (a Philips company) chugging away. It's very quiet actually, and with the bedside radio on sleep (ironically) for 30mins, it doesn't bother him and he drops off quickly. The whistle of the air going in and sneaking out through the ventilation holes is a little loud but is zen-like in its regularity.

The air-pump machine records the return pressure up the tube and makes wild suppositions about what's happening in his naso-pharynx, which correlates (one hopes) with depth and quality of sleep. He certainly wakes up feeling a lot more clear-headed, even after a night on the grog (see above re: social life.) Without it, he feels like shit.

At the sleep test, his results were quite frightening. 50 odd apnoeic/hyponoeic episodes per hour. The longest episode of poor breathing was 56.8 seconds. That's not good. Let us explain here - and apnoeic episode is 10 second or longer and hyponoeic of a reduction of airflow by 50%.

Breathing stops or is reduced due to blockage of the naso-pharynx by either a floppy soft-palate (the bit the uvula sits on) or by the tongue falling back.

That's at least 16-17% of the time E@L was not breathing properly. Oxygen sats were dropping to as low as 83%. (That's measured by the red-light thing they clip on your finger.)

With CPAP apnoeic/hypoeic episodes have recovered to about 4 per hour. That's normal range.

Excellent results. E@L will live a bit longer! (Or at least not die of this.)


* idiopathic peripheral neuropathy

** continuous positive air-wave pressure or something.


Lost in Melbourne said...

Time to switch from being grumpy man Phil to the happy observer of life?

knobby said...

wow. no wonder you were always grumpy. ok, not always.

oh, don't circumstances also demand sometimes, not just dictate?

Joanne Casey said...

That's a lot of not breathing properly! Glad it's got better. See you on Facebook (or are you already hidden in my friends, somewhere?).

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