Tag Archives: oxygen

Sunday Scatterings: Changes to come

I’ve decided that five blogs is just too many.

There, I said it.  And some may have noticed – I’ve already started blending into this one. My writing blog, write tuit , is now incorporated into this one. WordPress, thank you for making it so easy! All I had to do was export it to a file, then import it into this one, and it blended right in, putting my creative writing posts in chronological order mixed in with these posts. Perfect!

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Scatterd Sunday Ramblings

I probably could have predicted this.

The lack of posts, I mean. I get involved in things and then really go at it, even overly so (look, I have 5 blogs!) and then I get sidetracked by life and just can’t find my way back in to what I started.

My favorite blog to post to, write tuit, hasn’t had a post in 5 months! I love writing creatively, and reading the posts from all the wonderful challenges. So why haven’t I been doing it? It’s as much a mystery to me as to you. Still, I’m keeping that blog around as I do intend to get back to writing eventually, it’s the one thing I love most.

It has been even longer since I posted in a round tuit because it was originally intended as a blog for my site which is about 3d Computer Art. I was going to revamp my site, which has been out of date for at least a couple of years, and link it to the blog. Didn’t get done.

The one I’m saddest about is Life Adapted.  The intentions were good, but I just never got into it. It’s a subject that I don’t like thinking about, actually, so maybe that is the problem. I had hoped to be helpful, but ended up with a huge block about writing in it.

My Dream Journal, though, is something I do intend to keep up, I just don’t dream remember my dreams that often. I have had a few dreams this past month or so that I’ve written out but not yet posted, so I hope to get that done soon.

I’ve been thinking about just lumping them all into one journal – aside from the dream journal, that is. Maybe if I put everything in one place, I’d be less pressured. Wait, pressured isn’t exactly the right word. It’s just that, the goals for the separate journals aren’t being met. I still haven’t re-installed my computer graphics programs since I changed computers months ago.

The problem is, I like having things separated, compartmentalized. It makes it easier for me to focus. And I like having different color schemes, too. Hmm… maybe if I play around with the layouts it will get me inspired to come back and do some writing. We’ll see, I guess. If you see some changes, at least you’ll know why.

One thing I’ve discovered now that I have a laptop and a desktop – I need to network them together so I can see files from one to the other. Most of my blog stuff is on the desktop, but I find the laptop easier for just popping in and writing a post. But like everything else, I keep saying, I’ll do that once I move.

Oh, yeah, still not moving. The house is still on the market, the Realtors tell me the price is right, but no one is buying. I’m beginning to feel a bit of pressure, less like my usual zen self.  Well, not so much pressure as just feeling unsettled, I guess. I feel like I can’t do anything creative until I’m settled into my new apartment, whenever that may be. I know it will happen eventually, I just wish the timeline would hurry up. 😉 Impatient much?

For anyone who was following the CPAP adventure, well, I’ve returned the machine. Yay! No more! I did NOT go back to the CPAP-doc, I just told my GP /General Practitioner that I wasn’t going to use it, period and he couldn’t make me, lol. So instead, he suggested home oxygen, at least for nighttime, so now I have an oxygen diffuser machine thingy. When he first suggested oxygen, I had visions of this huge steel bottle standing by my bed, but instead, it’s a small black box. I don’t know how, but it creates oxygen and then I can use one of those nose tube things for delivery of oxygen. It’s unobtrusive, (the nose tube) and I can sleep any way I want with it. I measured my oxygen levels during use and it stays up around 98% all night long.

So I’m finally getting correct amounts of oxygen while I sleep.  It doesn’t force anything, just allows for a little extra oxygen to be breathed in along with the rest of the air. If my problem really had been apnea, there would have been some slumps from apnea obstruction, but there weren’t, so I guess I didn’t really need the CPAP after all.

Okay, so I guess I’ve updated what’s happening. Who knows when I’ll be back again – your guess is as good as mine. I could go on like this with occasional posts here and there for months, or I could throw out a whole slew of them again.

Only way to know is to wait and see…..

Rambling: Still Breathing

Okay, I know it looks like I dropped off the face of the earth.  I haven’t.  Still hanging in there, and besides, gravity won’t let me fall off, so I’m just continuing to do what I do, which these days isn’t a whole lot.

I’m actually thinking of changing the blog/s, doing something new, something to at least just get me in here and working on them. It’s so easy to lose track of time and just drift. Which is pretty much what I’ve been doing. Drifting. Okay, so gravity may keep me from falling up, but it won’t keep me from drifting a bit. Or a lot.

I’ve been really struggling with the breathing issue, and the CPAP machine. I just don’t think we’re a fit, but I’ve been low on energy lately and haven’t had enough fight in me to argue the point with the CPAP doc. It’s his “thing”, he has written papers on it, he tells me I just need to give it a try.

All his talk about “should” being bad and telling me I need to find a motivation for using the machine, well, it didn’t work, because just after that we had a hot spell during the summer, and the mask made me feel like I was going to suffocate, so I didn’t use it, and haven’t touched it since, even though the weather has changed.

So why do I feel like a little kid who didn’t do her homework and now must face the teacher? Sheesh!

I even bought an oxymeter that measures and records oxygen levels over time. I tested it at night without the CPAP and also during the day, being careful not to jostle it. I found out my oxygen during the day is worse than at night, especially when I use the stairs of concentrate on something – because I literally do stop breathing.  My GeneralistDoc wanted to give me some kind of oxygen diffuser for at home, but the sleepDoc nixed that idea and told him to have me go see him first. I know what he’s going to say – use the almighty CPAP.

Gosh I didn’t realize how frustrated I was with all this until I started writing here. I don’t usually get intimidated by doctors or anyone else, so this is unusual for me, and I’m not sure where it’s coming from. Maybe it’s because the doctor in question is so . . . earnest. He really believes in his advice, and offers it with such enthusiasm, it’s hard to argue with him. He’s one of those people with presence who would do well standing at a podium speaking about apnea at a convention. Heck, he probably does all that anyway. So when all that positive energy is focused on me, telling me how good it would be for me to try one more time, it’s hard to resist or stand firm.

On the home sale front things are looking up. We’ve had several visits. One couple made an offer, and upped it twice, but it was too low, even at their best price. They wanted to do renovations that aren’t necessary, and felt we should come down on the price so they could afford what they wanted. Nope. I know what the house is worth, and I’m not budging below a certain point.

We’ve had two visits this week, one was a return visit from a couple that is very enthused, and talking to their bank, so I’m hoping for an offer from them, and the other visit was a couple with two small children, looking for a first home. It was harder to tell what they thought, though they did ask a couple of pertinent questions that seemed to indicate they were considering it. I just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, what am I doing? Biding time,  installing programs onto my desktop PC, but still using the notebook for emails and such. And still watching a lot of tv. 😉  It passes the time while I wait for my life to settle into a new apartment and new rhythm.

No wonder I haven’t been writing in here. There’s simply not a whole lot to write about. 🙂

Til the next time,
Judee

Sunday Scatterings: Masked Nights

Well, my few faithful readers, another week gone by and nothing posted – anywhere. Also very few blogs visited. my apologies. I’ve been somewhat out of it this week. For those of you who have followed my posts about the Sleep Study and Results, well, I’ve been sleeping with my CPAP Mask all week, aside from one night when I really had to get some quality rest. 😉

As I mentioned last Sunday, my CPAP arrived. So I’ve been wearing this breathing mask for the past week. And please take note, that picture is not me, it’s just an example illustration of my new mask, lol. Though I admit, my hair is not much longer than his, so it’s a pretty fair representation. Wearing such a mask is not pretty. Luckily, no one has to see me in it!

The mask itself is designed to cover my nose, and is not uncomfortable. In fact, I’ve not had any problems falling asleep with it. It takes me no longer than usual.The air flow is adjusted to be mild during the first 20 minutes, so as to allow breathing as normally as possible. It gets stronger after that, but I’ve never lain awake long enough to experience the change. I also have a humidifier built in to keep it from drying out the trachea and sinuses. The first night I had to adjust it a bit as it had me coughing from too dry air, but since then it’s been okay.

Sound perfect so far? Hmm… well,,, there are a few minor problems. One problem is that it wakes me at least once or twice a night with a headache. I am not prone to headaches, but this gives me one – on the forehead. I am pretty sure it’s from the pressure of the upper band, but I keep it as loose as I can without leaking air. I’m hoping this will eventually go away.

Second problem is that sometimes air leaks out my mouth. This morning I woke with the sound of air rushing in my ears, kind of like in a tunnel, and I realized my mouth was open and air was leaking out the mouth, and my mouth feeling dry as a bone. I already have problems with dry mouth due to some damaged saliva glands, but wow, this morning it was like sandpaper! Ick! I really don’t want to have to go with a full nose and mouth mask, but I may have to.

Third and last problem? Well, the whole idea of this thing is to make me feel more rested, have more energy during the day. Right? It’s not working. In fact, just the opposite. I find myself falling asleep at the keyboard, so to speak, dozing off, feeling drowsy most of the morning, even after my 2 coffees. Afternoons I’m not sleepy, but just tired, though probably no more tired than usual. Point is, it’s not working.

I’m going to call on Monday and tell them all this, see what they say. Maybe a different mask is needed.

There is one other thing that worries me. Though we don’t have frequent power outages, we do occasionally have them, and sometimes during the night. Did you ever wake in the morning to find your digital clock blinking 12:00? So, what happens if the power goes out? I’ll still have airflow from my own breathing, as there is a ventilation element on the end of the mask, but I read this in the instruction manual and it kinda freaked me:

“When the CPAP machine is turned on and functioning properly, new air from the CPAP machine flushes the exhaled air out through the attached mask exhalation port. However, when the CPAP machine is not operating, enough fresh air will not be provided through the mask, and exhaled air may be rebreathed. This warning applies to most models of CPAP systems. Rebreathing of exhaled air for longer than several minutes can, in some circumstances, lead to suffocation.”

???????????

Carbon Dioxide… CO2. Not good.

Okay, okay, it’s not likely to happen, and I imagine if the power did go out I’d probably revert to breathing through the mouth, at least i hope so. Meanwhile, I think I may remove it during stormy weather . . .

As a backup, I’ve decided to get an oxymeter. One that has an alarm if oxygen levels go too low. That should prevent any danger – provided I’m not sleeping on my good ear, lol. (I’m rather deaf in my left ear, especially for high frequency sounds like alarm beeps.)

There is another reason I want to get the oxymeter. . .

To check up on the CPAP.  I know, but it’s just my intuition speaking. One night last week, I just couldn’t take it and slept without the mask. I slept well, and the next day, felt normal – as in Judee’s normal, which is probably a bit different from the average normal.

So, I’m going to test it out. The oxymeter I am buying can keep a constant record up to 24 hours, and that record can be downloaded onto the PC through USB. So I’m going to record a couple of nights with the CPAP, and then record a night without the CPAP, and see what it shows. I don’t know when I’ll get it, I had to order from Amazon UK. They had the same model in Amazon.FR (France) which is practically next door to Switzerland, but for some reason they refused to ship it.

But get it, I will, eventually, and hope to at least get some reassurance that the CPAP is doing what it needs to do to get me more oxygen at night.

There’s other stuff going on, of course, life is not just about the CPAP, but right now my eyes are getting sleepy, and I’m almost dozing off here as I type, so that’s my signal to sign off.

Y’all have a great week!

Judee

Sleep Study: Results

Okay, so I snore. 😉

The problem is, it’s more than just snoring. Apparently I’ve been diagnosed with moderate to high Sleep Apnea (pauses in breathing) with periods of Hypopnea (abnormally shallow breathing), both of which cause a disruption in the levels of blood oxygen. I also have periods of “mysterious” (unexplained) lowering of blood oxygen that are not specifically correlated with the above two conditions. I’ve linked to Wikipedia for anyone wanting more technical info.

Here’s a lovely little graphic, I just know you’re going to appreciate. 😉  Basically, what is happening, is that my breathing  sometimes becomes obstructed (the snoring part) when the back of the tongue and soft palate relax too much against the airway, thus closing it off.  Eventually, the brain decides it needs oxygen and begins to insist a bit and forces an intake of air, that then will rattle against the throat and cause the snoring sound.

Keep in mind that while apnea is often accompanied by snoring, snoring does not necessarily mean that there is apnea. There are many other causes of snoring. In my case, some, but not all of the apnea “events” are related to snoring, or obstruction. The others are related to shallow breathing.

I’ve been aware of the shallow breathing for awhile now – it happens during the day, too. When I’m concentrated on something, like typing this post, my breathing can slow down to be almost imperceptible. It’s shallow, slow, and sometimes simply pauses, even though I’m awake. I can be doing something and become vaguely aware that I’m not breathing, or breathing very shallowly, at which point I will take a deep breath and continue on with whatever I was doing.

That’s why I wanted to do the sleep study, because I figure if I’m doing that during the day, what might be happening at night? Well, now I know.

My oxygen levels are de-saturating  during the night. I have the report with all the charts and levels, and a pattern becomes visible, shallow respiration, oxygen goes down, heart rate increases and at some point, the depth of sleep is interrupted, it rises toward waking, and I start breathing more deeply and oxygen goes back up.

Apparently, though, this is happening too often and the oxygen is remaining too low and the increases in heart rate are not good for the heart, and the lack of oxygen isn’t good for the brain, and the disrupted sleep is not good for anything.

Lol, that’s a lot of “not good”s in there, huh?  But there is treatment. It’s called a CPAP, and it’s a kind of mask one wears at night that forces airflow into the mouth and nostrils to keep the air passage open. I’m getting one set up for me next Friday. I’ve been told it’s hard to get used to, and some people cannot adapt, but others can. There are also several kinds of masks, so if one doesn’t work, another might. I know it looks cumbersome, but hey, at least I don’t have to have an oxygen tank, right? This is just air flow. Hopefully by keeping my air passage open, it will help increase the oxygen flow to the blood.

I’m a little bit concerned about the unexplained incidents of low oxygen, though, and may ask my doctor to refer me to a LungDoc and let him look at the sleep study and maybe do a daytime oxygen monitoring to see what’s happening. But I may wait and see how this goes first. One thing at a time.

Anyway, there is good news to all this. It could explain some of my fatigue during the day, even some of my fuzzy thinking and a lot of other minor things I’ve been attributing to simple ageing, or to my meds, etc. Apparently, even my eyesight might improve, because one of the symptoms listed for the low oxygen levels was eye fatigue. Imagine that.

I’m actually looking forward to giving it a try to see if it improves how I feel in general. I’ve got a week to wait before I can try it, but I’m hoping for the best. Meanwhile, I figure a few deep breathing exercises during the day might be helpful, and certainly can’t hurt. Come on, along with me:

Breathe in…..

Breathe out…

Get oxygenated.  It’s good for you!