Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oxygen

Last week, Lyn was evaluated on an oximeter overnight.  Her physician was concerned at the increased fatigue.  The results of the test were not good.  In fact, they were so concerning that the physician has taken action and has Lyn hooked up to oxygen while she sleeps now.

Oxygen requires signs


A healthy person at sea level will have an oxygen saturation in their blood of 96% to 99%.  At a saturation of 90%, a person has insufficient oxygen in their blood (hypoxemia).  Apparently, while she sleeps, her level is dropping to 38%. 

There are a number of causes for hypoxemia including anemia, high altitude and sleep apnea.  Lyn's previous blood work does not indicate anemia.  While she does live above a mile in elevation, she's done so the vast majority of her life.  So, the hypoxemia would not be a result of a significant or sudden altitude change as you may see with mountain climbers.  While they have not yet ruled out all the other causes for the drop, sleep apnea is the most logical reason and one the doctor wishes to pursue. 

Lyn will not cooperate with a sleep study.  She will not sleep over at anyone's home any longer; not even at the home of a local relative who she loves deeply.  We have asked if a mobile sleep study is an option that can be done in the home.  The physician is working to get Lyn in with a sleep specialist who would best be able to line up a mobile sleep study if one is available in their area. In the meantime, the physician has ordered that Lyn wear a nasal cannula and receive oxygen each night while she sleeps. 

The oxygen use began on Tuesday.  Lyn was very upset and cried off and on all day about it.  The gentleman who delivered the oxygen and got them set up was very kind.  He showed them how to use it and reviewed it several times with Lyn.  It is something new and Lyn finds it very hard.  Fortunately, Mom's there to oversee that she's got it seated and turned on properly.

Tuesday night was also the first night they used the baby monitor.  It was a long night for Mom.  She's not used to hearing all of Lyn's nocturnal noises.  However, Mom was able to respond when Lyn said her name and helped get Lyn resettled in the middle of the night. 

Wednesday morning dawned and Lyn was up shortly after the sun.  She woke up on her own and was chipper and happy.

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