Bunged up Bubbles!

October 26, 2011

…..This is one for Home O2 users who use a Bubble Humidifier…..

  1. Don’t use tap water
  2. Change/thoroughly wash/scrub out the bottle weekly
  3. Check the O2 flow rate is exact.
Yesterday afternoon, I had to call out the O2 Engineer. Julian discovered my O2 concentrator wasn’t giving out the right amount and the flow rate I’d been breathing the night before last actually wouldn’t go above 1LPM. Disaster. It made me think was this the reason as to why I have been feeling so rotten every morning for more than the last week. Maybe what I thought were CO2 headaches were in fact lack of O2 headaches, like I used to get before I went onto overnight O2.
The long and short of it was that I hadn’t been changing the bubble humidifier bottle and I had been using tap water in it.
Two No-No’s!
So the tubing in the bottle was lime scaled up, and the flow rate was radically decreased due to the bunged-up bubble humidifier tube.
We also checked the O2 tubing (50ft round the top of the house) wasn’t kinked, and it was all fine. So the solution was easy!
  1. Change Bubble humidifier for a shiny brand new one (see mine above!)
  2. Put distilled water in it
  3. Tell Susannah off!
  4. Provide Susannah with distilled water and a bunch of new bubble humidifiers.
  5. Lecture Susannah about not doing this again!
…..And the result-A good night’s sleep on the correct flow rate and waking up without a headache!…..!

Almost Two Thousand Hours!

July 21, 2011

…..or 1,999.96 hours, to be exact!….

I noticed the counter on Elliott my big oxygen concentrator, at about 1am, when I was waking up and having a bad asthma night and switched the light on.

It would have been quite nice if I had woken up right on the 2,000 hour mark!

Incidentally, I’ve always seemed to have this knack of looking at the car odometer when it is changing to a significant mileage, or looking at my watch when it is changing exactly on the minute. I noticed the counter in the night and just thought “almost two thousand hours”.

…..Doesn’t seem very much though, when you calculate I’ve had this concentrator for over a year, but I do use the other one rather a lot too!….

Bolus Dosing

June 23, 2011

….Yesterday I had to bolus dose a huge amount of Prednisolone….

I’d been back at baseline-10mg-for around a month but I could feel lately, things have been getting quite twitchy with all the pollen and rain and humidity. Yesterday was an awkward lung day. I cancelled my Physio as I thought it would be too extreme: Autogenic Drainage plus the coughing and no point in deliberately coughing myself into another attack or spasm. So I contacted my Consultant to say I felt I was slipping and could I whack a big Pred dose. The email came back immediately saying to take a whacking great 50mg or 60mg depending on how I was after nebbing from my O2 concentrator-which is slow, but does boost the vitals. My Sats were not terrible, mid 80s on air, but went back into the low 90s after a couple of nebs at lunchtime. And although the tightness prevailed, I knew I was still heaving air and very uncomfortable. So at tea time I bolus dosed a whacking great 60mg, which bumped my oral Pred for the day up to 70mg!

I have had a weird night of drifting in and out of wild floaty dreams, whilst propped up in bed on 5L of O2. And I am now greater than thirsty! Drunk a huge amount of water through the night and was craving coke before that-hoping that the theobromide in it would boost my Aminophylline levels! I do feel a lot better and have definitely nipped this attack in the bud and done the right thing.

I’ve also been instructed to take a lunchtime dose of my Advair for a few days-this will put me 3 times over the limit for the LABA component. Sigh, dodgy heart rate and chronic shakes!

If the proof that I am going to school smiling as usual is not enough, I blew a 59% which is low yellow and therefore proves the Pred has kicked in. Still dodging a pants FEV1 of 0.8, but hey, that’s me!

Medical definition says of Bolus dose = “medication administered rapidly to decrease the response time”

….Well, I sure did the rapid bit and it sure has worked quickly….

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

June 15, 2011

…..Take this online test to see what you score, and whether you might be at risk from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

Click Here to take their Pictorial Epworth Sleepiness test.

The British Lung Foundation are running the test. I’m just interested to see how other asthmatics/chronic lungers score.

I do not have OSA, but do desaturate overnight so sleep with 3L O2. I scored 7. Julian scored 2. I am not a great night time sleeper but could easily drop off, most places, anytime during the day. I was relieved to find out I am only mildly at risk!

I’d be interested to hear how you all scored.

…..Please do take the test and post your score in the comments below!…..

Wednesday Weevils Wobble!

May 26, 2011

…..I wobbled after school  last night…..

Couldn’t get out of that after school Faculty meeting yesterday afternoon quick enough-was pelting down the corridors of doom on the top floor on full speed-even poor Scootie was puffing!

I got home and thought I was going to faint. That weird blood sugar low feeling when you come over all shaky and sweaty and very peculiar feeling. Checked my O2 SATS: 83%. That explained it. I’m also now almost at baseline Pred so this is my wobbly crucial time too. Texted Julian-mini riot act was read to me-put your O2 on now and sit still. So that I did. An initial 10 mins of 5L and then down to my rescue me 3L level.

No walking AB slowly round the block so I let her run amok chasing pigeons in the garden whilst I sat on the bench with E.T. in the shade and breathed in deeply. And had a cup of tea and some marmite rice cakes to pick me up off the floor, energy wise.

I used to get so air trappy on Wednesdays as it is such a hard teaching day for me and I back up so much stale CO2 talking like that-add to that a rehearsal p5 and a meeting and I was literally on my knees.

I couldn’t even detect the pollen or the ash cloud-double weirdness-it was all just my dysfunction not that of the air outside for once.

Going to have to check my enthusiastic pace today-I’ve got my band and some musicians playing for a Eucharist first lesson and have to keep going for another after school session-detention duty.

 …..I really don’t want to come home in that fit for nothing state again today!….

((Half term in 2 days and counting!))

Hand Luggage!

August 1, 2010

….Well, mine isn’t so much as hand luggage, as a wheelie suitcase!….

((@__Kerri: I’ve tried Ziplocs, even multiples of them! but they simply weren’t big enough! So….))

This trip I have progressed to a shoe box full of my packaged drugs. The complete list of what I have to take, and enough of them to last a week longer than our actual trip (just incase another Volcano blows it’s gasket on us!), can be found here.

But I have devised some methods to save on space in this already large hand luggage case:

  • I choose to count out dossette boxes of all my everyday routine pill meds-4 weeks worth of them-and I keep a copy of my prescription with me as that means I am without the original packaging for many of my meds. It would simply be too much to cart around. If they’re unhappy about my being without packaging, at least I have my prescriptions and a hospital letter to show them.
  • I also find that by emptying out the inside packaging from the boxes of nebs, I can break them into singles and get 40 nebules in one box, minus the extra and excess packging-that saves on space.

Just look at what I chucked out by doing that:

It is always a bit like packing a quart into a pint a pot, as we say here in En-ger-land, but I am pretty well practised at it!

This trip is requiring a myriad of extra wires and chargers though! I need 25′ of oxygen tubing for hotel rooms-plus my standard long one for the plane-which has a special airline oxygen tank connector on it, which United kindly let me keep (need one, ask me, I’ve got about 5 of them now!)

I have the charger for the battery belt for my POC, and the charger for the mains unit-both with their US leads attached (luckily, they’re lighter than the UK plug leads). Plus I have the charger that runs off the car lighter socket. Then I have the charger and lead for my Pari neb, plus my Yellow Submarine Pari neb unit (currently behaving himself again!). And, as I still have cylinders to use up in Palm Springs, I have the conserver unit and lead from my cylinder set up here to take.

Julian has already reminded me that if we happen to have a dust storm or a thunder shower in the deepest Arizona desert, it would be better for me to use my cylinders up, so we will be carting those from California to Arizona in the car too.

And apart from all that medical stuff, and my Medical Forms, Fit to Fly Letters, Prescriptions, etc etc, I have two Jumbo Crosswords, sellotaped onto a large sheet of cardboard-because I am a crossword fiend-and it helps me to drop off to sleep on the plane when I sit back and stare at them!

….This bag may be full, but it is within the size limit and incredibly, doesn’t require a Russian Weightlifter to carry it!….


….And you know what I totally forget to say was also missing from the above hand luggage case…

  • The MacBook I am currently typing this on! Plus it’s charger!
  • And the iPhone charger my iPhone 4 is currently plugged into!


Elliott is snoring!

July 16, 2010

….I shot this little video of Elliott snoring this morning….

You met my newest member of the mounting anti-asthma cavalry , on here, yesterday, but I thought it would be cool to show him in action. Excuse my early morning lungs and grogginess!

….The sound of the bubbling is about to lull me to sleep now!….