Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bipap and Myasthenia Crisis

I have not felt well this past week. I have been very tired and had a bad case of the "don't cares." That is so not like me. This too will pass.

I use a bipap for sleep apnea and to help with myasthenia gravis. A bipap is an advanced sleep therapy machine that applies one pressure when I breathe in (15 pounds for me at present) and a reduced pressure when I breathe out (10 pounds). This makes breathing easier for me, give my breathing muscles some rest and the pressure difference of exhaling helps clear my lungs of any CO2 buildup. That is critical for myasthenia gravis patients.

When the crisis hit after I got out of the shower on August 20, I immediately put on my bipap. It helped and I used it until I left for the ER.

A bipap does much more than just change pressure when breathing, it monitors many breathing functions such as: respirations per minute, flow rate, inspiring and expiring times, and AHI.

I have software that reads my bipap data. I thought it would be interesting to see what happened around the time I went into crisis. I decided to focus on my tidal volume. Tidal volume is the amount of air moved in and out of the lungs on one breath.

By looking at the graph of my data, my tidal volume was about half of what it normal runs. That means my breathing muscles were only working enough to move about half the air I needed in and out of my lungs. No wonder I was in crisis.

I have ordered a car adapter for my bipap so it can travel with me to the ER or anywhere else I go. That would be a good idea for anyone else on a bipap too.


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