Sleep Study

As I mentioned in a previous post, Ive been having a real tough time lately getting any rest at night (don’t we all?) because I sometimes wake up gasping for air. Not sure if it’s my asthma, because the only thing that seems to help when this occurs is to get out of bed and sit straight up. Neb treatments don’t seem to help much.
More than likely it’s another condition they call “ Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea” (“PND”) , also known as , believe it or not…Cardiac Asthma. Wouldn’t that be just swell if I had Cardiac asthma on top of Bronchial asthma?

So anyways, tonight they’re doing a sleep study on me to see if they can pin down a cause for this PND, then next week their gonna do an echocardiogram to see what my heart is doing. One of the thoughts, is that my oxygen saturation might be dropping and my CO2 rising when I sleep ( possibly a result of sleep apnea), causing me to wake up gasping for air. I’m not sure I buy the whole sleep apnea and CO2 theory, but it does make sense that since I normally use my accessory muscles to breath while I’m awake, that when I fall asleep and stop using those muscles,that I would start breathing more shallow ,which in turn could then cause my CO2 to rise starting a vicious cycle.
Next week they’re gonna do a Transthoracic Echocardiogram to check my heart valves and to see if my pulmonary hypertension is getting any worse(most COPDers have elevated PA pressures). Congestive heart failure could also be the culprit.

Ive been very resistant to having sleep studies done, because I know that if anything abnormal shows up, they’re gonna want me use CPAP or Bipap when I sleep. YEAH….like that’s ever going to happen! There’s no way I could sleep with that contraption strapped to my face. You’d have to knock me out with sedatives just for me to be able to tolerate it, which would kind of defeat the whole purpose. What’s more, if it turns out that I’m desaturating while I sleep, they’re mostly likely going to want me to sleep with oxygen as well.

Lets see, I already have Oxygen at home, an O2 sat monitor , a PFT machine, a nebulizer system, injectable drugs…and now a bipap machine?
All they need to do now, is give me a ventilator and an intubation tray with a little propofol, and I’ll be able to set up my own ICU right in my own home:-)

OH..one thing that I thought was kinda cool, is that UCSF does their inpatient sleep studies at a local Hotel. Yeah, they actually rent out the entire 5th floor of the Hotel Tomo located in Japan town, because the ward they used to have at the hospital was too noisy due to the garbage trucks coming twice a night. The patients couldn’t get any sleep there. So if you’re so inclined, you could actually spend the day sightseeing SF and then take care of your sleep study business that night:-)

I opted for the home study because I have a really difficult time sleeping in hospitals OR hotels!

nn 031

(Look at all this crap I have to wear while I sleep)


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One Comments

  1. runliarun says:

    No, we don’t all have trouble sleeping. I am sleep-deprived. It’s the only activity I can cut back on to get done all I need to get done. I live on black coffee. It doesn’t help.

    Hmmm… do you think if I get in a sleep-study I will feel justified to do more sleeping?

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Most frequently asked question

"Can you have an asthma attack with a normal sat reading"?
The answer is..YES!
While it's a little unusual to see a person with a perfect O2 sat of a 100% during a severe exacerbation, its pretty typical to see sats in the 94-97% range. The reason for this, is that asthma is a disease of the airways , not the alveoli where gas exchange takes place. Most asthmatics dont desaturate during the early stages of an attack,unless theres a secondary problem such as pneumonia. You have to be extremely ill with asthma if your sats are low.

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