Saturday, November 21, 2009

Health Update and Fun for BiPap Use

So things were sorta complicated this week, as I had two good sessions at Physical Therapy and was doing a good job of home exercise and meds and all that, as well.

Now, remember that when I was in the hospital in October, I ended up in the hospital because of hypercapnia, or high carbon dioxide levels, that were causing me to have severe headaches, delusional and illogical thinking, and a desire to sleep all the time (which compounded the problem). Eventually, this caused acute respiratory failure and I had to spend 5 days in the ICU reducing my CO2 levels using a BiPap machine, or assisted ventilation, to help me breathe more deeply and also clear my "used" air completely so that my CO2 levels would lower. I have continued to use the BiPap machine at home.

Okay- so then this Thursday, at Physical Therapy, I started to get the CO2 headache during exercise. The headache is a very specific, sudden, painful kind of headache that usually wakes patients up from sleep (like it did with me). It was striking me during exercise, which is odd. I went to the doctor that day, and my CO2 level had raised in one week from 63 to 86- not good, and most likely responsible for my headache. So oh no!

To see if this was a fluke, Dr U-Bird let me go home for a night and come back on Friday to see if my CO2 level went up or down overnight. Thankfully, it had gone down a bit to 75- good because the BiPap helped it go down, but bad because it showed that overall, my CO2 was increased from the week prior.

So there was a big debate and I was allowed to go home for the weekend with a change to my BiPap settings, to make them stronger, and with my CysticMommy to pay diligent attention to me. I will repeat the test of my CO2 level next week.

In the meantime, my oldest friend, S-Artee, is here visiting! I am supposed to stay on BiPap "as much as I can." Oh no! S-Artee is my very best friend for 29 long years, and I haven't seen her in at least 5 years. She is here to spend wonderful time with me!! We were, you know, planning to TALK during her trip. One problem when you're on the bipap, is that it is hard to talk through the mask. It is possible, but you have to talk really loud inside the mask, to be heard at all outside the mask. This is one reason that I burnt my voice out so badly in the ICU. I did not realize that I was yelling inside of the mask every time I tried to talk to someone, to project my voice through the airtight plastic.

This brings us to the weekend's theme: Fun on the BiPap. One fun thing you can do on the BiPap that involves little talking, is joke-telling.

Exhibit A: WARNING: This video contains cackling.

Exhibit B: WARNING: This video contains me wearing the BiPap which increases the pudginess of my face:) I am not this pudgy-faced in real life. :)

YAY!! Tell a lame joke with your best friend today!!

Love, Cystic Gal!

PS. I also have uploaded another video to count for yesterday's post. See below!


  1. I heard BiPaps are going to be the fashion craze of're so ahead of the curve :)


  2. CHANGE!

    CG, you are brilliant. I am so impressed that I know you. Mind if I pass that one on, giving you credit of course?

  3. Sure Kinzie. A certain man we both know initials JZ actually told me that joke. Ha!

  4. CG you look like you are having fun! I'm glad your pal is there with you. Thanks for blogging. xxoo


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