13 May 2009

Vera Has Apnea

Having a good night's sleep isn't possible for Vera. And now we know why.

The little piglet has severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is the finding coming out of the sleep study that she went through recently.

The signs were all there that there was something wrong with her breathing when she sleeps: snoring, stridor, heaving in a laboured way, irregular in out breaths - fast ones followed by a pause, profuse sweating, tossing and turning, occasional choking, and of course, eye bags and lethargy the next day.

How bad is it? Well, her oxygen saturation falls below 85% for 1/3 of her sleep; normal is 100%. At its lowest, it is 52%. Now that's low. I can imagine how it's like for her - sometimes when a pillow covers my face during sleep and I can feel myself getting drowsy on the CO2, perhaps that's what she's going through.

From now on, Vera will have to be on CPAP. She will have to wear a face mask when she sleeps. This means we'll have our first "machine" for Vera. (I know more will come later, but just not now.) The news has been a little depressing for me. Just when we'd settle into g-tube feeding, there's this. It's like I try to get a grip on the situation, and once you're more or less settled, you've got to adapt to something else again. Change seems to be the only constant. Yet another hump to handle on this bumpy Trisomy 18 journey!