I'm a new board member, although I've been on a CPAP machine for a little less than two years. I have moderate sleep apnea with a twist -- every two years or so, I suffer a tonic-clonic seizure in my sleep. This started happening out of nowhere in my mid 50s. Extensive epilepsy testing and CT/MRI brain scans have turned up nothing. Meanwhile, using a recordable oximeter has turned up an odd pattern in my pulse that my cardiologist is puzzling over.
Basically, I have a sawtooth pulse pattern -- fluctuating between 45 and 75-90 -- for three or four hours. then my pulse flatlines around 45-50 for an hour or so. The flatline period is when bad things happen -- desats down into the 80s that can last 10 minutes or more without apneas, as well as the occasional seizure. Usually, it's when my heart is making the transition from sawtooth to flat or back.
I recorded one seizure on the CPAP -- a 38-second obstructive apnea preceded it.
I tried to attached an oximetry report showing the pattern, but it wouldn't attach.
This make sense to anyone?
There is a small expendable monitor used by cardio docs called the ZIO patch. It can be worn for as long as 2 weeks and has no wires to snag.
They superglue it to the left pectoral region.
Any other medical conditions? Perhaps diabetes? Long term diabetes can result in something called systemic neuropathy. It interferes with nerve conduction.
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Does this pattern occur consistently, over say an entire week's worth of oximetry data? Recording oximeters are not without their limitations, as they require wearing a large, awkward probe on your finger all night. Unless you are perfectly still all night, the probe can get banged around out of place and generate artifactual profiles like what you're describing.