Brother, Sister, and Undisclosed Hose Heads: I had an experience I thought I would share.
I recently got an oximeter primarily for my own curiosity. I have only used it 4 nights so far but the data has been interesting.
My machine is not data capable (dangit) so I don't use any software like SleepyHead or ResScan. I use the software that came with the meter, SpO2 Review. With it, I download the data for that night. It shows O2 readings and pulse.
The above graph is 3hrs into my sleep (click to enlarge it). You can see the pulse (blue line) and the O2 (green line). The dips in the O2 is where I am having small apnea events. Not too bad. You can see my heart respond. Again, not too bad. I'm quite proud of that low pulse.
Then there's the graph below. I woke up, turned off the CPAP and took off the oximeter. I had the alarm on for some reason and it beeped to tell me I'd taken it off. I put it back on since that was easier for my brain to handle than remembering how to turn the alarm off. I don't wake up as the intelligent being I usually am but am instead quite duh. Anyway, I rolled over and started petting one of the dogs. He put his head on my hip and I fell back asleep. Quite unusual for me, actually. The graph below is an hour of that sleep (click to enlarge it, too).
See the difference? See the repeated, rapid dips in the O2? See my heart respond?
Not good. Not good at all. My CPAP is doing its job. But it can only do it if I have it and the mask on. Silly Paula. No cookie.
This is what happens to use when we don't use the machine. That stress on the heart adds up. That constant change in the blood's O2 adds up. I will most likely be using a CPAP for the rest of my life. And that's fine by me. At least I will be alive!
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.