At least, equipment malfunction. After last night, I’m convinced that’s what happened. Namine slept through the night, oxygen mask strapped securely over her face. The pulseox, on the other hand, beeped, booped, and otherwise alarmed for the better part of the night. Read on for more equipment woes.
One time, now this was quite a while ago, I called Home Care Medical (our medical equipment provider) because the pulseox (a different machine, at this point) was reading Namine’s O2 just fine, but I could not get it to pick up her heart rate for anything. I talked to a very helpful technician who told me that the pulseox actually wasn’t made to read the heart rate all that well. He said it was pretty much best guess, and I shouldn’t be surprised when it didn’t pick up. This was news to me. Okay, I said, so can I disable the alarm? Because it’s not picking up her heart rate, and you just told me it’s not that big a deal. No, he said, there’s no way to disable the alarm. You need to get it to read her heart rate, and then the alarming will stop.
That’s pretty much the whole discussion, right there. The fine people at HCM know these pulseoxes don’t read the heart rate all that well, but they don’t care much. We’ve since had the thing replaced, but of course they gave us the exact same model. It’s all they carry.
Anyway, back to last night. For the most part, the machine read her O2 just fine. (Except for one interval where it didn’t pick up anything, nor did it alarm. I had to turn it off and turn it back on again.) It refused to pick up her heart regularly for a good 10 minutes, and it still dropped her heart rate for a good couple hours after that. Fortunately, it didn’t go off much after I went to bed around 1.