Friday, September 28, 2012

Me and the Medsoft “Morgan Scientific Body Box 5500 (Plethysmograph)”

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Me and the Medsoft Morgan Scientific Body Box 5500 (Plethysmograph)”
As I sat in the waiting room yesterday I heard the person just ahead of me coughing very hard… then gasping for breath.  Whoa! This poor lady was in a great distress with her breathing as well.

The sounds that she was making were familiar to me. I have made these sounds as well… specially during allergy season or when my breathing is restricted with a severe cold.

I was waiting in the Pulmonary Testing waiting room. I was the next one to be put through the tests that would determine how bad or good I was doing with my breathing.

Allergy season is just about over… but the last two months have been a nightmare to say the least. The pollen in the air from certain plants and critters has made breathing and sleeping a chore some days and nights.  But it wasn’t just this last season it has been many seasons of getting worse… maybe with getting older… or maybe my world and the air in it is just a little dirtier.

When my turn came I could feel my heart skip a few beats as I walked in to the inner office.  The ladies words introduce me to a new world that I had not been in before – and to new equipment… the “Morgan Scientific Body Box 5500 (Plethysmograph)” – or Body Box for short.


Here is a photo that I plucked from their Web Site to let others see what I was involved in – with my testing.


The nice lady spoke softly trying to quell any fears of anxieties that I might have about sitting in a plexi-glass – telephone booth kind of thingie.


“Now this is new since the last time that you were here…” she explained.  She was right. I don’t remember being in this office and I had never seen this critter cage before.  I had no idea what to expect!!!


She instructed me to come to step into the body box 5500 and sit down on the adjustable chair while facing a complicated apparatus that protruded toward the chair.  I did as I was instructed.

The idea was that I was about to breath in and out of the mouth piece which would measure the amount of air that I was getting, keeping and inhaling.


What she didn’t tell me was that she was about to lock me in to the upright coffin thingie.


As I attached myself to the breathing mouth piece, which was like a snorkel that you use for underwater swimming, I also clipped my nose with a special fancy clothes pin so no air could get in or out of that orifice.


I felt like a pet that was sitting on the examining table at the Veterinarian’s Clinic. I am sure that I looked rather panicky from the left side of my eyes as she closed the door and then cranked the handle to the locked position.


When the clicking and popping started as the body box 5500 readied itself I could feel the air around me change. This dear lady was either pumping new air in around me or pumping it out.  I wasn’t sure… but my eyes must have conveyed my fear as the small speaker above my head to right relayed her question, “Are you alright…?” she asked soothingly…


“uouHuuu” was what I managed through the mouth piece that my teeth had gripped a tight hold on.  You cannot talk with a snorkel in your mouth – nor should you!


She then explained again what we were about to try… “in – out – in – out – then hold it… good… deep breath in and quickly out… more – more – more – more out…keep blowing… keep going – keep going….” I think that is what she said… I think… maybe… at the last “keep going” the room was going a little reddish in colour and my eyes were closing…!


“Take a breath and breath normally…” the speaker on the wall said…


The room returned to its normal colour… at which time the speaker asked, “Are you ready to do that again?”


“in – out – in – out – then hold it… good… deep breath in and quickly out… more – more – more – more out…keep blowing… keep going – keep going….”  The room went a funny colour this time with a few stars floating near the ceiling.


Then she gave me a puff on a puffing machine that administered some chemical stuff into my lungs… hiss… puff… hiss… puff.


Then Repeat – repeat – repeat… sheesh.  What the heck is wrong?


When she later opened the door and began talking to me she explained that she had never had anyone test like this before… the flat line area at the end of the blowing all the air out was the same as it was when I breathed normally. I guess when I was to push it all out – was the same as when I normally pushed it all out with breathing normally. Or something…


“I am going to take you to the other room and to another machine to try this again” she stated and then asked me to follow her.


It was then that I remembered the poor pet dog on that Veterinarian’s show… looking sideways at the camera… and thinking… “Master can’t we just go home?”


I don’t know if I passed the test or not. I did give her something to think about – no one had ever done what I had done… with the test results.


After she opened the door to the Body Box 5500 and told me of never having received these results before… I kindly explained… “Nothing is ever normal about me and from me!  That is just the way that I was made!  It is not your machine!”


The Body Box had proved that I am unique and unusual. Duh! I knew that before I sat down in that thingie.


Later after the Doctor went over the results he explained the next steps that were going to be needed to help me… oh boy! Puffer and more tests – at the hospital the time…. Oh boy!


I am not sure that the Body Box 5500 people will ever read this… but they might think of putting a seat belt to hold the person’s body upright… because when they fall over as they pass out… the door will not open easily with my body up against the door….


But I do appreciated the gal that helped me. She was so soothing in her explanation that I was sleepy at the end… and really ready for a nap. Whoa… maybe a lack of oxygen was doing that.

Murray Lincoln


1 comment:

David Grant said...

My mom was diagnosed with COPD a few years back. It was downright scary to be out with her when she'd lose her breath. She ended up being put on oxygen full time and they brought in a machine for the house and she had to have bottled oxygen with her when she went out. They said it would get progressively worse and worse. Not a very comforting thought for her or us when we watched her go into distress.

Fortunately, in her case the doctor's prediction didn't come to pass. She no longer needs any oxygen therapy nor the need of a puffer. The doctor just shakes his head in disbelief at the turn around.

I hope your breathing improves. You've got too many great plans in front of you for it to get in the way.