January 15, 2013
My father was hospitalized for a week in December due to a heart condition. While there, like all admitted patients, he was connected to machines that
His blood pressure, heart-beats per minute and oxygen intake or breathing patterns were constantly recorded as we waited for the doctor to arrive and tend to his medical needs. While waiting we watched a couple of old C.S.I. :New York and The Mentalist reruns.
The machine was covered in different colored wavy lines and abbreviated medical names such as SPO2 or Saturation of Peripheral Oxygen. Essentially the deeper and more often you are breathing the higher the number. In my dad’s case the number ranged from 4 when he was falling asleep to 25 when the attractive nurse entered the room.
When a bloody crime scene was on the SPO2 level was at 5. But keep in mind the man was a 20 year veteran of the county and local law enforcement agencies. What make one comfortable and relaxed might make the next person’s skin crawl and heart race. Remember also that the numbers were recorded during times of medical stress. When a sad commercial involving a national injured soldier charity aired the SPO2 number was about 3 or 4. This does not necessarily imply a lack of sympathy as we were also talking and the commercial spanned the whole of 60 seconds. This gives little time for major vital change.
Every time the conversation in the room and on the television turned to the topic of family, friends, and years past he caused a Oxygen reading as high as 13 and 14. A medical assistant friend I know claimed 15 breathes per minute was normal. Does this mean watching wholesome content levels off stress and helps maintain peace and health? Will watching stressful shows count for the 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise doctors recommend? I am not a trained medical professional but a nice walk sounds like a better idea. However, this information does raise a question worthy of more research.
You would be glad to know my father was released from the hospital after receiving surgery to implant his third heart stent. Because of sound professional medical advice he is now happy and healthy. In fact I could tell from the vital signs monitor how the blood was flowing with less resistance one hour after the surgery. Take a move from the same play-book and take articles like this for what they are: informative personal stories that are to be acted on only after bringing every detail up with your own doctor and following their carefully crafted instructions.
Acronym finder www.acronymfinder.com For help with medical terminology and other abbreviations.
Find a doctor by location www.healthcommunities.com/search Look for doctors!
Free Physician Reports Info www.ucomparehealthcare.com/physicians_start.html
TV listings www.zap2it.com
www.thistv.com My personal favorite for classic shows such as Mr. Ed and Patty Duke Show