Tuesday, January 22, 2019

If Your Child Gets a Bi-pap

If you are a parent, you have probably read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or another book from the series. Today, I present to you:
 If Your Child Gets a Bi-pap

If your child gets a bi-pap machine to treat their sleep apnea, you'll have to plug it in to an electrical outlet.

Once it's plugged in, you'll realize the cord may be a tripping hazard, so you'll have to move your child's bed to a safer location.

You can't set the machine on the floor, so you discover you will have to buy a little end table and tuck it in the drawer. This will keep the machine from falling down, but it will also add something else into the room.

Before you turn it on, you'll have to fill it with distilled water. Ever so often you will run out of distilled water, and you'll panic. Then you decide to use tap water just this once or boil some water.

The first night you put the bi-pap mask on your child and turn the machine on, it will be an utter failure. Your child will take the mask off. You will put it back on. Your child will take the mask off again. You will put it back on while sighing or praying or inwardly screaming. And so it will continue as long as you persist. You will get really tired.

After several days of using the machine, you can think of nothing else but of sleep and having peace at night. Eventually, it will happen.

Each week, you'll have to disassemble the hose, mask, filters, and water chamber. You'll fill the sink up with hot soapy water and wash these parts. You'll replace the filters as needed. Your dish drain will be used to dry the parts, and it will feel strange that the bi-pap is invading your kitchen space.

After a few months, you'll realize you need to replace some of the bi-pap parts. You'll call your medical supplier and wait on hold a ridiculous amount of time. You order the parts and wait for them to arrive.

In a few days, a large box comes. You'll open it up to find filters, cushions, head gear, a mask, a water chamber, and miscellaneous items. You'll be excited to switch the parts out but notice there is a surplus to be used later. You need somewhere to store these items. You'll go to the store and pick out a plastic storage cart that seems large enough. (Eventually, it won't be, but you'll keep cramming things inside of it.)

One day, you might notice your child's face getting red from the mask. You ask the doctor about it and are told to purchase a barrier cream. You try to rub the thick lotion on your child's face and then try to scrub it off your hands. You slide the mask on your child and notice you completely misjudged where the cream needed to go. You take the mask off and try again. This time you get it right.

When your child is older, she will want to spend the night somewhere else (probably grandma's house). You'll pack up all the bi-pap supplies in a travel bag. You'll have to train the new person on what to do. Few people are up for this challenge, and you are grateful for those that are.

If your child gets a bi-pap, be ready for several changes. Have patience for the process. Take courage knowing that everything you are doing will help your child's health. Don't be afraid. You will know what to do if your child gets a bi-pap.

By: The mother of a child bi-pap user for 9 years and counting

1 comment:

  1. Mom, you have done well and encouraged the rest of us to take one step at a time. I CAN do this new thing. I WILL do this new thing. I MUST do this new thing FOR MY CHILD.💜


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