There are 2 stats that I really need to keep an eye on, my Peak Flow and my SpO2
Peak flow is the capacity of my lungs in Litres per min of air expelled, a normal healthy person will be in the range of 400-700 l/min.
Having BX (Bronchiectasis) means my lung capacity is very much reduced and I have to be careful that the mucus doesn’t build up too much in my lungs or I’ll get an infection (exacerbation) BX is degenerative, it can’t be cured or repaired and each exacerbation does a little more damage to my lungs meaning my capacity is even further reduced.
SpO2 is the amount of oxygen in my blood, normal range is 96% -100%
To keep track of these metrics I have some gadgets ( I love my gadgets)
For peak flow I use this.
This is a Bluetooth peak flow meter and works with an app on my android phone. I use this once a day to test my peak flow and over time the app works out what my average flow is and can tell me if my lungs are working well or not and in fact a drop in peak flow can be a sign of an exacerbation long before I start to present and can also let me know if need to use my ventolin inhaler.
This is what the app information looks like it showing the mx L/min I can blow, which is the dotted line just below 500 and then it’s showing what I blow each session and colour codes them to show if I need to consider using my inhaler, orange is borderline, red means I have a blockage and should use my inhaler.
It also shows how many puffs of my inhaler I have taken which is the little lung graphic and as you can see Sat I took 7 puffs and it brought my peak flow back from 60% to 80%
I upgraded my phone a few days ago and like an idiot I forgot to export the data from the old phone before I wiped so I lost all my history and have had to start again a few days ago with the app 🤣🤣
It also generates a 60 or 90 day report in PDF format I can show my Doctors so they can see the patterns.
I belive in the App I can also share this information directly with my Dr, I need to investigate that.
Anyway this is one part of my early warning system.
More about this here https://www.woodmore.co.uk/bronchiectasis-my-early-warning-system/
This is what I use for a spot check on my O2
However, and did mention I love gadgets? I have a “gadget” that continuously monitors my SpO2
I have a smartwatch which constantly monitors my saturation and many other things.
It’s a Huawei GT2 Pro Smartwatch.
This is the readout the app gives me, it’s not as accurate as the finger oximeter it’s 1-2% +/- out but that’s not an issue because what it does show are trends which like the Peak flow are an important early warning system, a drop in my O2 usually means mucus is building up in my lungs and I need to nebulise and the drop will show as a trend before I start to feel or present any symptoms.
Keeping an eye on these 2 metrics has quite a few benefits with the biggest one being that I only have to medicate when I need it rather than doing a routine of 2x daily or whatever the other benefit is that they show me my lungs are clogging long before I actually notice so I can take remedial action and ward off problems.
It might seem a bit OCD to some but for me just watching these have vastly improved my quality of life and have cut my exacerbation rate by 3/4.