The Shock of a Paula

Ok. It took us many years to realize that Paula’s respiratory rate is considered to be a sign of critical illness; even as we sip our morning coffee together and plan this next blogpost. I am looking at her. She seems fine. She seems fit. She seems hungry [we will have Eggo’s!]. I do not think that she is critically ill.

So where to go from here? Paula found out in a first aid class that her breathing rate was probably as low as anyone had measured in health or in respiratory failure. She is not in respiratory failure. Her blood tests are normal. Her oxygen levels [oximetry] are normal.

So our science and our medicine needs updating. How to explain Paula existence is what we have tried to do over these past decades. How does Paula do so well if she only exchanges 1.5 L of air per breath instead of the assumed [and I emphasize the word assumed] 6-8 L of air per breath.

We need to accept that this is possible and that we have never studied it because “WHO KNEW?”

Well now we have told you.

And Kraepelin tried to tell you over one hundred years ago. He found thousands of others like Paula. They did not do as well, although between attacks of respiratory hypercapnic failure, they did surprisingly great!, 1921Topics Psychiatry — Early works to 1900Manic-depressive illnessParanoiaPublisher Edinburgh : LivingstoneCollection gersteintorontomedicalheritagelibraryuniversity_of_torontoDigitizing sponsor MSNContributor Gerstein – University of TorontoLanguage English

And chronically higher baseline levels pf PCO2 plus hypercapnic environments will have effects on mind and body, as Paula found out and described in our other posts.

It is time to get over your shock and dismay and begin looking at this new phenotype.

It is what it is. And it has not been so bad for Paula. Most of her life has been greater than yours or anyone’s.

So get over it.

Paula has an involuntary respiratory rate at rest when awake of 3 breaths per minute. It takes a lot of extra work for her to breath these 3 breaths and perhaps this keeps her fit and young looking and young acting and always laughing. { I bet that laughing exhales more carbon dioxide than her usual active exhale ]…..who knows?

You scientists and doctors can learn and can know. and can learn to cure exacerbations of neural respiratory hypercapnic failure………all you have to do is try to figure it out.

Think of all the young adults who will have better lives as a result. This silent neural syndrome may explain some [potentially reversible] dementia’s in the old.

I think we need to study this new 2 step biomarker. This biomarker, I suspect may shed light on some syndromes of delirium, dementia mental confusion due to heart failure and serious mental illness such as manic depressive insanity.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

All you have to do is accept that people can be alive and well exchanging very little air in and out of their bodies [and might need help once in a while when physically ill].

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