Nor am I a technician.
And yet, I have the pleasure of looking after all this
without the luxury of an instruction manual.
The feed pumps have them, the Nippy itself has a huge one, the nebuliser, suction pump, powered wheelchair and beds all came with them. I still use my manual to set the delay function on my cooker. And yet this beastie (it's a humidifier) comes with just one photocopied A5 sheet telling me how to clean the electric probes (don't throw them away, don't boil them, don't immerse them in water, just wipe them and not with alcohol).
It's "intelligent"; it doesn't just alarm, it flashes a light telling you which bit of it has the problem. Of course that's not much help if you don't know what kind of problem each bit might have. An online search found me a service tech's manual, but I'm pretty certain I don't need to know where to clamp the wires to ground it for it's annual electrical safety inspection.
The manual did eventually give up the information that the other night's problem was to do with the water supply; hanging the water bag rather than leaving it on the side resolved that one nicely. Today I had the pleasure of changing the hosing on it; a weekly task and this the first week.
Step by step, remove probes from old tubing and replace immediately in new. Clip tubing, unclip tubing, wrestle to unclip probe which appears to be welded to the tubing, refasten in new tubing. Repeat until it at least looks similar to before.
Hang new water bag. Why, incidentally, is the water labelled "Non-pyrogenic"? Surely this isn't something we need to be told?
Hook whole thing up to the Nippy and then to Little Fish. Say goodnight, turn out the light, sit down. Bip bop boop peep peep, bip bop boop pip pip. Leap up, with Little Fish sobbing, and hit the silence alarm button. A new light flashing - says there is a problem with the lungs. This is intriguing; I didn't know I'd got a probe inside LF. I assume this symbolises something else, and head back to Google for the answer.
Probe issues. I push the probes more firmly into their holes, and retire again. Five minutes later, Bip bop boop peep peep, bip bop boop pip pip, and more screeches for Little Fish. I tighten up the next probe along and hope for the best. Five minutes later...
At this point I sit and retrace the entire thing, and find a third probe which for some reason is still plugged into the old circuit. Extract it, plug it into the new, and watch the temperature rise nicely. Little Fish sighs, eyes closing, and gives herself over to the comfort of something else breathing for her.
Is it worth it? Alarms, ridiculous amounts of plastics, the need now to cart litres of non-pyrogenic sterile water with us in addition to all our other supplies, a new alarm and a whole lot of fiddling, and a shorter hose so less mobility for Little Fish when she's in bed. Oh, and no battery back up so not usable in power cuts or on the move. All pretty powerful reasons to give up on it. Add in the expense - not borne by us, but someone's still paying fairly heftily both for the machine itself and the supplies (hmmm and I suppose we are paying slightly, if only for the additional electricity used). Oh, and the condensation and general rainfall now present in Little Fish's bedroom.
But, seven nights with is, and seven nights with no nosebleeds. Eyes clear and bright in the morning not bloodshot and crusty. And she seems to be sleeping slightly less but waking up more cheerful and less croaky. The jury's out.