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Friday, December 30, 2011

Adventures in sleep

On Wednesday night I had a sleep study. I've done plenty of studying in near states of sleep, but sleep was actually the point of this endeavor.

I'm not a stranger to the world of sleep study. I had one about 5 years ago, which resulted in me becoming the owner of a space-age looking CPAP machine. But I'd gotten away from using the machine after I lost a good amount of weight. Since I've found all that weight again, I found myself doing the wakefulness and near-choking that comes with sleep apnea. My fatigue had gotten so bad that I actually pulled the machine out to use again.

That would have been a great idea, except now the machine makes a really loud and annoying noise. Mike actually said he'd rather hear my snoring. So I called the sleep clinic to find out how to fix it or get a new one. Of course, they couldn't talk to me without a referral from my doctor. So I called my doc who said that since my study was so long ago, she wanted me to have another one. It was like one of those books -- "If You Give a Girl a CPAP Machine..."

So, all that resulted in me checking in to the sleep clinic at 8pm on Wednesday night. I packed light -- jammies, toothbrush and two books to read. I used the jammies and the toothbrush, but the books stayed in the bag once I found The Holiday (Jack Black's best role ever!) on the Lifetime Channel. My mother would have been appalled, though, that my pajama shirt had two small holes in it. I think wearing jammies with holes in them to a sleep study is somewhat akin to having dirty underwear on when you get into a car accident.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppFor you mommies or wives or women in general who need a little getaway, may I recommend a sleep study. I mean check out this room built for relaxation:

Ok. So there is no jacuzzi tub or in-room massage (both of which I'm going to recommend on my satisfaction survey). But there is a clean room with no dirty laundry on the floor, a television that only turns to Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network if you want it to, and absolutely no way for an 8-year-old to climb into your bed during the night.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppAnd there is a Sleep Number bed. Is that brilliant marketing or what? Here you have a captive audience of people who are clamoring for a good night's sleep, so why not give them a bed that's custom comfort? The most firm setting is 100. One of my FB friends suggested that I try a level 5 just for kicks. As she said, it's like trying to climb out of a deflated raft. It turns out that my sleep number is somewhere around 55.

 Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppAbout an hour after I got settled in, Sheila came in to get me hooked up. Talk about being wired for sleep! I think I had a dozen or so wires pasted to various parts of my body.

Then there were the chest straps to measure my breaths, the microphone on my throat to record my snoring (as if I snore!), and the wires going up my nose. I snapped a few pics of myself pre-nasal wires. It's a lovely look, I know.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Once my movie was over, I was ready to sleep. After a few tests of the equipment -- Sheila called them in over the intercom -- it was snoozeville. I fell asleep pretty easily (I always do), but woke and tossed and turned several times over the next two hours.

At about 1:30am, Sheila came in to hook me up to the CPAP machine, which they do for people with "severe apnea episodes." No big surprise there. She set me up with a this mask that just plugged right into my nostrils. Not too bad. But then she asked if I was a mouth-breather. Well, duh, aren't all people who snore? So that earned me a chin strap to keep my mouth closed and another back of the head velcro something or other. I was really sleepy, but I distinctly remember thinking "Being fat is so not worth all of this."

Once the CPAP was set up, I fell back to sleep within a few minutes. And then I SLEPT. No waking. No coughing. No tossing. No turning.

When Kevin, the night supervisor, came in to wake me, I felt good! I would have felt better if it was 8am instead of 6:30am -- seriously, for what that night's sleep probably cost me (or at least my insurance company), I should have gotten to stay 'til 11am with a room service breakfast). But still, I felt remarkably rested. As he was removing all my electrodes, he stepped back and said "Oh! I forgot you have blue hair." We both got a chuckle out of that and I told him how the blue hair came about. He said "When I saw your blue hair when you came in, I thought to myself 'I bet that lady's fun.'" Love it!

I asked how often I was waking per hour. I got the coy "You had several wakeful arousals, but your doctor will get the specific results in the next week." I hate that. It's my information for crying out loud. I know for sure that cozying up with a CPAP machine is in my future.


Ellen aka Ellie said...

My husband snores, light or a few pounds above where he'd like to be. When we first got married in 07, I went with him to the doctor to talk about it.

He was prescribed a sleep study, and he went, but he said he was already so used to sleeping with me, that he barely slept. They didn't come up with anything conclusive.

He's thinking about another one, but he wants me to go with him should he go again.

As for the sleep number? We have one, and I couldn't tell you what my number is! When we went to the store, the guy kept saying, "How's this? How's this?" It all felt the same until it totally deflated.

I am not the princess of the pea.

Unknown said...

I swear, though, a good night's sleep is priceless. Do what the nice people tell you to do! ;-)