The Sleep Study… (I’m Tired Part 2)

Sorry I dozed off on you guys last night. Like I said, I’m always tired, and last night was no different. Although, Saturday nights often are worse than other days of the week depending on what I did that day and how many beers it involved, but I was wiped out last night and figured it would be a good point to wrap it up where I did.

I shouldn’t joke too much about chronic fatigue, I mean I struggle with it, but there are some folks who down right suffer from this condition. I don’t think I have it that bad, but I have tried a number of remedies for it. I’ve tried establishing a more rigid sleep schedule, I take vitamin D as a supplement, and avoid sugar as much as possible. I even subjected myself to a sleep study once, because my doctor wanted to rule out sleep apnea. This unfortunately turned out to be an all out horror show.

Now right up front, I am not bashing sleep studies, sleep apnea or CPAP machines. Many people are afflicted by sleep apnea and for them, these machines are a godsend. My experience was a little different though. Simply put, I’m not a fan, but that’s just my opinion. If you think you’d benefit from this, then by all means, look into it. I just didn’t get a lot out of the experience, and it was probably more me than them.

As I walked into the office of the Sleep Specialist my doctor referred me to, I noticed a wide variety of CPAP machines displayed on the shelves in the waiting room. It felt more like a showroom than a doctor’s office. There was a variety of mask and hose apparatus that one could imagine, all positioned over mannequin heads to demonstrate their ease of use I suppose. It made be believe that the guy who came up with the villain “Bane” from the Batman movie must have come in here for a sleep study.

We scheduled the night for the test, and that night I showed up right on time. They showed me to my room, told me to get ready for bed, and when I was ready they would come in and hook me up. When I was all prepared to be tucked in, a very nice lady came in and started to prep me for the test. I call her a nice lady because throughout this whole experience I was never sure who was a doctor, nurse, medical assistant or CPAP salesman. All I know is she could tell I was nervous, and she was very kind.

She began to stick electrodes all over me. My head, my eyes my neck, my chest… you get the idea, it seemed like there were hundreds of them. She wired them all up, plugged them into a machine on the wall and told me to lie back and relax as she left the room.

I lay there on my back, finding it very difficult to move without one of these wires tugging on me somewhere. There were wires, clips, tubes and electrodes all over the place. I felt like R2-D2 had thrown up all over me.

Then I heard a voice over the intercom. It was the nice lady giving me directions. “Breath deeply… good, close your eyes… good, move your eyes up, then down, then left then right… good.”

This went on for a while, and freaked me right out. She was in a room at the other side of the building, and could see my eyes move in my head with my eyes closed. How did I know they weren’t going to be able to see my dreams? Not that I typically dream anything crazy, but just my luck this would be the night I’d have something inappropriate run through my brain and I wouldn’t be able to look these people in the eye the next morning. “Keep it clean Mark”, I thought to myself, then got nervous because she probably heard me say that. What the hell did I sign up for?

“You’re all set Mark,” the nice lady said, “If you need anything, just ring the buzzer, We’ll be in occasionally to check on you. Good night, sleep well.”

Sleep well? Was she being a wise ass or was that a sincere wish? It didn’t matter, it wasn’t going to happen either way. With that, she turned out the lights and I lay there in the dark, covered in droid vomit, staring at the blinking green light of the smoke detector on the ceiling directly above my bed and hoping to God I wouldn’t have to get up to pee.

I’m not a betting man at all, but that night I would have wagered a months pay on what the result of this study was going to be.

… To be continued…

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