How Not to Wake Up, (I’m Tired Part 4)

“Something is wrong,” I thought as I opened my eyes. “This is not my apartment.”

In fact, not only was it not my apartment, but I wasn’t even inside. Somehow I had ended up in my neighbor’s shrubs on his front lawn, and he was pissed.

He poked at me with a rake and yelled at me to get the hell off his property, or something to that effect. I’m really not sure exactly what he said because I was too busy trying to figure out how I got there. All I remember was drinking a little too much at a party and trying to walk back to my place the night before, but apparently I didn’t make it.

I rolled out of his bushes and on to the sidewalk, picked myself up off the pavement and looked around. Damn, missed by only two houses. Another 200 feet, and I would have made it, or at least landed on my porch. I’d woke up there before too, and a number of other places in my neighborhood for that matter, to include the park, a baseball field and a cemetery, which may have been worse than the angry neighbor’s hedges. Waking up and staring at a headstone can be a little unsettling.

During my drinking days, I was never one to operate a vehicle while intoxicated, so rather than stay where I was or drive my car, I tended to try to walk home. Most nights I made it, but sadly there were a few times that I wasn’t so lucky. When that happened I’d wake up in pain, feeling miserable for the rest of the day.

Come to think of it, there were many nights in my life that I had to sleep in less than comfortable conditions, even after I had grown out of my drinking phase. I have slept in trucks, out in the woods, on planes, hospital waiting rooms, couches and once even in a snowbank just to name a few. Between being an outdoorsman, a soldier and a drunk, I’ve had to sleep in some really unorthodox places, and each time I felt like crap in the morning.

The morning I woke up from the CPAP test was worse than all of them.

Aside from the now familiar mess of wires and sleep monitoring apparatus I described in part 2 of this drama, I also had to contend with a plastic hose and mask strapped to my face, blowing compressed air up my nose all night long. It was awful.

I felt like crap that morning. The back of my throat was so dry that if I had found any bugs in my teeth, I would have believed I had gone on a 200 mile motorcycle ride with my mouth open. My sinuses were dried out as well, and I was having a hard time swallowing. Suffice to say, this was not the best night sleep I had ever had, as I was promised, and I did not wish I had done this sooner. Once again, I scheduled a return visit to consider my options and hastily left the premises. This time, I skipped work and went straight home to bed.

I met the Sleep Doctor about a week or so later. He brought in with him a folder, containing the results of my sleep test, and some brochures for CPAP machines I could choose from. He went into a dissertation on how the results confirmed that I did suffer from some mild symptoms of sleep apnea, and it seemed that the CPAP had proven successful in alleviating me of these symptoms.

He had to be joking. I understood that the man was much more intelligent than I was, after all he was a doctor and I was just some working stiff that worked in a warehouse. But I had just experienced the worst night of sleep I had ever had in my life, and as I mentioned before, I’ve woke up in a damn graveyard before.

“I can’t see how this could be possible,” I said. “I slept like crap that night.”

“Well, it takes time for most people to grow accustomed to it, but after a while you will grow to depend on it.”

That’s what ended it for me. He didn’t intend to, but any inclination I may of had entertaining this concept was dashed with the words “depend on it” . Only a few years earlier, I had finally kicked the smoking habit, another thing I had grown to depend on. I had no desire to learn to depend on anything again, at least not something that was going to help me sleep.

He gave me the brochures to look at and told me to visit the business office so they could order me the machine I needed. I thanked him for everything, but never stopped at the desk. Instead, I stopped by the monitoring station and thanked the Nice Lady for everything she did for me, (I still don’t know what her hours were, she was there no matter what time I visited). Then I walked out of the building and never went back.

Now like I said in Part 2, despite my rather negative description of this story, I’m in no way denouncing the use of CPAP machines, or sleep studies for that matter. Again, they have helped millions of people with sleep related conditions, and have proven to be a healthy option for those who suffer from these types of things. If you are having issues with sleep, then I urge you to disregard the inane ramblings of my experience and go get tested. It could not only change your life, it may just save it.

But it wasn’t for me. That’s the whole point to this rather drawn out saga.

I tried it and it didn’t work. I didn’t shoot down the idea, but after I gave it a chance, I determined it wasn’t for me and didn’t let anyone pressure me into something I didn’t want to do.

That’s what my initial plan was for this blog, and that’s the direction I want to go back to. There are so many things we can try to get back into shape. We should try them if they interest us, and not rule anything out, at least not until we’ve given it a shot. So whether it’s pilates, CrossFit, swimming, Zumba, or even Goat Yoga, I’m willing to give it a try. But if I don’t enjoy it, then I’m move on.

I know this was kind of a lame way to end this story, but what can I say?

I’m tired.

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