Yesterday after work I went to my long-awaited appointment with my sleep study doctor.
See, a few weeks back I participated in a sleep study– wait. I shouldn’t say that. It makes it sound like I’m doing some sort of experimental study for the University. No, it was just simply an appointment to see why I have such trouble sleeping. They attached a slew of sticky disks with wires to my head, chest and legs, slapped a pulse ox on my finger, and told me to sleep. I had taken a pill to help me to sleep prior to my appointment (otherwise I’d have been up for hours, no “sleeping” for the study). I was out in sleepy land pretty quick. Until the nurse lady had to come in constantly to tell me I’d disconnected my pulse ox again, or a wire came out somewhere. Not helpful. Also, the mattress was hospital-like, with a cover made from some sort of water repelling material that makes your body sweat. And it smelled like urine.
Save all that – great night’s sleep!
I left and within a day they called to tell me that I’d benefit from a CPAP machine, and did I want to speak with a doctor, or did I want to just pick one up?
Speak with doctor, please.
A month later, here I am, in another waiting room. Instead of the urine stench, I was put in a patient room where the smell of cigarette smoke was so overpowering I felt as if it had seeped into my bloodstream and returned to the air through my pours. After the nurse checked me in, I couldn’t take it anymore and I threw myself in the hallway, requesting a new room. I get it; people smoke. I don’t get that it would leave a smell so lingering in that room. I was sitting there baffled. Where on earth was the overflowing ashtray hidden? The chair even reeked from the prior occupant.
A new room attained, I answered more questions and learned that I had some “episodes of apnea” during my REM stages of sleep. Besides weight loss, the only thing they really offered was a CPAP. Something that isn’t covered completely by insurance, and something I’d have to pay for. There is also weight loss, which can help (and which I’m working on — my brother-in-law needs a CPAP and he’s not a fatty, so that’s discouraging). At any rate, it wasn’t the most interesting appointment. I left feeling as if I had gone to the Geico of Sleep Study clinics, and have been offered but one solution: CPAP.
Maybe I’m stubborn and distrustful. OK. I’ll give that. But I’m not too thrilled about wearing that thing on my face, looking like I’m ready to pilot the next shuttle to the deep space. My goodness, I have enough trouble forcing myself to wear my biteguard for the horrific teeth-grinding issues I have, let alone strapping on a face mask with a nose hose. Claustrophobia? You betcha!
Last night, though, Frank encouraged me to give it a try, even if it was going to cost us some money. If it helped, it would be completely worth it.
I’ll think about it.