To Sleep or Not to Sleep


Maybe I snore a little…once in a while…..

OK, fine. Sure. I snore.

I know. Snoring means that you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea means that you’re gonna die. Real soon.

Fine.

I finally gave in to the gentle hints from my husband, the shrewd observations from friends who’ve been forced to sleep in the same room with me, and the evidence from my own tired self.

I talked to my doctor and I was scheduled for a sleep study.

I was not a happy old lady, but I went ahead anyway. I went to the appointment with the very, very, very sincere hope that I will not be diagnosed with apnea.

I don’t want to have chubby older man disease. How humiliating that would be!!

I am, after all, a chubby older WOMAN. I believe I should be immune to this particular problem.

A CPAP machine is my least favorite wish for my aging self.

But, I went ahead. I drove to the sleep study place. I met with the chubby older man in his scrubs, and filled out the questionnaire about my sleep. I listened as he carefully described how to put on the torture device/sleep study machine. I took notes.

That night, I got ready for bed. Paul and I had decided that I should sleep all by myself in the guest room. No chance of the talking torture device waking up him up. No chance of the dogs deciding to chew up the plastic tubes or plastic headset or plastic chest wrap.

Because I am a very good girl, and because I would rather drop dead tomorrow than do this again, I carefully followed all directions. I placed the forehead sensor on my forehead. Eager to be a good patient, I tightened the shit out of it. There were plastic sensors embedded into my temples. I let them stay.

Next, I stuck the nasal cannula way up into my nostrils, then carefully tightened it so it wouldn’t fall out and ruin the whole study.

As for the chest strap…..gentlemen, please look away. Ladies, picture this: You have to sleep in a sports bra, only its been rolled up above your breasts so you feel it all night long. There’s a lovely plastic clasp in the back that will dig into your ribs, your vertebrae and your neck (what the hell…) all night long.

The next step in this lovely adventure involved pushing a tiny button on the top of my headset. A woman’s voice instructed me about what to do. “The Unicorder has been turned on. Lie on your back, look at the ceiling and DO NOT MOVE.” Beep…beep….beepie beeples….. You may now go to sleep.”

Sure.

I laid on my back, but the squeezie rolled up bra device dug into my spine. I rolled to my left side, but the head set was on so tight that my left temple started to throb.

Try the right side. Ouch.

Try the stomach. OUCH! Bring back my nose, please……

Left side. Ouch again.

This went on for quite a while, but eventually my old body won out and I fell asleep. All was well until at some point….somewhere between midnight and 4 AM….I woke up to hear the same calm woman scolding me: “Adjust your forehead sensor. Adjust your forehead sensor. Adjust your forehead sensor.”

Holy bitch. “I did!” I snapped. I adjusted. Everything still hurt like hell, so I figured that all was well.

I dozed. Had nightmares. Tossed. Turned.

I might have snored, but who knows?

Eventually, I woke up. Filled with relief that I’d managed to wrangle with the torture device and still get some sleep, I reached up to turn off the recorder.

And this is what I heard:

“”The Unicorder has been turned on. Lie on your back, look at the ceiling and DO NOT MOVE.”

17 thoughts on “To Sleep or Not to Sleep

  1. Good for you for sticking with it. I wouldn’t have slept at all, thus negating any useful information about snoring or other issues. I may have my own nightmares after your description of the horror bra contraption. That would be the worst in my opinion.

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    • It was actually kind of funny, Deb! I am a big big whiner; and I always complain, “Oh, poor me! I can’t sleep!” But I obviously slept well enough not to notice the voice telling me the machine was off, or even to react to the flashing lights…..And you’re right; that strap above my breasts all night made me crazy! LOL……You gotta laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, yes, the sleep study. Did that and I have been found guilty of sleep apnea and sentenced to use a CPAP machine for the rest of my life.

    Good news: I don’t snore anymore, get good sleep and the CPAP is way easier than the sleep study – except for the having to use it every night, every single night …

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      • But frustrating. It sounded like torture. Are you forbidden from taking any sleep medication or a toddy before you sleep? Imagine so. Sleep on demand would not work for me. Ask them if you can listen to an audible book (with earphones so it won’t interrupt their recording of your musical snores.) That always puts me to sleep pronto.

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  3. LOL! You did it at home. Here we go to a sleep study center and it is nothing like that. Lots of censors and they record the whole thing. I have had 3 or 4 of them. I do have sleep apnea, but after years of struggling with many different masks I never found one that fit me right and gave up on it. I have a small head and would need a mask designed for a child. I have been told they make them for children, but nobody could find one to fit me. Luckily I sleep alone because my snoring wakes me up. 🙂

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    • Hi, Tessa! I did one years ago in the sleep lab. Hated it!! But at least it would have worked……! My snorts and snores wake me up, too. Truthfully, my patient husband hasn’t bugged me much about it, but if I nap with my grandkids, my granddaughter always tells me, “Nonni! Don’t snort!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Went to Disney with daughter and her children and we shared a room and all night I heard, Mom wake up you are snoring again. I wasn’t about to travel with the BiPap I was using at the time.

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  4. I hated doing the sleep study and really, really hated the CPAP machine. How the hell can anyone sleep with devices on your body and people talking to you. Thankfully, my snoring and breathing cessations improved after I lost weight. No more CPAP machine, thank God. Now I take a melatonin at bedtime and sleep soundly all night. Good luck if they tell you to get a CPAP machine…I could never get used to it…Nancye

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  5. I’m so sorry! I know some people eventually get used to the CPAP machines and sleep well, and I hope you are one of them. But thanks for the description of you sleep test….I needed a laugh today!

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