The Man is a Freakin’ Saint


So. Some of you read my post about having my sleep study. Some of you even asked me to update you on the results.

Welp.

You know what they say, right?

Denial is more than a river in Egypt.

They were right.

I have been denying the obvious for a lot of years now. I mean, I’ve told you, I could NOT get my mind around the idea that I might be suffering from a sleep disorder that I associated with overweight men. Honestly, I was too embarrassed to even entertain the thought that I might be snoring, snorting, gasping, stopping my breathing and endangering my life every time I went to bed.

Yeesh.

I am the daughter of a woman who is pretty much totally healthy at 89. Her Mom died at 99 and a precious half, but only because her parts wore out. She was healthy as a horse until she died.

So.

I did NOT want to be sick. In any way.

Then I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I tried to ignore that one for a while, too. Until I couldn’t. Then I decided to accept the medication, but not the limitations.

I mean, here’s the truth that I know about me. I am not stoic. I am not strong and brave. I do not shake off pain.

In fact, if I must be honest, I am a wicked big baby. I gripe, I moan, I complain.

I have always assumed that when/if I get a terrible diagnosis, I will be the worst patient ever. I don’t see myself as having the grace that my Dad had as he navigated the last few weeks of his life.

But here I am. Not exactly going into that “dark night”. But sort of forced to accept some facts.

One: I have fibromyalgia. I can’t rake the entire garden in one day and expect to walk the next.

Two: I have wicked wicked bad sleep apnea. Holy crap. I read and reread my sleep study report.

I am in deep trouble.

I seem to stop breathing more than 80 times per hour. My blood pressure and my pulse rate jump around like crazy all night long.

According to my sleep study report, I have “SEVERE sleep disordered breathing.” Yikes.

It also says that I snore (are you ready for this????) 42% of the night.

And that (ahem) 35% of the night my snoring is “extremely loud.”

So.

My husband is a freakin’ saint. He still sleeps with me. And he says, “Once I fall asleep, I don’t hear a thing.”

I suspect that he’s lying, because he knows that I feel completely faked out about this whole thing.

So.

I am now awaiting the home delivery of my CPap machine. I hate the whole idea of sleeping with a mask on my face.

But I do like the idea of living for a while longer. And I really love the idea of letting my poor husband get some decent sleep for a change.

So.

Better living through modern medicine. I am more than willing to embrace this new part of my life.

Who knows?

Maybe I’ll be shocked at how good I feel after sleeping with a plastic mask over my face…..

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.”