So, for those of you that don’t follow me on Twitter you missed some drama Thursday morning as I tied to get my sleep study done. I was scheduled to be there at 5:00AM. No problem, they do day studies, this isn’t abnormal. The last study I had done I ran into issues with security not wanting to let me into the building from where I had been dropped off. Anyway… I got there at about 4:40, saw a red fox walking through the parking garage, which was odd as heck, and headed in thru the proper doors to get to where the sleep lab is.
I get to the lab about 4:45, 4:50 at the latest. The door has 4 red lights on it. That means its locked. I wait figuring they will send someone to look for me at 5:00. 5:00 comes as does 5:10, I knock on the door, and the staff entry door around the back. No answer. I started getting really irritated, and frustrated. I had taken my night meds when I got to the lab in preparation of getting ready for bed. 5:30 comes and goes, and I hope someone has a job they need to get up for and I can flag someone down eating breakfast in the lab. No luck, I kept waiting, about 5:50-ish a well dressed gentleman came down the steps that I was sitting on. This man is my savior.
He walked past me and said hi, I returned the kindness, and then he asked how my morning was going. I know that is a rhetorical question as he walked past, but I was ready to go home to bed so I said, My day was actually pretty shitty and that if people did their jobs I would be getting my sleep study right now. Then I told him I hoped he had a wonderful day. He turned on his heels and said let me see if I can help you. He walked up to the doors, slipped a keycard out of his pocket and *blip* lights went green, and he said he would return in just a minute. I have come to find out that this gentleman is apparently a bigshot boss-type who went in and found the technicians and asked why a patient had been ignored for an hour. (oops!)
There had been no record of me in the paperwork given to the technicians alerting them to the fact that I was coming in. One of the two technicians took my paperwork that had my appointment info written on it and had me wait in the lobby a while longer. The pieces came together, my day study chart was with the other studies fo the 14th… those people would be showing up at 8:00PM. Oopsie!
So they took me to the last open bed they had… which obviously had been reserved for me. The second technician told me I could watch tv for a while, I was disinterested it was bedtime. She speedily applied sensors all over me starting with my legs. I am allergic to adhesive type things, so the sensors were a nightmare for me. Once all the easy ones were in place we moved onto the ones on my face and head. Ick! That gunk they stick them into your hair with SUCKS!!!
About 6:20 or so we were all wrapped up with the sensor application. She really flew thru getting the sensors on me, apologizing the whole time about not knowing I was there. I appreciated the genuineness of the words, but I wanted to sleep soon. I lounged on the sleep number bed (which I actually didn’t enjoy sleeping on) and watched tv for a little while to unwind. I could feel the stress and frustration ease.
Then comes the calibration of the wires, the application of the “ET finger” also known as the pulse ox monitor. Great, time to sleep. I was tired… but struggled to get comfortable. The bed felt like an air mattress, the pillows hard as rocks, thank goodness I took my own blanket and stuffed sheep to use as a pillow! I tossed and turned a little bit but then it was done. I made sure throughout the night as I would wake up since it was a strange bed that I changed positions. I wanted them to have an accurate picture of my sleep. Back sleeping, left side, right side, and stomach, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
What seemed like only a little while later I woke up from the construction sounds outside the hospital. Some kind of thumping, I layed for a moment or two and thought, well, I’m boned, I wont be getting back to sleep, so when they put the CPAP mask on me to calibrate the pressure it wont do any good. There was a knock at the door, I figured it was them coming to mask me up while I was awake.
A gentleman opened the door and the light burst through blinding me. He asked if I was ready to get up or if I wanted to sleep a bit more. I was very confused. I asked for the time, and he said 2:15-2:30-ish. My heart sank a little bit. The next statement out of my mouth was… did you guys forget this was a split-night study and I needed the CPAP calibrated. He smiled and said not to worry, told me to lay there and we would calibrate the wires again like I did before sleep and then he would be back to help me get the sensors off.
When he returned I asked about my study. I know they can’t tell you anything, even though he is the one that reads them. He said that is correct, I asked again, noting the fact that no mask had been put on me during the night. I worried that because I had no records perhaps they forgot about me. He said he still had to “score” my study but that off the record my suspicions have been confirmed and it appears that I no longer need the CPAP!
I jumped up off the bed an yelled WOOHOO!! Apparently the reduction in my apnea and hypopnea events was VERY drastic and it was expected that I would still need to be on a CPAP, just on a lower pressure by the technicians.
I washed the goo from my hair, it took using rubbing alcohol to break it down and 3 bouts with the shampoo to get it out… plus massive amounts of hot water. My day was off to a good start.
This is the part where I take a deep breath and close my eyes and get a little teary. Back in 2009 I was so angry with my body. I felt like I was a failure because of my body, I couldn’t even remember to breathe when I slept. I still feel most of the time that my body is failure. Joints that dislocate, pain all of the time, it is legitimate to feel this way. As the weight has come off and I have regained bits and pieces of my health I am happy that I feel like less of a failure. Today I feel like my body has forgiven me for letting things get so bad, and there is a tiny ray of hope in the sky letting me know that all the hard work is worth it. My body will cooperate with me, it just takes some time and a lot of work.