Sleep Study? Really?

Now that is an experience I am not likely to repeat, lol! Of course, I need to wait for the analysis, to see if it revealed anything interesting, so maybe it was worth it, time will tell. Please note, the following is not a rant. I’m too easy going to rant, lol, I’m just letting you know what happened, and half chuckling to myself as I write, so read it in that tone, please. (I did say half-chuckle, so if anyone wants to feel sympathy for me they can.)Β  πŸ˜‰

I should have known by the way it started that it was going to be a long night. It was slated for 9:30 pm, but I left 45 minutes early so I wouldn’t have to drive in the night, or evening dusk – my eyes don’t do well with night driving, and we’re not quite far enough along in DST. Dusk is around 9 pm, followed by dark by 9:30, so I wanted to get there by 8:45 at least.Β  On my way there, it started to rain – and get somber, and it was already like driving in dusk. Bad calculation on my part, I guess. I had seen the clouds, just didn’t realize they would blow in so soon.

Still, rain is not a problem, and I got there around 8:45.Β  They had told me to park in the free parking on the other side of the Clinic, which I did. It was still raining. I got drenched getting to that Clinic entry. Umbrella, you say? Yeah, I admit it, I forgot one – for that matter, I don’t think I even own one as I go out so infrequently and usually park in sheltered areas. I guess I should buy one and keep it in my car. Don’t you love the little lessons life throws at you constantly? πŸ™‚

So there I was at the entry – and it was closed.Β  Message to enter at the other entry, the one I would have parked at anyway – so I went back to my car, drenching again, and made it over the main clinic parking and entrance. Got more drenched getting to that entry, and headed to the tea room where they have comfy sofas and chairs. I was just ready to settle into a comfy chair when they told me they were closing in 5 minutes at 9pm – so up I got again, and went to sit in a chair in the lobby that is so not comfortable, in fact very uncomfortable for me. Signs! Signs! Always easier to see in retrospect.

I really wish I had a picture to show you. So just go along and try to imagine it.

I was finally taken to the Sleep Clinic, at 9:30 on the dot by the young technician who was to be my night guardian – he had to be in his early 20’s, and later told me he was studying, and this was his night job once a week, so for once my estimate was probably correct. Next I put on my pyjamas, and when I come back into the room, he tells me to take off my top. Just so you know, I’m used to this. Um, not used to being seen half naked by young men, just being seen half naked by medical technicians. Anyway, he didn’t have anything interesting to see, lol, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been embarrassed.

So I stand there while he wraps a soft, stretchy belt around me just below my breasts. On the belt is a rectangular box with several wires running out of it. One main cord hangs down from it and leads to a bigger box on the wall. He then puts two bands of a thin material with fine wires woven through it around my upper chest and my stomach. These have wires that connect into the central box, and apparently measure the chest and belly movement of breathing. Other wires go to some electrodes for the heart, and some for the legs.

Finally, it’s time for the head. I sit in a chair and he pulls over a tall metal stand with a metal tube in a circle at the top and a ton of wires running down the center of it and coming out on all sides. This is for the head. After putting a kind of net over my head and leaving it around my neck, he puts an oxygen thing on me with little tubes for the nostrils. No it doesn’t go to an oxygen tank, it somehow measures breath flow through the nostrils. For the last stage, and probably the one that takes the longest, the technician puts a bunch of little electrodes on my head, one by one, with some kindΒ  of gel to help them stick. This is followed by a few more electrodes on my face, that he fastens with tape. then pulls the net that was around my neck up over my face and head, cutting an opening just big enough for my eyes, nose, and mouth. Lovely. I really do wish I had a picture. πŸ˜‰

After all that, I’m supposed to sleep? Ha! Well, it wasn’t that bad. If you had put me in my water-bed, I probably would have drifted right off as usual. I normally sleep on my back anyway. But this bed? It was hard. I mean really hard. One of the hardest mattresses I’ve ever been on. I was expecting something like a hospital bed, but nope – this mattress would never have bent like a hospital bed can do. It was that hard.

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well. It seemed like it took me a long while to fall asleep, and even then I kept waking through the night. It was more like napping than sleeping, though I guess I did sleep some, because morning finally came, I was detached and sent to the shower, and the young tech brought me coffee and another little form to fill out. The form asked about my sleep during the previous night.Β  I managed to be polite and answer the questions honestly.

Anyway, it’s done. And the sleep specialist will study it and give his analysis, which will probably say something about me not sleeping well, which is not usually the case for me. All I really want to know is if I’m getting enough oxygen as I sleep – they did put an oxygen monitor on my finger, and I woke with numbness on my face, which is what I wanted to find out about. My right hand was also completely numb (that one has to be positional) which happens from time to time.Β  If they can assure me that my breathing is okay and I’m getting enough oxygen in the night, then it will be worth it., and I can consider the numbness as something positional.

It’s nice to be home. Even nicer to know my water-bed will be there for me tonight. I love my water-bed, and it’s the one thing I wish I could take with me when I move, but that I can’t, as it is way too big for an apartment sized bedroom. Oh well, at least I can appreciate it while it’s here. πŸ™‚

So that’s the tale. If any of you have to go in for a sleep study, at least you’ll know what to expect. It wasn’t that bad, certainly benign, and hopefully worth it. I just hope that if any of you do have to do this, they at least put you in a comfortable bed!

Sleep well, all.Β  πŸ™‚



20 responses

  1. I have been in so many sleep studies that I don’t even remember how many. Finally a doctor told me that I was a “true catnapper” and to use it to my advantage. So I do.

  2. […] I’ve been somewhat out of it this week. For those of you who have followed my posts about the Sleep Study and Results, well, I’ve been sleeping with my CPAP Mask all week, aside from one night when I […]

  3. […] my last SS post, I have posted three times in here, just scroll down to see them, all about my Sleep Study, and then the Results, plus I caught up with Cee’s Share Your World, three in […]

  4. Oh, I understand your pain! I did one (just one!) sleep study and swear, I didn’t sleep at all! My dad is narcoleptic and also has sleep apnea, so he has to go in routinely, for sleep studies, and he says that there are more wires and meshes and sticky bits every time πŸ™‚ Cheers to water beds and home!

    1. Thanks for commenting, anne – and your poor dad! I don’t think I’d be that brave. I’ll be finding out today apparently, I was supposed to have the report sent to my doctor, then they called and said I was to come in at the end of the month, and then they called again to tell me to come in today. If they tell me the results need to be redone, I’m saying no thanks! πŸ˜‰

      1. Or they may just fit you with one of those awful masks (my son calls them “Darth Vadar face pieces” to wear when you’re cozy in bed at home…my dad paid and arm and a leg…and ended up ditching it after a month. He only (very grudgingly!) puts it back on if my mom can’t stand his snoring during the night…apparently it doesn’t help for all the other stuff – but does do wonders for snoring! Good luck with your results…sweet dreams πŸ˜‰

  5. Oh lands! How do they expect to get correct information at all? Wired for sound, hard beds and a strange place, dealing with young man techs wondering about older ladies sagging boobs, gel in your hair–who the hell could sleep after that I don’t know!! Glad you survived to tell the tale! LOL

    1. Ha, thank you Jeannie. You made me laugh about the young man tech and old ladies ha, I guess he was getting an eyefull, but at least he was polite enough not to stare. I have no idea how they can expect correct results. Maybe some people sleep on hard beds like that, but I came from a waterbed! You would think they would at least have a resonably comfortable bed for the test. Oh wel, lol, I best not get started on that! Thanks for coming by, Jeannie, always nice to see you.

  6. Oh, my gosh…! I’d never expected all of that from a simple term like, “sleep study.” It sounds like you should have been controlling a huge robot in the car park! πŸ˜€

    Hopefully, the techs can come back with fruitful results. The worst is always not knowing why what happens, happens. Especially during sleep! My best to you, Judee.

    1. Hi Mayumi, and yes, it’s not knowing the why of things that is the worst. I can deal with anything they throw me, but my mind takes on all kinds of imaginations when I don’t know why something happens. Thanks for the visit!

  7. my sleep study was so traumatic I wrote an essay about it for a class last year. I give you full sympathy!!!

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ May neither of us ever have to do one agaiin.

  8. a sleep study???!!!! first time I heard about it.
    I guess I am in need of one of those … πŸ™‚
    but most probably the diagnosis would be insomnia …

    1. Ha, if they based me on the study, they’d think I was insomniac too! Thanks for the visit. πŸ™‚

  9. I sometimes wonder how they expect to get any kind of sense out of these tests, given the unnatural circumstances in which they are administered. I’m amazed you slept at all. Hope you do get something helpful out of it Judee.

    I’m booked to have a 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor fitted tomorrow morning, because I ‘spike’ at the surgery. Sadly I’m quite capable of maintaining a spiking state of angst for 24 hours with something squeezing my arm every 20 minutes, and particularly if I don’t get any sleep with it, so I can’t help viewing it with a lack of enthusiasm. 😦

    Look forward to hearing if you get some information from the test that will reassure you.

    1. Yeah, I guess they try to take all that into account.

      I had one of those 24 hour BP monitors a few years back, and believe it or not, you get used to it. As for me, it didn’t wake me even once during the night, so you may be okay with it too. My only problem was an allergic reaction to the rubber tubing – it left me with itchy welts for over a week. So if you’re sensitive to such things, be sure there is cloth between the tubes and your skin.

      Thanks for dropping by. πŸ™‚

  10. Who CAN sleep when you’re wired for a space flight and weighed down with all those wires and armour. Thanks for sharing. Hope everything works out so you don’t have to do it again and lose another night’s sleep.

    1. Lol, don’t worry, whatever the results are, i am NOT going to do that again, no way! Thanks for coming by Tess, nice to see you.

  11. What an experience. I wouldn’t be able to sleep well either after all that. I used to love my waterbed…many years ago. I now have a sleep number bed and it is just perfect.

    1. Hmm, never heard of a sleep number bed, I wonder if they have that here in Europe? Thanks for the visit, Cee.

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