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.) 😉
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. 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. 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? 🙂
So there I was at the entry – and it was closed. 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 kind 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. 😉
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. 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. 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. 🙂
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. 🙂