Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleep Study Completed

But may I just go on record as saying... they have incorrectly named this diagnostic procedure. It should be Sleepless Study. My first disappointment was when I realized I forgot my camera. You know, the scrapbook geek in me has to document everything with photos! So I'll have to settle for finding an image on the internet. While doing a Google search for some images depicting the study, I came across the blog of a gal who pegged it just perfectly, so if you're interested in the details, check this out: Sally's Sleep Study. If you're not interested in the details, I'll bore you with them anyway. I was somewhat looking forward to the adventure, excited to be one step closer to resolving the daytime-sleepiness issues I've been dealing with. I was good to go with my laptop, an Advance (health information) magazine, a good book... anything I thought might help me relax and settle in for a quiet evening. Wrong. After donning my jammies, my sleep tech came in to "wire me up". Friends... that is an understatement. He had me sit in a small, straight chair, and when he turned toward me with such a plethora of electronic gadgets, I felt like a death-row inmate, having met my final destiny with The Chair. He just laughed and said he hears that all the time, but not to worry, the state wouldn't spend that much time and effort to monitor an execution. Now I know why he said that. It took a good 30-45 minutes to hook everything up. Butterbean-sized globs of magic glue were placed strategically about my scalp, to secure the EEG leads. (Ladies... remember what it was like in the olden days when we slept with curlers in our hair? ummm yep... that's a pretty good comparison.) My face was covered with sticky EKG-like pads with wires attached. A cannula was placed in my nose to measure air movement, with another little gadget hanging over my mouth to measure mouth breathing. EKG leads were placed near my collarbone. Leg-movement detectors were placed on both my legs. An elastic band with expansion-sensors was placed around my chest, and yet another around my waist. Oh and I musn't forget the pulse oximeter taped to my finger. I felt like ET!! I'm going to hijack Sally's photo here, just to give you an idea of what it looks like. The only difference is the patches on my face were larger than hers appear to be. My eye patches came virtually across my cheekbones also, like the black marks you see on football players' faces. And I had long white patches covering my mandibles. I suppose to monitor for bruxing (teeth grinding). And you can barely see Sally's snore-detector... a little microphone that they tape to your neck. All these wires are then intracately routed together, behind your ears, over the river and through the woods, ultimately to join together somewhere behind your neck. I was reminded of our Jamaican friends with all those braided thingies pulled back into a ponytail. And when you need to get up, they put the little box thingy (where all these wires connect) on a lanyard around your neck. At first I thought I would have to attempt sleep with that heavy little box hanging around my neck, but thankfully it was removed once I got snuggled into bed. Hmmm... snuggle.... not exactly the word I should have chosen. Now I'm all about hygiene, ya'll know that, (I wanted to question him if the wires were sanitized between patients, but forgot!), and I understand that it would be really nasty to use the same pillows all the time. But I also don't know how they could ever expect a sleep-disordered person, who has been intricately attached to countless wires and creepy things, to sleep on a pillow that rustles every time you move. Should have taken my own pillow! Not one to sleep on my back anyway, I finally had to just move the noisy pillows away. So finally a little after midnight I turn off the tv. Eyes Wide Open. I wiggle about, trying to find an unglued spot on my head to lay on. Then I am cold. And I need to go potty. I decide if I can get warm, maybe I won't have to go potty. So I call my tech, who brings me a blanket. A little later one of my leg leads came of. So I call my tech. Finally I doze a bit, then wake up... and there's no stalling (pun intended) any longer. I must go potty. So I call my tech. A wonderfully patient man who unhooks the connection, gives me my lanyard necklace, and soon I am feeling much better. Back to bed. More tossing and turning, nearly strangling myself with wires, starting to itch from the glue on my face, my head, my legs... and most of all from the tape securing the snore microphone. Mr. Sandman finally wound his way through the maze of wires and sprinkled some sleep into my weary eyes, and for a few hours I did sleep. Then my tech called me. 5:30, time to wake up! Another while to remove the leads, a shower to remove the globs of glue from my scalp, and I was out the door by 6:30. I knew that it wouldn't be an easy night. I sleep on the most comfortable mattress ever made, and I sleep on my tummy with my nose smashed into the mattress. Not on my back tethered to a box looking like Frankenstein. (Well, maybe I do look like Frankenstein...) and certainly not with people on the other end of that infrared camera and room microphone watching and listening to my every move and sound!! But I must say it was a might bit worse than I expected, and I'm already dreading the repeat performance scheduled in two weeks for the CPAP titration portion of it. There is a chance that my findings won't indicate the need for CPAP, but I expect they will. My tech told me to ask for drugs next time. I'm all over that.
One cool thing, though. I told my tech that I'm the person who will actually be transcribing the report, (as is part of my work-load assignment each day), and that I'd be typing my own report in a few days anyway, so couldn't he give me some info on how I did? He said my apnea events were in the low range, except during REM, where they doubled. And that in itself would probably necessitate the repeat study with CPAP titration. Then I asked for a tour of the "control room", and he was gracious enough to oblige and even showed me the tracings from my own personal report. (To anyone concerned, there were no confidentiality/HIPAA violations here.) I found it interesting, in a geek sort of way, to *see* exactly what it is that I'm transcribing. That part was cool.
As for the rest of the day, I think I shall attempt to clean/organize the craft room, wait anxiously to hear again the pitter-patter of little grandbaby feet about my house, and perhaps join my parents, Aunt Peg & Uncle Billy for dinner. And look forward to sleeping in my own personal, wonderful, sweet-smelling, comfy bed tonight, untethered and free as a bird. woohoo!!!!
Thanks to Sally for letting me hijack her post and her photo. I'll take my camera if I do the CPAP thing so I can have my own photos. Happy Friday!!

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