Sleep Study

So, I thought I’d fill y’all in on what a sleep study is like.

I was sent to do a sleep study. I’m not sure why my doctor got it in her head to do this. I went in complaining of fatigue, bone aches, etc. All my bloods were fine, but my symptoms keep on. She asked me if I snore and decided to do a sleep study. I’m wondering if she has a contract with the people who sell the CPAP machines….

Anyway. I set up my sleep study and headed over there. First of all, I should have asked to do it at their clinic in the nicer hospital. I’m sure the surroundings would have been much more luxurious. On the phone they tell me the clinic is like a hotel. Maybe if you are staying in a super 8. Twenty years ago. In a little town in Wyoming….

I have to check in at 9:30 at night. I get to the building which is in one of the worse neighborhoods near us. I have to enter a code at the door and they buzz me up. I meet this very nice older lady who will be my technician for the night. Claudia takes me to my room and tells me to go to the restroom and get some water and then get changed into my pajamas.

The room is about the size of a large walk in closet. Just big enough to hold a dresser – on top of which is a tv from the 1980’s, a bedside table which has machines on it, and a double sized bed. It does have a headboard. The sheets are scratchy, the blankets smell a little, and there is no comforter. I have to ask for a few more blankets throughout the night. The carpeting is a lot like a hotel’s. Ugly and dirty looking. The mattress is no sleep number bed, and I am glad I brought my own pillow.

I do my stuff, fill out some forms, and Claudia comes in to hook me up to 27 wires. She uses sticky stuff and paper tape. She sticks EKG electrodes to my body – my face in 7 places, my neck, the back of my head in 6 places, my legs, my shoulders, behind my ears. She puts 3 belts around my middle section which she puts little boxes on. She measures my neck. She asks a few questions. She puts a blood oxygen meter on my finger. Then she puts me in bed. I am laying on a bunch of wires draped down my back, and some of them come around the the front too. THEN she puts a breathing monitor on my face – it’s like an oxygen cannula but worse. She also lets me try a few of the CPAP masks to see which one I like in case she has to put one on at 2am. I hate them all.

She turns off the light and goes in the other room. She turns on a video camera and a microphone/recording system. She asks me to do things like blink, flex my feet, breathe deeply, etc. Then I am supposed to go to sleep, on my back, which is NOT how I sleep. She comes in several times between 11 and 12 because one or a few of my leads keeps coming undone. I don’t sleep much – and after 2 when I wake up and realize they don’t have enough data to put a mask on me, I roll onto my side to sleep. Which is when all the “activity” happens.

When I have to go to the bathroom, I just have to call her name and she comes immediately to help. When I get cold she brings me a blanket. Claudia is awesome. It’s just the rest of it I hate.

In the morning (5 am) I can’t sleep anymore and she comes in to take off all the leads. I have a bunch of gel in my hair like “There’s Something about Mary” and the tape pulls off my skin. I get dressed, drive home, shower, get my kid to camp, and after a couple hours try to sleep. It doesn’t work well.

Now I have tape marks all over my face and neck and have to go somewhere. I am also exhausted, so I guess I’ll sleep well tonight. In my own bed. In my own home.

I will probably have to go back to sleep with the mask on. I will wait to see the report before I decide. This time I will request the other office and see if it’s nicer. LOL


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