I haven't slept for years...
At least that would be the first thing my mouth would want to say if you asked me about it. Yeah...slight exaggeration but to me, it doesn't feel like it.
My family on my dad's side is pretty much nocturnal. I was raised in a house with my mom, dad, and paternal grandmother so I got to witness their shining example of being up all night and then doing your damnest to interact somewhat normally the rest of the day until you could sneak off and catch a few zzz's. Then, whenever you had free time, you spent it sleeping or if you were really lucky, in a depressive fit...no doubt enhanced by lack of sleep.
So now flash forward to my adult life.
I sleep badly. No doubt this is made more of an issue by the fact that both my oldest (when she was a baby) and my youngest (who still is a baby) held the firm belief that keeping me up all night and waking me over and over and over ad nauseum if I did happen to fall asleep was the best idea ever. Tack onto that intense depression both of the hereditary and situational variety wrecking havoc with my emotions during a very unhealthy first marriage. Now that is resolved but my new husband has severe sleep apnea . His disorder was just recently diagnosed after years of me staring at him with murder in my eyes throughout all the hours of the night and many of the hours of the day. Would forensic specialists be able to figure out that my husband passed away because I stuck my fingers up his nose and pinched his lips shut?
Ok, I am kidding and thoughts of that nature would never enter my head as funny generally speaking but night after night after night after endless, insufferable night of listening to roof raising, earth shattering, shake the very foundation of the house snores made worse by the fact that my husband views me as his teddy bear so he hugs me into his massive chest so the snores reverberate through him, making me enveloped in a veritable cacophony of crushing snores have made me a little...er...'special.' >.<
Next comes the hitching pause where he totally quits breathing for many, many seconds at a time. Of course, even if I could sleep through his snoring rampage, I can't sleep through him not breathing generally speaking but if I could...well, there is the next step that would surely make sleep completely and utterly impossible...and that is the end of the hitching non-breathing where he suddenly gasps, wheezes, snorts and/or chokes himself back into breathing.
Now imagine night after endless night so bad that I made my husband I adore sleep in the living room just so I could sleep a little, teensy bit. This didn't work either btw...I could hear him from the living room!
So...his doctor recommends a sleep study and off we go.
First stop is a visit to the pulmonologist Dr. Cox. Dr. Cox is the most amazingly friendly doctor I have ever met. His is so wonderful that you have to believe that he is a truly good man in all aspects of his life, not just his work but that is a review for another day.
He recommends that my husband have a sleep study done at Steven's Sleep Center and that is where the review portion of this seeming article begins.
My husband goes to the sleep study where he is going to stay all night. The staff arranges for him to have a late bedtime because they don't want him too off of his normal schedule. He usually doesn't get home from work until 11:30pm and not to bed until 2am so they want him bed around 12:30-ish if possible. He had a very nice technician named Ir who was very friendly, knowledgeable and made us feel like he really cared. He was also just fun to talk to in general. Ir spent about 45 minutes hooking Tim up to a bunch of electrodes and leads. This involves skin prep, hooking up, and testing everything. I spent all my time making fun of how my hubby looked with all the wires and goofy stuff all over his head :D You know he appreciated it:D
I got to stay with Tim until he went to bed but until then, we watched TV, movies, ate stuff that the clinic provided to both of us even though I wasn't the patient. We filled out paperwork and mostly relaxed. Tim was nervous because he doesn't like to sleep without me. I was excited to actually get to sleep a bit for once!
I made fun of him when they tried a CPAP machine on him because when he tried to talk, it sounded really funny. He really appreciated that part too:D
The bed was very comfy and all the rooms looked like nice mid-scale hotel rooms but with much better mattresses. They videotape you the entire time you are there and they can also hear you the entire time. Once you are in bed, they put you through a series of tests to be sure all the sensors are working and that they can track your movements and then you sleep.
Tim had to go back to have a second sleep study because he was found to be severely apneaic with his oxygen dropping to very alarming levels. The second study was to titrate a CPAP machine for him which he is now using and I am finally getting a bit more sleep although I can't say he is yet because he is still getting used to his machine.
The service at the Sleep Center was equally as excellent as before. Tim had Ir again as his technician and his service was excellent.
Now here is where I get my come-uppance.
I recently went to my doctor to discuss some of my issues when she looks at me and says 'I think maybe you should do your own sleep study.' Now you have to understand...I did not jump to the obvious conclusion at all. I look at her blankly (because she couldn't possibly mean the obvious, right?) and say 'how would I conduct my own sleep study?' She laughs and tells me that she means I need to go in to the clinic and have an actual study done like my husband just did >.<
I am horrified because of all my making fun of him I did! I go to see Dr. Cox and he is as wonderful as he was before. He recommends a different type of study for me. Not only do I have the all night one but I also get an all day one where I have to take a series of naps throughout the day! OMG!
So I arrive. I have a different tech named Jamie. He totally rocks and is a blast. This is nice since I get to spend so much time with him. He is also very knowledgable and efficient. I have a late bedtime too so Tim and I get to hang out while Jamie takes care of the other patient he is overseeing for the night. I am dreading the hookup. I am dreading the CPAP trial. I am dreading most of it because I made so much fun of Tim >.< My doctor told me that I was going to have to eat crow and get over it ! Hmph!
Then it begins. Now I have very sensitized skin and as an esthetician, I have professional exfoliation treatments done to my skin on a regular basis so I don't want the rather aggressive exfoliation they do before they put the electrodes on because for me, that would just be too much. I was also dreading the alcohol they put all over Tim's face and how they sprayed him down with antiperspirant. The did none of these things with my skin and took my concerns very seriously. If a piece of tape was bugging me, they fixed it without acting like I was being too high maintenance. Tim only giggled a little bit and tried to make me talk while I was testing out the CPAP which I am sure I won't need because I don't even snore but we shall see >.<
I did my night study and then in the morning, I was handed off to one of the day techs named Stephanie. I had met Stephanie before and she was equally great. Very kind and considerate but also making me feel comfortable as I am walking all over the place with no makeup on, my stupid non-matching pjs, my hair full of glue and electrodes coupled with no conditioner or styling products because you can't have those in your hair so it's super frizzy. I looked ridiculous but they made it bearable. I was awakened at 8am, up for a bit and then back down for a nap. This went on all day until I finally went home.
The experience was interesting. Good people, very comfy beds, nice rooms which all helps balance the itchy tape, paste in your hair, nose tubes and more:)
Steven's Hospital Sleep Center was great. If you need a sleep study and are in our area, I would highly recommend them.
They even have a website: http://www.stevenshealthcare.org/ab_sleep_lab.php
Just don't make fun of your partner if they need a sleep study...it is funny as all get out but you may be NEXT!