As promised, here I am today to report on my sleep study experience last night and you will not believe the night I had. Now, let’s not forget. I have had one of these before so I went in with certain expectations. Discomfort. Small bed. Restlessness. Awkward proximity to the person hooking me up with wires. All of that still came true, but for the bed, which was surprisingly a full bed this time and bonus – there was a bathroom right there in the room WITH a shower for the AM and a giant flat screen TV. There was even a desk, a chair and some reading material. You’d think I was going to be there for the weekend. I don’t know what I would need that desk for, but no matter.
I arrived promptly at 8:30 PM as instructed. I may have forgotten the no caffeine rule and had a cup of tea at dinner, but I was still getting pretty tired around that time, so I don’t think it really made any difference. That being said – I had a very restless night, but it had little to nothing to do with the 8 ounces of herbal tea I had a couple of hours earlier.
I was directed by the nurse to my room at the end of the hall. From what I gathered there were a few other people there for a study as well last night. I was pleasantly surprised by the room – it appeared to be quite an upgrade from the room I had when I did the sleep study years and years ago (different hospital too just FYI). This place was very nice. I put on my PJs and around 9:00PM the nurse came back and started the 30 minute procedure to get me all hooked up. And I mean HOOKED up. I had so many wires and trackers attached to my body I don’t know how they expected that I’d get any sleep.
Let me walk through some of the hookups that I can remember: there was a tracker with wires taped to my throat (like the diameter of a nickel, but thicker), to my chest, legs, back, arms, neck and face. I had wires to my temples, forehead, cheeks, chin, really close to my eyes, on the space between my nose and my upper lip and even my scalp! The scalp ones were so awkward – they use this really gross, yellow, slimy, chilly goop that’s like a hair friendly glue to keep the wires on your head. The nurse actually told me what each tracker was for as each one was being attached, which I thought was really cool – until I really thought about it. They can tell everything with those things. They can tell how you’re breathing, how you’re moving, obviously if you’re snoring, but also how your eyes move, if they’re opened or closed and if you’re dreaming based on your brain wave activity. To top it off, they have a camera so they literally are watching you while you sleep, along with an intercom so they can talk to you if necessary. Convenient part of that was when I started to get hot during the night all I had to do was talk into the room and ask them to lower the temperature and they did! Of course I told myself it was a highly sophisticated clap-on/clap-off light technology, versus thinking about the person in the next room watching and listening to my every Zzz. Let me tell you…there will never be any romanticization of watching someone while they sleep, for me. I don’t care what Edward/Bella deem acceptable (yeah, Twilight reference.. what?!). Just say no. Look away, friend. Just look away.
Beyond being physically uncomfortable because of all the wires and being unable to toss and turn per my usual nightly sleep routine, but I was a little on edge wondering if/when the nurse would randomly pop in my room or start talking to me on the intercom. What’s really weird is knowing every time I opened my eyes during the night – the nurse knew. When I arrived, just before I got hooked up to everything, I had to bring some paperwork back to the nurse and I caught a glimpse of someone else’s monitor - and the picture was just like what you’d see in Paranormal Activity (the movies). Not the best image to have in my mind before a sleep study. I woke up at one point and almost asked the nurse to turn the lights on – it was so dark and I had to convince myself I didn’t feel anything resting on me at one point. Aiyaiyai..I think I psyched myself out a little. Not long after I fell right back asleep.
Funny thing the nurse actually did randomly come in once in the middle of the night because the monitor read that I wasn’t breathing. Hello sleep apnea? Only time will tell – I should know in about a week. Cross your fingers!
This morning I awoke promptly at 5:30 AM and was unhooked at 6:00 AM. I was able to take a shower and get ready for the day right there – it was perfect.
All in all, jokes aside – the facility was very nice and idyllic for what it is. I just don’t like sleep studies. I don’t know how they get accurate readings on your typical sleep pattern when you’re so modified – I guess I’m just a light sleeper. I need just the right sleep conditions to be well rested and reach a deep sleep state.
Oh well. The nurse did say that I snored really loud for a little bit – so hopefully that will be enough to go on.
Next week is the Stress Test, then another meeting with my surgeon/dietician, then the Echocardiogram (ECG). Tomorrow I need to schedule a Pulmonary Function Test, an appointment with my primary care doctor and a mental health evaluation to be cleared for surgery.
More to come soon!