If You Had Told Me I Would Have Slept That Well Connected to Wires, I Would Have Never Believed You

So, I went in last night for my sleep test last night.  I should have brought my crochetting, because, like all medical stuff, there’s just a lot of sitting around waiting.  But, eventually, I had a dozen or so wires hooked up to my head and another dozen attached to various body parts and I tried to sleep in a strange room with a dude watching me on a camera.

I was dreading a little the inevitable multiple trips to the bathroom and it was kind of weird.  They had this box all the wires went in to and I had to wear it around my neck and then keep everything swung forward while I did my business.

And trying to sleep with a bunch of wires on your face is not an easy task, especially because I normally sleep on my side and stomach.

But, after determining that I was having about 100 episodes an hour, the technician came in and stuck a mask that forces air into you on me and, after I got used to breathing with it and used to the constant noise and resolving to try to stay sleeping on my back.

I’m going to tell you that, even though I knew I was snoring up a storm and waking up enough that I noticed it every two hours and even though I was always tired and napped like it was a luxury I’d been long denied, in the back of my mind, I was convinced this whole thing was kind of silly and I was resolved that I was not going to spend the rest of my life “hooked up to a machine.”

Well, world, fuck that.

I would pay money to sleep that well.  I would try to smuggle in a machine like that if they were illegal.  I would encourage my friends to use it just as a recreational experience.  If I had to wear that mask all day in order to sleep like that, I would gladly do it.

Sign me up.

The only weird thing is that I dreamed all night that the Butcher and I had to get jobs at Starbucks where we just stocked and restocked and restocked all night.  But, even that, I haven’t dreamed that vividly in ages.

20 thoughts on “If You Had Told Me I Would Have Slept That Well Connected to Wires, I Would Have Never Believed You

  1. B.
    I’m so happy for you. I’ve been worried, quite frankly. This is really good news! You deserve to feel good.
    Woot for you!

    SQ says Hi and Woot as well.

  2. I fully expect Rachel to explain it to me and everyone more fully. But my understanding is that it’s fixable in that the mask, as long as I use it, will keep me breathing steadily all night, which will be, apparently, a new development for me.

    But I think it’s a chronic condition in that I’m just going to always have to use the mask until I die.

    So, I’ve got fifty years of it to look forward to, though I expect medical technology will improve during that time, so maybe they’ll develop something else on down the road.

    The other thing it means, though, is that I can no longer be one of those people who never goes to the doctor. So, that’s sad.

  3. I’m so glad, B! I remember staying with you in NYC way back in the summer of 1999 and how I worried the whole night because of the terrifying not-breathing-then-gasping-for-breath stuff that was going on in your bed. Hooray for the mask!

  4. Sleep apnea, then, the obstructive kind? Sounds like what you’re describing, with the “episodes,” use of the mask, etc. The “episodes” are basically instances of stopped or shallow breathing. If that’s the case, they may actually prescribe you the mask/machine – CPAP, for continuous positive airway pressure. There’s a bunch of info on this linked from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sleepapnea.html.

  5. oooooh, I hope they get you hooked up with that immediately. Not only is it bad for your psyche when you don’t get enough real rest, it’s also bad on your heart. This is a great thing that you are getting your health issues all squared away…it’s like…it’s the beginning of the rest of your life!

  6. Oh, yay, I am so happy that you’re getting this addressed. Sleep is so undervalued and so important. I second Ginger’s comment about heart-health, too. Rest well!

  7. Dr. J, I know! And I feel so stupid that it’s a problem so pleasantly solved.

    Rachel, and the link doesn’t seem to be working.

    I can already feel that my heart is happier. Or maybe that’s just the euphoria from having a night where I’m getting oxygen to my brain in regular doses.

  8. That is so great, B. I’ve always wondered what the actual experience would be like, so I’m glad to hear its not as bad as it seems. The machine I mean, not all the wires.

  9. I was, too, but you know me. I’m the biggest baby on the internet. If there would have been anything even remotely annoying about it, I would be pissing and moaning about it liek there’s no tomorrow.

    Plus, potential lovers who prefer to roll over and go to sleep after the deed instead of holding each other and talking, it’s a new day here in Aunt B.’s bed. The quicker you fall asleep, the quicker I’ll get to put my awesome mask of joy and restful sleep on, so go for it. We can talk in the morning as you’re hunting for your underwear and avoiding calls from your spouse.

    Just kidding.

    Tee hee.

  10. Rachel, and the link doesn’t seem to be working. It’s because I insisted on punctuating my sentence, and that got sucked up into the html. Click the link, remove the period, and refresh.

  11. Laughing at Mack’s joke. That’s a good one.

    Aunt B., I went through the same thing (sort of). My wife was being driven batty by my steadily worsening snoring, and I went for a sleep test. Turns out I was getting little REM sleep, and no restorative sleep. I went to a nasal & sinus clinic, and found out I’d been walking around with a severe upper sinus infection. Once that was cleared up, the snoring was down to a minimum (can’t do much about the deviated septum). I’ve got one of them there breathin’ mask machines, too, but I haven’t used it much.

    Anyway, good show, B. I have a feeling that getting good sleep will noticeably improve your quality of life.

  12. Is there anything more wonderful than a good night’s sleep, when you haven’t had one in you can’t remember when?

    Good for you!

    Ironically, last night was the first night in a long time I hadn’t used Ambien to get to sleep. I knew I’d need to sleep lightly. Nevertheless, I still got a little sleep on the chair thingie that turns into a cot in hospital rooms – I know this becuase I dreamed that a small plane crashed in our driveway. This has to be the noisiest hospital room I’ve ever seen.

    Anyway, this makes me happy, knowing that you are getting closer to having that feeling of waking up refreshed be the norm. It is a wonderful thing, I know.

  13. Yaaay, B!

    We are fellow Sisters of the Sleep Snorkel (tm Weetabix). I’m still trying to get a full eight hours in mine (because of stupid getting-in-the-bed delays and a month’s worth of muscle pulls that didn’t let me lie still), but what I’m getting is lovely.

    Whoosh whoosh whoosh! Here’s to good rest! *clink*

  14. But I think it’s a chronic condition in that I’m just going to always have to use the mask until I die.

    Welcome to the world of treated OSA! Whoo-hoo!

    Relish that feeling, B. Those first few nights of paying off the sleep debt make for a few incredible days. I literally thought only Kryptonite would slow me down that first week after the CPAP.

    Btw, if you need any tips on comfortable masks, gear… cheap places for parts, let me know.

    Oh, and… no matter how cute the doc is, if they mention shit like “RF ablation,” or ANY surgery, tell ’em, “No, thank you. I prefer to use the only proven effective, least-invasive treatment — CPAP — until such time as a technique can proven more effective in the long term.”
    .

  15. Fantastic! I know several people who use them, and they are almost miraculous in the difference in your life once you’re getting plenty of good sleep.

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