Sleep disorder testing - What a frick’in nightmare!
When I was first investigating my heart condition, I had to endure a lot of other tests. This is one of them.
Arrive at the “sleep center” at 9:30 last night. They didn’t start to hook me up till 10:30. By that time I was really tired & looking for a good nights sleep (despite having 26 wires connected to my face & head, leads on my chest, stomach and ankles – 2 each). I too, wondered “what if I have to pee?” and they showed me a quick disconnect device (which I never got to use). By 11 (I am trying to stay awake for the instructions . . .) its finally lights out & testing time.
In the dark they have camera’s watching me, microphone recording me (snoring and other bodily noises I assume) and for the next 15 minutes they use an intercom to give me instructions . . .”roll eyes up, now down, grit teeth, wiggle toes, blink.”
Once I get the clearance to sleep - I can’t. I am aware of every frick’in noise in that place! Noisy ac, the sound of a candy wrapper down the hall (through a very heavy door mind you) a jet-driven toilet that I swear could swalllow a small deer, the weird CRUNCHY pillow, etc. Some time around 1 am a loud voice comes over the intercom (they assumed correctly I was barely awake) MARC, TURN OVER, WE CAN”T GET A HEART BEAT! I literally did a 180 in the air above my bed. And landed on my back. Sometime around 2:30 the heavy door swings open (slamming the chair next to it) and bright light fills the room. Nurse Racket decides to fiddle with the electrodes on my ankles and once she satisfied with her elaborate taping job, she leaves slapping her hands together like a baker getting flour off her hands.
I not sure if I ever went back to sleep. At 5:30 the daytime staff arrive (for what I ask, this is a sleep clinic!), coffee is brewed and at 5:45 they barge in again. Within 12 minutes, they rip the tape & electrodes from my body and I'm out the door "ready" to drive home. Blink Blink.
Once I get home I realize they didn’t rip all the stuff off (including her salute to ankle taping) so I have to tear it off myself, cursing my hairy ancestors. Then I discover the lovely use of putty and Vaseline used for the connections on my scalp (12 of the 26 leads). Needless to say, now I understand the instructions to rinse and repeat.
I'm often asked - how I can stand it? I mean when you think of it, the past couple of years have been hard. Really hard. Like, how is it possible I haven't climbed a bell tower with a semi-automatic type of hard. Well, truth be told, I'm quietly going insane.
But causing harm to others is not the answer. I'd rather face life and see the positive in the situation. I'd rather laugh than cry. Yeah, some days I may reverse those emotions, but its not often & really not worth sharing as I'd rather folks know me for who I am.
Just a happy guy trying to get through life. . .
For more - See Archive 2/2010, A little background.