Sleep Apnea

 Just got back from the sleep center (so-called) where I had another test for sleep apnea.  I have been dreading this for a week.  First, getting any sleep in a sleep center is pretty difficult.  You sleep on a bed that is not your bed, in strange surroundings, with wires coming out of your body, and somebody in another room monitoring the impulses from the wires. 

Also if you have to urinate, you have to call the tech person through one of the baby monitors to say you need to pee, and he comes in and unhooks you and you carry this bundle of wires with you into the bathroom.  If you are a male and need to pee, I recommend sitting down to do so because with all those wires you are holding in one hand, you have only one hand to conduct the flow and no hand to adjust the garments thus producing the strong possibility that you may pee upon yourself.

Carol, being the sweetheart she is, came along to keep me some company while I was getting hooked up, so she took these pictures.

I am pretending in the one below to be happy with all this crap; Carol told me to smile.  So I did so.  For sleepwear I employ sweats and a UC-AFT t-shirt.  Maybe 6 or 7 years back I was given a stack of these shirts to hand out to my fellow union members free of charge; I don’t why but I couldn’t get rid of them.  Maybe my fellow union members didn’t want to be seen in a UC-AFT t-shirt.  But I don’t mind so I copped the six or so I couldn’t give away, took them home and I have been using them for sleep and when I work out.  They are good t-shirts though they have grown somewhat faded.


In the pic below I am nearly completely hooked up.  The guy there is the tech person. He stays up all night watching monitors that monitor such things as oxygen level and activity in bed and levels of sleep, from 1 to REM (deep sleep).  His name is Abdullah; he is in this country from Pakistan but two years and will be getting married later this month.  He is 23.  He works two jobs; one at the sleep center and the other at a FedEx outlet.


Below I am pretending to sleep in my sleep center fake bedroom.  I did get some sleep but only because I overdosed on this new med I am using, Trazadone, which came out before Prozac and is thought to be good for producing sleep.  Right now I am all screwed up because I am going on one med, as I go off another, Wellbutrin.  I am exhausted and don’t know which end is up. 


Abdulla is new at the job, just two months, and wasn’t really able to interpret the results of all that monitoring.  But he seemed to think that I had very little apnea of the kind where you stop breathing entirely.  So maybe I am cured and will never, ever have to wear one of those evil masks again.  But maybe I am not and will have to look into the frightening prospect of a surgical de-uvulation.  Well, not “de” exactly but more a shortening of the uvula by surgical means.  I dread the prospect.  I must say I have never paid much attention to my uvula or had a particular fondness for it, but the idea of losing some of it freaks me out.

I hope these pictures provide a social service by serving to demystify the sleep apnea test experience. 

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