Do you or your sleeping partner use a CPAP machine? I was diagnosed with sleep apnea about five years ago after going through a sleep study at the local hospital.
Have you had a sleep study done? I remember it vividly. You “check in” to the facility mid-evening and a technician assesses you. He showed me around the room (a cross between a hotel room and a hospital room) and told me that, when I’m ready (to wit: in my nightgown ready to get into bed), he’ll come back and attach all kinds of wires and sensors to me so that, while I’m sleeping, another technician in a connecting room would be able to monitor my every move and brain wave.
By the time I was strapped in and ready to lay down, it was all of 8:30 or so on a Friday night. I remember trying to fall asleep. I had a magazine with me and also turned on the TV. I finally did manage to sleep a bit, but I recall having restless legs all night long.
A few hours into my “sleep,” the technician came back into the room and gave me a mask attached to a CPAP machine next to the bed. We tried all kinds of masks and devices, and we finally settled on a mask that covered just my nose. I might have slept for a few more hours and, at the ungodly hour of 5:00 a.m., it was time for me to go home. I brushed my teeth, threw on yesterday’s clothes, and drove home to go back to sleep.
I was prescribed a machine and a mask, which I used diligently for maybe a year. It’s cumbersome, the size of a big shoebox, and takes a lot of upkeep. One night, I chose not to use it, and then another day went by. Soon it was a month, then longer, and now it’s a shoebox-sized paperweight on the side of my bed collecting dust.
I want to be like a caterpillar. Eat a lot. Sleep for a while. Wake up beautiful.
Now, with new insurance and a desire to be fully awake as I drive to work in the morning (!), I signed up for another sleep study and to get a new machine. Last Friday night, I “checked in” to the sleep clinic at 9:30 p.m. A nicer set-up than last time (I spied a granola bar for breakfast!) and the wiring of me as Amy’s patient took about 30 minutes. Try to sleep, fall asleep, get woken up by Amy with a mask, and sleep for a few more hours. With the sun barely up at 5:30 a.m., I was out the door and drove home in a fog (both literally and figuratively) to sleep for another few hours.
I don’t have any test results yet, nor do I have a new machine to get used to. But I know it’s imperative for me to once again start using the CPAP machine diligently. Happily, I’ll take it on our January cruise and Leslie won’t be able to complain about my snoring.