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Sleep….or not….

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So…..last night I spent the night in a sleep lab……more like a no sleep lab…..which is much what I expected it to be all things considered.

This is more like how you feel when you come out....

Why did I spend the night at a sleep lab, you ask?
Simple….we (as in my family) are suspecting I might have Sleep Apnea . Apparently I snore….I know, I know, hard to believe….I myself am a little suspicious of my family’s accusations (even though I have actually waken myself up with my own snore)….and I never wake up rested….ever!
My husband tells me my snoring doesn’t actually keep him awake, just prevents him from falling asleep if I go to sleep first, which I am sure I most often do.
Erika seems to have the biggest issue with the snores, but only at hotels….Whenever we stay over for a hockey or soccer tournament she gets no sleep at all…..and neither do I because she keeps getting up all night and waking me to get me to stop snoring so she can go to sleep!! It’s a lose, lose situation for both of us. 😦
A couple of weeks ago I made a doctor’s appointment (at my husbands insistence) and I mentioned the snoring, the sleepiness and other symptoms to him  and he decided to send me to a specialist to get tested for Sleep Apnea. Within a couple of days I got a call on my cell phone from the hospital telling me they had a cancellation that night for the Sleep Lab and could I be there by 9pm….this was about 8:30pm…..I had a small panic attack and stuttered and stammered and basically said I couldn’t make it that night. I was so not expecting a call to just drop everything and go in at the last-minute like that. After I had it all explained to me, what to expect, and told that my scheduled appointment was in December (can you believe  that many people are waiting to get in to a sleep lab that they are scheduling 6 months in advance?), I was happy to be on their waiting list. 🙂
A few days later my doctor’s office called to tell me the same information….I guess the hospital was a little quicker than the doctor’s office was for passing on information. Now I was really hoping for another cancellation so I could just go in and get it over with….I did not want to wait until December, I am too busy with work at Christmas time to be doing a sleep test!
So last night we were at Erika’s soccer practice…. about 20 to 25 minutes from home when I got a call on my cell phone at 9:00pm from the hospital again letting me know they had a “no-show” and wondered if I would like to take the spot. Well of course I would like to but I am sitting at a soccer field out-of-town and can’t get there until close to 10:00pm. They said as long as I arrived before 10:00pm it would be fine.
So we hustled Erika off the field and rushed home so I could grab my jammies, my pillow and my health card….oh yeah….and my glasses, suspecting that I just might have to fill out a form or two and cant see to read without them. Chris got me to the Hospital by 9:45pm (good driving on his part), and dropped me off at Emergency. I checked in with the Security Guard who pointed me in the right direction and was ready to begin my “no sleep, sleep test”.
By 10:00pm I was finally getting registered and shown to my lovely luxurious suite for the night….I had to carry my own overnight bag….. a bit disappointed in the service….hardly a 5 star accommodation.
My hostess was great, as she explained everything she was going to do, step by step to prepare me for my nights sleep. I couldn’t see myself once I had about 8 billion wires hooked up to my scalp, face, chest and legs, which is a good thing….pretty sure most of the wires aren’t necessary….they just need a source of entertainment to get them through the night so they decorate you like that to make you look as hideous as possible. My new best friend, who shall remain nameless because I don’t actually remember her name, marked on me, gooped me and wired me for sound and expected that I might sleep at some point. Once she had the camera all adjusted she left the room and did some sight and sound checks….too funny really….still chuckling over the checks…..then came back and turned off the lights, closed my door and said “good night, wake up is 5:30am, if you need to get up in the night to use the bathroom press the buzzer for help don’t walk out of here attached to my machine.” Nice….
Now I was laying there in the dark, scared to move for fear of either strangling  myself on the wires or simply pulling them off when I moved. I know I did fall asleep at some point but I have no idea what time or for how long….I really missed my clock that shows the time on the ceiling, because I also don’t know what time I woke up needing to use the washroom….I was so tired all I really wanted to do was go back to sleep so I laid there pretending I didn’t need to use the facilities because I knew it would be an ordeal to unhook me and hook me back up again. Well pretending you don’t need to go when you really do need to go doesn’t actually work, you can’t actually go back to sleep, so I finally buzzed my hostess and told her what I needed and when she came in she flicked on the overhead light (not impressed by that) and told me it was 5:00am anyway so she would unhook me and let me go home. 🙂 She also assured me that after a couple of good shampoos I would be able to get all of the goop out of my hair….that was very reassuring!
Once I was unhooked and dressed I sent Chris a text to come pick me up (he was already in the lot waiting for me) I took a look in the mirror and figured out why they wake you so early to send you home… really don’t want anyone looking at you like that…..a regular morning is scary enough! 🙂

...and yes they are watching you sleep....and very likely making jokes....

Once I got home, I got showered (got the goop out of my hair) got dressed and went to work….sleepy, sleepy, sleepy!! I am taking the next 2 days off work….not just because of the lack of sleep.

Now I just have to wait to speak with the specialist and see what kind of results I have from my “no sleep, sleep” visit. 🙂


July 18, 2011

So I had my follow up appointment today with the Respirologist…..and she confirmed what was suspected……Apparently I do have Sleep Apnea!! Moderate on my side but severe on my back and according to the sleep test most of the sleep I did get that night was……on my back!! Go figure!!

The doctor went through the results of the test with me step by step and explained what all the graphs meant, apparently I stop breathing about 63 times per hour, and have really shallow breath when I do keep breathing……and she also broke the news to me about how “loud” I snored…..somewhat embarassing ……on a scale of 1-10 I hit an 8….yikes!….I suggested that I should write an apology note to the poor people in the sleep lab that had to listen to that……I guess an apology to my family would be nice too since they have to listen to it “every” night…..Sorry Family!!

Now I need to do two things to avoid using a CPAP Machine……I need to lose between 20 and 50 pounds over the next year to two years…….piece of cake…..oh wait, no more cake…..and….I am to try the tennis ball trick. Apparently you put a couple of tennis balls into a sock and sew it or pin it to the back of your pyjama shirt and it is supposed to prevent you from rolling on to your back while sleeping.

Off to buy some tennis balls and not take the elevator, as I’m never to take the elevator again 😦 so says the doctor……

July 20, 2011

So last night I tried the tennis ball thing……I may have kept breathing all night but I sure didn’t sleep well…..everytime I rolled on my back I woke up to shift back on to my side….that was a lot of waking up, I am definitely a back sleeper……oh and sleeping on tennis balls is not at all comfortable and this morning my shoulders and hips are so sore from laying on them all night…..obviously my body is not used to me sleeping on my side. I will give it a bit more of a chance to try to get used to it…..but I can’t see it happening! 🙂


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