Saturday, August 25

Defending Hearth and Home

Thursday night I had to go for a sleep study. I had one about five years ago and it went off very well otherwise I wouldn't have put myself through that kind of torture. Every now and then (say every 5 years) it's probably a good idea to have a new sleep study to see if the pressure on the CPAP machine needs to be adjusted. Also, it's a good idea to replace the machine every once in a while. So with all that in mind, I go off to the sleep lab.

The first thing that was different was that the lab isn't in a hospital. It's in a medical center, in the parking lot of one of those strip shopping malls. I didn't think anything of that at first. I got all my stuff together earlier in the evening and realized that already I wasn't too thrilled with this process. The instructions said to bring pillows I normally sleep with (3), anything else I needed to help me sleep (like a book), night clothes, a change of clothes for the next day, toiletries...and I thought it would be a good idea to bring the CPAP machine. It wasn't.

So now I had three bags to carry and arrived at this building at 9:15. There is no one else around the building and it was locked up. I rang the bell as instructed and a voice came back and said someone was coming right up. Then I waited and waited. A couple of cars drove by slowly which made me nervous and definitely feeling vulnerable. Finally the technician comes poking along moving like the tortoise, not like the hare.

I'll skip most of the next part except to say that you have to get hooked up to a machine and these electrodes are placed all over your scalp, face, chin, shoulders and legs--but mostly on the scalp. It takes about 45 minutes to go through all that. From these electrodes, they're supposed to be able to tell if you have not only sleep apnea but also your breathing and heart rates, oxygen level, whether or not you have restless leg syndrome, grind your teeth and a whole bunch of other things.

The bed was a comfy and supposedly homey mattress with a nice country head and foot boards. There was a TV in the room and a recliner. It had all the comforts of home...except it wasn't. The air conditioner didn't run well and so it was warm. And TB wasn't there. Still, I managed to fall asleep for about 2 hours.

After that, the tech came in to change my mask. I'd been wearing a mask that covered just my nose; now she switched me over to one that covered my mouth as well. I was wide awake, I mean wide awake then. Even though there were drapes covering the windows, the room was bright from the parking lot lights. It was still too warm. I lay there just trying to relax for about an hour but I was just too uncomfortable. After haggling with the technician a little, I signed some release forms and left for home. I hope they got enough information from those two hours so that I don't have to go back!

What's with the title of my post? Well, when I got home I was fumbling with the keys and the front door lock. Everyone expected me to be away all night so all the lights were off and I couldn't see. Someone had locked the top lock and I was trying to fit the key in when all of a sudden the door opened for me. Heidi was there on the floor, on her knees (not supposed to put any weight on her foot yet) and she held a butcher knife out to her side. She says, "You about scared me to death!"

Well, she put a big fright in me too! I said, "Why did you open the door?" That didn't seem a particularly safe thing to do if you don't know who is at the door, butcher knife in hand or not. She said she thought it might have been me because she heard the key but brought the knife just in case.

A few minutes later, Kristin comes down the stairs with her baseball bat.

On the other hand, Buddy slept like a log.

It's good to know the house is well protected!

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