Friday, January 20, 2012

Are You Asleep?

There are no stupid questions.  Au Contraire!!! There are loads of stupid questions.  I have always found, "Are you asleep," to be tops on the list.  Consider order for one to answer the question, one must be awake...rendering the question moot...and STUPID!

I had a sleep study...such as it was.  I know you will all find this SHOCKING...but I, sometimes, very rarely, once in only the bluest of moons, can be just the tiniest bit fussy.  There is also just the slimmest of chances that I can be, hardly ever, really, a teensy weensy touch of a germophobe.  Mother has always called me "Princess and the Pea," when it comes to my bed...and evidently, this isn't meant entirely as a compliment.

I am also, an insomniac.  I was having a bit of difficulty understanding the concept of a sleep study on one who can't sleep before I got anywhere near the study itself.  Then I started to consider the logistics of such a study, even if I could sleep.  A strange bed, that other people have slept in...the sheets, that other people have slept in...the person watching me in said bed and sheets...and oh, dear, the downward spiral began!  Yes, I realize that I am an adult...but cooties are real, damn it!!!

My doctors insisted that I had the study done, so I had to come up with a way to make it work.  My own pillow was a start...though I was concerned about the case getting cooties, so I preemptively bought a new one and sent it to my darling friend, Preppy Poppy, for that the cootie infested case could be thrown away.  I're all thinking...why didn't I think of that...but you didn't...and I did. It was brought to my attention that throwing away the cootie case would be "wasteful," and while my inner voice said, "go drive a Prius," my outer voice said, "you're right...I'll bleach and keep it for travel."  Moving on...this would only serve to protect my head from cooties, leaving my entire body exposed.  It was at this point that DH stepped in to save the day!  He humours me beautifully...and tho I tend to believe that it's more so that he can continue to laugh AT me, I'll take what I can get.  He ordered a pink, silk, sleep sack online!  I didn't know there even was such a thing!!!  I'm a little ashamed to admit that as I fancy myself a nearly professional shopper...but now we all have the benefit of his genius.  With pillow, Lysol (vanilla scented, of course), sleep sack, and my stuffed hippopotamus, Rio, in tow...I felt as prepared as I possibly could feel...though I still couldn't quite get my mind around a "sleep" study on an insomniac...

I arrived at the sleep center a few minutes before 9 and was lead to the study room.  It was then that things started to become worse than I'd imagined they could.  I noticed, in the hallway, a proliferation of ant traps.  Ohhhh...not good!  Throughout the course of the "evening," I came to notice them EVERYWHERE...including the staff kitchenette/break room, the loo, AND the room in which they intended to study my sleep.  If I were a sound sleeper, the ant traps alone would have made my sleep uneasy, to say the least!  This was, however, just scratching the surface of how bad the night would ultimately go.  The tech...and may I say, of course I may, it's my blog...was clearly one had been watching late night tv and called the 800 number to get "a healthcare 'degree' in just 17 months"...sent me to the changing room after he assisted me in choosing the appropriate pajamas from the 3 sets I brought...naturally I couldn't bring just one...I hadn't a clue as to the temperature of the study center or to which body parts he might need sister thought my packing was "cute" which leaves me reasonably sure that, as it often does, "cute" means "I'm laughing at you" in sister vernacular.  Upon my return, I was finally able to fully take in the room and bed in which they intended me to sleep.  The room itself had aging paint that someone had tried to distract from by running wallpaper border around the room...not at the top, where it belongs, nor at the proper level for a chair was...random, to say the least...and peeling off the wall...and tacky as hell.  It had moons and stars on it, an attempt to encourage thoughts of sleep, I can only assume, and in no way matched the dreadful, blue light special, comforter, or the frightening looking blue pillowcases.  I prefer white my home and especially when I sleep they can be bleached, and might have, in this case, on some level, conveyed a sanitary impression, false though it likely would have been.  He then informed me I couldn't have my phone.  I was counting on Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, and streaming episodes of SeaQuest to get me through the night.  I had also, ever moi to be over-prepared, brought my Kindle, book light, 2 dvds from the best of "Friends" collection and the first season of "Footballers Wives."  You may not have ever seen "Footballers Wives," but it was a fabulously tacky, over the top, make "Dynasty" look like "Sesame Street," BBC show from 2002-2006.  Joan Collins even joined the cast!  I brought it because, I knew that I would be watched and the room listened to...but assumed the tech couldn't see the tv itself...and thought it would be a riot for...or completely screw with...the tech hearing them talk about a "bastard, hermaphrodite, baby."

He let me put on a dvd and set out what I would need through the night.  I started with "Friends," whilst he was in the room attaching the monitors.  I then attempted to lay out my pillow, sleep sack, Rio, lip balm, water, meds, sleep mask, and Kindle and reading glasses.  I pulled back what they were passing off as a comforter, only to be told he didn't know what my sleep sack was...and in the same way I wasn't allowed silk or satin pjs, I couldn't use that!  I looked at the sheet...the only sheet...the bottom sheet, to see that not only was it some sort of peach colour that had seen better didn't match the pillow cases or comforter and didn't appear especially fresh.  Fighting back my disgust, I sat in the chair provided by the tech so that he could begin attaching the leads and monitors.  2 on each leg and I thought, "Ok...not so bad."  Time to move on to my head...where he measured the location of each lead with a tape measure and marked it like Sweeny Todd with a red wax pencil.  My skull aching from each new mark, he said, "Oh sh*t!  F*ck!  Does your scalp normally bleed?"  And then interrupted my stunned silence with, "Oh sh*t, no...I did that...don't worry."  Ummmm...I beg your pardon?  It was then time for the rest of the leads to be physically attached.  He applied one and taped it into place...followed by, "F*ck...I'm out of tape! Sh*t!!! know what I'll do."  He leaves and returns with the tape dispenser from the reception desk!!!  Scotch freakin' tape!!!  After about 2 hours, he's finally done attaching everything and informs me it's time to get in bed.  I swapped out dvds, took off my slippers, and ATTEMPTED to slide into bed.  Slide, however, was out of the question.

The bottom sheet could only be classified by grit (the means by which sand paper is classified) rather than thread-count.  I took my bedtime meds...including my sleep RX, a significant dose of Halcion.  I attempted to get as comfortable as I could, snuggled up with Rio, and started watching "Footballers Wives."  As, at this point you can imagine, I lie there, wide awake, just this side of a cootie induced panic attack...the sleep tech came in the room, at what I can only imagine was at least once an hour, to ask, "Are you asleep?"  Followed with the admonition, "Try to sleep."  Really, genius?  Was that the idea?  He was watching me on video, listening to the room, and monitoring the leads, sensors, and whatever else he managed to tape or strap to me.  And I thought "Are you asleep," was a dumbass question before!!!  HA!

At around 0430 he came back in and said that I was finished for the night as I wasn't sleeping anyway.  He then began to remove all of the sensors.  It required a ton of alcohol wipes, and God knows what else, and a greatly unpleasant amount of force to rip off all of them.  To give you just a bit of an idea about how bad this was...
Just some of the skin ripped off by the tape!  It is now starting to split open...
When I showed the tech the damage he caused, his response?  "Did the tape do that?"  "Does it hurt?"  So I think we can unequivocally agree, that there ARE, in fact, STUPID QUESTIONS!

Now here I skin ripped off in many places...unable to wash my hair without a pitcher of water, as the shower head is still too painful...and still wondering...WHY on Earth one would do a "sleep" study on an insomniac...

1 comment:

  1. They tried to get me to do a sleep study for my insomnia and I never could understand how it would work, so I never scheduled and switched doctors instead. I honestly wonder how anyone other than a narcoleptic could sleep in a strange bed while someone watches. Luckily, my new doctor feels the same way.