Monday, March 26, 2007

Ruffled Minds And Restless Pillows

Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake one must stay awake all day. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Last Friday I had my aforementioned "sleep study."

It's quite an ordeal with wires "glued" to your head, face, neck, chest, and a few other parts of your body. There are also bands wrapped around your chest and belly, a little gizmo slipped under your nose as well as some other detection devices that are attached to your legs. By the time I was through getting hooked up I alternately felt like the Bionic Man - with all my bionics exposed plus no cool super powers, and a death row inmate about to be "juiced."

DISCLAIMER: This photo is not of me . It's an image I found of the Internet which does fairly well depict the net result of the "sleep study" pre-exam hook up. I have enough wisdom not to post a picture of me such as this on the Internet. The pajama choices are not reflective of my taste.

Since I work odd hours, I do not have a "sleep schedule' - I nap some days, some days I don't. Some days I sleep for 5 hours, some days I'm lucky to get 3 hours sleep total, so going into this thing I had what some might term performance anxiety.

Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, I was worried I wouldn't be able to sleep during the study. I'd been given a very narrow time frame to get this sucker done because "normal" people would be coming in for "normal hour" sleep studies and I had to be out of the room before the herd of "normal" people arrived.

My thoughts drifted momentarily to some cheap hotel with hourly rates, but all the electronics to which I was attached mercifully derailed that imagery.

Anyway, since I was worried about actually conking out on command, I deliberately opted "not" to sleep, or sleep very little for a couple of days prior.

I stayed late at our small church group meeting on Wednesday night, lingering longer than normal, and made sure I only had a few hours sleep before I went to work on Thursday. Thursday night, we invited a young man over whom Amy and I have been sort of mentoring. We had a nice dinner and I didn't end up taking him home until close to 10 p.m.


When I got to work Friday, I was exhausted. By the time I got hooked up to all the gadgetry at the sleep study clinic I could barely keep my eyes open. When the technician glue gun guy - or whatever the title for folks in charge of sticking stuff to you is - hit the lights...I was lights out.


Some hours later, I woke up.

The tech-gluer was instantly in the room saying he had already stopped the study and he proceeded the protracted - and I might add slightly painful - process of unhooking the wires, electrodes, belts, and other torture devices.

Soon I was happily driving home while picking glue out of my hair thankful to have the ordeal behind me.

Before I left, I did ask the adhesive attendant if he could tell me anything and he said that one of my doctors would contact me or I'd get something the mail.

Then he added the fateful words that have haunted me ever since, "You didn't snore."

I'm sort of famous for snoring. No one has ever told me I don't snore except this one guy who presumably spent a fascinating number of hours watching me sleep last Friday. I was a little concerned about that, and when I reported that finding to Amy, the instigator of all of this sleep study stuff, she responded, "Didn't you sleep on your back?"

I sheepishly answered that I slept on my side, like I thought I always did, and she sighed, "You start off sleeping on your side, but you always turn over on your back and that's when you snore and stop breathing!

That day, considering how tired I was, I could have slept standing on my head, but I didn't know for optimal snorage I should have tried to sleep on my back.

I plead not guilty, this was information that should have been relayed to me before I went to get glued to some hourly rate bed by a guy wearing latex gloves.

So, I'm still waiting to hear the results...

Still, I'm now a bit worried the doctors pronouncement will be, "We couldn't detect a problem."

Should that happen, I'm certain Amy will figure a way to have me go through the entire process again...on my back...and I'm convinced she's not opposed to using a staple or nail gun should the need arise.

This, my friends, is the stuff nightmares are made of...