Sleep Center

Dave's picture

I suffer from “sleep apnea.”  Fortunately I’ve treated it successfully for the last seven years with a CPAP.  What is sleep apnea?  It is a sleep disorder that shuts down breathing while you sleep.  Because the body doesn’t like that, it goes into rescue mode by waking you up.  Waking automatically allows you to resume breathing, and you repeat the cycle over and over again.  I was doing it on average every 45 seconds.  The odd thing about it is that you do not remember it happening.  You know you have a problem when you drag your butt through the day when all the body wants is a nap.  And an inopportune nap can be embarrassing as in napping during a meeting or sitting at your PC.  It can also be very dangerous when the urge to nap comes over you when you are driving.

What’s a CPAP?  It is a breathing machine that forces open your breathing passages while you sleep.  Pressurized air is delivered from the machine to your nose and mouth through a flexible plastic tube and facemask.  It takes a little getting used to, but it has contributed greatly to my well-being.  So why am I mentioning this?  Because last night I was tested again (for the second time).

After my first test seven years ago when the CPAP was prescribed, my normal sleep pattern resumed.  It was wonderful.  Those annoying nap urges disappeared and my alertness was restored to normal.  All was good, until about six months when those nap urges began to creep back into my life.  This time it wasn’t so serious because I’m retired and I don’t have to attend meetings, and I don’t drive nearly as much as I once did.   

I saw the sleep doctor about a week ago.  I told him that my sleep was no longer wonderful as it had once been, but now just OK.  He said in order to get back to wonderful I would need to be re-tested.  Last night was the re-test.

I checked into the Sleep Center at a local hospital about 9 PM.  I was ushered to my room about the size of a really small motel room.  After completing the usual paperwork, the technicians got down to business by hooking me up to about twenty electrodes on my legs, chest, and head.  I think there were at least ten of them attached to my head.  After that was finished, my overnight technician introduced herself and told me the routine.  My job was to try to sleep as normally as possible given I was encased in a spider’s nest of wires, a CPAP, and a strange bed.  Her job was to watch me sleep, keeping track of all the gathered information, and occasionally waking me up to reattach any disconnected electrodes that came loose during the tossing and turning of the sleep process.  She only woke me twice, not too bad.  At 7 AM, she bounced into my room, removed all the electrodes, brought me a coffee, and left me to shower and check-out.  Two things, there wasn’t enough soap in the shower, and there wasn’t any sustenance to go along with the coffee.

I’ll get the results back from the test in about of week.  My assumption is that the air pressure on my CPAP will be adjusted, so I can once again experience wonderful sleep.  When I get the results, I share them with you.

What about you?  Do you suffer from sleep apnea or share a bed with someone who does? rChance readers want to know!

Remember, it’s rChance to Thrive, Every Day and in Every Way. 

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