Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sleep Study

I feel pretty, oh, so pretty!
All wired up so the experts can analyze what goes on while I sleep.
Last night, I went to the hospital for my third sleep study. When I shared the picture of me with wires and tape and canulas draped all over me, people wondered how anyone could sleep with all that junk on them. A fair question. But the real challenge turned out to be the room temperature, not the myriad of wires.

As I prepared for bed, I thought the room seemed a tad warm, but figured I would get used to it and, once I was asleep, it wouldn't bother me at all.

I was wrong. After falling asleep and waking several times, feeling annoyed by every wire, every sound, the flat pillows, I finally called the nurse at two in the morning and asked if the room could be a little cooler. I guess I'm an anomaly; most people ask for extra blankets.

Once that was sorted out, I slept soundly until they woke me at 5:30 a.m. and the wires and contraptions didn't bother me at all.

Why, you may ask, so many sleep studies. Turns out obstructive sleep apnea can be a bit tricky to diagnose. Here's the history.

Study one: My snoring was really disturbing Stephen's sleep, and I occasionally woke with a gasp to start breathing. So I requested a sleep study. The results indicated that I did indeed have some apnea (stopping breathing), but that my oxygen levels never dropped below a critical threshold (five percent, I believe), so no action was required.

Study two: I was having a great deal of trouble with daytime sleepiness. Every day, I just longed for an afternoon nap. I never felt rested. I was always thirsty in the night. This time, the doctor ordered a nighttime sleep study combined with a "multiple sleep-latency test" -- they put you to bed several times in a day and see how quickly (and deeply) you fall asleep. Again, my oxygen levels weren't too worrisome, but I fell asleep within five minutes each time my head hit the pillow. I never reached REM sleep, but I was considered borderline narcoleptic.

After that study, I ended up with this.

But what had not been factored into the doctor's analysis of the sleep study was that I was pre-diabetic (or possibly even diabetic) at the time of the study. While doing the daytime study, I snacked on carbohydrate-rich foods. I was in a sunny, warm room. In retrospect, I felt that the excessive sleepiness had more to do with blood sugar and less to do with quality of sleep.

A couple of years ago, I stopped using the CPAP. There is no question that these things are uncomfortable and ugly. By this time, my diabetes was well under control and, except when I really screwed up [read: binged], I didn't have the excessive daytime sleepiness.

So I recently asked my doctor if we should reassess the diagnosis, and she agreed.

As for results of last night's study, they don't give those immediately unless the results are dramatic and require immediate intervention. Mine were not, which surprised the nurse, I think, since I already had a CPAP machine. (I had brought it with me. He took one look at it and declared it ancient and suggested I could donate it to the Smithsonian.)

I won't be seeing the specialist until February, but I have a strong feeling that the snorkel will be a thing of the past for me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

What did you think? Any comments?

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...