Friday, October 30, 2009

Sleep Clinic

I have sleep apnea, which means that, untreated, I stop breathing several times per night. You can imagine how much fun that is. So I am privileged to wear a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) mask, which looks a lot like the one modeled by our winsome friend shown here. Lots of air blows into my nose, pumped in there through the attached hose/snout, and generated by a big, honkin' grey box of a machine that sounds like a jumbo jet. It all results in the ultra-sleek, incredibly romantic evening wear shown to the left. How you doin', baby?

Oh well. It's better than the alternative, which is death. Barely.

So last night I got to hang out at the Ohio Health Sleep Disorders Clinic. At the sleep clinic they wire you up real good. Not only do you get to wear the mask/snout, but they smear white goo all over your body, and then attach various wires and electrodes to the goo. Then they hook all the wires up to another machine, and tell you not to move and to go to sleep.

I thought about busting out with my mask on, dragging my wires and electrodes behind me and roaming the surrounding suburban neighborhoods. It was the perfect night for it. Hi, kiddies. 'Tis now the very witching time of night, when churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world. How you like me now?

I didn't. I pulled the covers up over me like a good boy/elephant and tried not to move. It was a long night. I didn't sleep much, but I hope the hour and a half or so will provide enough data to evaluate the current state of my non-breathing. I look forward to doing it all over again in a couple more years, assuming I keep breathing.


Hayseed said...

"My name is Hayseed and I've worn a CPAP since 2002."

My own apnea was a known but undiagnosed condition for years. I got serious about it after my own father died. He'd had 3 heart attacks in his mid-40s and died when he was 57... wearing his CPAP. Two uncles also suffered from it. One died in his late 50s and the other in his early 60s.

Apnea is serious stuff.

Unknown said...

I tried the CPAP and couldn't take it. My doc suggested - really - sewing something in the back of a shirt to hold a tennis ball so when you roll over on your back - apparently the most likely time to stop breathing for most people, the discomfort of the ball either wakes you up or you roll over. I opted for a 3rd option which was to train myself to sleep on my side which while not my preference, beats the CPAP hands down and my wife doesn't have to shake me awake every night either. Good luck. It may be snake oil but I've heard of dental appliances you can wear that also help.

Cindy Steffen said...

Craig has had one for years...we call it the snuffaluffagus.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I wear a CPAP as well, to sleep at night. It sucks, but I sleep better now than I have in years. My wife was one that told me that I have sleep apnea. One of the great side affects of being overweight.