Friday, July 08, 2011

Come To The Dark Side...


This is what I had to wear last night at my sleep study (click the pic for more info).

I've had a lot of experiences in my life. I've been around the block a couple of times, and backwards, too.

This was by far the most fucking bizarre experience I've had yet.

I showed up for the study, uncaffeinated-no nap-exhausted per directions, get wired up for the sound and light show...then get the mask.

Granted it wasn't the full face mask I was dreading. It also wasn't, mercifully, the nose plug version of the mask. However, when I put it on, it was a bit freaky...doesn't help I'm claustrophobic. I remained calm until the air was connected.

I made the mistake of opening my mouth to speak to the tech about the smell of the mask.

Holy. Hell.

I now know what a tire and/or balloon feels like as the air shoots out of a rupture in their surface.

Why? Because no one fucking tells you that with all that air being pushed down your nasal passages and into your throat to keep them open, that (naturally) if you open your mouth, air will come rushing out since it's opening with less pressure fighting against the air.

For 20 seconds, I seriously thought I was deflating.

Okay, go ahead, laugh...I'm laughing as I write this, but at the time, it scared the crap out of me.

Once the tech was able to calm me down and re-attach some of the electrodes I ripped off trying to get that mask off of my face and thrown across the room, I explained that as irrational as it sounds, I really thought I sprung a leak in my lungs or throat, etc.

I hope that tech gets paid damn good money. She didn't even crack a smile. She took my hand, squeezed it and said it frightened her the first time it happened, too. She said it also didn't help that I was extremely tired and wired up in a lab. It would get better at home, where I was more comfortable. I would be able to take it off and on, get used to the machine and air pressure. It took her about a week to get used to her machine.

She let me try the nose plug version and it felt like two turbo fans going up my nose. I opted for the more cumbersome, but less likely to rupture my sinus cavities nose gel mask.

So, I slept. Not great, but for about 2.5 hours at a stretch throughout the night. It gave the lab enough data to see what the recommended levels of air pressure on the CPAP machine will be for me.

I came home looking much the way I did before - jacked up hair, no makeup, looking like I had partied harder than my body could cope - took a shower, and then crashed for another four hours.

Here's to the adventures of being middle-aged, with larger than normal tonsils, and the methods one endures to get a decent night's sleep.

I need to go knit something.