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Sleep Study

Sleep study last night, which was a bit of an adventure. I had electrodes and sensors and whatevers glued/taped all over me, especially my head, face, throat, and chest. Plus two cannulas (cannulae?) -- one on top of the other -- going into my nostrils. I had absolute *masses* of wires hanging down from my head ... like maybe 50 wires. Pretty crazy. Every time I had to go to the bathroom during the night, I had to call out to the nurse ("sleep technician") to come in and disconnect me. She would wrap wires around my wrist, hang wires around my neck, etc., so that I could stagger to the bathroom, semi-conscious.

In fact, the nurse watched me and listened to me the whole time I was in bed. Freaky! If I wanted something, I just lay there in bed and said the nurse's name (Ligail), and the little speaker above my bed would crackle to life and she would answer me. I found it a bit creepy that every noise I made was being broadcast. Like I was on stage or something.

I didn't sleep very well, despite the fact that they actually gave me a very comfortable bed. It was just hard to sleep soundly when I was covered in all these wires and had pokey things sticking up my nose and taped to my face. But Ligail said the study should still yield plenty of information.

When the nurse took off the electrodes, most of them left no real trace, but the ones on my head and face were very different. The paste on my face looked like a very viscous bodily fluid, but it washed off pretty easily with hot water. The real problem was the paste the nurse had used to glue electrodes to my scalp. She called these globs of paste "gummy bears," but I didn't understand why until I tried to get the stuff out of my hair. Holy moly! Each glob was, indeed, about the size of a gummy bear, and similarly solid. I could sort of spread the globs out further into my hair, into sort of stretched-out globs, but I couldn't actually get any of the stuff *out*. The nurse told me it would take lots of hot water. So I was going to have to wend my way homeward with a head full of gummy bears.

I headed out of the hospital around 6 a.m., headed toward the bus stop Ligail had told me about, and I was shocked to see that it was still *pitch* dark outside. I mean, like the middle of the night! I hadn't been expecting that. There was an older guy waiting at the stop, and he rather persistently tried to engage me in conversation. I was like, "Dude. It's 6 a.m. I've got gummy bears in my hair. I'm not really looking to make new friends." Well, I didn't say that, and in fact I did occasionally respond to things he said (we discussed the proposed cuts to the AC Transit system, for example), but mostly I just kept watching for the bus.

When we got on the bus, he *kept* talking to me. I tried to be polite (why should I worry about being polite to a strange man I will most likely never see again?), but also kept looking out the window. Finally, he settled down. I said goodbye to him when I got off the bus at the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station, and he looked at me like, "Who are you again?"

Walking home through downtown Berkeley was kinda weird, because the sky was still dark and *everything* was closed, and there were very few people on the street. By the time I got home, at least the sky was starting to lighten. It's not often in my life that I'm out roaming in the anti-gloaming (dawn).

So I took pretty much the hottest shower ever, exerting much effort to rid myself of the gummy bears. They clung insistently to my hair, but in the end they were defeated by repeated shampooing. Then I went to bed with Shannon for a couple hours.

I'd slept so badly last night that I ended up sleeping quite a bit of the day away, though I also watched some tv and ran some errands, including a walk down to Fat Slice to get myself some pizza for lunch instead of the salad I felt I *should* eat, because I was feeling out of sorts. Not unhappy or anything -- just off balance.

Now I get to wait 3 weeks until my appointment with the sleep doc to hear his interpretation of the results. In the meantime, I'll just keep sleeping and sleeping and sleeping.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
cartman94501
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
I had a sleep study a few years back but don't remember anything up my noise. Perhaps yours will be more accurate because of them. Good luck!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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