Friday, January 14, 2011

Visiting the sleep clinic

I'm going to share a witty story with you regarding my sleep study from last weekend, but before I do, just a brief rant....

Listen, when someone opens a door for you, the polite thing to do is to say "thank you".  I think that's common courtesy and especially if you happen to notice the person (me!) has their hands full with a drink, a snack and car keys, perhaps eye contact and/or a smile would be nice too.

No, I'm not your doorman.  No, I didn't have to hold the door open for you just because I'm standing there.  It's the polite thing to do, so I figured I'd do so since that's what polite people do.  Polite people also respond to the door being opened for them.

If you'd prefer not to say thank you, or smile, or acknowledge my presence, then please ensure you identify yourself to ensure in the future the door won't be held open for you.  I believe perhaps wearing a badge or sign would do the trick.  I'd suggest something simple on the badge, such as:  "I am rude.  And my mother is a whore."  That should take care of it.

Please.  Thank you.


Last Saturday, at 8pm, I drove off to visit a doctor.  Why at 8pm?  Because I was heading out to an office to conduct a sleep study.  I haven't been sleeping well the past few months and I've been concerned that my snoring has progressed to experiencing bouts of sleep apnea.  My doctor agreed, so off I went.

I had no idea what to expect at a sleep study.  I was told to be there around 9pm and I envisioned walking in the door and a technician strapping on a bunch of wires to me and telling me at 9:05 to get some rest and shut off the light while I stare at the wall blankly for the next few hours until I passed out from boredom.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised.  After arriving quite early at 8:30pm, I was shown to my room, which consisted of a queen-sized bed, an en suite bathroom (elegant shower, sink, and toilet), and a tv.  The technician asked me when I normally went to bed.  I tentatively said midnight, fully expecting him to grin evilly and say "Well, you're my bitch now and you go to bed when I tell you to!"  Ok, yes, I'm a little over-dramatic, but hey, it suits me well.

In reality, he told me he'd be back at about 11:30 because, "it takes 30-40 minutes to get you hooked up with the wires."  I laughed meekly and he walked out of the room.  I glanced over to the wall and there they were:  wires, electrodes, in various shapes and sizes.  There were pastes, tape, and I thought I caught staples and a scalpel, but hey, I might've been wrong.  I didn't know whether to get scared or get turned on.  If I was into being tied up, I'd probably have rushed out and asked the technician to hang out in my room to get to know me better first.  Ask if he has tattoos.

Then, I settled in.  I found myself laying back, watching TV (the football game) while typing away at my netbook.  "Hey," I thought.  "This isn't so bad at all.  I can do this."  I adjusted myself and then noticed the camera in the corner pointed right at the bed.  I stopped adjusting myself.

Finally, 11:30 rolled around.  With a slight knock on the door, the technician let himself in -- what if I was masturbating?!  oh yeah, the camera --  and he asked me to sit at the edge of the bed.  I felt the gooey glue get applied to my scalp -- let the games begin!

He was right, it took 30 minutes to get everything set up.  At this point, I was laying on my back on the bed.  with wires splaying from my body in all directions.  Here's how I was wired and set up:

6 electrodes glued to my scalp (aka my hair)
2 electrodes glued to my temples
2 electrodes glued behind my ears
2 electrodes glued to my shoulders
3 electrodes attached to each leg
2 abdomen belts that were tightly wrapped around my chest and stomach
1 finger clip attached to my index finger to measure my oxygen
1 contraption attached to my upper lip using tubing that wrapped around my ears and tightened underneath my chin.  The tubes themselves were taped to my cheeks.

I thought I should joke with the technician and say, "Doctor!  I smelled burnt toast!" but I figured it'd be lost on him, so I lay there silently. 

He then wanted to test that all the connections were operating correctly, so he went to the next room and asked me to do a series of moves while he looked through the video camera and his computer monitor:  blink my eyes, open my mouth, hold my breath, etc.  I didn't quite understand why he wanted me to caress my breasts while singing Oops I did it again, but I'm sure there was a pretty good medical reason.

This is also the time where I realized not only could he see me on the camera, but the room also had a built-in microphone and speaker system.  I frantically thought back to the phone calls I made earlier in the evening while in the room.  Did I call the technician a nerd?  I can't remember how loud that fart was, either.  Hmmmm....

At this point, over the speaker system, he had the nerve to tell me "Ok, you can go to sleep now.  Try to sleep naturally."  Naturally?  I've got, by my count, about 40 wires jutting out of my body going off in all different direction.  I feel like I'm trapped in a Tim Burton-made bondage movie, and you want me to sleep naturally?  I think not! 

He then told me that if I needed to go to the washroom at any point, I just had to talk out loud and he'd come and unplug me.  He then shut the lights.  I debated for awhile whether I should get out of bed and just do some standup for the guy.  I was on camera, afterall.  "Two jews walk into a bar..."  "Take my wife, please!"  Hey, if I've got an audience, I've got to do something, you know.  I decided to fart instead.

I tried to roll onto my side to sleep.  It took me a total of 5 minutes to get there.  Between having to re-arrange the wires; getting tangled up in myself; and discovering that the centre of the bed had a depression the size of the Grand Canyon, I was utterly exhausted.  No wonder people can't sleep with all that equipment on them!  It takes a technical engineering schematic to move in any direction on the bed!  It's exhausting!

To say I slept well is like saying the economy is doing well.  I didn't and it isn't.  I'm not sure how they possibly measure anything that makes any sense!  "Well, Jeff, we figured out why you're tired all the time.  According to our charts, you don't sleep at night."  Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.  Imagine that.  I don't sleep when half the power grid is wired into my skull. I have no idea why that is.

As you can see, I'm still a little jaded by the experience.  My apologies. I'm probably just tired.


breakmydreams said...

lmfao... sounds like you had a fun time *giggles* You also sound like you would be fun to hang out with in person too *giggles*

Jupiter_Jazz said...

I've always been curious about sleep studies. :o) You're great! "I adjusted myself and then noticed the camera in the corner pointed right at the bed. I stopped adjusting myself."