Friday, December 21, 2012

What a Snore!


Hopefully no one’s surprised that we're still here despite the Mayan calendar prediction.  Although 2012 is certainly winding down as we come into the home stretch before Christmas and will soon be one for the history books.  A few snowflakes have been falling today, but it’s not looking hopeful for a truly white Christmas.

This past week I kept my scheduled appointment with the sleep clinic to determine if I have sleep apnea – any bets?  Arrived at the clinic just before 8:30 p.m. and was admitted by a very personable technician who would be on duty all night.  She showed me to my spartan accommodations for the next few hours; told me to change into my jammies and relax for about 40 minutes.  Glad I brought a good page turner with me – Kathy Reichs’ 206 Bones.  I'm a big fan of her books.

When the tech returned about an hour later, she rolled in a trolley full of electrical leads, and pre-measured dollops of goop.  She’d obviously done this procedure hundreds of times and like an airline steward informing passengers what to do in the event of an emergency, she made it sound very routine, but yet personal at the same time.  I think I was one of 6 participants that evening, although I only briefly saw a couple of other folks upon check-in and my ‘instructor’ was responsible for all of us.  It must have taken a good 15 minutes to apply all the electrodes atop my head, some beside my eyes and along my jaw.  A couple more on each leg just for fun.  Then two Velcro straps across my upper chest and abdomen.  An oxygen tube found its resting spot and was taped into place.  And last but not least, the oxygen/blood pressure monitor doo-dad was clipped onto my finger. Visions of a restful sleep were fast disappearing!

By now it’s about 10:00 p.m. and as I was instructed no nap during the day, I was pretty tired and longed to lie down and see about sleeping with all the paraphernalia attached.  Yes I could lie down now, but I was NOT to go to sleep just yet.   I was told once everyone was hooked up, there would be some testing via the camera and intercom to ensure we were all recording as expected.   That was a very long few minutes and I had to fight not to nod off.

Finally her voice!  Blink your eyes, move your legs this way and that, try to snore, etc.  When she was satisfied all her class were behaving, she finished up by saying – “You can now go to sleep and may sleep in any position you like (right!), but not on your head or at the other end of the bed.  Good night”

Wasn’t the most restful of sleeps and I had to make a washroom trip only once.  Very hard time falling back to sleep after that, but when the door opened and the lights flew on at 6:00 a.m. I was sound asleep.   Time to change my clothes and was very grateful to have heeded advice about bringing a ball cap!  My hair had gobs of what felt like toothpaste in several spots and stood up like demented porcupine quills.

So now I await results and will see if I’m in need of a CPAP machine – if it means an end to dreadful snoring and exhaustive fatigue, bring it on!

And now the gift wrapping is done and in a couple of hours I’ll gather with family for our early Christmas gathering. Wonder if anyone seriously didn’t do Christmas shopping thinking the Mayan’s had it right?

My thoughts turn to the families in Connecticut whose Christmas is now forever changed.  There are no words to describe the sadness that one feels during these horrible events, but with so many little ones lost it’s beyond understanding – my thoughts and prayers continue to be with that community.  Please hug your own little ones more closely this Christmas and enjoy your family and friends – no one knows what tomorrow will bring - truly life is precious and vulnerable at the same time.

Wishing everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas – and don’t forget – books make great gifts!

Cheers

Liz

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