I can't believe I haven't written since January. Let me tell you why.
In the past month I have had the worst time staying awake. I have always been able to sleep where I must, but lately it has been almost impossible to keep my eyes open. So, I called my doctor. I didn't even know what to say beyond I was excessively sleepy. This has earned me a visit to the sleep clinic at Morse Ave on Thursday, February 14th. I came home with a device that fits on your wrist and has two wired pieces that fit on two fingers. I was told that only if there was something really wrong, that I would hear from them or my doctor. I slept with this thing that was no big deal except the bruise it left on the back of my hand. No matter how much weight I carry, it isn't in my hands and the skin is thin there. The next day I picked my daughter up from work. I had heard how there was some kind of mask to wear that turned out to be the wrist thing, and not knowing how that would affect me, I took a medical day off from work as I had an appointment that would have made me really late for work. So, after picking her up, my daughter and I went shopping for her. I finally dropped her off at her apartment around 1:00-ish and went home.
As I was putting my stuff down, I get a call from Kaiser. It is this nice woman named Sheila. It seems my doctor wanted me to do an overnight visit at the sleep clinic and it had to be that night, February 15th. What this means is that I go at 8:30pm to the medical building C at the hospital in Roseville. I had to shower and shampoo my hair, but no conditioner, no lotions, no perfumes. I could bring a pillow, but nothing else. Sheila seemed so calm when I spoke to her. I was thinking that this might interfere with my plans on Saturday to get together with my friends to sew, but no--the sleeping would be over and I would be sent home at 5:30am Saturday morning. Funny, at 7pm, an hour before I was to leave, I noticed there were messages on the answering machine that I missed. Message one at 10:00am was a calm Sheila asking me to call the sleep clinic. Message two at 11:00am was a terse, "It is very important that you call (number) as soon as possible." Message three, at noon, again from Sheila, but now she sounds paniced that I haven't called back. I had no idea. I was sure I wrote my cell phone number on the form at the sleep clinic and that never rang. Hmmmm.
I went to Kaiser and did as instructed. I was supposed to call for security to let me in as they close the doors and lock up at 8:00pm, but the doors were open. I went up in an empty elevator to the 4th floor. I watch too much television. The elevator was a bit creepy to be totally alone. I go to Neurology as told and pick up the phone. A guy answers and meets me at the door. He hands me a clipboard with forms to fill out. So there I am sitting in the waiting area in Neurology all alone clutching my pillow and filling out forms.
There were questions such as did I have nightmares (not really), did I feel sleepy when I wake (no, but later yes). When I finish, I go in and am greeted with that nasty blood pressure machine. For those of you who have heard my woes with that machine, just go to the next paragraph. For the rest of you, new people to feel my pain! I don't know what is going on, but I only let my blood pressure be taken manually. Those machines just kill me and I am bruised every darn time. It shouldn't hurt that much to get your blood pressure taken. When I have insisted on it being taken manually my blood pressure is always significantly lower. So here I am and this nice guy only uses the machine. There isn't any equipment to even insist on it being taken manually. Of course it was high and I had another bruise under my arm.
I answer more questions such as, are you claustrophobic? YES! So I get a thing with nose pillows and it is like the hospital shows where the people on oxygen have those plastic things in their nose. There are wires attached o my head. My hair was a mess. I am sleepy here. I purposely did not take a nap so I would be sleepy. How do I know how easy it will be to sleep knowing someone is watching me. When I was already to sleep the tech guy, Daniel, dims the lights until it is dark and over a loud speaker wishes me a good night.
Turns out I can still sleep with someone watching (and video taping) me. I know I woke up a few times because the nose thing slipped as I moved. I did have to use the bathroom once--you have to be unplugged. I didn't know what the result was--just that I would get a call within the next next two weeks. At 5:00am they wake you up and at 5:30am you are out the door. When I got home, my husband was awake so I took him out to breakfast.
Whatever I did when I slept, I did not have to wait very long for a call. I am now going to take the next step and have an appointment with a respiratory specialist and will use the sleeping machine for seven days while it records more data.
All this because I might have sleep apnea. WOW! It has been a very interesting and not unpleasant experience. I am going to get back in the habit of writing this blog. I set up my laptop and will keep it up. That alone will help. Hope you are well.