Sleep Study

Let’s just say that was quite disappointing when I found out what it actually ways.

Some years back I had a problem with being sleepy all the time.  I wasn’t quite nodding off at the wheel of my car, but at my desk, when watching movies (no matter how involving), reading, trying to write (I don’t think my fiction is soporific), and pretty much anywhere.

My doctor at the time ordered a “sleep study.” For this, I went into a clinic where they wired me up like a hi-fi nut’s stereo system and I was supposed to sleep that way through the night.  Well, I managed to sleep with all those wires hanging off me and a few days later we got the results.

I didn’t have Sleep Apnea.  My blood O2, however, did go down while I was sleeping, enough that it interfered with getting a restful night’s sleep.  Also enough to cause potential long term health effects.  Bad juju that.

They prescribed 2 l/m of oxygen at night and an oxygen concentrator was ordered.

This doesn’t completely get rid of the daytime sleepiness and, so, another test is ordered, a “multiple sleep latency” test.  In this I go in for the night.  They wire me up and I sleep in the clinic (this is to make sure I get a good night’s sleep), then the next day I stay–I can read, watch TV, etc. but several times during the day I’m supposed to lay back for a 10 minute “nap”.  The idea is to see if I actually fall asleep for those naps.  I do, for every one.  Diagnosis, “hypersomnia” which I call in my own head “Narcolepsy lite.”

They prescribe a medication, Provigil, to fight off the daytime sleepiness.  However, first dosage costs $70/month and that’s just the insurance co-pay. (There’s an alternative medicine, but it’s not only more expensive, but more strictly controlled so the pain in the keester factor in getting it would be much higher.) The first dosage is inadequate so they go to a stronger dose, which has a co-pay of $100/month.

Eventually, I decide this is ridiculous.  I get the same effect, a lot more cheaply, with caffeine.  So we cut out the provigil and I go back to drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages.  I can’t stand coffee.  I can tolerate tea.  And I actually like diet colas.

Several years later, a number of my health concerns were better under control we we tried an abbreviated test.  I wore a blood oxygen monitor overnight and, surprise, surprise, my blood oxygen was okay.  Yay!  I could go off the oxygen (and get rid of the monthly co-pay for the machine rental).

Fast forward several more years.  I’m having the same symptoms again.  The caffeine isn’t doing it.  So my doctor (different doctor since we switched to a different practice in the interim) orders another sleep study.  This time they send over a “home sleep study kit” from Novasom.  It has a gadget that I wear around my wrist when I go to bed.  A blood O2 sensor (basically a light shined through the fingertip) is taped to one finger and plugged into it.  A breathing sensor hooks just under my nose.  And a “breathing effort” strap wraps around my chest.  They all plug into the unit and I sleep wearing it.

It was actually a lot less invasive than that original sleep study.  A lot less in the way of wires and cables hooked up to me.  And, being self contained and worn on my body, turning over in bed doesn’t leave me all tangled in the cables.

In the morning you plug it into the charger which is a signal for it to transmit back (cell phone connection I suspect) the results to the “head office”.

Then repeat that for a second night.  They say they get more accurate results with a two-night study.

Once you’re done, you pack it back in its box, stick the return address shipping label on it, and the unit goes back to, I presume, be cleaned up and sent to the next poor sucker who’s having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

So now we wait for the results.


3 thoughts on “Sleep Study”

  1. Ah Ha! In November 2016, I got the Phillips CPAP, set to 3mm overpressure, and have the dubious fun of hooking up the Phillips Respironics Dream Station’s heated humidifier every night, filling with about a cup of distilled water when 1st running, after a weekly cleaning with a mild dish detergent. No dishpan hands for moi! The Tubing, from the Humidifier, to the nasal inlet’s foot-long hose, is also heated by an electrical cable c/w sensor, so that the humidified air arrives at the desired temperature! The control for exhaust air is very simple = the nasal holder has a slightly oversized hole, to which the end of the nasal inlet’s foot-long hose ‘fits’, so that there is a constant ‘dump’ of air out of the system, analagous to the controlled dump of pressurized air from the cabin of a pressurized aircraft, except no expensive Dump Valve to look after!!!
    It works, my blood O2 runs at 96 to 98% in the morning, and I feel energized.
    Learning to sleep while hooked up was not much of a problem, when you remember the skills learned from sleeping behind the steering wheel of a Ford F250 4×4, while wearing Parka, and accoutrements common to any Seismic Surveyor.
    The device, and the instructions has the design & operation common to devices from Deutschland, of course.


  2. I had a sleep study about 9 years ago. They wired me up, I fell asleep, and no more than 20 minutes later they woke me up with, “um, well, you definitely have sleep apnea. Would you like to try a CPAP machine?” Sure, I said, but about 15 minutes later I was waving at the night camera, and told them “take that fucking thing off my face, I’ll get the surgery rather than wear that horror show, thankyouverymuch.”

    So I got the UPPP surgery, and I had a very good surgeon and thus zero side effects.


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