WIRED FOR SLEEP

After a delay caused by the Rangers, I am finally taking the sleep study/lab thingy. I checked in at 9:30 PM and found a depressing room, much like the one in the previous post. Actually identical, I think. Truth in advertising! What a concept! The lab tech dude that checked me in said it will be an hour and a half until he gets to me. So now, I can enjoy my free time. In this room. The room that is making me itch. Seriously. I have the heebies AND the jeebies.

And yes, that IS a fake Ficus tree.

To counter the decor (which I would refer to as “early yuck,”) I brought along some DVDs. I was forewarned I might need entertainment when I read on my the pamphlet: “Bedrooms include queen-sized beds and TV/DVD combos with standard antenna broadcasting.” 

That’s right. ANTENNA broadcasting.  Eat your hearts out.

What does a girl watch to get her mind off non-prettiness, itchiness, the worst bedspread ever, and a sense of impending doom? The Dick Van Dyke Show. I’ll check back in after they plug me into all the sensors and electrode type things. Meanwhile, enjoy the view. I know I am.

And yes, that light to the right of the TV is a camera. Monitoring my every move.

THE FOLLOWING MORNING:

I did not continue this post after being connected to the gear. Why? Because I couldn’t possibly move without disconnecting something. I had electrodes attached to my head and in my hair, on my legs, my arms, you name it.  Plus, there was a sensor like they take your heart rate with taped to my Iphone typing finger, “Gus.”
– Seen here minus accoutrements.

So with Gus out of commission, (and also noticeably in need of a mani), I cautiously maneuvered under the so-called “sheets” and closed my eyes. It is not easy to sleep connected to over a dozen little wires. I tried for a pleasant dream, but to add insult to injury, I ended up dreaming I was in a Sleep Lab.  The Sleep Lab in my dream was WAY nicer than the one I was actually in, so that was good. 

The bad part was the difficulty breathing. (Although semi-consciously I thought, “Good.  I am cooperating. I am not like my car that refuses to repeat the same noise for a mechanic that it delights me with on a daily basis.”)  The OTHER bad part was that I don’t know if I actually slept.  There was a lot of tossing and turning, or readjusting, as the wires kept waking me up as they tugged this way or that. I must have slept at some point, despite evidence to the contrary. I look like I belong in that drab, sad room today.

I was awakened by lab tech dude at 6:00 AM and handed paperwork. He’s lucky he didn’t get punched. He wanted answers to questions like, “How many hours did you sleep last night?” “Did you wake up during the night?” “For how long?”

Wait… Isn’t that what YOU are supposed to tell ME?

If you think I can judge time when I am asleep you are wrong. I went camping once and would have sworn I had been asleep for at least 2 hours, only to find, in reality, ten minutes had passed. I am NOT a good judge of time when uncomfortable and yet unconscious.

Results are back in about a week. I don’t care what they tell me, as long as I never have to be in that room again.

And if you are interested in what I looked like with all those sensors stuck to my head, it was something like this. Only Pin Head is much more stoic than I.

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JUST CALL ME PUMBA

Something started happening to me recently that I cannot believe I am about to discuss in public.

I’m snoring.  And I don’t mean that cute little snuffle / purr that some people do.  I am apparently full feral hog these days.  Pretty, huh’?  I feel SO attractive right now.

Like everyone, I will go through a little rough patch now and then from allergies, but that is usually over within a couple of days.  Whatever is going on now has lasted about three months.

Think back to the trip to Wales. Imagine Sandy’s surprise in our shared hotel room. I had warned her in an earlier blog – but she didn’t believe me. When I awoke the first full day of our trip the conversation went something like this:

Sandy: “Peanut, I love you like a sister, which is why I can tell you this. You snore like a feral hog.”

Me: “I warned you. Why would I kid about that? That is not an attractive quality to have.”

Sandy: “I just couldn’t believe it. At one point during the night, I actually thought I was going to cry.”

Me: “Sorry. Snort.”

By the fifth night we had the whole routine down to a science.  Sandy explained that every other night, I breathed steadily, if a bit raspy, but the OTHER nights I sounded as if I had the world’s worst cold and couldn’t breathe at all. Then I would STOP breathing. At that point she would crack an eye open and stare at me (probably not sure whether to wish me alive or not.) Suddenly, I would gasp (or snort)  – perhaps not as delicately or as ladylike as one might wish, and start the whole thing over again.

This amount of “snore detail” was news to me.  Hubby had mentioned my snoring. That conversation went something like this:

Hubby: “You’re snoring. Loudly. It’s gross. Stop it and be my pretty, non-snoring wife again. Or else.”

(That may or may not be a direct quote, but it was definitely IMPLIED.)

My doctor has recommended a sleep study.  Apparently, aside from just making you an embarrassed and obnoxious roommate, snoring (Sleep Disordered Breathing – SDB) can cause the following *relational issues:

  • Irritability
  • Personality changes
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Loss of intimacy
  • Clashes with the bed partner (spousal arousal syndrome)
    (* SleepWell Solutions)

I like the term “spousal arousal syndrome.”  Apparently this is the “spousal arousal” we do NOT want; the one that results in statements like “If you don’t stop snoring I am going to hold that pillow over your face until you suffocate for real,” and “How much life insurance do you have again? Maybe we should up it.”

I have already detected other *symptoms I am exhibiting lately, such as:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.  (Okay, I normally have this anyway, but still.)
  • Poor memory or clouded intellect.  (Thought it was either age, or a result of my “wasted” youth.  – Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.)
  • Performance decrement. (No comment. I don’t like that word.)
  • Inability to exercise. (Gee, I thought that was my innate laziness. How great I can now blame it on something else!)
  • Becoming more prone to accidents. (Well, we’ve all covered that before haven’t we? – See paragraph, oh, around 10, in Confessions of a Frustrated Former Warlord.)
    (*SleepWell Solutions)

Other potential health problems include death.  Death is definitely something I wish to avoid.

I think it should be pointed out that SleepWell Solutions is NOT where I am going for my sleep study, even though it is where I have gathered all this nifty information. I went to THEIR website instead of the company where my sleep study is actually taking place because THAT website frightened me silly.

How so? Let me show you the room in which my sleep study is likely to take place.

STOP SCREAMING!

Oh, sorry.  That was me.

Yeah, take a gander at that. It looks like someone’s dead grandmother’s room.  A grandmother who was neither motherly nor grand.

She was definitely dead, though.  And itchy.

(This reaction COULD be from having been exposed to actual interior design for the past ten years. Not to mention Max and Tony’s influence. But I think I would have been freaked out regardless.)

So you can see why I had to go to another website to collect information about my potential condition.

I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep there.  And if I do, I’m afraid I’ll have bigger issues than Sleep Disordered Breathing.

I’m going to ponder this situation. I have until next Wednesday to figure it out. Or to arrange for delousing on Thursday.

Dear Sleep Study Place,
May I bring my own bedding?
How about my own bed?
Carpet?
Pictures?
General decor?

Sweet dreams, people.

WALES WATCHING

It’s time to prepare myself. I am actually leaving the country. And amazingly, it’s not because of the impending elections of 2012 and my inability to comprehend how on earth ANY of those people can be for real. I believe our political system has been hijacked by a BRAVO TV series, and the whole thing is just an experiment to see what it takes for us all to pack up and move to Canada.

But I digress. The point is, I am flying to Wales in a month, where I will spend approximately 8 days touring every nook and cranny possible. Then, I fully intend to find Excalibur and become the ruler of Great Britain. Just so you know

.

I am only concerned about one thing, or maybe a million. It’s hard to tell. First of all, I am not a good traveler as far as planes go. I don’t fear them falling out of the sky or a crack ripping open and sucking me out into oblivion, or even an engine imploding and basically eating itself, resulting in a noise that makes all the hair on the back of my neck stand up and my stomach drop like a stone as I realize death is the only thing that can occur after a noise like that at 30,000 feet. (Okay, that actually happened to me once, but it turned out there was an alternative to death that involved an emergency landing in Memphis.)

No, none of that worries me at all. What does worry me is sitting for 9 hours in a plane, which probably means at some point I will have to use that tiny airplane bathroom (ick). Also, despite traveling with one of the most intelligent and entertaining people I know, I will either have to sleep or entertain myself for much of that 9 hours.

I don’t like sleeping on planes. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the fear of people watching me as my mouth droops open and I begin snoring like a feral hog. (Very unladylike.) Maybe it’s because I want to be awake if something terrible happens that requires my assistance and quick thinking.  (Let’s face it, the only emergency I could really help with would be the mixing of a superior martini, or opening a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.)

I am  very excited about actually BEING in Wales. I have never been out of the country before – other than a trip to Mexico, which doesn’t count. And I am really extra excited because there’s a small chance I may be able to understand one word out of every ten or so spoken. I have also been assured by my traveling companion that the Welsh are NICE.  Really, really nice.  Plus, the best thing EVER. There is a cheese festival occurring at Cardiff Castle on one of our first few days.

I get very excited about cheese. Unnaturally so.

I am NOT excited about shopping for the trip or packing, and I’m sure I’ll have some other travel concerns pop up over the next few weeks, but for now, I am going to go purchase some Breathe Right strips and practice sleeping attractively.