The Dreaded Sleep Study

20 years ago, my wife woke me up and told me that I was snoring as loud as a jet airplane and I laughed and told her that I did not snore.  The next night when she could not sleep, she turned on a tape recorder and the following morning she was ecstatic when told me that she had the evidence.  I heard these un-Godly noises that sounded like a sperm whale making love, and that was when I realized that I was a chronic snorer.  My wife strongly urged me to go for a sleep study and they diagnosed me with having symptoms of sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night.  A sleep study is a non-invasive, overnight exam that allows doctors to monitor you while you sleep to see what’s happening in your brain and body.  A technologist placed sensors, or electrodes, on my head and body and directed me to sleep on my back, so I didn’t get all the wires crossed.

After a night of torture, I was doomed to wearing a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask attached to my face for the rest of my life.  The doctor said that my heart kept stopping and I could get a stroke, because my airways were collapsing.  I got used to wearing my CPAP mask and I can’t get to sleep without wearing it.  It is not a real sexy look wearing that face mask, with the long tubing that is attached to the whirring motor that runs all night, as a woman might feel like they are sleeping with Darth Vader, but it is comforting for me.  When I turn my machine on at night, the sound reminds me of the flights that I took on a passenger planes, but since I know that I am in my bed, it makes me feel like I am floating in the air, which helps me to slip into dreamland.  Now most CPAP machines are rated at about 30dB, which is equivalent to the sound of raindrops, but I am sure that mine is louder, as it is really old.

It is about time that I get to the point of this post, however I do feel that all of the background information that I added was relevant.  My CPAP machine acts up every now and then, as sometimes when I turn it on the motor is very loud and then I have to shut it off and try again.  The average life expectancy of a CPAP machine is approximately 20,000 hours, or about seven to eight years of full-time use.  It is time for me to get a new one and Medicare said that I am responsible for 20% of the cost and that it must be purchased from an in network medical equipment provider.  They gave me a list of the providers that they work with and I called one up to get things started.  They told me that Medicare would not pay anything if I didn’t go for a new sleep study.

I cringe at the thought of being tortured for a whole night, being filmed and having all those wired connected to me again. Who likes to be watched while you are sleeping?  I want the new machine, so I scheduled an appointment to meet with the doctor.  All the newer CPAP machines provide these moisturizing benefits derived from a built-in heated humidifier that will keep my nasal passages from drying out overnight.  My current machine just blows air and it is not heated.  If I get the new machine then I will need to invest in a cleaner for it.  Right now, I use nasal spray when my nose dries out.

I will bring my favorite blanket with me for the sleep study and make sure that I am wearing fresh underwear, as I don’t want to be embarrassed having someone seeing soiled spoiled spots on underwear that I should have thrown into the trash.  I am not a pajama guy, so I will wear my shorts over my underwear and sleep without a top on.  I am sanguine about getting a new machine, but not so much about the sleep study, being stuck in there for a whole evening is not my idea of a fun evening.  If sleep apnea is not treated you will feel tired all the time and it can attack your health, wellness, and longevity from your head to your toe.  Maybe someday I will get the pillar procedure, which is minor surgery intended to relieve habitual snoring and treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Ecstatic, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Flights, for the Daily Spur prompt – Love, for FOWC with Fandango – Trash, for November Writing Prompts – Soiled spoiled spots, for Ragtag Community – Evidence, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Pillar Stuck Toe and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Sanguine.

24 thoughts on “The Dreaded Sleep Study

  1. My wife insists that I snore loudly, but she’s never recorder me, so I don’t believe her. I think she’s just using it as an excuse to punch me at random times throughout the night.

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    1. Yes it has, but they are still expensive. I think I paid $900 for mine and I see the better models are still selling around that price. They all have that humidifier now, which spreads germs easier, so I will also need to invest in one of the Soclean devices to minimize bacteria, germs, and other pathogens.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand about the cleaner. I use a cool mist vaporizer in the winter and add an anti-bacterial to every container of water. How much of that $900 comes out of your pocket? I snore and was set up for a sleep study but backed out at the last minute.

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  2. I have one…my doctor said my problem was minimum but it wouldn’t hurt. I can tell a difference if I don’t use it. I do sleep a lot better and have more energy when I do.

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  3. I have one and use it sporadically. I’m extremely claustrophobic and still haven’t found a mask I can handle in twenty-two years. My late husband had no problems with his. The cannulas don’t provide a good seal or enough pressure, so I’m just kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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  4. Does the noise from the machine bother your wife while she sleeps? Everyone in my husbands family has been diagnosed with sleep apnea except for him. So I often wonder if he’s next. He does snore quite a bit.

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    1. The snoring bothered her a lot more. The machine noise is sort of peaceful, sort of like a whooshing or swishing sound that you might hear being on an airplane, but much more quiet. The new machines are supposed to be pretty quiet. I am no longer married, as I got divorced in 2007. Does your husband’s snoring bother you?

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      1. That doesn’t sound too bad then. His snoring bothers me so much that I have to wear earplugs all the time! Lol… And if I forget them when we’re traveling, I’m doomed! 😉

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      2. You should make sure that he goes in for a sleep study as this could be very dangerous for his health. It is much better to find out if there is a problem or not than risk a heart attack or a stroke. Hopefully it is nothing, but better safe than sorry.

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