I received a call on Friday from a woman who invited me to a special sleepover. In order to attend, I had to sign release forms and promise to not wear makeup or lotion. I was asked to shower before I arrived. I purchased special swanky pajamas for the event, as I normally crash in shorts and a t-shirt and I wanted to look my best for the party.
When I arrived at the venue, I was quietly led to my room and told to take off my clothes and change into something more comfortable.
When I cracked my door to indicate my consent for adventure, a woman walked in and began attaching me to a box. Less than thirty minutes later, I looked like this.
So, I’ve been falling asleep more than I should. (Twice while driving and many times during the week as I drink coffee on the couch.) I’m way more forgetful now than I was six months ago. (I called Harper “Oscar” and I often forget my cats’ names.) My short-term memory is shot. I can’t concentrate. My haircut doesn’t seem to be fixing anything. Glittery eyeshadow is not helping, and neither are my dad’s homegrown tomatoes—although they’re quite delicious.
I talked to my doctor and she asked me to take a sleep study test and I put it off because our insurance people are like, “SLEEP STUDY, SCHMEEP STUDY! That will be $3,403,495!!!” Ah, but things took a bad turn last week, so I set up a waffle stand in my front yard (if you know what I’m saying) and it didn’t take long to raise the cash for my wrapped-in-wires fantasy night (WIWFN).
Sleep tech: The sensor I’m attaching here will talk to the right side of your brain, and the one on the opposite side will talk to the left.
Me: Will you be brainwashing me into joining a terrorist organization?
Sleep tech: No. Now, this sensor is one of the several that focuses on your brain activity.
Me (silently thinking very hard): CAN YOU READ MY MIND RIGHT NOW? I’M THINKING ABOUT NEIL DIAMOND AGAIN!
After connecting me to the wires, the tech told me she would be back in an hour to put me to bed. (She also told me that I couldn’t fall asleep to Colbert. I started thinking a few mean thoughts, but I tried to eliminate those thoughts because God (and the tech, I suppose) only knows what was transmitting through those wires.)
After 15 minutes passed, I started feeling paranoid, so I sat in a chair, blindfolded myself, and thought about all of my secrets.
The tech returned and hit the light switch at 1030, and that’s when the games began. The short of it: I fell asleep, she woke me to change a sensor at 200, she woke me to change another sensor at 230, some guy burst into my room and asked if I had said anything at around 400, and at 600 the tech disconnected me from all of the wires and sent me on my way, but not before pointing out the Keurig and the cinnamon rolls in the lobby. (I skipped both, because of the environment and the fact that I like to know where my cinnamon rolls are coming from.)
Final results received in a telephone call less than five minutes ago? I have REM-dependent obstructive sleep apnea, but because REM sleep comprises only 1/5 of the total time spent sleeping, I don’t qualify for a CPAP machine. Next up? Sleep specialist consultation on 9/1 to talk about medication. And I think that sucks because: Medication. (If you see me on the highway, steer clear. Also, don’t expect me to remember who you are.)
The Tour de Fleece ended yesterday as I finished plying African Sunset.
11 thoughts on “And may your dreams be realized.”
Lynnand I will be praying that the doctors get this taken care of.
Oh goodness. One of my perimenopause symptoms a few years ago was insomnia, and I felt EXACTLY like a walking zombie. I would go to work meetings because my computer would tell me to, but when I would get there I would have NO IDEA what we were all there for. It was kind of terrifying. They gave me benzos until they could smooth out the underlying hormonal issues and I lurved them, but my mom was terrified that I’d become a druggie. I still have a few pills I’ve hoarded, just.in.case.
I have nothing to add to that, other than that your yarn is stupefyingly beautiful, and that I really REALLY don’t like the idea of you falling asleep while driving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <–(times a million!)
Oh, dear. Falling asleep while driving is just no no no no no. I really hope you get some relief soon, and if medication is the way, then that’s what you have to do. I’ve been anti-meds my entire life, but now I take a drug my doctor says will help keep me from breaking a hip because, well, broken hips are no good.
I remember my mother and her friends referring to “the change of life” all the time. There were numerous anomalies experienced by women who, I overheard, were “going through The Change.” When it was my turn, hot flashes were my worst symptom, which were embarrassing if one occurred in the middle of a business meeting, but not nearly as bad a symptom as some of my friends. I did experience the short-term memory loss and it scared me to death. But you do what you can and you adapt and (hopefully) very soon you will be officially “changed” and you get a whole new life as a whole new woman and you will like it. Really.
Fun fact: Meryl Streep said the significant thing about her own menopause was that she can no longer memorize scripts like she used to. Nevertheless, she persists (see what I did there?) in enchanting us all with her talent.
Do whatever you need to make you feel okay and stay safe while Mother Nature has her fun with you. If you can come up with that magnificent African Sunset while under the spell of the crazy hormone dance, you’ll be fine. I hope you get plenty of sleep very soon.
That’s RIDICULOUS! They should be giving you a machine, a gilded one at that.
I *just* went through this. Have they told you if a mouth guard would help? Those cost a fraction of the machine, and work quite well to keep your (my) stupid tongue from filling your (my) stupid throat and trying to kill you (me).
Also also if you have high blood pressure or another medical issue which a medical person can connect even tangentially to your apnea, you may be able to resubmit a claim to insurance.
I hope they can figure out how to make you feel better. Nobody likes taking meds, but to not fall asleep when driving would really make life more enjoyable for all of you. That yarn is gorgeous! I do enjoy your posts, but I would prefer you to be healthy.
I’m shocked they didn’t do an MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test). It is a nap study that they keep some folks for in the morning after the sleep test. It’s how they diagnose narcolepsy. BJ and my ex-girlfriend both have narcolepsy. If that is indeed the problem, then medication is the only answer. However, if you are sensitive enough to be falling asleep at the wheel from the REM related OSA, then push for a no medication option. The mouth guards are slightly helpful, but in my experience not totally. You can purchase a CPAP/auto-PAP machine from online if your insurance won’t cover it. Since they didn’t put you on a CPAP machine during your test, I would recommend getting an Auto-PAP machine since you don’t know how much CPAP you actually need.
Your Respiratory Therapist friend who used to work in a sleep lab. :)
That is some of the most beautiful yarn I have ever seen a d I hope it will become something really special. You deserve it.
Who told you they wouldn’t cover the machine? Your family doctor or sleep specialist?
Bummer about the sleep study results. Here’s hoping they come up with a solution soon. I have ‘middle aged woman sleep’, but waking up with hot flashes two or three times a night hasn’t been particularly dangerous. It just makes me cranky the next day.
I used to fall asleep driving to and from work – I figured out where there were parking lots so I could pull off and take a brief nap in the car.
I’ve worn a CPAP mask since 2001. I feel SO much better.
No sleep is BAD. I feel ya.
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