Monday, February 2, 2009

Sleep Study Fail

Last night was my sleep study, and I feel like I failed.

I hardly slept at all last night, to the point that I couldn't go to work today. (I have a note from the sleep technician.) I'm worried that they didn't get the information they need.

Although I'm worried about the results (or lack of), the experience itself wasn't that bad.

Sleep Study: The Room

This was the room I stayed in. It's more like a nice motel room than a hospital room. There's a regular full bed, not a hospital bed.

Big Brother is Watching

There was a flat screen television on the wall. There's a camera above it that taped me all night.

I got there around 9 p.m. After I got settled in, the sleep tech started to hook me up to everything. She taped some of the wires to my nightgown. There were a few electrodes on my chest. I was surprised by the number that went on my face.

The tech measured my skull and used a wax pencil to mark spots on my scalp.

Then they put one of those oxygen things in my nostrils to measure my breathing. There was something else that hooked to it to measure breathing through my mouth. I think I lost it during the night.

When all was done, I looked like this.

All Hooked Up for the Sleep Study

Of course, I brought my knitting. With all the berets I've made for other people, I decided it was time to make one for myself. I'm making another One Day Beret with a skein of Robincat's handspun that I bought at Gauge awhile back. The color is "Raspberry Beret," which seems appropriate.

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Here's where I was in my knitting before bed, next to the box with all my wires in it.

I called Jules, then it was time for bed. It took me some time to get comfortable. I managed to pull out two of the sensors on my legs before I even fell asleep.

Eventually I fell asleep.

Then I woke up.

There was a crick in my lower back. I tried to stretch, but it was hard to move. I had to be untangled. I went to the bathroom.

You know when you're having trouble sleeping, and you know you must have slept at some point, but it doesn't seem like you did? All night was like that.

At some point the sleep tech said she should I have encouraged me more to take the sleeping pill the doctor had authorized. Of course, it was too late by then.

I know I move around a lot while I'm asleep, but I also need to move around a lot before I go to sleep to get comfortable. But every time I moved my head, I'd get tangled up in wires.

Finally, I was awake but resting when the sleep tech said she was going to "put me out of my misery" and end the study. It was 5:30 a.m.

The tech I said I could go home and really crash. Except I had work. That's when I decided to get a note.

As the tech took all the electrodes out of my hair, I asked her about how you become a sleep tech. Apparently it takes a health care background. She said she checks on the patients every half hour and documents what they're doing. The hardest part is interpreting the information. Sometimes it's clear cut, other times people are weird. (I bet I'm one of the weird people.)

When all the electrodes were out of my hair, I felt around. For a minute, I thought she'd missed some, but it turns out there was just so much goop for each electrode. I had to wash, rinse and repeat three times, and I think I still missed some.

I asked before I left if they got enough information. She said the recorded "some events", but she couldn't give me details. She couldn't even tell me how long I slept. There was a questionnaire where I had to guess how long I thought I slept, how often I woke up, etc.

I told her that I felt like I "failed" the test. The tech said I didn't.

I'll find out more on my follow up appointment Feb. 10.


Alonda said...

Having done one of these studies, I am so sympathetic here. The gunk they put in your hair takes several shampoos to get out. And the electrodes all over are uncomfortable to sleep in. Honey, it's okay though. The video they took will help them diagnose this, and I am sure they are used to people being nervous and unable to sleep. No worries.

Let me know how it goes.

VincentVega818 said...

Keerist, I don't think I'd be able to sleep with all that claptrap taped to me either. :/ I'd be asking the nurse where to hook up the beer bong!

CathyB said...

Sally, I just had one of these last night and I know EXACTLY how you feel. I forgot my camera though! I'm going to hijack your picture to post on my blog. If you object, please leave a comment and I will remove it. I got a little more info out of my tech than you did, and got a tour of the "control room". I pulled a few strings, though, because I work at the hospital where mine was done as a transcriptionist, and I actually transcribe the sleep study reports, so we'll call it an "occupational learning experience". My numbers were on the low side, but during REM they pretty much doubled. I can't wait for my report to come through so I can transcribe it and see how I did. You did such a fantastic job of describing everything that I'm going to link your page, so any of my blog readers can come here and read. Again, if you object, let me know, and I will remove it. Your post was a few months ago. How did it turn out? Did you have to do a CPAP titration and use a CPAP? I can't imagine how I will go through this again... with the addition of wearing a mask. Please tell me you survived!!! cathyb

Ann said...

I had a sleepstudy done yesterday cause I am sleepwalking a lot. MAn, did I sleep poorly! They had all wires attached to this device strapped on my stomach, and it took me an hour or longer to fall asleep (normally it takes me 5 minutes). I woke up a lot of times and was already wide awake at 5.16 am . I did dream. So I hope they found something.

lee woo said...

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Diane Beyersdorfer said...

I had a similar experience this past week. I don't think I truly slept soundly all night long. Now, let me tell you, I am quite sure I have sleep apnea because I am an extremely light sleeper, and when I snore, I wake myself up and apologize to my husband. He thinks it's cute, I find it quite irritating. I do this many times a night. If I get in to a really sound sleep, I often wake up as if I've just choked on a small cat and spend a good deal of time trying to cough it back up even though it was never really there in the first place. I am a perfectionist and all I knew was I wanted to pass that dang test. I wanted to sleep soundly and have a bunch of episodes so I could get a diagnosis that would help me get my life back again. I never really sleep well and I'm exhausted all the time! I can sleep for 8 hours and wake up drunk tired and feeling like I haven't slept in months. I quit my job 6 months ago because I couldn't stay awake at my desk and when I was awake, I was just in pain all of the time. I need answers. I am a busy mom, taking classes and I have a life to live. I have almost wrecked my car a number of times just because I'm so tired. So, fast forward to yesterday, the nurse calls me to tell me, the results were unremarkable and I don't qualify for a CPAP. I told her that was what I expected since I was awake all night long. If I did doze off, I was only in a very light sleep and I never snore if I'm sleeping lightly. I don't allow myself to snore if I have any control over it. There was absolutely nothing about that night's sleep that resembled an actual night's sleep here at home. So, what do I do now? Do I just let it go and keep being exhausted and miserable or should I really go after the doctor to order another study using sleep medication??? I hate that I have to pay for this thing more than once and I'm so afraid it will just be the same next time. It really was no fun at all being all tied down like that and my finger was screaming in pain all night long. I want the test again, and I want a stinking anesthesiologist to totally snow me so there is no way I can fight it next time! It's just creepy trying to sleep with someone monitoring your every move. Creepy I tell you!!

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Anonymous said...

Use the hottest water you can stand and put your head under the water to soak for a few. Then, add some baking soda to clarifying shampoo. I used a half-dollar sized amount of both, mixed together and applied directly to each site of goop. Then repeat. I had the paste, not the glue, though!