Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sleep Test

Sleep Test

I have a primary care Physician but I have never met him even though he was my PCP for 20 years. During my last trip to my Dr.’s, who really isn’t a Dr. but a PA, I was informed that they were changing my PCP to my former PCP’s son but I don’t get to meet him unless it is really important? It’s OK with me because I have a new PA also. My last PA was good and I really liked him but I guess he wasn’t good enough because he went on vacation and didn’t come back. At least he didn’t come back to my Medical Clinic. Maybe he became a free agent and somebody else snapped him up. Sorry for the initials but that’s medical-speak and I want to sound official. My new PA and I were visiting, for some reason or other, about my sleeping habits. It came up that sometimes I had strange dreams that I was drowning or in a tunnel and it was collapsing on me. Not very often, mind you, but enough to alert my New PA and cause him to have tribulations about my sleeping. He proceeded to set me up for a “Sleep Study” at Mercy Hospital, over in Springfield [10 miles away]. We have a very nice hospital of our own, here in Westfield but a lot of the procedures and tests happen at Springfield hospitals. Our hospital, Nobel Hospital, has been recently purchased by Bay State Hospital in Springfield for some reason or other. The medical profession is not very straight forward, at least not out here it isn’t and it doesn’t even help that I am trying to explain this to you in Medical-speak. This is about as clear as my Dr.’s signature on a prescription, however I really wouldn’t know that for a fact because I have never met my Dr. I also have a Cardiologist and I have seen his signature and the generality holds true.

Enough trivia as I am telling you about my sleep test. I wouldn’t bother to relate this story but I couldn’t find anyone to tell me about sleep tests before I had mine the other night. Therefore I would generalize that very few people have to go through them and I figured you all should know. My test started at 9pm in the evening and ended in the morning at 6am. There were two windows registering people, when I arrived, and the other window had a man and his girlfriend registering and at the other window a very nice lady signed me up and gave me a whole pile of forms to sign. One of those forms was permission for the hospital to tell people I was in the hospital when someone called to inquire. For the life of me I could not understand the necessity of that form and inquired of such with my lovely register person. At about the same time, the other register person was asking her couple the same question and they declined to sign the form. My register person then said “Case in point as some people just don’t want people to know where they are” as she shrugged her shoulders.

I advanced next to a room upstairs and met Haley who told me “this is your bedroom”. I went to “My” bathroom and changed into my PJ’s [non medical-speak term], for the hookup. Haley then proceeded to wire me as she said “we monitor everything while you sleep”. I think she noticed the panic appearance I had taken on, and added “well almost everything”. This is a picture of a test dummy and I had more probes on me.

She put three different elastic bands around my chest. Some held equipment and some just probes. There had to be 20 probes on my head plus about 5 just on my chin area. All of the probes were held on by tape and the head probes were causing some consternation, as I know from past experience that tape and hair means goodbye hair and I have very little that I can spare. A double oxygen breathing type of thing was taped to my nose. Haley even put a probe on my foot. All of these probes were then plugged into a mini switch board about 6”x8”. It reminded me of the switchboard the old time telephone operators use to sit in front of, only a lot smaller.
For the record this is also not a picture of me but one stolen from the internet.

I half expected her to say “Number please”. I needed to take a pill, earlier, and I had a choice of about 4 different drinks. I chose water and she came back with a cup that looked like a Styrofoam soup cup filled with ice and water. Haley left to go into the control center and test my switchboard and I got a drink of water. That was a real challenge because it was so big but I had to hold the wires away from my mouth with one hand and hold the cup with the other. I wondered what would happen at 1am when I needed to get a drink from the cup? Might be interesting as I will be lying down also. When the wires were all tested out Haley left for the night but turned me over to Fletcher for the evening.


I got to watch TV for a while at bedtime and that relaxed me as the Red Sox were playing in Anaheim and were not losing yet. I fell asleep with ease and that surprised me. At 1, I had to call Fletcher because I had to pee and didn’t have a clue how that might be possible but Fletch came in and unplugged my switchboard and I was off and running. He also said the Sox were winning at the bottom of the sixth. Fell right back asleep and then the test was over and I found out the Sox won one. Fletcher was good removing the tape and it didn’t appear I lost very much hair.

I think this was the first time I have been to a hospital or even a Dr’s office that they have not hurt me somehow and everyone was nice to me. I would recommend this test to everyone. I have noticed that it is very hard to write a good posting when everything works out good. Before the test I was looking forward to the test because of the material it would provide me for a good posting. I got good material when I had my Nuclear Stress Test and when I had my Colonoscophy but not on this test. Just a nice test with some very qualified people. Yawhn!.

8 comments:

Cookie..... said...

Hey Bubba...got a cure fer ya...stop eatin the pickles, Butterfingers Candy-Bars and mayonaise before bedtime and those dreams will go away.....The Cookie Man.....

keewee said...

I think Cookie has it right. Ha, Ha

Anonymous said...

I love sleep labs and styrofoam cups! Did anyone else ever notice it always smells like garlic?

Ted said...

Sorry but I didn't notice the garlic smell but I'll check next time as I'm sure I'm not done with these tests. Cookie I hate mayo. as it is poison but I love pickles.....Ya think that might be it? Maybe it is the garlic in the styrofoam as anonymous claims. It better not be the butterfingers candy bars. Howd you and that New Zeland girl know about that????

Cookie..... said...

Maybe frum first hand experience. What d'ya think keewee...do we have that in common...lol

bothenook said...

after my sleep test, the doctor told me that it was a good thing i was in the hospital, because they about crapped their pants when they saw how low my oxygen saturation levels got during the night.
now i sleep with a damned mask over my nose, hooked up to a tire inflator. and the first night i had it on, even fighting the mask, was the best night's sleep i'd had in probably 30 years.

Ted said...

Loved the post Bo. The idea of being hooked up to a tire inflator really bothers me but your not the 1st person to tell me that it was their best nights sleep in years.

Cookie You and keewee might have a lot in common but she sure is a lot prettier, judging from the picture on your blog but you sure do look familiar. Thanks for the comments.

Cookie..... said...

Shit...that ain't no compliment to good old KeeWee....ANYBODY is alot purdier than this here Cookie.....