My New Found Hatred Of Sleep Studies….

Sunday evening, I had a sleep study and my chart had strict orders that I couldn’t lay flat… So, the fancy, expensive hotel room that the hospital put me in for this study was really pointless… They did have one of those fancy hospital recliners in the room too though, except there was an issue there too… As a bariatric surgery patient and someone with hip dysplasia, my hips were too wide to fit into the narrow arms of that sleep recliner in the room as well. This sleep study was provided through the healthcare system I am using for my surgery program and is a part of the process for the surgery, so it was a necessary evil… I honestly thought the healthcare system that had full access of my chart and everything that was wrong with me physically would schedule me in a facility that would be capable to handle me in my current physical state, and they didn’t… I had to have a ride there and back because I am on sleeping pills, so just cancelling and coming back another time wasn’t an option… So, my only option was this random round-ish chair that was in the corner. It was somewhat comfortable for what it was, but definitely not enough to justify the rental of a hotel room that averages about $125 a night. Anyway, I had to be there by 9:05 PM, so I arrived on time (actually somewhat early on), grabbed a key, made my way up to the area, waited to be called and taken to my assigned room for the night, and sat there waiting to be hooked up to the wires….

Call time was 9:05 PM. Remember that… The attendant left me sitting in the room until nearly 10:20 PM without coming in to hook me up to the monitoring leads. I literally fell asleep while waiting for them to come in and hook me up to the leads so that I could fall asleep for them to watch me sleep. So, 10:20 rolls around and they finally call into my room over the intercom and tell me they’re going to come in and hook me up. I snap awake, answer “Ok” and act like I hadn’t been asleep for like the last 20 minutes while waiting for them to come and acknowledge my existence….

So, wires get glued to me and taped over, the snore mic gets attached to my throat, the breathing monitor and oxygen tubes shoved up my nose and by my mouth, the pulse oximeter on my right index finger, and I’m put back into the corner to sleep… That’s when the real problems start for me… The oxygen tubes don’t reach from the machine to my chair really well so sleeping any way other than with my head down with my chin to my chest just causes the tubes to pull at my ears and cause a fair bit of discomfort.

I found myself waking up at least on 5 different occasions in the night pulling at the tube to try and get some slack and ease the tugging on my ears. This night was by far the most restless night I’ve ever had in my life, and I am diagnosed with sleep apnea so sleep isn’t really great in general on a normal night… At one point, the attendant came in and woke me up to take the pulse oximeter off of my finger and then reapply it before taping it to my hand. A little bit later, she came over the intercom and woke me up telling me to put it back on my finger when it was still on my finger. I lifted my hand and pointed at the camera with my red-lit finger and said “It is on my finger…” before going back to “sleep.”

Finally, I’d say about an hour before they came to wake me up, I had a minor breakthrough in the oxygen tube situation.. I apparently pulled the machine it was hooked up to close enough to me that I could lay my head back enough to actually put it against a pillow and not hurt my neck from having my head down literally all night. It was too bad that it was short lived..

The attendant woke me up at 4:55 AM, we did the control tests at the end, she came in, unhooked me, gave me a little survey, and told me when I was done with it I was free to go….

When I got home, I went to sleep and actually slept until the afternoon… If I ever have to get another sleep study done, I seriously hope and pray that they are more considerate and prepared for patients like me. Especially for a hospital that touts a bariatric surgery program…

Image source: http://fortune.com/2015/06/29/sleep-data/