Sunday, June 05, 2005

After the Sleep Study, Part 1

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - 9:07pm

Here I am, in my pj’s, sitting on the bed in this tiny hospital room. I suppose I should be thankful this is for testing purposes, so it’s private. Getting here was easier than expected. I thought for sure I’d get lost, but I managed to find my way up here, despite the intermittent signage. It was kind of creepy though, I saw nobody in the hallways anywhere. Not a bed, not a patient, not even a security guard.

Presented myself to Alfonso, the technician/nurse and he explained what’s going to happen. Sounds like I’ll be hooked up to some poly-something or other machine - I have no idea. The apparatus that’s here has 15 wires coming out of it. Plus I’ll have some kind of wrap around my chest and waist. As far as I can tell, I won’t be getting a good night’s sleep.

I’ll be hooked up sometime between 9:30-10pm (there are 3 other patients here for testing too) and then I’m “allowed” to read until 11pm. When Alfonso told me that I sort of snorted at him and said “Yeah, right”. But he’s serious. Oh boy … I also asked if I could get a face cloth and towel just to rinse off before going to sleep and he came back to me with 4 mangy, ratty old facecloths. One of them had this big, long clump of hair and cotton all rolled into a big dreadlock kind of thing. Nasty. Didn’t think to bring my own. And there’s some crusty toothpaste or cream on the tap. Shudder …

There’s got to be a 2-inch gap at the bottom of this door that leads to the hallway. How am I supposed to sleep if there’s light coming through? Or noise? Already I can hear this old man do his phlegmy cough/throat clearing. Is that going to go on all night? What happens if they find out this test is normal? Will they think I’m a big faker? When I think of all the times I’ve been awake half the night, or longer, to have them think there’s nothing wrong with me would really make me feel foolish. Oh man – there’s no toilet in this room. I have to use a toilet down the hall. What happens if I have to get up in the middle of the night? Will they have to unplug me?

My heart is racing a mile a minute. Must remember to take pictures of me wired up. I should really just lie down, read and relax. More tomorrow.

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