Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Blahs

The blahs continue over here at our Wits' End. Sure, our computer woes have gone, but illness woes have moved right into the woe vacuum left behind.

The Viking is back to work, but I'm still down for the count, sleeping 11 hours each night and 2-3 more each day, lying on the couch too weak to do anything but flick impatiently through the ten channels we get on the tv or play the occasional round of Lego Star Wars. I'm trying a bit of "sit-up" time here at the computer, but I'm getting pretty tired and don't know if I'm going to have the wherewithal to get dressed and put on some makeup to go to Redheaded Snippet's basketball game this afternoon. Of course, if Mom can't drive me there, I won't be able to go at all. I don't think it's a good idea to drive this way.

Did you know that I have the best children in the world? Did I never tell you that? Oh, I know I complain about them a lot, but, really, they are the best. Guess what they did last night? I had fallen asleep on the couch late in the afternoon. I was awakened by The Viking standing over me asking if I didn't feel like I'd been hit by a bus (he knew--he'd been there two days before). When I croaked, "ungh-hugh" (which meant yes) he followed up with, "and did you see what the kids did in the kitchen?" My eyes widened in alarm and I held my breath afraid to ask. I've seen the damage they can inflict on our living spaces in only a few unsupervised hours. But then he smiled. Wait, smiled? Yes, smiled. And not in a wry, "brace yourself, kid," kind of way.

My sweet, selfless, angelic little children had cleaned the kitchen for me. That's right. Cleaned it. They had cleared and wiped down the desk, swept the floor, cleared and wiped down all the counters, and Man-Cub was perched on a stool in front of the sink finishing the dishes and Redheaded Snippet was thumbing through my recipe binder looking for something to make for dinner when The Viking walked in. I was prouder than proud.

But you know what else? Now I know they can do it. They have foolishly shown themselves to be perfectly capable of cleaning the worst room in the house to Grandma's-coming standards with no supervision at all. Not that I would use their selfless act against them in this manner...or would I?

No, really, I was so touched and it helped so much that they had done it. Redheaded Snippet said, "I was bored and getting hungry and I knew Mommy wouldn't be able to make dinner so I decided to clean up and make dinner." Ok, so maybe it wasn't entirely selfless. But I'll take it. And it makes me gladder than ever I started her Domestic Engineering training last summer. [And it's one more point in favor of keeping a binder and making menu plans, right Leila?]

So, I haven't told you all about my sleep study! It I don't know, it was weird. I didn't like it. And I would certainly do things differently if I had to have another one. Like bring my husband with me.

I was given very little information beforehand, just told to bring whatever will help me to sleep as close as possible to the way I usually do. So, I brought my most comfy pjs, my bathrobe, my slippers, a few books, my crossword puzzles, a bedtime snack and bottle of milk and I wore my glasses so I wouldn't have to mess with contacts and cases and saline, blah, blah, blah.

Well, first of all, I was the only woman in the building. The other victim was a man and the two techs were men. Okay, fine. That's fine. There was no lock on my door and a camera on me. Okay...fine. Really, it's fine. They turned the camera away when I had to change and I could have changed in the bathroom (which did have a lock and, to my knowledge, no camera) if I really wanted to. And I suppose they can't have locks on the doors if they need to be in and out of the room to deal with wires and electrodes and whatnot. So, fine. The tech was really chatty and uncomfortably in my personal space. Okay, he has to hook up all these wires and he's going to be watching me sleep all night. Maybe this is a branch of "medicine" where there just isn't much room for personal space, right? But I like my medical personnel to be clinical; impersonal, detached and clinical. Especially if you're going to be doing delicate, potentially humiliating things. This guy was none of those things. I think he was trying to put me at ease, but I almost felt like he was flirting with me. Which is ridiculous because I had absolutely no make-up on, had dry, lank, flyaway hair because I wasn't allowed to have any product whatsoever in it, was wearing my faded, pink, shapeless pajamas with no bra on, and hadn't slept in about 6 days so all told I looked like the wrath of God (I don't know where I got that phrase but I love it). I kind of felt like he thought he was doing me a favor by flirting with me. Which is way worse. It wasn't until halfway through the wiring process that I realized the man was half deaf. So every time I said something, he had to stop what he was doing and literally get in my face and ask, "What?" That was frustrating because it took over and hour to get me wired.

So, this is waaaaay more glamorous than I looked that night, but do you see all the electrodes? And wires? And things in the nose? What you can't see is the two elastic bands around my torso, one above my bosom, one below (which further added to the allure of my unsupported physique), the denture adhesive-like paste gooped into my hair to keep the electrodes bonded to my scalp and the wires running down my shirt and pant legs and taped to my unshaven legs.

Speaking of unshaven legs, I had no idea they would be going anywhere near my legs! So I didn't bother shaving! Well, was I mortified! Not only did the overly chatty tech have to manhandle my legs about as much as a pedicurist with a fetish, but my pant legs were too tight to be drawn up over my tree-trunk calves! No one told me I needed loose-legged pajamas! I was so embarrassed, but I would NOT allow him to cut my pant legs as he was ready to do.

I was also unaware that there would be quite so much touching. If I have to be touched, I like to be warned. I wasn't warned. Wires had to be threaded down my shirt (I had to insist they be directed down the back) and instead of allowing me to put those dang elastic bands around myself, the tech had to do it with my arms raised over my head and his face practically in my chest. Say it with me, uncomfortable. He even hit me in the bosom once. Awkward.

By the time I had the 30th electrode secured and the second wire draped across my upper lip and over my ears, I looked up at the camera and said, "Ok, I'm starting to feel like I'm being Punk'd. Am I being Punk'd?" I would have thought someone would have given me an indication of what I could have expected! Of course, when I said that, the tech, for the umpteenth time, stopped what he was doing and bobbed his face into mine and said, "What?"

Sigh. So then I was led into bed (by a strange man--it felt so weird), hooked up to a fancy machine and told to sleep tight. Yeah right! I couldn't move for fear of tearing electrodes and large chunks of hair off my scalp! And I had that pulse oximeter thing on my finger which had an even shorter wire and prevented me from even turning over without waking up.

So, all night long, I had to wake up in order to turn over. It was exactly like trying to sleep in the hospital, only worse because of all the electrodes. Every which way I turned my head, I could feel the little nubs of them all over my head. Just like sleeping with curlers in when I was kid.

The tech had to wake me up at 5:30 am so we had enough time to detach everything and get me home in time to get the kids off to school. I'd slept a total of 5 fitful hours, having woke up at least 4 times to turn over, had a sore shoulder and aching head and hadn't brushed my teeth yet, and still he was Mr. Chatty. He kept acting like I had no sleep issues whatsoever and he couldn't believe what on earth I needed a sleep study for. He kept telling me how well I had slept. I wanted to bop him one. And once those wires were off, I changed and packed up as fast as I could. I could not get out of there fast enough.

And now I wait for the doctor to call with the report. I'm crossing my fingers that the test was conclusive and I don't have to go back there again. If I do, I may ask if there are any female techs and ask for an appointment with one of them. Or I really am going to take The Viking with me. And I'm shaving my legs!

So there you have it. All the gory details. And now if you ever have to get a sleep study done, you'll know a bit of what to expect.

And that's all I have energy for today. I'm so tired and dizzy I don't even know how to tie this up in a nice neat package. I'm off to lie on the couch under my Scottish wool blanket in front of the space heater. Maybe I'll pop in a dvd and take a nap...

1 comment:

Leila said...

You are so funny.

I am so proud of your kids! Yes indeedy, having a handy binder is great for separating yourself from what you do, so others can do it too...hmmm, is this one reason why women cling to keeping everything in their heads? To remain indispensable? Maybe I'll blog about that :)

I always wondered about how one could sleep in a sleep clinic, but your vivid description astounds me. I wouldn't have slept a wink!!

How ironic that now you can do nothing but... :)