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now i lay me down to sleep - when you don't know what to do... — LiveJournal
do the next thing
now i lay me down to sleep
Except not. Not for the first part of the night, at least. I did a sleep study last night, where they wired me up, watched me sleep, and took readings to see if I have sleep apnea.

The wiring up wasn't too bad. The conductive goo was fine; it's the adhesive that they use to keep it on my head that's making me itch now. I just need to go take a shower and wash my hair to get it all out. (It's water-soluble.) The stuff they stuck to my cheeks and chin was fine, too; they used tape for that. It was the sensors they stuck to my upper lip to measure my breathing that drove me insane -- god, but I hate a nasal cannula.

I did a "split-night study," where they observed me for the first part of the night, and if I woke up more than 20 times an hour, the tech would come in and put a CPAP on me. I tried it before I got tucked in, and it was weird at first, and popped my ears a couple of times, but I got used to it fairly quickly.

It was kind of hard to get comfortable to sleep, because I couldn't move my hair easily out from under my face and neck with the wires in the way, and the nasal cannula was awful. It was hot in the room, too, but the technician, Bob, was able to come in and turn the thermostat down and give me a fan to move the air. I can't stand a still room.

I've never tossed and turned so much in my life. I kept waking up -- waking up so I noticed -- and I had a weird dream that I'd left the clinic, still with all the wires on my head. At the end of the dream, I was told that I didn't have sleep apnea and so wouldn't be using a CPAP machine, and I was really upset (in the dream). Just after that, at around 2:30am, the tech came in and woke me and said that I'd been waking up a lot (no shit) and that he was going to put me on a CPAP. I had a killer headache when he woke me, too.

ZOMG, what a difference. Firstly, it was good just to get the freaking cannula out of my nose. But when I got all hooked up with the CPAP (I just had a nasal mask) and I was lying there trying to go back to sleep, the thing that kept going through my head was that I no longer felt embattled. I don't think I had ever realized it, but I think I've been fighting to breathe while sleeping for years. It might be why I resist going to sleep: because I know subconsciously that I've not going to be able to breathe. I could even feel the headache going away as I lay there, before I dropped off.

When the tech came in to wake me at 6, he said I slept like a dead woman after he put the CPAP on me. I agreed, and I really could have done with at least two more hours, but I needed to get up and get the wires off me so I could go home. I guess the next step is for a doctor to evaluate the findings of the study and call me in for a consult, and then hopefully they'll prescribe a CPAP. Only thing I really need is something I can travel with and run on a battery. Hopefully I'll get something before my trip to Canada in September. We'll be staying in a bunkroom situation, and I'd rather not keep everyone awake with my snoring.

I need to go get a shower to get the rest of the goo out of my hair, and then catch a quick nap. The first half of the night was such awful sleep that I almost feel like I didn't get any. But my head is itchy and feels weird with the adhesive, so the shower is first. Hopefully this experience will lead in a positive direction.

Tags: ,
i feel: hopeful hopeful

12 trips or shoot the rapids
hugh_mannity From: hugh_mannity Date: April 16th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Almost all CPAPs made these days come with the ability to plug into a DC outlet (like a car cigarette lighter).

You can also run them off a car battery with an inverter. Which is what I did at Pennsic last year. Taking the battery and a charger over to the charging station every day (and bringing it back) was a bit of a PITA, but worth it to be able to sleep.

tashabear From: tashabear Date: April 16th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC) (base camp)
That's kind of what I'm planning on, but I'm hoping that I can find a smaller battery that'll work. A car battery isn't going to be the most convenient thing to carry on the bike.
(Deleted comment)
hugh_mannity From: hugh_mannity Date: April 16th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC) (base camp)

Re: Battery types

I got my CPAP about 3 days before Pennsic last year. So it was a question of what I could get instantly and that was a cheapass car battery.

It did pretty well though -- ran the CPAP for 2 nights in a row without a recharge.

I plan to get a deep cycle battery for this year though. I've seen some that people are using which have a charger built in.

A CPAP doesn't pull a lot of power, it's just a small pump. Less than one of those air mattress inflators.
(Deleted comment)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: April 16th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC) (base camp)

Re: Battery types

No that's fine! This is all stuff (I hope) I'm going to need to know! And if I don't, I'll know it for some one else.
hascouf From: hascouf Date: April 16th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I love my CPAP.

I dreaded sleeping the next couple weeks after my sleep study knowing how good I felt after the sleep study.

My AHI was bad enough that they fast tracked the script for the machine and I had it in 10 days. Hopefully they get you taken care of quickly.
liamstliam From: liamstliam Date: April 16th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I have been on a CPAP since the mid-90s.

I am actually going for another sleep test in a coupel of weeks, since I have a new doctor.

This is what I have been using for several years, and I know others who use it, too.

You can get two nights out of it, usually.


esmerel From: esmerel Date: April 16th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC) (base camp)
My brother uses on, he LOVES having it. If only my husband wasn't so claustro, I wish he'd get tested, because I *know* he has apnea. I hope it works spectactularly for you. :)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 26th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I know this is a blast from the past, but I was looking through old entries.

Did you know that you can get a type of mask called "nasal pillows"? They're like nasal cannulas that insert into the nostrils, rather than a mask that covers your face. Might be less claustrophobic than a face mask.

Sleep apnea can have some really far-reaching and severe health impacts; it's worth it for your husband to get a sleep study.
esmerel From: esmerel Date: July 26th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I'll take a look at that, thanks! I gotta really make us appointments with a gp at some point here soon rly now
redsquirrel From: redsquirrel Date: April 16th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I camped with scadeandreas in the Windmasters' Hill (Triangle area, NC) encampment at Pennsic last year. He had a converter hooked up to a solar panel to run his CPAP. Worked well, as far as I could tell. Useful for charging cell phones, too. He's real friendly, send him an LJ message and tell him I sent you if you want details.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 17th, 2008 11:02 am (UTC) (base camp)

Pennsic power for your cpap

First of all, congrats on finally getting restful sleep.
Secondly, wecome to the elephant club.
Thirdly, contact Robear about his setup, and Andreas too. They have the best setups I've seen.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: April 17th, 2008 12:05 pm (UTC) (base camp)

Re: Pennsic power for your cpap

I was planning on talking to Robear, but I don't know who Andreas is. Or who you are, for that matter. Who are you?
12 trips or shoot the rapids