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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sleep, Wonderful Sleep

My lovely room, complete with a very comfy bed, lamps, art, comfy recliner, flat screen TV and a bathroom twice as large as the one at home.

After a long period of procrastination and denial, I finally completed part two of my sleep study. It took months for me to psych myself into believing I could wear a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask for my severe sleep apnea without totally freaking out. Never one to sleep well, I was in no rush to repeat the torture of study #1, a long nightmare in which I'd slept just two and one half hours.

First, my allergist prescribed powerful steroids, which enabled me to breathe once more. Many friends and the RNs at cardiac rehab encouraged me, saying a good night's sleep would help in so many ways. "Sleeping eight hours is to your body what defragging is to your computer," said Thomas. Alisen ensured me that I would lose weight faster (it has taken nearly seven months to lose 25 pounds!) if I were sleeping well. And most importantly, they all told me how stressful sleep apnea is on the heart, not to mention its huge role in diabetes and obesity.

I was relieved to find I'd go to a wonderful new facility for the test and would not be returning to the old hospital. This time I arrived with everything I'd need in order to be comfortable: my own pillows and blanket, snacks, proper medication and a good book. Tanisha was nonplussed seeing my suitcase and large tote.

Once settled in my beautiful room, I relaxed until being wired with 28 different electrodes. I tried three different masks and then read until lights out. Within minutes I realized I was itching terribly wherever the mask touched my skin. Tanisha seemed worried when she saw the red marks it had caused and switched me to a very small CPAP resembling an oxygen cannula.

That's the last thing I remember. Not only did I sleep all night, I fell asleep in less than five minutes! I was barely aware of the CPAP and had to be prompted to remove it! In addition to the comfortable accommodations, a lovely continental breakfast was offered.

I absolutely positively NEVER thought I would say or write this, but I cannot wait to get my CPAP. Joy, oh joy - sweet slumber awaits.

In addition to being a great sleep tech, Tanisha was also a sweetheart, making sure I was well taken care of from start to finish. Thanks, Tanisha!

1 comment:

Exuberant Color said...

I've never gone for the test because I am sure I couldn't stand a mask on either. It sounds like you found the perfect one though. Sleep tight!