Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I had my sleep study last night. It was one of the most bizarre experiences I have ever had...and not one I'm anxious to ever have to repeat.

After checking in last night and changing into my pjs (tshirt and yoga pants), the tech began to attach electrodes on my chest, my neck, my shoulders, my face, and even on my scalp. I also had 3 belts with monitors wrapped around my body. All the electrodes had at least one wire attached, that connected to a main "box", which transferred the information to their computers. Some electrodes had as many as 3-5 wires. To say it was all uncomfortable and awkward is an understatement.

Then they wrapped monitors on 2 of my fingers and around my ankles and feet. The final "attachment" was in my nose. You know the oxygen tube they use where there are 2 small tubes that go in your nostrils? Well, this reminded me of that, except for they were small scensors, instead of tubes.

It was explained to me that all the different attachments would record brain activity, as well as activity from my eyes (open, close, movement), arms, legs, any snoring, sleep apnea and my heart rate.

She also said "Whatever the computer can't show us, we'll see on the camera". And there it was...a futuristic looking "eye" staring right at me.

They fitted me for a c-pap device. I was told that if they saw me having episodes of sleep apnea, they would wake me up, have me put the c-pap on, and then go back to sleep ( if). I immediately said a silent prayer that I wouldn't have to wear it.

By the time I was put into bed, it was 11:15pm. Since I wasn't sleepy yet at all (even thought I took my sleeping pill at 10:00), they said I could read and then let them know when I was ready to have the light off.

Less than 30 minutes later, a tech came in and said "Ok, let's put the book away and turn out the lights so we can start recording."

Uh.....I'm still not sleepy.

I ask if she could hand me my ipod out of my bag. I have relaxation music ( music) and some meditation podcasts on there that I figured might help me get to sleep.

"No. Lights need to be out and no music or other distractions."

Then why did they tell me I could bring these items???

This is going to be a looooooong night.

Since I couldn't reach my phone or anything else, I had no idea what time it was, but I feel confident that I laid there for at least another hour before I started to feel sleepy.

Then the leg pain started. This happens every night. Normally I would go to the hot tub to help settle it down, but that wasn't an option obviously.

I finally fell asleep, but woke up every little bit. The bed was much more firm than my bed at home, and on a sore body, that feels like a slab of concrete. I had such pain in places like my hips, outer knees, & arms when laying on my side, and everything from my neck down was in pain if I laid on my back.

I finally couldn't take it any longer, and had to sit up to do some stretching at least. A tech came in and I found out it was only 3:30am.

Did I mention this was going to be a loooooooong night?

After using the restroom and getting a drink of water I was put back in the bed. I repeated the same routine as earlier and was very restless the rest of the night.

Again, after a while I couldn't take it, so I sat up to stretch. I thankfully found out it was 6:10am. They were going to wake me up at 6:30, so they said this was close enough. By this time I think they realized I was not going to be going back to sleep.

They removed all the electrodes and filled out some paperwork, while I went into the bathroom to wash residue from tape and glue off my face and neck.

My face looked sunburned because it's so sensitive and evidently didn't like that stuff being on it all night.

I changed my clothes and went to run a brush through my hair.

OUCH! What in the world??????

The tech said "Oh yes, you have left over glue from the electrodes we put on your scalp. You'll need to wash your hair to get that out."

Glue? Did she say - G.L.U.E?

For the record....I have since washed my hair twice and I still have glue in it. :-/

So now it's time for The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly for this experience:

1. The tech never had to come in to put the c-pap on me, and she said they didn't see anything that caused them to feel it was necessary. Woohoo! No sleep apnea!

2. I was handed a coupon for a free cafeteria breakfast at the hospital. This was like the biggest gourmet breakfast buffet you could ever find at a nice restaurant! Everything from egg casserole, waffles and meats, to fruit, pastries and muffins - HUGE muffins! You tell then what you'd like and they pile it on. I only ate half of what they gave me.


1. The leg pain that I feel at night is almost guaranteed to be Restless Leg Syndrome, which they stated is very common in Fibromyalgia patients.

2. I won't know anything more until they send the report to my doctor, which will be in about 2 weeks. Two weeks???? Have they never heard of fax or email? Why 2 weeks?


These are pictures of my hair. The areas that look red, or wet/greasy/shiny is where the glue was placed. I had over a dozen different places on my head. Nice huh?

Red at the back of the "part" and hair down behind the part (top left of picture) looks greasy

hair in bottom part of picture looks wet or greasy

I have taken it easy at home today, mostly because I have no other choice. I am very stiff and sore today. Partially from not sleeping well, and partially from sleeping on the concrete slab. The good news is that hopefully I'll be able to sleep better tonight.

Sweet dreams!


Darla said...

you would think that a sleep lab would have mastered the art of makin people feel comfortable enough to sleep! you poor thing, i wouldn't have enjoyed that one bit! however, i hope you get some good results from that night of torture. (that room looks sterile and cold too) hope you sleep well tonight!!!

Debi said...

Just an FYI...I used to have that same leg issue. BUT, here's something I found that helped a lot. I do calcium right before I got to sleep. Calcium helps calm the muscles down...a natural muscle relaxer. OR, another thing I like is something called, "Calm", it's a calcium/magnesium supplement from the health food store. Same thing as far as how it works in the body. Seriously, this has made all the difference for me. I used to take ibuprofen every time, but now I just take 2 tablets of calcium or the calm and it works! Just an idea. :)

skoots1mom said...

wow...what an experience...glad that's over for you...
hope you have a wonderful night's sleep :D

Kelly said...

I've been wondering how it went. Two weeks to hear the results? That's crazy.