Previously, I discussed the instructions I received about how to prepare for my sleep study.
In this post, let’s talk a bit about what the actual sleep study is like.
In my case, through a take home test a few months back, the doctor had already diagnosed me with moderate to severe sleep apnea. So, there was no mystery there. The diagnosis was done.
So, what was the need for this sleep study?
This was to determine which CPAP machine was right for me and what the settings should be. This study and the CPAP machine are all covered by my insurance. And, I’m very thankful for that!
So, I arrived with my bag and big pillow. And, I talked to the nurse at the desk. A very friendly woman!
My sleep study room
I was taken to my room. It was a clean, modest little space with a standard sort of hospital bed. I don’t want to complain, but I’m not a big fan of hospital beds. Because of my back surgery, I’m very picky about beds. These hospital beds are thin and uncomfortable.
The nurse told me the following: I could go to bed when I wanted at some time before 11 PM. That she’d have me hooked up to a bunch of stuff including a CPAP machine. That she’d be monitoring me all night. The tests would determine info about how I’d be using CPAP in my life. She’s see whether the CPAP stopped my apneas. Remember, apnea means a temporary cessation of breathing…
A bit nervous at the sleep study
So, I get a little nervous about peeing stuff in a situation like this! So, I used the bathroom. I didn’t totally need to…but, I used the toilet anyway. Then I watched TV for a bit. The volume, unsurprisingly, doesn’t go up very high. Then I took a drink of water.
The nurse…her name was Angela…she knocked, entered the room and said, “Let’s put the CPAP mask on you so you can practice.”
So, she showed me how to put the mask on. And, it forced air down my throat while I inhaled. It was a tiny bit anxiety-provoking, at first, because you sort of have a feeling of suffocating. You get past that feeling!
So, she left the room, and I sat there with the mask on. I breathed in-and-out. After a bit, I called out to Angela and told her I wanted to go to sleep. She hooked up a lot of wires to me. And, when I say “a lot”…I mean, A LOT! There were wires on my wrist, chest, and a bunch attached to my skull.
Then, from the other room, she spoke through a speaker and told me to blink five times and take ten deep breaths. I just did what she said.
So, of course, I tried to go to sleep after all this instructions and wire stuff. I couldn’t. Between the mask and the wires and lousy hospital bed: I was very uncomfortable. An hour later, I had to pee. Oh, good grief!
I called Angie. “I’m sorry,” I said.
“It’s okay, let’s unhook you.”
So, she unhooked me and I went to the bathroom. Then she rehooked me, and I tried to sleep.
I finally fell asleep
Finally, I fell asleep. And, I didn’t wake up! That’s unusual. I didn’t wake up until Angie’s voice called out to me at 6 AM.
I made it through my sleep study!