And the sleep study follies continue

December 29, 2021


After my sleep apnea study at the Discomfort Inn (which I wrote about here) I had a Zoom to go over results with the sleep neurologist. Here is how that went:

HIM  You have mild to moderate sleep apnea. You only slept 4 hours and during that time you stopped breathing twice, had 74 partial reductions in airflow and woke yourself up 19 times struggling to breathe.

ME I was aware of none of that. I guess that’s why I get poor sleep.

HIM If you slept on your side this wouldn’t happen. You wouldn’t have apnea.

ME. I sleep on my side!

HIM. Not once.

ME Because I was afraid of dislodging all those wires attached to my head with globs of glue.

HIM  Good point.

ME Could you give me a device that would force me to sleep on my side?

HIM There IS a garment that does that.

ME  Does it come with a Book of Mormon?

HIM No, it doesn’t. But. You don’t need a CPAP machine, as it’s mild, you can qualify for a retainer appliance called a mandibular advancement device.

ME I thought you told me last month that those were not compatible with my Invisalign retainer.

HIM I think they might be. Call your dentist and then round back with me.

ME And what if they are not compatible?

HIM (pulls out blue hose with nasal cannulas) You would have to wear this.

ME So how does it work?

HIM What’s the biggest thing in your mouth?

ME (deadpan)  Ever?
(yes, may God strike me dead, I couldn’t resist it, I couldn’t)

HIM (also deadpan) If you have to get a CPAP you’d come back here to get fitted. You can come and do another overnight–oh, i see you shaking your head, so that must be a ‘no’.

ME I’ll do it at the Ritz but I am NOT coming back to sleep at the DisComfort Inn.

HIM  Oh, good one! Well, we can do a home study to set the software.

ME Yes, we’ll do that. So is that what it looks like? Blue?

HIM  No, men get blue with a black machine and women get pink with a white machine that has flowers on it.

ME That’s a joke, right?

HIM  No–they’re different machines by gender because men and women breathe differently, chest movement, muscle etc.

ME So what do you do in this nonbinary world?
(Again, may God strike me dead, I am a terrible patient)

HIM  That’s a good question.

ME  So transgender women must get blue hose with black machines.

HIM Yes and transgender men get the pink and white with flowers.

ME  OK, then, glad we cleared that up. I’ll call my dentist and then round back to you.

So stay tuned, more to come.


25 comments on “And the sleep study follies continue
  1. Shari says:

    haha! Been there! Mine isn’t mild, but I don’t have it when I sleep on my side, which I’ve been doing. Still, the doc wants me to get a C-PAP and I’m not satisfied with his answer. At least he said it wasn’t necessary to do the test again!

  2. Oh my goodness! Thanks for sharing this. I just finished reading a book (Wide Awake and Dreaming) that featured a sleep study. Interesting stuff.

  3. Mel Studer says:

    Dying laughing! My husband went through this rigamarole, and finally bought a machine out-of-pocket to avoid all this! Good luck!

  4. Diane says:

    Oh the joys!
    I remember my best friend’s mom threatening to sew a corn cob in the back of her dad’s long johns to keep him on his side to sleep! Possible solution? ?

  5. Robin Herman says:

    If a sleep neurologist told me: “you woke yourself up 19 times struggling to breathe” I don’t think I’d risk closing my eyes ever again

  6. Alana says:

    To that doctor, you were either the patient from h**l or the most entertaining one. I suspect it’s the latter. You certainly made me laugh although that thing with the gender colors; didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Happy I wasn’t drinking when I read this.

  7. Lynda Beth Unkeless says:

    The history of sex difference research is hugely controversial.

    Now that I’ve read it here first that men and women breathe differently, I will file that under my understanding that men and women’s brains are supposedly different too.

    What a wild world we live in!???

  8. Frank Ingrasciotta says:

    So funny, as only you can tell it!

  9. It was interesting to read about your sleep study experience. I never would have believed that the color difference in machines was true!

  10. Lauren says:

    Dying! OK so I’d want the blue machine too. I detest pink.

  11. Lambeth says:

    So there is an entire industry around C-Pap machines (spelling?) that is completely unnecessary if everyone turns on their sides? Unbelievable

  12. Laurie Stone says:

    Carol, There’s nothing more precious than sleep. I hope, after all this, you get your mojo back.

  13. Meryl says:

    Love the banter between you and your doctor. Good you can keep your sense of humor about such a personal, annoying and troublesome issue.

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